Hi Al,
It simply is not financially feasible for a company like Sony to do that. It would likely cost them much more than it is worth to create a line of games specifically for the visually impaired. There is a lot of money involved in bringing a single product like that to market, and commercially companies have to pay more than an independent developer does. First, on average game developers who work for Microsoft, Activision, Nintendo, etc make $60,000 a year. So even if they asign no more than three developers to the team designing accessible games they have already sunk around $180,000 into the project just in labor costs alone. Second, the company has to license music, sound effects, graphics, which drives the cost up considerably more. The larger the company is, the larger the market is, the higher the license fees for the multimedia content will be. Even if they produce the sounds, music, and graphics in house they have to pay someone to do it. So there is another expense added to this project driving the cost up even more. Third, as I mentioned in a prier e-mail if the company wishes to create a game for a specific platform such as the Play Station they have to license the technology from the company, pay royalties to that company for the use of the platform, and meet very specific guidelines to be allowed to use said platform. So this could be very expensive for the company, and there is a good possability that they won't even be allowed to target that platform in the first place if they stray too far away from the specifications set forth in the license agreement. Finally, assuming they have created this game they have to mass market it. that means paying for news paper adds, radio and television commercials, etc letting everyone know this new product is out that is totally blind friendly. I don't know what that would cost, but certainly it won't come cheap. Regardless of the price one single game won't cost the company anything under a million dollars to produce from start to finish. Even at say $50 per purchase they'd have to have at least 20,000 sales to recover the money spent on production, and several more sales to even consider it a success of some kind. Since these major game companies think in terms of millions of sales world wide 20,000 sales is nothing to them. Better make it at least 100,000 sales to get started making it worth while to them. So unless you know of at least 100,000 blind gamers ready to buy games from that company any kind of specialized game for the blind is going to flop big time from a commercial point of view.




Allan Thompson wrote:
Hi Tom,
Do you think it would cost more or less money for a game company like Sony to make purely accessible games from scratch, then to make a regular title for the sighted? My thought is this, could a game company set up a dedicated department that makes just accessible games that would probably cost less then a regular title to make, enough of these accisible games could propel the buying of console systems with peripherals among the blind and disabled community. The accessible titles could probably be sold for the same price as sighted games but with a larger profit perhaps?
Maybe I am just being naive here, what do you and others think?

al


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