GameDev has an interview
with EA Montreal general manager Alain Tascan where he talks about the rising costs of game development. Considering the additional developers and artists needed to develop next generation games. That said you do have to wonder about what kind of software development practices these production houses are using. Software development is a tricky and complicated process but there are practices that you can do to make things on yourself easier.
Ritual QA Manager, Michael Russell has one really good example
of one practice that companies need to adopt to save costs. I could go into a two page article about why fixing bugs early is critical (or you could read this book
) but trust me it's a big deal.