Last-gen versions of the new 'Test Drive Unlimited' game and 'Gotham Knights' have been quietly cancelled over the last few weeks, which has frustrated fans.

Sales of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S have been somewhat sluggish in comparison to their last-gen counterparts, so developers willing to leave behind a built-in fanbase who own last-gen consoles seems like an economic blunder.

This is not necessarily the case, however.

Game development has become more complex as the years have gone on, while some elements have become more streamlined.

X86 system architecture is now industry standard, which means that video game hardware now uses the same architecture as developing for PC.

Both the PS4 and Xbox One support X86 architecture which was a large part in their success and made game development easier.

On the flip side of that, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are running on technology that would have powered a mid-range gaming PC from 2012, and the systems are starting to show their age.

It's the same principle Apple uses for their iPhone - as soon as the old system starts showing the first signs of slowing down, they are jettisoned.

And now the bill has come due for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

While developers may be more used to developing for older consoles, developing versions of the games concurrently with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S models means taking up more resources.

The choice to stop making ports for the older consoles is an economic choice as well as a practical one.

Developers could spend more time making the current-gen versions of the games play or look better, instead of having to focus on making the last-gen versions just good enough to be playable.

We have seen the negative effects of what happens when a cutting-edge game is released on old hardware such as 'Cyberpunk 2077'.

Launch versions of the PS4 in particular were reported to struggle immensely with the game which played relatively fine on PC.

Perhaps the most infamous example of a last-gen version of a game being laughably poorer than the current-gen version came with the PS3 versions of 'Shadow Of Mordor and 'Watch Dogs' in 2014.

Both games had their ambitious visuals scaled back to get the games to run on hardware designed and shipped in 2006.

In the case of 'Shadow Of Mordor', the game was reduced to a slideshow frame rate and graphics that were more 'Roblox', than 'Lord Of The Rings'.

In the case of 'Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown' having its last-gen versions cancelled, the game promises a 1:1 scale map of Hong Kong Island.

'Forza Horizon 5' was successfully released on Xbox One with few problems (and this is a game that is also optimised to run on Ultra settings on PC without breaking a sweat) but that is a testament to how well-optimised and designed the game was and developers PlayGround Games having the backing of Microsoft.

In the case of 'Test Drive Unlimited', publishers Nacon don't have the financial resources of a Microsoft to make the game playable or optimised for last-gen.

'Red Dead Redemption 2' and 'Ghost Of Tsushima' are two extraordinary-looking games that could run on PS4 hardware, but in the former case, Rockstar Games has the resources and manpower of a small country, and Sony are an international media conglomerate in the latter instance.

In both these cases, the developers could spend as much time and money as they liked making the games look as fantastic as possible on older hardware.

That is simply is not an option for smaller developers.

A statement from Nacon read “With the aim of making the most of the technology in the latest consoles and maximising the overall quality of the game, Nacon has decided to no longer develop Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One."

'Gotham Knights' was also recently announced to have its last-gen versions scuppered, which has annoyed fans.

'Gotham Knights' of course comes under the ownership of Warner Brothers, but in the case of 'Gotham Knights' scuppering it's last-gen release, it could be a case of learning from past mistakes.

The PC port of 'Arkham Knight' remains one of the biggest debacles in gaming history, and instead of opting to delay the game further, the game was forced out the door in an unfinished state for PC.

While this has not been confirmed internally or externally, it is not difficult to imagine that the game was simply not running well on older hardware and developers Warner Montreal felt it simply wasn't worth the time and resources.

As stated, this could be an instance of developers leaving money on the table.

The current console generation has been dominated by shortages of consoles, the PlayStation 5 in particular.

Sales have steadily increased over the last few months, but the PS5 is still lagging behind PS4 sales at this stage of its lifespan.

The PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch have both sold over 100 million units in their lifetime, and simply waiving that existing fanbase for the sake of technological limitations is either a foolish or shrewd move depending on who you ask.

The answer to this question is simple; it is a matter of economics and business management.

Gaming is a billion-euro industry and one bad game could be enough to send a developer into obscurity or bankruptcy, such is the competition.

Just ask Silicon Knights what releasing 'Too Human' did to their bottom line.

In the case of 'Too Human', the game was famous for going over budget and for starting life as a PS1 game before being released on the Xbox 360 in 2008.

Making games for multiple consoles is time-consuming, and expensive.

By releasing a game in the best possible state on the best possible hardware, this, in theory, gives developers their games a fighting chance of making a profit.

In this instance, the penny-pinching comes from the very top, which means cutting games for older hardware.

As the console generation progresses, expect more and more last-gen ports to be cancelled.

As James Hetfield once said, "Sad But True."