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I've seen a game engine built on shared_ptr that had trouble getting a 2D game performing well on the PS3.

Its not that C++ will bloat your program, its that many programmers don't understand the tradeoffs of the primitives they're using, or don't have the experience or vision to see what they become at scale.

That last bit of your sentence is a great point - no vision to see what they become at scale, ie normally monstrous

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