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AAA Game development has ballooned out of control. Scope should be reduced.


Nope, what counts as a AAA game differs from one region to another.

For example The Witcher 3's budget was 81 million INCLUDING the marketing, compared to an average CoD or Rockstar game which costs over 250M without it! You can't think for a second The Witcher isn't a AAA game!

Same thing with Nintendo's IPs and Yakuza etc, they're considerd "prestige" games, FFS Tales Of, Musou and SMT/Persona are considered AAA by their publishes!

Japanese AA games are something like NiS games (Disgaea) Gust games (Ar Tonelico, Atelier series) Nihon Falcom (Ys, Trails) Compile Heart/Idea Factory games (Neptunia/Death end Re;Quest) etc.
And yet Japan makes AAA games like Final Fantasy and Nioh so I'm not sure your point holds.

I agree with NIS, Nihon Falcom, etc being AA studios, though some of their games in the past - like Gurumin or htoL#NiQ, are a stretch for AA status IMO.

And to cite the Pokemon example, Trails of Cold Steel 4 (I've purposely avoided looking at the latest Trails games to avoid spoilers) clearly is a different level of budget from Pokemon in terms of the game itself, though, again, Pokemon is a "prestige" title. It's silly to say Pokemon has AAA production values though - and some would argue it's not even AA, when you compare it to something like Cold Steel 4.

(I will submit that Pokemon is fully AAA if you consider advertising and merchandising)

And then there's attempts at AAAA games - stuff like Anthem and Destiny, though I'm not sure that designation held.
I miss the 10-12 hour single player games that came out every couple of years. Open world games with a million things to do sounds nice on theory, but I just get overwhelmed and don’t wanna do any of it

The artful mincer

Gold Member
Yes, he contradicted his own argument there. But, I agree that publishers should establish new studios that make smaller scope AAA games similar to PS3 era. Many people here loved RE8 village and RE2 remake, both AAA but smaller scope and likely much smaller budget than AssCreed.
They are still fairly big games though with 3 to 4 years dev time.

But they are a good example. Nice thing about resident evil is they are usually highly repayable.
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If the gaming community started to readjust and loosen its graphical expectations then maybe AAA budgets could lighten and subsequently allow more risk. Extremely detailed graphics demand tons of ressources. That's a lot of money of the development budget.

I seriously can't understand how people can still throw tantrums about modern graphics when it has practically been more than satisfactory for years. Whenever I see someone moan about some modern game "not looking good enough" I completely zone out.
There is a difference between graphics and presentation. When people moan about graphics, I'm sure a lot are talking about presentation and art direction. Lately, I see a lot of games with poor presentation. I prefer stylistic looking games but if you are making your games look photorealistic, I expect better animations and physics. I would also prefer less arcade-y looking gameplay where the realistically rendered character model moves like a constipated robot and you have obnoxious colorful outlines on enemies and characters with damage numbers over their head. Games like Forpoken are a mess to look at due to being graphically advanced. The art direction is atrocious. Lack of visual clarity, and poor color harmony. A lot of it looks inconsistent.


I really think games should be more bit by bit. A campaign story, followed by dlc story chapters and sold also as standalone games. MP is its own service game on the side. Just keep the stories you want to replay, and save hdd space with the size of some full game installs these days.


I also think franchises can be expanded. Yes I'll take a Joel story dlc despite not liking TLOU overall. There's 20+ years of outbreak to explore.

Yeah, I will take a Resident Evil Revelations-style sub series to see what happened to everyone else. Main team can take 5 years on next bombastic RE game if im given smaller, yet important chunks.

Do it like Dark Pictures Anthology, give me new playable TLOU content on every year's Outbreak Day, single player story bit, MP stuff etc.
I'm willing to pay more if a game is FUN.
Do I enjoy playing it? I'll play it. I'm willing to pay.
Do I meh through a game? I'll be meh and wish I paid less.
Doesn't matter if it's one hour or 100 hours. Is it fun or meh?


Where I’m from, our Gas+Elec have gone up so much, and disposable money is harder to justify on spending £70 on a game that provides less than a 100hr of enjoyment. This is why things like Gamepass, and the new PS version of it are very important for gaming going forward for some countries, and demographics.

Kev Kev

Gold Member
still true and i think re3 remake nailed it.

its short, but fun as hell and polished af. i had a blast going through that campaign back to back to back. by my 5th or 6th run through i had memorized where to go, what to do, the exact movements i should make, where all the good/useful items are, etc. with all those run throughs i found little things all over the place to appreciate, from easter eggs, to the art work on packages, to the sound effects/music, and more. i was literally walking slowly through my final run throughs, stopping to read labels of packages, random posters in the game, stopping to take in all the atmosphere and sound design, always looking for something i missed the first few times around. i put probably close to 100 hours in and i still have the two hardest modes to beat (which i probably never will because they are ridiculous).

you could also argue that re2 remake was even better because it had all of that but was longer, but i much prefer the control/movement in re3 remake bc you could dodge roll and just in general the movement made it easier to avoid zombies. that and there were a couple absolutely trash boss fights and sections in re2 that kind of ruin the run for me.

focus on shorter, more polished experiences, with lots of detail and stuff to do on multiple run throughs. stop designing games to be 80 hour cinematic "masterpieces" with world so large that the detail sucks, there is no polish, its full of bug and glitches, and by the time your done with your first run you never want to touch the game again lol.


AAAA games
nbc GIF by Timeless


Where I’m from, our Gas+Elec have gone up so much, and disposable money is harder to justify on spending £70 on a game that provides less than a 100hr of enjoyment. This is why things like Gamepass, and the new PS version of it are very important for gaming going forward for some countries, and demographics.
Hi neighbour. Same in my shithole. I can't remember when i bought a full price game. I just scavence second hand or extra discounts. New games with dlc just became out of my reach.


Expectations are a bitch because once a certain "bell" has been wrung, there's no way to unring it.

Especially within a series or franchise maintaining presentation standards -let alone cutting back on them- will draw criticism because *what is* is always contextualized by what has gone before. So what you get is a steady creep of complication and cost over time.

In games there's always been a weird sort of belief that more powerful hardware is somehow liberating, when the reality is that more often or not its the reverse. If a dev is seen not to be using the machine to its utmost, then its perceived as a fault. You see this with people catastrophizing about "cross gen" titles - the expectation is that everything should be re-engineered to maximize benefit regardless of it demanding a lot of additional work just to reach parity functionally.
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