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Default General News - Are AAA Studios DOA?

December 12th, 2012, 13:56
In a blog on Gamasutra Josh Bycer discusses the survival of AAA studios.
With the growth of digital distribution from sites like Steam, Amazon and many more, has allowed both designers and the online retailers to introduce sales. Before, retail chains like Best Buy and GameStop had the final say on what a game would cost.
The rate that games have become discounted, has caused many gamers to no longer buy games at release, or what would be considered full retail ($60.)
In other industries, products retain their value due to the quality of the brand and the product itself. For example, I will never be able to buy a brand new Lamborghini for $1000 no matter how long I wait.
Likewise, car companies know that they can't make every car like a Lexus or Mercedes as it would just over saturate the market with high end cars.
That's why cars are made and priced at different levels, obviously the more money you spend means a higher quality. But at the same time, lower priced cars still have a standard of quality to them that lets them retain their price.
But in the video game industry, specifically AAA studios, there is no differing value. A $60 price tag can be attached to anything from Halo, to Dead Space or Playstation All Stars Battle Royale. But as we're seeing, the $60 price doesn't come with the same standard of quality, as evident by the review scores games are getting.
More information.
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December 12th, 2012, 13:56
I really don't see the point of the article.

Let's see… He compares games price reducing with prices in the car industry? How come he didn't talk about costs of NASA rockets, it's also totally different from games. Or why he didn't comnpare the games price with the price of original Mona Lisa? Man…

This sentence also made me shudder: "And at the same time, someone buying an AAA title expects a bug free experience, wrapped up in amazing design and graphics.".
Well, excuse me, but if I expect bugs galore somewhere, those are AAA games and not indies. I'm pretty sure that if we number bugs in all indies that were released this year, we'll get the lower number than the number of bugs in just one AAA game - Skyrim.

Etc etc… The article is full of oddities like the author doesn't live in RL.

And it ends with:
The last decade could be summed up with the description "the rise of the digital market", if publishers aren't careful this decade could become “the crash of AAA development."
Excuse me but the title is "AAA studios", it's not not "publishers". I really don't care what will happen to publishers as EA doesn't pay me for a positive review on some crap.

But I do care what will happen to developers. And sorry, but the "crash of AAA development" that already happened to Black Hole while developing AAA title for Ubisoft, definetly won't happen to anyone who develops AAA titles for CDprojekt. Publishers should be careful? Nah. Studios should be careful.

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December 12th, 2012, 14:08
Over the last decade, the move to digital has aided Indies and middle tier developers, while AAA has been feeling the burn
We must be living in different universe because in mine mid size teams nearly disparaged in last decade.

Also I find this article dumb.TES series sells millions of copies,so does Assassins creed,CoD,bioshock, Potal,L4D,list goes on and they brought millions of profit to companies if AAA developer stumbles it's because they(usually) have in some way inferior product.
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December 12th, 2012, 14:33
After watching 'Brave' with the kids the other day I kept thinking how awesome it will be when games achieve that level of graphical fidelity. Then I remembered the increasing costs of games as the polys rise. Kickstarter won't get us there. We still need the publishers for AAA…

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December 12th, 2012, 14:38
Where did he get the idea of many players who do not buy games on release because of discounted prices?

That is the opposite. Discounted prices did not get players to postpone purchases. They got players to buy games they are not even likely to ever play. Hoarding like squirrels in case of someday, somehow games are no longer produced.

AAA games keep selling very well at release by players who planned to buy them and play them at relase while the discount very soon after(sometimes a fortnight later as a game life expectancy is nothing much these days) get players who did not plan to buy them to actually buy them because the games are reported not half bad and certainly worth the discounted value.

Discounted prices have reinforced AA studios that can afford the massive hype required for a successful release day launch. They have taken their tolls elsewhere, mid range studios or the like, those who cant afford mass marketing campaigns and whose costs of production demand a more durable price bracket.
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December 12th, 2012, 14:44
Originally Posted by ToddMcF2002 View Post
After watching 'Brave' with the kids the other day I kept thinking how awesome it will be when games achieve that level of graphical fidelity. Then I remembered the increasing costs of games as the polys rise. Kickstarter won't get us there. We still need the publishers for AAA…
True but they are not endangered like article is representing take look at some of games I mentioned and amount of money they are making.Those AAA developers that are supposedly endangered won't get you there anyway they are just going to wait for someone else to do it and just try to cash in on clone.
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December 12th, 2012, 17:12
I only read the RPGWatch excerpt of this article. But from that it seems like the article doesn't dig too deep.

Right off the bat - AAA oftentimes means great presentation and visuals. But oftentimes it also means poor design choices, shallow and short gameplay. Maybe this perhaps is at least one reason why all $60-Price-Point-AAA-Games aren't created equal. Just a thought.

At the other end of the spectrum we have the whole 'casual' lineup of games for devices such as touchpads and smartphones, some of which can be bought for 99 cents. Those kinds of games could be given away free (and in fact a lot of them are free) and I still won't buy or download them because I don't care for those kinds of games.

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December 13th, 2012, 14:21
What does DOA mean ?

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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December 13th, 2012, 14:28
Dead on Arrival. Although in this case Dead or Alive could fit too

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December 13th, 2012, 15:59
Aha, thank you.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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