Aug 5, 2012

[Should 'AAA' Game Studios Die?]

Robert Florence at EuroGamer wrote a piece recently about game piracy and why it happens, which also touched on what he sees as a plague on gaming and contribution to the problem: the 'AAA Game Studio':
"The publishers who make these bloated AAA BLOCKBUSTER games that get booted down our throats at every fake awards show argue that they need to charge a premium price to keep delivering a premium product. But who says we need a "premium product", whatever that is? Did we even ask for that? Is that what we want from games? Massive marketing spend and homogenisation?

'But these giant companies would have to close down. People will lose their jobs!' And yes, that's horrible. No one ever wants to see people lose their jobs. But if these companies can only stay in existence by charging their customers extortionate prices for bland, safe product, should they even be there in the first place?"
  I found the article very thought-provoking, especially in the light of recent financial flops in the MMOsphere and the current feeling by many questioning whether the 'AAA model' may be harming the genre more than it contributes. The issue of budget-bloat demanding 'safe' derivative gameplay over depth and innovation and hype being peddled over substance is not something restricted to MMOs-only, and is a worrying trend in games as a whole.

Related Reading:
Three Things at E3 That Need to Stop, Part 1
What's Wrong With the AAA MMO Industry


Syl said...

I think that issue will solve itself rather soon; the genre has simply reached a saturation of the same old MMO blockbusters. once they're not as profitable anymore, the market will adapt, probably with more variety and smaller projects.

what I don't quite follow is the "extortionate prices" - what prices are we talking about? none of the MMOs I've played were particularly expensive compared to other games or systems, considering the net time of gameplay they yielded.

Pai said...

I think he's saying the reason why people are pirating games is because they cost 'more than they're worth'. In other words, they're sold for 60$ when the actual content is not worth that much.