In a recent years triple A games have become common ground in our game selections. Since the first call of duty: modern warfare games the quality of the games has risen to the all-time high. Games these days are made with a millions of dollars, famous Hollywood actors and in a really short time. The time is a really big factor nowadays. Sport games used to be the one with annual releases and some little updates here and there, nowadays most of the huge triple a games come also almost every year. What this means is that the studios have less time to work on their games, more people are hired to help with it and that means huge staff that could be easily over thousand like Ubisoft. When you have this kind of pattern and use it annually the results can turn for worse. The most recent example is Assassins Creed Unity which had few years working cycle but the amount of work for being the first PS4/Xbox1 Assassins Creed game and compared to the time developers were given by the publishers was just too little. The end result was just below mediocre, a game with fps drops, visual bugs and following the same pattern as the older AC games with a story that was just dull. But people still bought the game because it was another “guaranteed assassin adventure set in historical times”.
So why publishers and studios do this kind of stuff? Wouldn’t it be better if they took some more time to finish the product and refine the game to be the best of the series so far? “Sure, it would be better but no. We don’t have time for that” goes in the mind of the publishers and the reason for that is money and the shareholders. People still buy your triple A game even if it is bad, and it can be achieved by either creating such a reliable brand like Assassins Creed or you use a huge amount of money for the advertisement and let the hype grow.
This whole thing with triple A games, big game studios and publishers has a huge impact on the whole industry. With the constant publishing of new versions of older games such as batman, Call of Duty, AC and Battlefield, there is no room for fresh and new IP’s. When there is that rare chance that a new IP gets out it almost always gets buried under the new versions of the old game that you bought last year. A great example of new IP is Remember Me, it was not a bad game, not the game of year material either but it had an interesting idea and good gameplay got buried under Max Payne 3 and GOTY edition of Skyrim that were released at the same time.
Luckily the big names have not swallowed the whole industry to their belly thanks to the new breed of indie studios. Indie studios are the little fighters that have usually fewer than ten people working on the game and most of the time they don’t have any publisher rushing their game out. Indie games still bring new ideas to the plate and have become a successful alternative with the likes of Minecraft and Fez that have very simple idea that nobody have done before.
So there is the triple A giant and an indie hobbit. But those two are each other’s opposites. Where the things are now is that there’s no room for the middle ground and the likes of a Remember Me. So how could you help to make things better? Well first of all support the newcomer, most of the time their ideas are pretty good and interesting and should be given a chance. Secondly stop buying every game of a certain big franchises right away especially if the new game comes out every year, this should slow down the publishers time window and let studios focus little more on their games which means more stable game and also fewer bugs. If everyone follows these kind of guidelines the game industry could progress into a better direction.
Pictures by DeclanTM, Mike Mozart and Amanda Tipton