Will PlayStation 4 Bring About The Death Of The ‘AA’ Game?
Not the roadside assistance company, silly. We mean the ‘middle’ tier of game development: not the darlings of the indie crowd like Journey, nor the high budget stuff like Call of Duty. Homefront, essentially.
Many factors seem to be contributing to the death of the AA: the recession, rising costs, the games being below par, etc. Thing is: what happens when the next-gen arrives and development budgets skyrocket further still?
Well, like seemingly most areas in life, that middle is going to get squeezed. Not a nanosecond goes by without someone moaning about the cost of developing videogames, and these people are probably right.
And they’ll be even more right when the PS4, or Orbis, or Manatee or whatever it’s called makes its bow and the cost of all that grunt is that AA games now cost what AAA games did in the past.
But, and this is a big but, so what? Maybe we should all stop to consider that ‘AAA’ is marketing bull that essentially just means ‘PR spend’?
It’s true that costs will go up next gen, and that certain developers won’t be able to compete with the big boys. So what? Stop chasing the Call of Duty and Battlefield’s of this world, and stop thinking in terms of A-AAA. It doesn’t exist: you invented it to justify telling everyone that your jump button is actually a ‘unique gravitational defiance mechanic’.
And start thinking about the fact that gamers maybe don’t need trillions of dollars poured into graphics to make a game fun and worth buying. Look at Journey: it’s beautiful. It’s a ‘AAA’-game in terms of quality, not in marketing spend or television ads. Would we mind playing a game with graphics like that on PS4? Nope. Stop chasing the almighty opening weekend dollar and other trends, ‘AA’ devs, and not only will you make a better product but you might not go out of business making Homefront 6: This Time It’s Canada.