Do all games need to be “AAA games”? Usually pronounced “Triple-A” are associated with high development costs and subsequent high sale numbers.
I’m not sure if this question itself implies that we should settle for mediocrity, I interpret this as meaning, should we need and require multi-million-pound budget games that take years to develop?
The Price of Perfection
Take for instance Duke Nukem Forever, from reports that I’ve read, it seems to be a game that has got stuck in such a vicious circle, partly due to their aspirations to gaming perfection during development – which is a good thing, but I think they’ve taken it to an extreme. It sounds like the developers have been re-making the game so many times over using different game engines and technology, that we’ve never actually been able to see or play it.
In the 11 years, it’s been in development, admittedly there’s been some issues to do with publishers and rights changing hands, but surely had they not be so such perfectionists about their game they could have released 2 or 3 Duke Nukem games by now and still be advancing with technology each time?
By spending so long on the development of this one game, it now has to be a triple-A game if and when it is released? No doubt people will be disappointed no matter what they produce now just because they’ll never be able to meet the high expectations and given the length of time it’s taken to get out to market — assuming that it ever does!
A Different Way?
Perhaps we should applaud their dedication, especially given that there are so many (lazy?) games, developers, out there, who you would think from the finished product (or sometimes it’s not even that) that they don’t have any pride in their work. Although that’s perhaps a little unfair on developers, they are often at the mercy of the publishers, who just want to get the game out onto the shelves regardless of whether it is finished, as was the case with the Elite game, Frontier: First Encounters when it went bad!
This topic also ties in with what Daniel Primed recently wrote here on Zath asking the question of whether handheld gaming is taken seriously by the gaming industry. The handheld platforms are certainly not ones where you find it takes years to create a “triple-A game”. However, despite that fact, there are still many great gaming examples of what can be achieved on a certain platform without throwing huge budgets at a game’s development which still end up complimenting an established franchise really well.
Don’t get me wrong, I still really like my “triple-A games” such as Half-Life 2, Grand Theft Auto 4, World of Warcraft, Civilization 4, Battlefield: Bad Company, but equally you often find a quick and fun web game to occupy you for a short time, which is what I try to highlight when I find them, such as Vector Wars and Match: Super League Football — on these occasions the games again have to be good in the context of the platform.
What Does It Mean?
Overall, I like to think that I take Jerry Maguire’s attitude towards gaming in general — “Playing Less is More” — like many of us gamers as we’re growing up, we’ve got a lot less time on our hands than when we did when we were at school, college or university — so it’s even more important not to waste time on bad games that are just not worth it!
Ultimately, I believe that a game doesn’t need to be “triple-A” to be enjoyed, but equally, it shouldn’t mean we should settle for mediocrity in our gaming experience.
Do you feel the same as I do? Do we need to appreciate that not all games have to be “triple-A game”, but at the same time be wary that this could encourage more mediocrity?
Simon Barker is the founder and editor of Zath and has over 25 years’ worth of experience of using computers and technology in general. He can normally be found researching or testing the latest in technology products.
He has provided IT consultancy services to both home and small business users for over 15 years, building PCs, fixing hardware/software problems and providing comprehensive training.
Simon always likes to get the best out of the technology products he is using, by both making informed purchasing decisions and also optimising how they are used to get the most benefits possible.