Submitted by micx 391d ago | opinion piece

Games That Cost More To Make Are Worse — Just How?

"AAA game development has gotten ludicrously expensive in the past few years due to the insane level of detail that gets put into them and the thousands of manhours required to fully render everything. But I’ve noticed something rather paradoxical in recent times where games that take a fortune to develop are often panned by critics or just marked off as disappointments. With that much time and effort being put into the games, aren’t they logically supposed to perform better?" (BioShock: Infinite, Culture, Grand Theft Auto V, Killzone: Shadow Fall, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Ryse: Son of Rome, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

Sako  +   391d ago
This article makes a lot of sense. I for one am mostly playing downloadable indie titles and smaller games on my PS4
xX-StolenSoul-Xx  +   391d ago
I rather enjoy indie titles, but the majority of time I'm playing the bigger games. Not all indie games are exactly unique or add many new elements, I played a few which add old elements with maybe a small twist. Mecenary Kings on the Ps4 is like an old side scroll shoot em up with a crafting twist. Super Meatboy, and Limbo were well.. a platformer with not many new elements. Fez I can't complain about it was great. Point I'm trying to make here is most indie games are not exactly unique, you have to weed through and find the diamonds. I'm excited for Transistor :)
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AlexDrepaul254   391d ago | Spam
xX-StolenSoul-Xx  +   391d ago
I agree, and disagree. Most AAA games i've played this gen, and last gen were gems, though I know of many games released that were not up well... great.
The cost of the game does not make it better, or worse, the direction of it makes all the difference. Sure you can put all of your budget into making the graphics the best it can or you can spread your budget out and make sure the gameplay is intact, and add a little bit of diversity do something new and unique.
I would say that most developers would want to play it safe when releasing a AAA title as the author of this mentioned, games like GTA V, and Bioshock were expensive to make and did controversial ideas, did not fully play it safe, both of those games did something new. Bioshocks amazing power features along with zipline was amazing, and GTA V with it's multiplayer and of course controversial single player missions.

In the movie industry big budgets don't even mean the movie will be great aswell, Spiderman 3 was one of the most expensive movies to make and it was nothing but horrible in many aspects.
dead_pixels  +   391d ago
Nice read, and I couldn't agree more. The "play it safe" approach to game development has been what's keeping the industry so painfully stagnant over the past generation. In a time when bleeding-edge graphics and immeasurable triangles matter more to investors than fresh IP and creativity, very seldom do publishers and developers rock the boat in fear of being the next Free Radical or THQ.

The video games industry is at a tipping point, and unless something happens to radically change the way games are developed, we'll be stuck playing the same games year in and out or facing another video game crash.
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ILive  +   391d ago
But the thing is: how does anyone want gameplay to evolve, really. I'm not sure that there are ideas that haven't been scratched yet. Even if there are ideas, they would still be based on the core mechanics that have been around for years. But, really, gameplay is what the complaints are about, right, the lack of innovation in that department? All games are derivative, even the Indy ones that everyone is buzzing about. So, therefore, all games are repetitve. Its just up to developvers to take their ideas and try and make it has engaging as possible, being that the core mechanics of the gameplay is derived. Visuals will always help with immersion. Movies have been like this for quite sometime.
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dead_pixels  +   391d ago
I agree, visuals do a great deal for enhancing the immersion of the experience, but when they're tacked on to the skeleton of a game we've been playing for years and years now no amount of eye candy can shake the feeling of a blatant retread.

There's a big difference between a game being derivative and milked until there's nothing left. The biggest AAA titles we've played for the past eight years now have been annual releases, which have largely offered very little in terms of an evolution of their respective franchises. New IP and looking towards what makes a game truly fun and exciting, versus a 'checking the boxes' approach to development would go a long way towards rejuvenating the industry.

Sure, it's easier said than done, but are you really looking forward to Call of Duty: Black Ops Delta NukeStorm- Intrique Edition or Gears of Evil: Locust Zombocalypse? I know I'm not. Something has to give.
ILive  +   391d ago
@dead pixel

No, that's not what I'm saying. And I do agree that something as to give. But what I'm saying is that even if a new IP comes out in a year, there is going to be some form of derivitation. My point is that core mechanics will always be the same. Go there, shoot that, get there, kill that, solve that, fight that, drive there...rinse and repeat for the new area for the progression of the game. That's why, even if a fps tries to be fresh, some people will still compare it to cod. Or if a third person has a cover system, some compare it to gears, though it doesn't play like cod nor gears.
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dead_pixels  +   391d ago
I agree with you, but that's inescapable. However, if developers take the time to make these games more interesting through better storytelling, a wealth of content, and implementing core mechanics in new and exciting ways rather than simply crafting visual showpieces, it'll go a long way towards making players look past a game's mere surface similarities.
HeavenlySnipes  +   391d ago
You kind of have to play it safe with AAA games because you can't afford to mess up commercially or there goes your studio

Innovation has to come from the bottom up in most cases. Very few big developers trying to push the more unique games we've seen
randomass171  +   391d ago
Yeah, but sometimes it doesn't go the way you want. Tomb Raider was commercially successful and it sold a lot of copies but Square still lost money from it in spite of all of that. It's stuff like that that financially forces publishers to do same-y things with their game design in order to save money.
DCfan  +   391d ago
I miss platformers.
randomass171  +   391d ago
If it's any consolation, a lot of indie platformers exist and Wii U has some AAA platformers as well. :)
Farsendor1  +   391d ago
i love a mix of aaa and indie games throw in a few titles like child of light and strider its a fun time to be a gamer.
Volitiel  +   391d ago
Using AAA launch titles like Killzone & Knack to drive home this point is a bit unfair, launch titles generally are mediocre. I thought last generation saw lots of great AAA games, arguably better than the previous generation, many which sold great. Developers like Bethesda, BioWare, Naughty Dog, and RockStar, really delivered last generation IMO. Using Square Enix is a terrible example, this is a company that has crapped all over its Final Fantasy & PlayStation audiences last generation. 5 million sold & still not happy? Maybe your CEO is being paid too much and/or your expectations on ROI is too high.

The real problem is publisher's influence on game designers to make AAA games appeal to larger audiences, which is often times a big risk of disappointing the intended fanbase. I shudder to imagine this industry without AAA games, but to judge the level of quality of AAA games not even through an entire first year of this new generation is grossly premature.
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MasterD919  +   391d ago
A lot of AAA games could have cut costs by not including in high-paid actors to simply do voice work.

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