How AAA Games Can Be Free (Or Close to It)

The core video gaming industry has been – and still largely is – dependent on a model of heavy investment towards blockbuster initial sales. It's worked well enough for the past couple of decades or so, but issues have come to burden the model that was once so profitable for many. One, AAA games have become prohibitively expensive to make and market; two, used game sales have become prevalent and publishers and developers don't see a dime from used.

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donniebaseball3095d ago

I can definitely see the industry eventually headed in the much cheaper, free to play direction. There are way too many games priced at $50 or $60 that are complete failures. The industry has to change.

bozebo3095d ago (Edited 3095d ago )

what he said ^

But it isn't properly viable in the console market because of the large development costs, they have to charge max price in the hope that a lot of people will blindly buy it because of their aggressive TV advertising campaign; which sadly works quite well. Though that method has brought some good series to existance like Gears, Infamous and Assassin's Creed (AC1 was the most successful new IP ever to appear on consoles because it was heavily marketed and wasn't junk).

The platform holder (MS, Sony) and the publisher want their large cut from the sale, so there is no money left over for the developer if they charge a small amount like $40 or less. Hence why PC games are typically cheaper because there is no platform fee (open platform) and services like Steam or indeed private distribution (like minecraft) are very cheap to publish through and have 100% market penetration possibility (anybody online).

If a console title doesn't sell well, the company has lost millions and probably has to close the doors. Which is exactly why we have seen hardly any innovation this generation from large studios and why so many smaller studios have closed (they can't keep up with the graphical quality requirements and they can't afford the marketing budget). Unfortunately the problem is going to be greater next-gen because the technological standards are going to be even higher.

Hufandpuf3095d ago (Edited 3095d ago )

I see F2P as a way to lure players in. So a service that hosts all games as F2P but requires a annual fee of $60 would be a gold mine.

Dojan1233095d ago

Agree on the lure part. I find it hard to pay $60 when I am not sure if I will like it. I only buy new if the game/dev has a proven track record. (i.e Dice / Naughty Dog)

bozebo3095d ago

A lot of devs who are new to the f2p model don't do it right. They have to make microtransactions in such a way that does not affect core gameplay, the way that Riot have made them work in LoL (probably the world's most successful F2P game). The new Age of Empires is a total joke, on the oher hand, because the microtransaction content costs more than a full $60 game every 3 months.