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Ubisoft: Monster AAA Games Dying Out

Few game makers have the resources to pursue mega-blockbuster projects like Assassin's Creed III, and there are fewer every year.

In speaking to Edge, Ubisoft creative director Alex Hutchinson said his team is "the last of the dinosaurs" and the way the industry is going, huge AAA projects will soon be dead.

"We're the last of the dinosaurs. We're still the monster triple-A game with very large teams [and] multiple studios helping out on different bits. There are fewer and fewer of these games being made, especially as the middle has fallen out."

Earlier this year, Hutchinson was quoted as saying that games with massive budgets are starting to become "cancerous growths" and at some point, they'll just disappear. The amount of time and money involved is just through the roof, and with the next generation upon us, it'll cost even more to develop for new hardware. So what can designers do? Well, at this rate, who knows? Predicting the future is dicey...

Tags: assassins creed iii, ubisoft, aaa games, gaming industry

9/5/2012 8:51:04 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (12 posts)

Wednesday, September 05, 2012 @ 9:36:39 PM

I remember when making game for things like the playstation and N64 were suppose to cost so much they wouldn't be worth making.

I'd like to think it was proven wrong.

Maybe we'll have to wait a bit for the tools to make up for the higher complexity, but I hope we haven't reached the limit.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2012 @ 9:48:00 PM

it would be a sad time in gaming history if future projects were only made with half hearted intent.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2012 @ 10:50:15 PM

Or become low budget pieces of crap like Android/iOS games for people with the attention span of less than 10 femtoseconds.

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Looking Glass
Wednesday, September 05, 2012 @ 10:01:11 PM

What can designers do?

They can start making good games on smaller budgets. I think it's safe to say that we all know this can be done and indeed has been done before.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2012 @ 10:23:18 PM

I know right? I love and appreciate big huge leaps like Beyond: Two Souls and Heavy Rain but I'd gladly buy any similar attempt that was only half as pretty and technically marvelous.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2012 @ 10:31:16 PM

Is that actually true though? Do we have any numbers on that?

I think that, going forward, there has to be internal reforms and budget management. Artistic vision must be kept intact, but to let a game out the door that will cause your studio to die if you don't hit 3 million in sales is just irresponsible to begin with.

The teams don't need to be that large either, Naughty Dog does amazing things with a relatively small team. Obviously something as LARGE as Assassin's Creed needs a bigger team, but CoD for instance is absolutely bloated.

I think AAA games set the standard, they are an investment in the future, they push new standards, and the only cancerous growths are games released yearly.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2012 @ 10:56:48 PM

I like your skeptical questioning. I question his resolve as well. This is especially so when broad generalizations are made for the whole of the gaming industry, as if there is no exception to the rule.

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Thursday, September 06, 2012 @ 5:18:13 AM

I don't quite believe that because if a game is really good, it will sell. This has been proven time and time again...

I believe that games will become procedural though, in that part of the cost solution is having an intelligence engine that build out the game procedurally... the more yo play and purchase the more the game expands and builds out on its own...



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Wednesday, September 05, 2012 @ 11:27:02 PM


There will always be AAA titles on any platform, no matter how powerful or photo-realistic the graphics and physics are.

Once an engine is released that takes care of the light shaders, particle effects, motion blur, movement physics and AI, all developers have to do is apply their art to that engine, fine tune it and make it shine.

It's the development of the engine that takes ages and is difficult to code.

Assassin's Creed III will not be the last AAA game we'll see. Not by a long shot. Unreal Engine 4, Crytek Engine 3, Frostbite 2 and Luminous will ensure AAA games will still exist.

Then there's Uncharted 4.... (daydreams about the prettiness)

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Thursday, September 06, 2012 @ 4:40:07 AM


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Thursday, September 06, 2012 @ 3:56:23 PM

idc, just as long as the game is good.

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Saturday, September 08, 2012 @ 9:56:31 PM

They were just saying how the Unreal Engine 4 will allow faster development times, and lower costs because everything can be done within the engine etc. Aside from custom content etc, which every game has, you would think that games would start becoming easier to make and more cost efficient. I would love to hear what costs are involved with making the games that costs soo much.

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