What makes a AAA Games Company

It would be great if it was a rating of how good the game is, not how big the company is

In the video-game industry, AAA (pronounced and sometimes written Triple-A) is an informal classification used to categorise games produced and distributed by a mid-sized or major publisher, which typically have higher development and marketing budgets than other tiers of games.

its misleading, they have massive budgets and can make their games look amazing looking via cut scenes but the size of a company has no bearing on how good the games are. It may have in the past but I feel now a lot of companies don't have many actual programmers left and instead just have marketing teams bent on shaping peoples ideas about what game might be. Sell dreams and tell people off on twitter when they say the game isn't what they promised.

advertising = hype. People still believe hype even after Cyberpunk 2077, selling people dreams is fine but if you keep not fulfilling them, don't expect us to keep coming back... sadly with a new 14 year old made everyday they don't need to care about keeping people.... just get new people who don't know what you used to get in games for free.
 
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May 16, 2021
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What YouTube has told me in marketing is that 1) You should spoiler your game to stand out from the competition and 2) lots of people just buy things because their friends are buying them.
 
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I disagree. Let 14 year olds get a taste of what inflated promises/straight up lies are like and give them a few years to learn how to spot them before they are eligible to vote.
Careful. The flip side is that being shafted and the averice ways will become standard and they grow up believing that its the norm... Just look at MTX and lootboxes. hell i've heard comments from various people before saying; "that's just the way things are now" or "you're overreacting its not that bad" or developing sympathetic opinions that AAA need to increase the price of games even though they make millions /billions in profit.

But yeah i think AAA is more about money investment and not quality like so many other industries do. But maybe thats the point? perhaps its to obfuscate the whole thing saying, Hey were the AAA company and people think it actually means quality or sure fire winners.
 
Careful. The flip side is that being shafted and the averice ways will become standard and they grow up believing that its the norm... Just look at MTX and lootboxes. hell i've heard comments from various people before saying; "that's just the way things are now" or "you're overreacting its not that bad" or developing sympathetic opinions that AAA need to increase the price of games even though they make millions /billions in profit.

But yeah i think AAA is more about money investment and not quality like so many other industries do. But maybe thats the point? perhaps its to obfuscate the whole thing saying, Hey were the AAA company and people think it actually means quality or sure fire winners.
I consider that a failure of the parents, which means it's up to the community, which includes us, to educate these people.
 
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pre order is a trap. I mean, it would be fine if reviews talked about gameplay and stuck to the topic, but now days you can only really tell what a game is like after release. So pre order is a trap. All the things you get extra should be in the game. Beta access means nothing if they never listen to any fixes, most of time you just stress testing their servers for them. Saving them money they can spend on marketing

Old enough to remember before the internet, before they could release 1st day patches that in some cases are the actual game. Before they could release broken games and fix them over the next few months, if they do at all. If game is part of a franchise, might not bother fixing as there is always next years...

if game was broken on release, it stayed that way. It meant testing it worked before release was done by devs and not after by players like it is now.

I want another games crash like Atari caused, we need a reset. Its too big now, too many people in the industry who don't care about games, just want to get rich or have power. When devs can make more money selling dlc in game than they do from games, in form of loot boxes, then we aren't the priority anymore. Players are just credit cards. More people more interested in profit than good games.

So you can try to educate them about how it was before but if its not stopped soon, it will get far worse.
 
So you can try to educate them about how it was before but if its not stopped soon, it will get far worse.
At least we'll always have indie games. Game development tools are only going to get better and easier to use and there's plenty of ways to distribute indie games nowadays.

I am a bit worried about older games just disappearing, like how the old versions of GTA have been removed, but there seem to be quite a lot of people who are willing to spend a lot of time to make older games still accessible and playable, so even if modern games go to **** we should still be able to play plenty of good old games.
 
if its not stopped soon
It won't be, just look at how movies, TV and music developed after their early decades. It's all about revenues and share prices, that's how Capitalism works for all big business. And games are now bigger than all other entertainments except TV.

However, all is not lost. Development tools are making great strides, to the degree that the 30s should see it possible for small teams to produce stunning games, on par with the most impressive AAAs of today.
PS @Pifanjr made the same point while I was posting :)

So the big companies will command the major revenues via marketing power, but game players—as distinct from game consumers—will be well served by a huge number of indie devs. Of course there will be a lot of dross in that, but the cream will rise to the top by word of mouse.
 
So how far can they take it before it snaps? Sims 5. You don't even get base game for base price, its all dlc.

Wait, I don't need to type anymore.


they using this as a template. Its meant to be a joke but in 10 years, people won't know why it was funny.
 
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Frindis

Moderator
I do think that with YouTube and similar social media channels we get more and more views about topics like loot boxes, hype trains, preordering, microtransactions, etc and since this is circulating around all ages, there is a good chance the youth is also catching up on this. I mean, just a small Reddit post like the "infamous" Fortnite 2042 shows a slice of the ridiculousness with that kind of stuff in games (+- some hilarious posts), even if EA here has tried to come out with some post damage control.

There is a limit to how much **** gamers are willing to take and I do think the bubble is at its bursting point. It is going to be very, VERY hard for any AAA company now to squeeze money out of people with broken promises and fancy-schmancy fake gameplay trailers because I do believe people are a bit more skeptical, a bit more on the fence, and also a bit angrier.
 
I do think that with YouTube and similar social media channels we get more and more views about topics like loot boxes, hype trains, preordering, microtransactions, etc and since this is circulating around all ages, there is a good chance the youth is also catching up on this. I mean, just a small Reddit post like the "infamous" Fortnite 2042 shows a slice of the ridiculousness with that kind of stuff in games (+- some hilarious posts), even if EA here has tried to come out with some post damage control.

There is a limit to how much **** gamers are willing to take and I do think the bubble is at its bursting point. It is going to be very, VERY hard for any AAA company now to squeeze money out of people with broken promises and fancy-schmancy fake gameplay trailers because I do believe people are a bit more skeptical, a bit more on the fence, and also a bit angrier.
I'm personally still not sure why people are willing to pay money for battle passes.
 
The AA/AAA titling should just be removed altogether at this point since it seems that companies considered "AA" are producing more rounded games with better support than supposed "AAA" studios, plus all the bad press from so called "AAA" studios treating their employees like crap.
 
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When I think of AAA I first think of the biggest open world collectathons, the Ubi and Bethesda style huge maps that other companies have copied at times. These are the types of games they've tried to push bundles and cosmetics into in the past. Then you have COD and Battlefield, and the F word.

Outside of those games which I just don't play, I've enjoyed quite a lot of big release games from large publishers. Jedi Fallen Order was really good, Titanfall 2, Total War Warhammer, Dishonored series, the Wolfensteins, Dying Light, Sekiro, Metro Exodus off the top of my head. I'm pretty sure all of those were profitable too.

If anything free stuff like M+F has and will have a positive effect of bringing kids onto PC, increasing the size of the market so that we will have even more diversity of games in the future, as well as kids wanting to make games.

There's never been so many different games available as there are today, and a lot of them are awesome and experimental in a way that wouldn't be possible if the market wasn't big enough to support more niche games, and its easier to get them out there than its ever been.
 
When I think of AAA I first think of the biggest open world collectathons, the Ubi and Bethesda style huge maps that other companies have copied at times.
Empty worlds, full of copy/paste objectives is what I read when I see Ubisoft. Towers to climb.
Bethesda... bugs. Sure, they fix them after release but bugs were common on their games at release. Also, Fallout 76 ...

Fallout NV was a better open world than any Bethesda Fallout. Shame we can't get anymore like that.
Best open world I ever played was Sacred 2 and it wasn't even 1st person.
I can't recall the last new game I bought from a AAA company. Diablo 2 remastered doesn't count as new... its an old engine with new graphics.
 
You mean before DLC release, @Pifanjr? They are a cheap way to get the 'complete' game after release.
I just don't really get the appeal of paying for content you then still have to unlock by playing the game more. I don't like the psychological tricks behind it and I'm not sure why anyone would willingly buy into that or reward a developer for offering it.
 
Empty worlds, full of copy/paste objectives is what I read when I see Ubisoft. Towers to climb.
Bethesda... bugs. Sure, they fix them after release but bugs were common on their games at release. Also, Fallout 76 ...

Fallout NV was a better open world than any Bethesda Fallout. Shame we can't get anymore like that.
Best open world I ever played was Sacred 2 and it wasn't even 1st person.
I can't recall the last new game I bought from a AAA company. Diablo 2 remastered doesn't count as new... its an old engine with new graphics.
You know I feel the same about that, but the people have spoken in focus groups and with their wallets and good luck to them if they enjoy it.

Not sure you can talk about bugs and mention NV though! Although I guess you can blame some of that on the engine.
 
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Empty worlds, full of copy/paste objectives is what I read when I see Ubisoft. Towers to climb.
You might like the Far Crys, since FC3 the worlds are teeming with wildlife and wandering enemies and NPCs. The tower climbing was a pain, but hasn't been there since FC4. So Primal, FC5, New Dawn are tower-clear :)

Christopher Livingston has a nice review:
…which will dispel any empty world worries—as he says "crazy **** happens nearly constantly". There is so much to do that you can ignore any aspects which don't appeal—eg fishing isn't for me.
 
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Zloth

Community Contributor
I just don't really get the appeal of paying for content you then still have to unlock by playing the game more. I don't like the psychological tricks behind it and I'm not sure why anyone would willingly buy into that or reward a developer for offering it.
I lost you. I think of a "battle pass" as a pre-order for some group of DLC: maybe all the planned ones, maybe just the ones over the next year. After they all release, though, the 'battle pass' sticks around as a way to buy those DLCs together as a bundle - hopefully for a little cheaper. You might have to 'unlock' them because the content doesn't show up until after the end game, but that isn't always true.
 
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I lost you. I think of a "battle pass" as a pre-order for some group of DLC: maybe all the planned ones, maybe just the ones over the next year. After they all release, though, the 'battle pass' sticks around as a way to buy those DLCs together as a bundle - hopefully for a little cheaper. You might have to 'unlock' them because the content doesn't show up until after the end game, but that isn't always true.
I've seen battle passes for games where, if you buy it, you get to unlock additional stuff as you level up. I know that's how Hearthstone does it and with each level you get they show you what you would have gotten if you had bought a battle pass.

But from what you said it's apparently a more generic term than I thought.
 

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