[AAA Game Development] Straight From The Top!

Straight From The Top! Is Game Trailers’ bonus round episode 502 where in the video Ubisoft’s Jade Raymond, Epic Games’ Mike Capps and Sony Santa Monica’s John Hight discuss the game development of big production games (which are also called AAA).

Jade mentions that for a AAA game companies need to put as many features and be as polished as possible into a single game in order to get the attention needed for the top 5 best games.

Big projects are very hard to coordinate because of the massive number of people and teams working on these games. Organization is one of the key factors to keep all the developers working towards the same goals.

One of the hard aspects that big budget companies have to deal with is the pressure of creating games which will make the highest of ratings. If a company creates a hit franchise and then wants to start building a new franchise, it has to take high risks and hope to make another hit.

The game market has been growing a lot in these last years and so has the gamer audience. With this growth, game developers have to adapt to the audience for what they believe are their core gamers and also to call the attention of new people getting into their games.

One of the aspects which affects the revenue of a game is the fact that a lot of gamers just rent the game instead of buying it and because of that, developers have to create games which have enough content that the people playing it want to hold on to it for longer and buy the game.

Gamers are now expecting more content and longer game play hours for the same blockbuster game price. Game developers can’t simply launch a game and forget about it anymore. Nowadays it’s more about the relationship that the costumers build with the game and the company and that happens with new content coming about even after the release of the game to keep people playing months and even years after the game shipped.

Near the end of the video they discuss a few possible business models for selling games. Simply selling the box and forgetting about it was the business model that big companies used to approach. Recently with the market changing, the strategies which the companies are using are also changing.

As you can tell, creating a AAA game is extremely demanding. Not only do you need to have a lot of money and many talented people working on the game but also you need to be very organized and keep all the developers focused on the same goals. Though it is very hard to pull it off, if you managed to do so, it can be very rewarding to see your game be played and mentioned for years to come.

Sign up for the FREE Game Design Resources newsletter.

Leave a Reply