The AAA Game Business Is “Not Healthy” According to Avalanche Studios
Avalanche Studios are the creators of Just Cause in case you’ve forgotten. Now, triple A development has been a topic widely spoken about in the industry, and most of us agree that things are looking quite bad if they continue this way. With massive budgets, enormous marketing costs, failure to reach target markets, studios closing down and all that rather depressing-sounding news, it is evident that some things need to be changed up.
Our Alessandro spoke a potential video game crash in his column some time ago.
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Now, Avalanche founder Christofer Sundberg has come out and said that the AAA game development business is “not healthy”, regardless of two strong console launches in the PS4 and Xbox One.
“It’s really not healthy at the moment,” he said when asked to give his opinion on the current state of AAA games.
“Games have evolved, technology has evolved but as businesses we’re still stuck where we were 15 years ago. As budgets grow, risks increase,” said Sundberg, via Gamespot.
“The publishers are nervous because they have to project a game being a massive hit three years into the future and the developers are frustrated because they need to be flexible to every move the publishers make,” Sundberg added. “It’s impossible to make everyone happy in the current equation.”
Sundberg argues that the reason publishers are on edge is because its tough to make a profit in today’s market.
“Very few traditional $60 games make any money, and what used to make sense doesn’t any more,” he said. “Publishers and developers very rarely see a return of investment from a 5-8 hour long game.”
Is this potentially why so many games are moving to open world, as I spoke about in my article today? Trying to keep players in their game worlds for the longest time possible? But surely the costs would be very high in developing a game of such size and scale?
Anyway, Sundberg goes on to say that despite the successful launch of new generation of consoles, the PS4 and Xbox One are “maybe not saving the industry,” but he does add more positively, “I hope and think we will see improvements over time.”
Avalanche Studios is currently working on Mad Max, an open-world action tie-in that will release this year on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox One and Xbox 360.