Do you know what AAA or triple A video games are?
If your passion is video games, surely you already know what we mean by AAA video games or commonly called indie games. It is even possible that your great goal is to work, one day, on the development of a triple A game. Therefore, in this post we will talk about this qualification, its origin, present and future. If you are interested, keep reading!
Triple A video games, a successful advertising label
AAA video games, commonly known as triple A, are those developed by large companies in the industry with high development and marketing costs. If you are more into cinema, it is about the blockbusters of the sector. As an example, the one illustrated in the post: the best-selling game in 2017, Call of Duty: WWII (developed by Sledgehammer Games and published by Activision). This qualification is informal, it does not have a regulation and, in fact, there are different interpretations of its meaning. Perhaps, to understand it better, the ideal is to go to its origin!
Meet AAA or Triple A video games – Electronic Arts
The AAA video game term emerged in the second half of the 1990s as an advertising label. The great developers of the moment, such as Electronic Arts or Sony, began to use it in conventions to refer to video games that involved more investment and those that expected a greater return. In this way, they generated great media expectation and prepared the ground for a greater impact on their target audience. If we keep talking about triple A video games in the past, it is because it was a success!
Meet AAA or Triple A video games – GTA IV
One of the high points of triple A video games was lived a decade ago with the seventh generation video game consoles. Investments in the marketing of the big titles matched development costs, catching up with film campaigns. As an example, Rockstar Games invested 100 million dollars in Grand Theft Auto IV (2008), a figure that it would exceed in the fifth installment (2013) with 265 million dollars.
Present and future of AAA video games
If we refer to AAA video games only in terms of investment, the project that passes the barrier of 15 million dollars can be considered within the category. The average investment is around 50 million dollars, with projects that put development before marketing and others that are capable of quadrupling advertising costs compared to purely creative work.
The last major milestone in triple-A video games is Destiny (2014): Activision with a total investment of $ 500 million, making it the most expensive of all time. This is very significant, since the middle of this decade there has been a great transformation in the industry and in the treatment of this type of projects.
Meet AAA or Triple A video games – Destiny
Large developer companies are increasingly aware that one misstep, a bad sales rate, can end their existence. Some, like Epic Games, have eliminated the triple A projects and are prioritizing the game as service model: it has certainly worked for them; you just have to see the bombshell that Fortnite (2017) has meant. This does not mean that these productions are over. In fact, the current eighth generation of game consoles has generated more expenses, but it has also created new ways to recoup large investments.
How do you get new income? Through subscriptions, premium models with exclusive extras, expansions, the possibility of purchasing content or integrated additional functionalities. In addition, the transfer of the software developed and the elimination of a large part of the physical format has also been a joy for the companies’ accounts. This new model is called AAA +. If you want to know more about the games, you can check GAMIVO.
However, the voices most critical of the great video games, arising from the sector itself, criticize the excess of marketing, the reiteration of the old formulas and lack of originality. As in the cinema, the most ambitious investments are directed to the great series, sagas or established brands.
Given the lack of creativity and as a collateral effect, a whole universe of indie video games has emerged that does risk new themes and technological innovations. In fact, the Triple-i concept has appeared to catalog those truly ambitious projects at a creative level and / or with a good budget achieved outside the industry.