Bleszinski Says AAA Game Development is “Unsustainable”

The co-founder of Boss Key Productions spoke about the gaming industry and what he thinks the solution to its problems lie in the future during the Reboot Develop Conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia this past weekend.

Cliff Bleszinski Says AAA Game Development is “Unsustainable”
During the Reboot Develop Conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia this weekend, co-founder of Boss Key Productions Cliff Bleszinski spoke to attendees about AAA game development today and his concerns with it.

He began by comparing most AAA developers to American fast food chain restaurants:

Triple-A is starting to get to this point where it feels like the American restaurant scene. You have a lot of these restaurants like your Applebee’s, your Outback Steakhouse, your Cheesecake Factory, and your Olive Garden. They’re not bad, but they’re not great. They’re just kind of there.

He further went on to extrapolate his position to games like Call of Duty, Madden, and Battlefield:

It feels like it’s just this category of eight games that we’re getting repeatedly over and over again. They’re good games but they’re costing hundreds of millions of dollars to make and market.

Name recognition, he goes on to say, is the reason why the market has become this way. Consumers decide to purchase successive games franchises like these purely because they’re familiar with them. They're less likely to buy games that are of a new IP because there’s no name recognition tied to that product in the same way for a franchise like Halo.

In the case of Horizon Zero Dawn, Cliff says that a company like Sony has the resources and money to allow a developer like Guerrilla Games to work on their game for over five years whereas developer Irrational Games shut down after releasing Bioshock Infinite due to the game not bringing in enough money compared to the amount of time it took to make:

At the end of the day, this is a nearly unsustainable model unless you are one of these established brands or companies like an Activision, or a 2K, or a Sony.

His solution revolves around what he calls "AA" games, where titles like Rocket League, WarframeRust and his own title Lawbreakers fall into. The key moving forward, according to him, is to give gamers a AAA experience with the price point and value of a "AA" game. Funding these games is what’s hard, however, but Bleszinski suggested going to foreign companies like Tencent and Nexon, who are looking to partner with western developers.

What do you think of Cliff's opinion on the matter? Are "AA" games the future of the gaming industry? Let us know in the comments below!

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