Viability of AAA Game Development? *spawn*

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by manux, Jun 24, 2020.

  1. manux

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    Another aspect is the sheer quantity of content those triple a games require. So insanely expensive to make. One has to wonder what would be possible if millions of people would be willing to put full game price into 3-5hour experiences instead of game lengths being 30h+ range. Remake the metal gear solid 2 boat part in insane quality and replayability with full ray tracing and destructible/modifiable environment. Massively revamp enemy AI so replay value would be significantly up. Would masses buy such content for 50$+ price? What would be possible for such a limited game using a big team and 200GB install?
     
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  2. Scott_Arm

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    I'd be happy with 1/2 of the game for 2/3 of the price. Give me a shorter experience for a cheaper price, but put the finances a little more in the devs favour so we don't lose so many studios. The statistics on people finishing these incredibly long games is probably quite bad.
     
  3. BRiT

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    I'm getting younger by preferring shorter games, like the 90's had where most games were 12-15 hours if that. None of these over 50+ hour games can hold my interest long enough for me to finish them. As it is, I'm finding myself playing more of the smaller titles as part of Game Pass. I'm having more fun playing those than the large mega-blockbuster titles.

    I think the $30 - $40 price point is the sweet spot for my buy and be happy vs analyze cost benefit of buying at higher prices.

    So I can get behind the 1/2 the game for 2/3rd the price.
     
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  4. DSoup

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    I'm the same. Even twenty-plus hours games feel like a significant time undertaking. To stand any chance of me making it through, without getting bored or distracted and abandoning the game, it has to hugely appeal and I have to make a concerted plan to ensure regular play time. With many narrative driven games I found I've had my fill of the gameplay before the story is told.
     
  5. Nisaaru

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    Well, I was really annoyed about the game scale down in FC5 vs FC3-4. I surely wouldn't enjoy games like The Division being cut in half so people can pass through them it takes to run through a shallow CoD campaign.
     
  6. BRiT

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    It's not so people can finish them, it's so the developers can finish making the game and have a product to sell.
     
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  7. Johnny Awesome

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    There are a lot of games to play. I used to love 40 hour games 20 years ago and then I loved 20 hour games 10 years ago. Now I'm starting to think 10-15 hours would probably be my sweet spot. Most of the games that are longer than that are padded with extra unnecessary content IMO.
     
  8. milk

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    I feel like this gen saw much less innovation and evolutions than the last, and I suspect one of the reasons is dev time did get longer. Most major studios managed to release only 2 titles this gen, while they often released 3-4 last gen.

    I believe the extra polish these longer dev cycles are affording doesn't make up for the lost time. If in the span of 8 years a studio releases two four-year projects, vs three three-year ones, that last third game is probably gonna be more advanced and sophisticated than that second game from the first scenario that had a whole extra year of dev time.

    Getting products out the door and starting a new speeds up the pace of innovation more than longer development can, I think.
     
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  9. orangpelupa

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    Titanfall 2 campaign length was great for me. I think it was 8-10 hours?

    The multi-player basically got unlimited length tho.

    The campaign on destiny 2 nowadays only less than 1 hour. Way too short
     
  10. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
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    On the flip side, just looking at Witcher 3 to CP2077.

    I'm just going to post this picture because I'm crushing on this model
    [​IMG]

    But compared to their Witcher 3 w Blood and Wine, this is night and day.
    [​IMG]

    I can only assume Witcher 3 was sort of their transition away from 360(dx9) to this gen (dx11). This is their transition from this gen(dx11) to next (dx12).

    I think when the time frame is long enough and the goals are setup well upfront, there's enough time to do large overhauls to both the engine and the tools that support it.

    A game like Forza, for instance released on a constant cadence this year, and it's gains were minimal from title to title, but if you incorporate all the changes over the years, it's a large difference from Forza 5 to Forza 7, or FH4.
     
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  11. milk

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    Well, the difference from Gears 1 to 2 was night and day also, but then there was Gears 3 which also looked even better. Or GTAIV to RDR2 was night and day, and then from RDR2 to GTAV was another big jump. Uncharted 1 to U2 was a big jump, then U3 perfected it and ND still managed to squeeze out a TLoU which was yet another large leap. Kojima made two huge games that gen also, MGS4 was top tier graphics and overall presentation. By the end of the gen it was just ok, and MGSV was yet another unbelievable-at-times step up. This gen he made DS. only. If DS is his MGS4, imagine what it's sequel would have looked like still on PS4.

    I feel like devs are not even nearly squeezing as much juice out of current machines as they were out of ps360 at the end of that gen. And not for lack of time, but for lack of effective use of said time. Huge teams spending way to many years on single projects.
     
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  12. Tkumpathenurpahl

    Tkumpathenurpahl Oil my grapes.
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    Soooo many games now seem to be far too long. To the point of feeling like work, sometimes.

    One of the best games I played this generation was Far: Lone Sails. A simple, straightforward platformer, with a silent, visually conveyed story, and a beautiful soundtrack, all of which I got to fully experience over the course of ~4 hours. That was £5-8 (I can't remember exactly what I paid) very well spent, and I'll probably go back to it sometime. The same kind of sentiment pertains to Journey or Fl0wer.

    But the Witcher 3 is also one of the best games I played this generation, in spite of it taking literally ~500 hours of my life within 3 months of its arrival (which required substantial neglect of my then-girlfriend, with whom I was living.) It was money very well spent, as was the DLC (the girlfriend, in hindsight, less so.)

    It's tricky, because I can see why games want to be such gargantuan adventures, but not every game can be The Witcher 3. Not every game needs to be. But how can it be gauged?

    Evidently, I don't have the answers. But I can be certain that last year, when I played the PS4 release of Onimusha and clocked it in a weekend, I yearned for something of a return to that era.

    All that being said, I can't get this hellish spiral out of my mind:
    • Budgets increase, game prices can't.
    • DLC provides an opportunity for more revenue.
    • DLC evolves into MTX's.
    • Games need repetitive mechanics to warrant repeat MTX purchases.
    • Games get bigger to keep people in them with plenty to do/buy.
    • Bigger games need more man hours and more money to make.
    • More MTX's are needed to fund this.
    • Enormous game with repetitive mechanics is released and keeps people engaged.
    • MTX's flow.
    • MTX's wane.
    • An even bigger sequel is released.
    • The bigger sequel needs more man hours and more money.
    • More MTX's are needed to fund this.
    • Enormous game with repetitive mechanics is released and keeps people engaged.
    • MTX's flow.
    • MTX's wane.
    • An even bigger sequel is released.
    • The bigger sequel needs more man hours and more money.
    • :runaway:
     
  13. PSman1700

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  14. Nesh

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    I d embrace that as well.
    This is an optimal length.

    Without reading the article, the very lengthy games take too much money to produce, many gamers do not finish them (so a lot of the work is unappreciated), and it takes a lot more time from many gamers to buy the next AAA game.
    Shorter games with good design add more replayability, the devs can move faster to the next project and gamers will purchase more games.
     
  15. Xbat

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    The market will dictate what works.
     
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  16. Goodtwin

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    The length of a game doesn't directly correlate to high development cost. There are plenty of JRPG's that have over 100 hours of gameplay, but have pretty modest budgets where selling a few hundred thousand copies nets a profit. Hollywood has been in this predicament for a long time as well, so I think the formula is already there. If your going to give any project a huge budget, the target audience must be huge. The consumer is only willing to spend so much to go see a movie, regardless if that movies budget was 25 million or 250 million. If the budget it big, there had better be evidence that it will be desired by a ton folks out there. Same goes with games. Only give a project a huge budget if you are confident that it will sell enough copies to make money. Trying to sell a game at $99 because of its large development budget will go over like a lead balloon. The $60 price is the current standard, and im not sure to many IP's could get away with trying to bump to $70 or even higher. Sure, special editions that get you some extra stuff can do well in lower volume, but for a game to release at $70 would require it to be very popular title. GTA 6 for example could probably get away with it. It would take a few publishers to all bump their highest selling IP's to $70 in order to change the standard consumers expectations for game pricing. I dont expect this to happen though. I think they will continue to shoot for very high sales, and then also make money on DLC.
     
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