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BioWare: Developing Triple-A Titles Is Pointless

Is big-budget game development getting out of hand? Dr. Greg Zeschuk, co-founder of BioWare, recently said that for most development houses, working on triple-A console projects would be pointless. While it seems that big money resides in creating big-name console titles, apparently only the top ten companies can actually accomplish the feat and walk away with a little pocket change.

"It's more competitive than it's ever been, it's more dangerous than it's ever been," Zeschuk told attendees of the Develop Conference in Brighton. "Right now it's precisely the wrong thing to chase."

Zeschuk added that better opportunities are developing such as providing gamers with content directly rather than go through the traditional "brick and mortar" avenue. This helps make up for the losses stemming from boxed games sales on the traditional retail front, as these are seeing a slow year-on-year decline.

"Retail still works but it's not a panacea," he said. "The risk-taking is disappearing on the publisher side. There's exceptions but it costs a lot of money and you've got to set the right goals."

He also gave a thumbs up to "elder developers" breaking up into smaller teams rather than tackling blockbuster development as a whole. He said these smaller units are able to build a tight business with a positive working culture.

Current;y BioWare is branching out and experimenting with new platforms as seen with its iPhone and Facebook projects.

  • maigo
    Remember when they would just make a game and release it when it was ready?
    Reply
  • polly the parrot
    maigoRemember when they would just make a game and release it when it was ready?
    Those were the good old days...
    Reply
  • 03RAH03
    Remember when every other game wasn't a military shooter?
    Reply
  • LATTEH
    well if mass effect 2 isn't considered a triple A title i would want to see what a real triple A title is like for them!
    Reply
  • Arethel
    Yes, but remember when games weren't as complex with Hollywood B-rated scripts, text vs voice acting, and graphical immersion came from all nighters laden in Mountain Dew?

    It's somewhat regrettable to admit, but what he says is true. If we want to see AAA titles, by today's standards, only the largest game studios have the capability to make it happen. Sure, there's talent everywhere, but this is a matter of quantity vs. quality. AAA game development takes years, something that would put smaller studios under.

    There's still a myriad of lesser titles out there that are still fun to play. They're just not up to par with the AAA standard. I've played a lot of great games from smaller studios and they're still fun. They may not have all the bells and whistles of the AAA titles, but they're also cheaper. A few that come to mind recently include: Braid, Ceville, Machinarium, Mount and Blade, Torchlight, and Trine.
    Reply
  • nukemaster
    maigoRemember when they would just make a game and release it when it was ready?I miss those days. Now we get to buy games to finance the patches to make them work right :(
    Reply
  • joytech22
    maigoRemember when they would just make a game and release it when it was ready?
    Oh how i miss those day's.. i could go to the game store every week and see something new!
    Reply
  • jaysbob
    nukemasterI miss those days. Now we get to buy games to finance the patches to make them work right
    you mean finance the $15 "DLC" or $30 "expansion pack"
    Reply
  • Trueno07
    I think titles like Tropico 3, Ruse, etc are what keep me gaming. Not entirley AAA titles, but big enough to have a good balance between Community and Developer Support.
    Reply
  • Sorry, but what is "triple A"??? :s
    Reply