I just uncovered why AAA games are declining: developers aren't as good as they used to be

Are games and game development becoming watered down?

  • Yes, it's obvious, look at how few good new AAA games are made these days

  • No, more GigaBowser fear mongering


Results are only viewable after voting.

Warnen

Can he swing from a thread? Take a look overhead / Hey, there, there goes the Spider-Man
Animated GIF
 

MiguelItUp

Member
The further we've gone into new tech, the more expensive "AAA" developing has become. So much so that so many studios don't want to risk putting out something that doesn't do well or fails, which would risk them suffering or even closing. As a result they just put out stuff that they know will work to some degree. Hell, even sequels and remakes. So that at the worst, they'll break even. But of course, in almost any scenario, they just care about making money. That's really it.

I don't think it has anything to do with "wokeness." Though, I do think it's clear the majority of games that DO pander in someway, shape, or form just don't do well. Because a lot of folks can see what's going on, and don't want to buy it, or support it.
 
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Let me go a little bit deeper on the thing OP mentioned. If the diversity/women devs are making products so addictive that "gamers" buy them or spend money on mtx, then they must be good at their job right? I agree that theres an increase in diversity more than talent these days but it's not something I'd worry, atm. They still need to make products and if they cant then ofc the boomers leading the corps will just get rid of them. No corporation will risk loosing money anyway.
Short answer Yes with an if
Long answer no with a but.

The games that have MTX etc in them aren't about how good the games are and are about how psychological techniques are used as hooks to push people to buy more MTX/lootboxes. So yes, they have talent, do they have talent equal to making a single-player game that's so fun you replay it multiple times? I doubt the industry as a whole knows how to do that anymore.
 
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Catphish

Member
Back in the 80s and 90s, there wasn't any video game schools nor curriculum.
That's not exactly true. In the mid-90s there were several video game development schools, at least three, and I know this because I was considering going to one of them. One was based in Vancouver, and may have been affiliated with Nintendo. I don't remember the other two, it's been too long. But I know they existed.

Regardless, I doubt your claim that schools are an issue because, like with any other industry, a degree or certification isn't an instant ticket to a job. You still have to show that you know what you're doing to get hired. There's not a single job I've held where my degree or cert meant instant hire. I had to interview and show that I possessed the practical knowledge needed before getting the job. I doubt game development is any different. Though, to be fair, I never worked in the game industry.
 

HL3.exe

Member
Haha, one of the most short sighted OP's in a while. Thanks for the laugh.

Yes, there is a decline in AAA quality for sure but it's way more nuanced and complicated then that.

Short vision: It's mostly bloated teams. Less flexibility. More planning development ahead instead of figuring it out during development (with smaller teams). More risk aversion. Bloated budgets. Tech depth. Unsustainable work environments for veteran devs (a lot of rock and roll mentally when developing games, because that's how it used to work in small teams). Etc etc etc.
 
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The Cockatrice

Gold Member
do they have talent equal to making a single-player game that's so fun you replay it multiple times?

steam is filled with a tons of rogue-likes so much that I get sick when I see one. There are some exceptions in bigger games as well such as Returnal. Pic is from Housemarke dev team on their page.



There is talent, but twitter only promotes diversity.
 
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TheGecko

Banned


For the unaware, these two studs are responsible for creating the FPS genre.

You might have heard of this before...



Modern Game Developer transition point starting in the PS360 era (2007), to 2014 - present.



AAA games are no longer developed by NERDS, and have become soulless corporate PRODUCTS rather than GAMES.
Yup and it's infested by the blue hairs and soy boys. Gaming is doomed for, for now.
 

kiphalfton

Member
You have a good example on Gaf,
@VFXVeteran left the industry to a weapons fabricator to program missile chips.


But i think the core problem is a creativity hiatus situation, all that you mention comes after.

Or like somebody else said the other day, why would a highly skilled person (read "programmer") work at a game development company, when they can make more working at FANG?
 

Kacho

Member
The OP isn’t well put together but there’s truth to it and it’s not just the gaming sphere. 20 years ago it was a badge of honor if you worked at Blizzard. When look at their current employees, their lackluster output makes a whole lot of sense.
 

Fbh

Member
There no longer being as many "legendary" developers is just a natural evolution of the gaming medium maturing and getting way bigger in scope.
Names like Miyamoto or Carmack standing out was easier when they were innovating in a very young industry and AAA games were literally being made by teams of less than 20 people.
Now that AAA games are worked on by hundreds of people it's often harder to boil it all down to a single person. Occasionally we still get individual creators who stand out, like Miyazaki, but it's not as common anymore. Think about very successfully, very beloved and well reviewed games like The Witcher 3, I bet most people here couldn't tell me who directed it because it's generally understood to be a game made by hundreds of people at CDPR (and outsourcing companies) and not the work of a single individual.
 
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Sleepwalker

Member
The actual problem is that the industry doesn't really pay well enough. No dev worth their salt is actually going to work in the videogame industry when they can make 3x in other tech related fields while having a lower workload (less crunch etc)


I have friends who were either in the industry and moved on to greener pastures, or wouldn't go into it despite having offers and being gamers due to the worse conditions.
 

Guilty_AI

Member
The horror of making a show for women who have never read a comic book. My god, how can Marvel and Disney do this to us?! Criminals. Lock them up. All of them.
More like criminaly dumb, show's bombing for a reason. Not to mention how poorly made its is so it can't even be interesting in its own right.

I swear we have amauter webnovels nowadays that are more well written than stuff big producers put out.
 

ACESHIGH

Member
The post about 80s Nintendo being shrewd businessman that still enabled creative output reminded me about a quote from Frank Zappa regarding the music industry.

 
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buenoblue

Member
But gaming is making more money and more people are playing games than ever? There just not being developed exclusively for teenage boys anymore. It is what it is. Much like music tastes change and you age out of the demographic. 🤷‍♂️
 
More like criminaly dumb, show's bombing for a reason. Not to mention how poorly made its is so it can't even be interesting in its own right.

I swear we have amauter webnovels nowadays that are more well written than stuff big producers put out.
It's literally one of the most popular shows currently airing, and outperformed Andor. It topped streaming charts again last week. If that's bombing, strap me to an atomic bomb and I'll ride it in.

dr strangelove film GIF
 
steam is filled with a tons of rogue-likes so much that I get sick when I see one. There are some exceptions in bigger games as well such as Returnal. Pic is from Housemarke dev team on their page.



There is talent, but twitter only promotes diversity.
No question that when a studio is allowed to flourish, it will do. I don't know why you're bringing up women over and over again, this has nothing to do with sexism or any woke angle you're trying to aim for.

A good example would be Bungie. They wanted to do a Halo MMO, microsoft said no, do more Halo. They went to flourish and released Destiny, then activision ruined it by jamming it full of corporate inspired shite, so they moved on again.
 
basically trying to call them out because he can see women in the pics. it seems too be triggering to a lot of people if a game company posts a picture of its female staff to promote diversity in their work place
It's insane how much you're misinterpreting the OP, holy shit.
 

ReBurn

Gold Member
The issue with AAA isn't that gamers aren't making games any more. It's that marketing focus groups are limiting creativity. These games have to be successful, so the top priority is to make games people will buy. Making them innovative and fun isn't the top priority. Unfortunately most gamers aren't like the people who comment here. If they were we wouldn't see so many annual entries that are the same game as the last game.
 

Flutta

My tears. Exclusive to gamepass. Forever.
@EDMIX look I know it's easy to dismiss this thread as sexist (and i certainly disagree that women are ruining the game industry as a fan of female protagonists myself) but genuinely there is a shift. It's not the casuals making the games. It's the ceos, the investors, the shareholders. There's a reason Halo Infinite exists. There's a reason BF2042 exists.
There's a reason COD seems to keep regressing every year unless they look to remake a past game.
I don't see how you can pretend these games don't exist when since 2017 they've been flooding the AAA industry.

Sony isn't the only publisher out there, and they don't represent the entire AAA industry.

I mean Sony is pushing for this more so then most from what’ve seen. And i know why they do it or any other company for that matter. They’re doing it because they want a wider consumer reach basically more money, that’s what they believe anyways.

What this had lead to however is quality trash games, some of them you’ve mentioned, less sales, gamers not trusting future game releases etc. Its basically a snowball effect thats getting worse.
 

The Cockatrice

Gold Member
I don't know why you're bringing up women over and over again, this has nothing to do with sexism or any woke angle you're trying to aim for.

Just a jab at OP.

As for the rest, sure, a lot of devs are not allowed creative freedom but theres good reasons for that as well. Games or products are now million dollar projects. YOu cant just waste that money away, there has to be some control. Simple as that.
 

Jayjayhd34

Member
It's happening because gaming went from a niche hobby ran by gamers, to an industry ran by suits who don't even play games.


games make more than ever did and it's not like we don't get good games anymore you bet there's been 100s of games you really enjoyed that wouldn't been what they are without person who really has no interest in playing games.
 

mortal

Gold Member
Considering the premise of your thread, why not start a game studio of your own then T TheBROgamer ?

Take some initiative and be the change you want to see in the industry. That would certainly be better than complaining on a forum and being nostalgic for the past.
 

KXVXII9X

Member
And you've proven the point. All these freaks care about is the wow factor with looks. It's a tiktok generation brain thing.

All shine no substance and you have just proven it for us all.
Presentation AND mechanics (gameplay) are both important in games. Some lean more in either direction. I notice with some kinds of gamers; they are unable to understand that people value different things in gaming. I mostly see it from gamers who mostly only care about mechanics wave away key design choices and polish as important. Having a believable atmosphere, readable animations, and good art and sound design can really help with gameplay. And yes, Nintendo nails both.
 

jm89

Member
Could we just blame the zoomers? Remember what the boomers did to us millennials and gen x?

It's now our turn to forward that fuck you 10 fold.

100K student debt? how does 200k sound like?
 

Comandr

Member
Okay I was just going to post some snarky old man yells at cloud drive by comment.

But here’s the real answer.

Video games aren’t made by two dudes and a dream anymore for the price of a couple pizzas and beer.

Big video games are PRODUCTS crafted by CORPORATIONS that have to appease SHAREHOLDERS. Designing a game is placing a well educated* bet. You come up with an outline, and refine that through focus testing and market research to determine if this given thing is even sales viable. Then they employ hundreds if not thousands of people to pour labor into this PRODUCT for years until it’s finally complete and released.

Companies will sink millions on development costs and hope to god to make it back up in initial sales. To help guarantee that, this is where DLC and micro transactions come in. If you can’t make your sales goals by sheer volume, prey on the people that are willing to buy with additional sales.

Never forget that video games are a business. These companies are in it to make that sweet sweet money. No matter how fond of memories you might have of opening your NINTENDO SIXTY FOOOUUURRRR, remember that Miyamoto was being paid to craft a compelling product that was designed to sell.
 

ShirAhava

Plays with kids toys, in the adult gaming world
OP is right

The next Miyamoto is prob a straight white male with 'certain' unpopular views and is being passed over for some no talent blue haired woke bimbo

Tons of talent out there but they aren't welcome anymore you see it in the video game industry, comic books, tv and cartoons ect.

but its making money!!!! clown games for clown people with clown taste living in a clown world what a nice time we live in

The only problem is everyone isn't a clown

Only half of GAF are ex-reset era clown world rejects that want to get railed by Abigail "Abby" Anderson

 

Mobilemofo

Member
The gaming industry went "Hollywood" in the 2000s. Was always going to blow up to what it is now. Us older gamers were lucky, but it is what it is. I generally vote with my wallet. Started out on casette with the amstrad CPC 464 green screen badboy. 😄 Look how far we have come..
 
videogames started to decline after 9/11 it was all downhill from there. not even joking. The peak was probably the year 2000 with the build up from 1997-1998 and the roarin 90s

we had a few decent years in the 00s with early mmos and some console gems but after the mid-late 00s the good games really began to stretch out and now are basically non existent. Gaming is dead and belongs to capitalism and normos
 
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deeptech

Member
But gaming is making more money and more people are playing games than ever? There just not being developed exclusively for teenage boys anymore. It is what it is. Much like music tastes change and you age out of the demographic. 🤷‍♂️
man those autotuned "rap" songs have billions of views but that doesn't make them any good, it's just catered to morons just like games today, idiot brainlets are source of highest profit, easy money
 

Mobilemofo

Member
@EDMIX look I know it's easy to dismiss this thread as sexist (and i certainly disagree that women are ruining the game industry as a fan of female protagonists myself) but genuinely there is a shift. It's not the casuals making the games. It's the ceos, the investors, the shareholders. There's a reason Halo Infinite exists. There's a reason BF2042 exists.
There's a reason COD seems to keep regressing every year unless they look to remake a past game.
I don't see how you can pretend these games don't exist when since 2017 they've been flooding the AAA industry.

Sony isn't the only publisher out there, and they don't represent the entire AAA industry.
Reminds me, how many times can you rehash world war 2 games? Shits soooo old and fuckin boring.
 

64bitmodels

Reverse groomer.
OP is right

The next Miyamoto is prob a straight white male with 'certain' unpopular views and is being passed over for some no talent blue haired woke bimbo

Tons of talent out there but they aren't welcome anymore you see it in the video game industry, comic books, tv and cartoons ect.

but its making money!!!! clown games for clown people with clown taste living in a clown world what a nice time we live in

The only problem is everyone isn't a clown

Only half of GAF are ex-reset era clown world rejects that want to get railed by Abigail "Abby" Anderson

cmon man you're better than this. :messenger_frowning_ and WTF do you mean by 'certain' unpopular views?
 

wvnative

Member
Haha, one of the most short sighted OP's in a while. Thanks for the laugh.

Yes, there is a decline in AAA quality for sure but it's way more nuanced and complicated then that.

Short vision: It's mostly bloated teams. Less flexibility. More planning development ahead instead of figuring it out during development (with smaller teams). More risk aversion. Bloated budgets. Tech depth. Unsustainable work environments for veteran devs (a lot of rock and roll mentally when developing games, because that's how it used to work in small teams). Etc etc etc.

^This right here, is exactly the reasons why games are currently the way they are. Smaller more focused teams were able to get things done more efficiently.
 

SirTerry-T

Member


For the unaware, these two studs are responsible for creating the FPS genre.

You might have heard of this before...



Modern Game Developer transition point starting in the PS360 era (2007), to 2014 - present.



AAA games are no longer developed by NERDS, and have become soulless corporate PRODUCTS rather than GAMES.
I bet I've worked on more games development than you have pubes.
 

ShadowLag

Member
OP is correct in the sense that the ownership of most AAA franchises have been scooped up by globo-corporations who couldn't locate a "video game" in a store if they tried, with the sole intent of turning them into money printing machines.

In turn, you have 10 people on a team that can actually tell you the button combo to play Saria's Song in Ocarina of Time, and then you have 30 people that watched some YouTube videos about games once, and the other 100-200 people don't know what a video game is but it's their job to tighten up the graphics on level 3. They won't even play their own product. And they probably spend more time on Twitter than working on their product.
 
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Thank you, any gamer that has gaming for quite some time should be aware of this.

My first consoles was the SNES, and I have owned every console since that point and have noticed a gradual change, in the games that release and games that are designed as the industry began to truly hit the mainstream during the PS360Wii era.

Being a gamer used to be FROWNED upon by the mainstream, it wasn't until the last 15 years or so where it became cool to call yourself a "gamer" or to really be interested in tech either.

Please, the consoles were *never* for nerds. Consoles was the start of the casual commercialization movements. When the console kiddies were playing super mario on NES and Galaga on Sega. The actual nerds were playing Zork and A Mind forever voyaging and Ultima on the Apple II.

And yes, the nerds are still making games out there, they're making games like Terra Invicta, Kingdom Come, etc and they're in the mod scene turning corporate products into games that are made for nerds.

The games made for nerds are still out there, but they will never be on consoles. Because they will always be a niche product and never be popular enough for that. So no, they will never be made by Ubisoft, or EA, or Sony. But they are doing just fine on the indie PC scene.
 
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