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EA claims 'AAA' games are in decline

EA’s chief creative director Richard Hilleman has claimed that triple A games are on the decline according to a newly published whitepaper from Battlefield developer DICE.

“What is true today is that there are fewer triple-A games being built than at the same point in the previous generation,” he says.

“I’ve done some calculations that say there were about 125 teams in the industry worldwide working on what I’d call a triple-A game on a console, and that was seven or eight years ago.

“That number today is well south of 30; probably in the 25 range. What’s interesting is that, if you look at the composition of those teams, the numbers are exactly the same: those 125 teams became 25; the size of the teams increased by a factor of four.

“This has everything to do with the standard definition to HD change. If you look at the math, that change is about content – richly about content – and as we evolved, our costs went substantially up. And the number of people on teams with that kind of vision went up by necessity.

“I don’t see that kind of content-oriented change coming in this next generation of platforms. As a result, I think we were on a path that made me nervous, but it seems to have stabilized.”

Do you think that this decline in 'AAA' teams is more to do with the end of a generation rather than a rise in costs? Or do you think 'AAA' games may be in trouble due to rising costs?

Let us know what you think below.

Edited On 05 Jul, 2013

( 11 )
optipete's avatar
optipete 3 years ago
Its become harder to make a AAA game, with rising costs the risk is to much that's why there are so many sequels now, less risk.
Dead's avatar
Dead 3 years ago
Maybe it had something to do with the giant corporations like EA gobbling up all the smaller developers.
Johno Muller's avatar
Johno Muller 3 years ago
It's because of the pirates, people are downloading games instead of buying them we need more DRM and online passes so people buy their games brand new for full RRP.
troublemaker's avatar
troublemaker 3 years ago
Maybe if EA didn't put all their games together by piecing the "best bits" of other games into what always ended up being a shocking piece of shit, pushing out releases to try and take business away from competitors and then blaming the studios for the failures and closing them down, we would have more development studios doing more AAA games!
Artemisthemp's avatar
Artemisthemp 3 years ago
PC support 1920 x 1080 for years, so is EA trying to tell us, that it cost so must more to port a game to PS4 and Xbox One?
iMerle iDixon's avatar
iMerle iDixon 3 years ago
AAA games are in decline because the companies are going about the advertising campaigns all wrong IMO.
LFC Bywater's avatar
LFC Bywater 3 years ago
Rich from a company that recently brought out Fuse.... What a bad of wank.
Anonymous user's avatar
Thomas 3 years ago
@Johno Muller Piracy isn't as big a problem as everyone makes it out to be. More DRM is the last thing we need. A reason people pirate games is because they are anti-DRM. DRM restricts and punishes the consumer, whilst those who download the game for free get the better version. Also, if you lower the price, more people will buy your games. Look at Steam. When games go on sale there, the sales rocket up, and no doubt make more money than when they're selling at full price. If they weren't selling and turning a profit, the sales wouldn't exist. So we don't need more DRM, or Online passes. Going back on topic, the amount of 'AAA' games doesn't seem to be declining at all, they just seem to be selling less. Either due to poor business decisions, loss of fans, or lack of interest. Most 'AAA' games tend to be the same thing over and over, and consumers seem to have more interest in indie games (at least, on the PC anyway).
Robichoico's avatar
Robichoico 3 years ago
Well for this we have to see what the term AAA title means. Apparently Nintendo aren't eligible for it. And it stands for High Quality Game with High Budget. It also needs to have a large team, no bugs, broad market, Continous, balanced entertainment from beginning to end, Honestly. I CANNOT think of a single game that fits all of these criteria. Tomb Raider (flop in Square's eyes) and I guess Bioshock Infinite come close. (and that is being very kind) But in reality the term AAA is just a buzzword created by the likes of EA, Activision, Ubisoft etc in order to hype their title more. Same goes for the terms 'hardcore, casual' etc. the Sheeple take all of this in which is why a lot of crap does so well.
Isome's avatar
Isome 3 years ago
I think AAA games "are in decline" because poor storytelling, the idea that something "looking good" is more important than play ability. Style over substance, games created for the lowest common denominator - like Michael bay films. For me the most important factor is whether the game play is solid. Graphics are irrelevant. This is probably why I find myself playing more and Japanese niche or quirky games - not a lengthy update as soon as I put the disc in and I'm not paying to be a beta tester on a broken game on release. AAA = AVOID AVOID AVOID
Konakona's avatar
Konakona 3 years ago
Ironic coming for a company that makes Shite games.

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