Is AAA gaming facing a reckoning? Maybe a crash?

Is AAA gaming facing a possible crash?

  • Yes

    Votes: 4 66.7%
  • Maybe

    Votes: 1 16.7%
  • No

    Votes: 1 16.7%

  • Total voters
    6

Mike S

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Obviously this is nothing like the gaming crash of 1983, but the overall industry is facing massive layoffs right now at almost all major studios ranging from first party console manufacturers to third party publishers. Huge games like Suicide Squad and Skull & Bones among others are crashing and burning. An FPS Star Wars game from Respawn rumored to be a Mandalorian game and a Twisted Metal live service from PlayStation got canned presumably as an effect of these layoffs. Xbox is putting more of its games on competing platforms and PlayStation has talked about making a bigger commitment to PC all to help increase sales of their games with balloning budgets like Spider-Man 2 costing around $330 million.

Meanwhile, while all of this is happening, we have games from smaller studios like PalWorld and Helldivers II taking the world by storm among other smaller successes and Nintendo just continues to do Nintendo. The question is simple. Are we seeing the bubble finally burst on huge budget games? Are gamers finally waking up and being more discerning with their purchases?
 

erasure fan1

Well-Known Member
The question is simple. Are we seeing the bubble finally burst on huge budget games? Are gamers finally waking up and being more discerning with their purchases?
I would say yes. The biggest thing I see is consoles aren't growing. Hence the Sony going to pc and Xbox games to PlayStation and switch. We should be well into the first price drops at this point. And we should have a cheaper slim version as well. Instead the prices have gone up. History shows that most consoles take off after the first price drops. That's when the average consumer picks the system up. Or when the Xbox person gets a PlayStation or the other way around. You can't make 300+ million dollar games and expect to make your money back with the limited number of systems sold.

I've been gaming since my ti-99 4a and my first system the sega master system. The last AAA game I bought at full price was Mass effect Andromeda. While I didn't hate the game like so many others did. It was not worth the $60 I paid. And now that games are $70, that's way too big a risk for me. I don't think I'm alone in that. This is the first generation of systems that I haven't jumped in with in the first year. It's not that I can't, I just don't feel the need to.
 

Mike S

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I would say yes. The biggest thing I see is consoles aren't growing. Hence the Sony going to pc and Xbox games to PlayStation and switch. We should be well into the first price drops at this point. And we should have a cheaper slim version as well. Instead the prices have gone up. History shows that most consoles take off after the first price drops. That's when the average consumer picks the system up. Or when the Xbox person gets a PlayStation or the other way around. You can't make 300+ million dollar games and expect to make your money back with the limited number of systems sold.

I've been gaming since my ti-99 4a and my first system the sega master system. The last AAA game I bought at full price was Mass effect Andromeda. While I didn't hate the game like so many others did. It was not worth the $60 I paid. And now that games are $70, that's way too big a risk for me. I don't think I'm alone in that. This is the first generation of systems that I haven't jumped in with in the first year. It's not that I can't, I just don't feel the need to.
Consoles have been in decline since the 7th generation when we had 154 million DS’s, 100 million Wiis, and about 80 million each of the PS3 and 360 sold. No generation since has sold that many combined consoles and no generation will in the future either with Nintendo now only having one platform for all of their games and the 360 being proven as a one hit wonder for Microsoft.

On price drops I’m still amazed the Switch has done what it has without a single one. Once this thing drops in price post Switch 2 I think we’re going to see it continue to sell on the strength of its backlog for a few years.
 

erasure fan1

Well-Known Member
Consoles have been in decline since the 7th generation when we had 154 million DS’s, 100 million Wiis, and about 80 million each of the PS3 and 360 sold. No generation since has sold that many combined consoles
That generation sold so fantastically because of a couple of reasons. First, it was all about the games. Just look at the games from that generation. Some of the most beloved games of now, started then. Gears of war, bioshock, mass effect, uncharted, red dead, assassin's Creed, Arkham, dragon age... The list can go on and on.
On price drops I’m still amazed the Switch has done what it has without a single one.
Yea that's absolutely amazing. I guess technically they did release the switch light that was $100 less. But it's amazing what they've sold of it with it's hardware limitations. It just goes to show, it's not always the most powerful system that wins.
 

SplashJacket

Well-Known Member
I think the primary issue within the industry is the role of AAA titles.

Games are no longer an installment in their series, they’re honestly functioning more like a game engine used to than games.

Look at Valve. They developed the Source engine and made 10 games with it over 10 years. Now, you make one game, and live with it for decades.

I don’t really expect a game like CS2 to ever get replaced (of course it will, but not in the traditional sense).

GTA 5 has been built upon 150x since release, and once GTA 6 comes out, I’d expect it’ll become the definitive platform for GTA for maybe multiple decades.

This obviously creates an issue for games like Madden 23, because what’s so different about Madden 23 compared to Madden 24?

So I really think AAA studios need to create a platform and then iterate on that.

Games are weird. KFC doesn’t rebrand to burgers once it sees some downturn, it iterates. If it’s not a story-based title, AAA games should function more as continued iterations.

Obviously you need it to be successful first (small studios can’t do the same thing), but that’s fine. I don’t expect a mom and pop restaurant to behave in the same way as KFC.

Not all chains are successful, but when you hit a good one, don’t just rush out another crap sequel (like we see so many AAA studios do).
 

erasure fan1

Well-Known Member
Not all chains are successful, but when you hit a good one, don’t just rush out another crap sequel (like we see so many AAA studios do).
Agreed. The funny part is this isn't really the developers fault. Sure they could resist the urge to put another game out. But we all know how the vast majority of businesses work. We have the same argument over and over every time Disney raises a price or nickels and dimes us. As long as people are going to give them money, they're going to take it. If for one season of Madden or Fifa, or if the yearly CoD... didn't sell, the problem fixes itself. The fact that Madden and Fifa players haven't revolted and they keep shelling out the cash for the new version and dumping all that money int micro-transactions just blows my mind.

I think so much of this comes down to trend chasing. Everyone wants the next Fortnite, or live service game that players dump millions a month into. Unfortunately they seem to spend so much time, effort and cash on how to monetize everything, they forget to release a competent game. It's made worse when studios have to make a game live service and they aren't equipped to do it. Like bioware and anthem or Arkane and redfall. There's a lot of examples you could go through. What's not really understood by most developers is games like Fortnite, Roblox, Apex... work, because they're Free. So people don't care if they spend some money on a battle pass or skin they like. And there's no penalty for not spending money. I can jump into Fortnite any time I want and not really worry that I'm at a lower level. I might be out of practice but I'm not locked out of any main gameplay experience if I didn't spend money.

AAA games won't go away. The same way blockbuster tent poles aren't going to go away. Will they continue to be the main focus moving forward? Hopefully not. Just like movies, they need to get their budgets in check and focus on quality content. Make them an event again. There's a reason balders gate did so well, or an elden ring, Witcher 3... Fantastic games that people didn't feel like they were being taken advantage of.
 

Mike S

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Agreed. The funny part is this isn't really the developers fault. Sure they could resist the urge to put another game out. But we all know how the vast majority of businesses work. We have the same argument over and over every time Disney raises a price or nickels and dimes us. As long as people are going to give them money, they're going to take it. If for one season of Madden or Fifa, or if the yearly CoD... didn't sell, the problem fixes itself. The fact that Madden and Fifa players haven't revolted and they keep shelling out the cash for the new version and dumping all that money int micro-transactions just blows my mind.

I think so much of this comes down to trend chasing. Everyone wants the next Fortnite, or live service game that players dump millions a month into. Unfortunately they seem to spend so much time, effort and cash on how to monetize everything, they forget to release a competent game. It's made worse when studios have to make a game live service and they aren't equipped to do it. Like bioware and anthem or Arkane and redfall. There's a lot of examples you could go through. What's not really understood by most developers is games like Fortnite, Roblox, Apex... work, because they're Free. So people don't care if they spend some money on a battle pass or skin they like. And there's no penalty for not spending money. I can jump into Fortnite any time I want and not really worry that I'm at a lower level. I might be out of practice but I'm not locked out of any main gameplay experience if I didn't spend money.

AAA games won't go away. The same way blockbuster tent poles aren't going to go away. Will they continue to be the main focus moving forward? Hopefully not. Just like movies, they need to get their budgets in check and focus on quality content. Make them an event again. There's a reason balders gate did so well, or an elden ring, Witcher 3... Fantastic games that people didn't feel like they were being taken advantage of.
Madden and FIFA do so well because their fan bases are more casual than the grandmas that bought a Wii.
Barack Obama Mic Drop GIF
 

erasure fan1

Well-Known Member
A great example of why AAA development is being questioned. Hogwarts legacy was the best selling game of 2023 if I remember correctly. So what does WB decide? Hey let's make a live service game of Harry Potter! This is a huge problem with the industry. When you chase a trend, it generally ends bad. Did they not learn anything from Gotham knights or suicide squad? Fans have been asking for Arkham style games with the other DC characters, maybe a few games with individual characters then a team up. There's a lot they can do with Hogwarts, live service isn't something most would have asked for.

Just because you hit with a single player game, doesn't automatically mean live service is the way to go. That said, can a Hogwarts game translate to live service? Absolutely. The problem is it doesn't seem to be coming from an organic place. A live service game takes tons of dedication from the developers. Years of cultivation with a well thought out roadmap of content. It also needs to come from a great idea/concept. And looking at Gotham knights and suicide squad, I can't say that WB is coming at this from a good place.
 

Smugpugmug

Well-Known Member
I think we're moving towards a trend of AA titles and indies being more successful than the AAA slop that's being churned out. You already see it with games such as Helldivers 2 and Palworld. I know the big studios want the next big live service game but consumers tend to rotate between 1-2 titles and that's about it. I mean, with every live service game having their own battle pass that is time sensitive due to FOMO, how can people keep track of more than maybe 2 games?

I don't remember the last time I bought a AAA game. I gravitate towards single player AA and indie games nowadays. There are a lot of great games out there if you look beyond the mega popular AAA stuff.

and Nintendo just continues to do Nintendo. The question is simple. Are we seeing the bubble finally burst on huge budget games? Are gamers finally waking up and being more discerning with their purchases?
Nintendo proves that your console doesn't need the most graphically intensive specs to have great games. I would prefer the Switch 2 to not run like a toaster with 30 FPS in 2025 but lower graphical fidelity means those games presumably cost less to make (don't quote me on that, just spitballing).

Also at least for me, yes I am more picky about what I buy. The days of preordering are gone.
 

Mike S

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I think we're moving towards a trend of AA titles and indies being more successful than the AAA slop that's being churned out. You already see it with games such as Helldivers 2 and Palworld. I know the big studios want the next big live service game but consumers tend to rotate between 1-2 titles and that's about it. I mean, with every live service game having their own battle pass that is time sensitive due to FOMO, how can people keep track of more than maybe 2 games?

I don't remember the last time I bought a AAA game. I gravitate towards single player AA and indie games nowadays. There are a lot of great games out there if you look beyond the mega popular AAA stuff.


Nintendo proves that your console doesn't need the most graphically intensive specs to have great games. I would prefer the Switch 2 to not run like a toaster with 30 FPS in 2025 but lower graphical fidelity means those games presumably cost less to make (don't quote me on that, just spitballing).

Also at least for me, yes I am more picky about what I buy. The days of preordering are gone.
The newest Switch 2 rumor I saw puts it on par with the PS4 Pro which to me is more than fine.
 

Smugpugmug

Well-Known Member
The newest Switch 2 rumor I saw puts it on par with the PS4 Pro which to me is more than fine.
That's fine with me too. I don't need it to be a super powerful machine but at the same time I'd like it to have decent performance for third party titles.

Currently, I game on PC 99% of the time but have my Switch for first party titles.
 

Mike S

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
That's fine with me too. I don't need it to be a super powerful machine but at the same time I'd like it to have decent performance for third party titles.

Currently, I game on PC 99% of the time but have my Switch for first party titles.
I’m looking into getting a Steam Deck for games that don’t come to Nintendo like Indiana Jones. Also I want to emulate old games that aren't sold officially anymore and seem like they won’t be coming back anytime soon.
 

Smugpugmug

Well-Known Member
I’m looking into getting a Steam Deck for games that don’t come to Nintendo like Indiana Jones. Also I want to emulate old games that aren't sold officially anymore and seem like they won’t be coming back anytime soon.
I love the Steam Deck. Definitely budget for the OLED version; it's vastly superior to the original model. My biggest con with it is that it's quite bulky. I loved bringing my Switch when I travel but it's not as easy to do with the Steam Deck. Still, having my entire Steam library + Dolphin makes it a slam dunk compared to the Switch.
 

Mike S

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I love the Steam Deck. Definitely budget for the OLED version; it's vastly superior to the original model. My biggest con with it is that it's quite bulky. I loved bringing my Switch when I travel but it's not as easy to do with the Steam Deck. Still, having my entire Steam library + Dolphin makes it a slam dunk compared to the Switch.
I was going to get the cheapest model to make it easier on the budget to get the extras I want for it like a dock, DualSense Controller, 1 TB SSD, etc.
 

erasure fan1

Well-Known Member
Nintendo proves that your console doesn't need the most graphically intensive specs to have great games. I would prefer the Switch 2 to not run like a toaster with 30 FPS in 2025 but lower graphical fidelity means those games presumably cost less to make (don't quote me on that, just spitballing).
The power obsession is what's really hurting the console gaming industry. The Xbox one/ps4 generation, while doing well. Was very lackluster for games overall. Don't get me wrong, there was some great games. But personally it wasn't near as good as the 360/ps3 generation. And the ps5/Xbox series generation is the worst generation in gaming history so far.

The next generation will undoubtedly focus on 4k 120fps. The funny part is they can't hit 60fps consistently now. Forget 4k, make everything run at 1440 and 120fps. If they focused this generation on 60fps at a reasonable resolution, we would have a completely different generation. Games would play better, be much easier to develop and that's a win all around. The majority of the biggest games, aren't the most technically impressive. Give me solid visuals, with outstanding play control every day of the week.
 

Mike S

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The power obsession is what's really hurting the console gaming industry. The Xbox one/ps4 generation, while doing well. Was very lackluster for games overall. Don't get me wrong, there was some great games. But personally it wasn't near as good as the 360/ps3 generation. And the ps5/Xbox series generation is the worst generation in gaming history so far.

The next generation will undoubtedly focus on 4k 120fps. The funny part is they can't hit 60fps consistently now. Forget 4k, make everything run at 1440 and 120fps. If they focused this generation on 60fps at a reasonable resolution, we would have a completely different generation. Games would play better, be much easier to develop and that's a win all around. The majority of the biggest games, aren't the most technically impressive. Give me solid visuals, with outstanding play control every day of the week.
They need to figure out a consistent 1080p 60 first and foremost.
 
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Smugpugmug

Well-Known Member
The power obsession is what's really hurting the console gaming industry. The Xbox one/ps4 generation, while doing well. Was very lackluster for games overall. Don't get me wrong, there was some great games. But personally it wasn't near as good as the 360/ps3 generation. And the ps5/Xbox series generation is the worst generation in gaming history so far.

The next generation will undoubtedly focus on 4k 120fps. The funny part is they can't hit 60fps consistently now. Forget 4k, make everything run at 1440 and 120fps. If they focused this generation on 60fps at a reasonable resolution, we would have a completely different generation. Games would play better, be much easier to develop and that's a win all around. The majority of the biggest games, aren't the most technically impressive. Give me solid visuals, with outstanding play control every day of the week.
Totally agree. Give me games with a unique, interesting art style and fun game play over the best quality graphics. I have zero interest in the PS5 and that's a shame since I played the heck out of the PS3 and PS4.

I still can't believe that new Spiderman game cost more to make than many theatrical movies. It's not a bad game by any means but that is A LOT of money for game development.
 

AnujSingh

New Member
Obviously this is nothing like the gaming crash of 1983, but the overall industry is facing massive layoffs right now at almost all major studios ranging from first party console manufacturers to third party publishers. Huge games like Suicide Squad and Skull & Bones among others are crashing and burning. An FPS Star Wars game from Respawn rumored to be a Mandalorian game and a Twisted Metal live service from PlayStation got canned presumably as an effect of these layoffs. Xbox is putting more of its games on competing platforms and PlayStation has talked about making a bigger commitment to PC all to help increase sales of their games with balloning budgets like Spider-Man 2 costing around $330 million.

Meanwhile, while all of this is happening, we have games from smaller studios like PalWorld and Helldivers II taking the world by storm among other smaller successes and Nintendo just continues to do Nintendo. The question is simple. Are we seeing the bubble finally burst on huge budget games? Are gamers finally waking up and being more discerning with their purchases?
Informative Knowledge
 

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