Compared to last generation, are People generally more jaded on AAA games?

Last Generation was arguably where AAA games started teaching their peak. While AA titles, Japanese games, and indie games were that big on Consoles that generation, large budget games became bigger and better than ever. For most of the generation, people were pretty happy with the AAA games that era, there were a lot of good ones. Gears of War 1-3, Dead Space 1+2, Call of Duty 4, BioShock 1/2/Infinate, Sake, the first few Assassin's Creed titles, Street Fighter IV, Resident Evil 5, Halo 3, Uncharted 1-3, InFamous 1+2, Borderlands 1+2, Fallout 3 and especially New Vegas, among others. Among mainstream gamers, the reputation of AAA games was pretty solid.

Then you look the current generation, while there were some great huge-budget games this gen, the reputation and reception of the AAA market had suffered greatly this console cycle. Microtransactions and loot boxes run rampant, there's less of them overall, only a few are New IP, and generally returning franchises and a few of the new properties are plagued with bugs, glitches, or just were not great compared to their predecessors.

Compared to even last generation, game development costs have skyrocketed. This was also true for last gen compared to the 6th gen, but they were still cheap enough that most big publishers had the War Chest needed to produce enough games then. This generation, you're lucky to get 4 or 5 AAA games a year that live up to the hype, let alone are any good. The rest are filled by lower end markets like indies and the return of AA games with things like Hellblade and The Outer World's.

Personally, I've never been a huge fan of most AAA titles, so 7th generation was always my least favorite generation in that regard as compared to Gen's 6 and 8, there wasn't a ton of variety on the big 2 HD consoles. But there were still great games in the AAA space. Now you have a more diverse library, with the trade off being at most, a handful of good AAA titles, mostly first party games on the respective platforms, as first party AAA titles generally enjoy more creative freedom and not as huge budgets due to being exclusive to their respective system.

So has anybody else noticed this, or am I just being crazy again?

I really see no meaning to the distinction. I play the games that I think are interesting. Caring about whether they're AAA or not as though that implies something misses the mark since I happen to love games which were made with all sorts of budgets. Out of all of the older games listed the only ones I played were the fallout games, bioshock infiininte and sf4 (very briefly until bbct came out).

This is just marketing, they call something AAA to trick the less informed among us into believing it to be somehow "better" when it could be bad as any other game.

So yeah, I'm not any more jaded nowadays but I never held AAA games to a high esteem to begin with so there was no space for me to become jaded to begin with.

The indie scene would not have existed without a bunch of people being angry at triple A game back in the old days. So, the topics might have changed but the jadedness is still there. I could be different because they are more vocal especially via YouTube

Is there an official scientific definition of a triple AAA game? What's an AA or A game?

I definitely have. It feels like modern triple A games are all lighter on content and full of microtransactions.

Kwak:
Is there an official scientific definition of a triple AAA game? What's an AA or A game?

Not really. AAA was always an informal term to begin with, referring to high budget (mainstream) games produced and published by a major publisher, as opposed to the smaller budget, independent publishing, comparatively lower production values and often niche appeal of indies.

So AA and A are ostensibly games that are in between, that meet most but not all of the characteristics of either extreme. Like Senua's Sacrifice, or Divinity Original Sin, or even stuff like The Witcher 3 (and presumably Cyberpunk 2077) and Fortnite. Then again, those latter two could easily be argued to be AAA on account of their scope and/or production values. But they were independently produced and published. So where do they fit? AAA, AA, A or indie? Perhaps a different descriptor, like iii (triple i)?

Dreiko:
I really see no meaning to the distinction. I play the games that I think are interesting.

This is exactly. No matter the budget or scoop of the game, I will play things that I only helped my interest. if there is one constant I have noticed throughout the years in gaming, is that you are always going to have those (especially the kiddos) that play nothing, but Mortal Kombat, Fortnite, COD, GTAV(none of them even bother with the single player) and Gears (though that is speaking more so for last generation, not so much now) to impress their peers and don't play much else. Doesn't mean the end of the world, but the only memories of games are and I have is multi multiplayer sessions and not single player. But I'm getting off topic

I will say this, because of last generation I'm completely put off by publishers like EA, Activision, WB, Ubisoft, and 2K. Capcom I'm hoping not to screw up like they did last generation, and they're doing a decent turn around, but there are still things they need to fix or improve upon. They are my favorite developer and publisher next to Sega. Those first 5 publishers I just mentioned won't see a dime out of me, unless the game is used

Kwak:
Is there an official scientific definition of a triple AAA game?

Irrelevant. Game markets aren't scientific.

With sequels and hype come higher expectations, and if the quality doesn't go up in par, jadedness will set. Lots of the game budget and resources are spent in creating hype and monetization.

Well the rise of indie is pretty much entirely due to the rise of steam. Before steam/digital distribution was well established you had to buy the indie games from small website, nobody wanted to give there credit card number to those. But people flocked to steam to play big budget game in the first place, so AAA was instrumental in creating the environment needed for indie to take off.

At the same time, graphic are pretty good even for small game, so big budget don't really have a big pull on people anymore. I would say, I think AAA game budget have increased more because the marketing budget is increasing, I would wager that the budget dedicated to making the game in the first place hasn't really increased substantially.

I've always viewed a "AAA" game as one that requires at least a million sales in order to break even on production costs. Recently that number has been growing as to how many sales are required to break even.

But as mentioned, there's no real agreed upon metric as to what a AAA game is. But you... know one when you see one?

I have not purchased a AAA game in a long while. The most recent game I purchased was Age of Wonders: Planetfall, and that would probably be best described as a "AA" game. I stay out of the AAA space because I don't appreciate the massive number of micro-transactions and grindy looter-shooter type gameplay. The games seem intentionally designed to be less engaging.

trunkage:
The indie scene would not have existed without a bunch of people being angry at triple A game back in the old days. So, the topics might have changed but the jadedness is still there. I could be different because they are more vocal especially via YouTube

The indie scene came into existence because regular people were able to make simple games on their own time and had the tool (The internet) to distribute them to people. Cave Story was made by one guy over the course of two years, not as something to get money for because the original was completely free, but just as something he wanted to do.

The current indie scene exists because it was found that this method could also be a way to earn money.

Still enjoy them though they are extremely similar in structure. Most seem to follow the Ubi open world template but that is not something I actively dislike if the story and gameplay are otherwise fun(ie Spiderman, Days Gone). Only when a game becomes too bloated does that formula become a problem(ie the games by Ubi itself).

AAA games for me reached their zenith with RDR2. It had insane production values, a world that felt alive, a truly phenomenal story, amazing soundtrack, dripping atmosphere, nuanced characters, crazy good motion capture acting work and a painterly artistic quality which all combined could only ever be accomplished by an astronomical budget.

Other than annual releases the market isn't exactly flooded with AAA releases so each one is a little interesting the least. Though I have to say I'm glad mid-budget/AA games are picking up. I really enjoyed A Plague Tale which is probably one of my favorite games this year. Also, I was surprised how much more I was enjoying The Sinking City despite it's crummy quality and how much better it held my attention in ways that AAA games don't. Those games always seem to reach a point where they become extremely monotonous. Whether it's the reluctance to try out new things, the artificial padding, the bloat, whatever it is. Exception ofcourse being RDR2 which miraculously felt in neither of those traps despite being really, really long. But that game felt more organic in ways that actually make me want to replay it.

But yeah I also think AAA games are in a difficult position market wise. They seem to become more and more GaaS. More money seem to be made from mobile and nickel and diming the consumer than the hefty risk of initial sales. On top of that, like previous poster mentioned, the kids are playing Fortnite and Minecraft. That GTA5 tops the chart for 6(!!!) years straight probably also makes you think.

AAA games just means a high budget and a big studio.

CaitSeith:
Irrelevant. Game markets aren't scientific.

It becomes relevant if people try to make a distinction between AAA and AA games, as the OP did.

 

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