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

Jubenhimer

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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?
 

Ian Henry

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You're definitely not crazy. You have a point. I believe it's half and half. There has been some good games but the ones that are bad outweigh them.

I do think it was pretty strong last gen compared to this one.
 

Neff

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A lot of publishers lost a lot of money on AAA last gen, and a lot of studios had to close. Combine that with the fact that top tier games cost even more money and take even longer to make now to reach expected levels of fidelity, and you have business model that only a handful of pubs with only a handful of IPs are willing to participate in.

Things got too expensive, too quickly, with the industry spending ridiculous amounts of money making and advertising titles for new customers enticed by the sexy HD graphics who weren't really sure what they wanted out of games. It was a crazy financial bloodbath and nobody is keen to repeat it, hence the very conservative, cost-conscious generation we have now.
 

Ian Henry

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A lot of publishers lost a lot of money on AAA last gen, and a lot of studios had to close. Combine that with the fact that top tier games cost even more money and take even longer to make now to reach expected levels of fidelity, and you have business model that only a handful of pubs with only a handful of IPs are willing to participate in.

Things got too expensive, too quickly, with the industry spending ridiculous amounts of money making and advertising titles for new customers enticed by the sexy HD graphics who weren't really sure what they wanted out of games. It was a crazy financial bloodbath and nobody is keen to repeat it, hence the very conservative, cost-conscious generation we have now.
You're right about that💯💯
 
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petran79

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I am more worried about the trends they set for the family. AAA violent games for the dads and older sons, easier middleware, cartoony and indie games for moms and kids
 
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Jubenhimer

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A lot of publishers lost a lot of money on AAA last gen, and a lot of studios had to close. Combine that with the fact that top tier games cost even more money and take even longer to make now to reach expected levels of fidelity, and you have business model that only a handful of pubs with only a handful of IPs are willing to participate in.

Things got too expensive, too quickly, with the industry spending ridiculous amounts of money making and advertising titles for new customers enticed by the sexy HD graphics who weren't really sure what they wanted out of games. It was a crazy financial bloodbath and nobody is keen to repeat it, hence the very conservative, cost-conscious generation we have now.
Not to sound too much like a Nintendo fanboy, but in retrospect, it's easy to see that Nintendo made the right decision to leave the arms race that generation. Sure, the Wii didn't receive all the big budget AAA games from third parties, but in many ways, it was the last bastion of the quirky AA titles that largely vanished from other home consoles that gen, and didn't start making a comeback until recently. Unfortunately, a combination of the Wii's casual stigma and the "go big or go home" mentality of major publishers back then meant the Wii wasn't enough to save it, even when it tried to give them CPR.
 
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Unfortunately, with the increases in development cost, fashion Youtuber-Streamer idiots, inept video game analysts, kids and people without good taste, has been one of the main problems with maintaining quality games.

In my case, I am passionate of this hobby, I prefer little-known games or developers like Nippon Ichi or Cavia, that someone like Rockstar or Activision or even Naughty Dog,

I have never cared about graphics, but thematic and playability is the most important to me.

In addition to that I value a lot of companies that have given more an artistic, human and beautiful approach to their games such as Japan Studio that is such a marvelous and wonderful Studio that bring us such many beautiful and masterpieces of games.

What I feel is that the AAA games have a lack of innovation, passion and a message, and unfortunately time is also the enemy, and you will see for example The last of us part II, that many people are pressing to release the game and I bet that it won't be as good as the first one precisely because of those details.


I do not know how you see, but I prefer a lot of games like SNES that have more innovation, history and quality than the current millionaire games like the case of GTA or Halo
 
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Neff

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Not to sound too much like a Nintendo fanboy, but in retrospect, it's easy to see that Nintendo made the right decision to leave the arms race that generation.
They definitely did. And I always got the impression that Sony's hand was forced more than they'd ever care to admit with PS3, simply so they could match 360. Until then, PlayStation was a competent but affordable hardware brand. Microsoft were the ones who wanted to spend, spend, spend, and it cost everybody.
 

Jubenhimer

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They definitely did. And I always got the impression that Sony's hand was forced more than they'd ever care to admit with PS3, simply so they could match 360. Until then, PlayStation was a competent but affordable hardware brand. Microsoft were the ones who wanted to spend, spend, spend, and it cost everybody.
I think most gamers these days can at least respect Nintendo's decision to forgo competitive graphics with their consoles, even if they're not a fan of it. But I think back in the Wii days, a lot of gamers were complaining that they decided to go "casual" and not be competitive in graphics and controls with the other two. They wanted Nintendo to be the serious player they were in the SNES through GameCube. But little did they know, there was a reason Nintendo went down that path. Even today, Nintendo cares little about the hardcore focused, AAA dick-measuring contest with the Switch.
 
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dirthead

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High end games basically look like creepy uncanny valley CG now, so it's all pretty boring.

People are looking more closely at gameplay again and not liking what they see. That's all that's going on.

The One/PS4 generation sucked on wheels gameplay wise. Nothing fresh was really brought to the table. The console game of the generation was a Victorian reskin of Dark Souls...give me a break.
 

RedVIper

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Hopefully the raising cost of developing AAA games will force some of these studios to make smaller but less focus tested games. When you have a huge project you can't really risk to fail so every game ends up being samey because it's "what works". I think smaller games will allow developers to experiment.
 
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sublimit

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In addition to that I value a lot of companies that have given more an artistic, human and beautiful approach to their games such as Japan Studio that is such a marvelous and wonderful Studio that bring us such many beautiful and masterpieces of games.
Does that include Knack? :messenger_beaming:
 

DunDunDunpachi

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The media push in favor of AAA last gen wore a lot of Console Warriors out and jaded a lot of gamers. This generation -- especially in light of how it started off with a failed successor to Nintendo's best-selling console and Xbox One's trainwreck -- was a rebalancing of the scales, and gamers are far more skeptical of publishers and AAA in general.

I think the skepticism is warranted. The same bad AAA practices from last generation got worse this generation.
 
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VertigoOA

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This generation is superior to the last across the board and my favorite console gen to date.

There are always going to be gamers that don’t realize that the age of discovery they experienced as a child can not be recreated and will always unfairly make comparisons.


Take your time with games and you will love them again.

A c-tier title cost you 70$ as a kid... and you better believe you played thenshit out of mediocre games and love them. And rightfully so... critics are jaded.
 
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Nestunt

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On the contrary, for me.

AAA games have been so much more interesting and varied, partly due to a renaissance coming from Japan, that I find myself with a lot less time to dedicate to indie games than during last gen.

The indie novelty factor has also diminished a bit, with a lot of over-saturation in certain genres and "inspirations".
 
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VertigoOA

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So many indie metroidvanias but zero of the real thing. Yea I got tired of people pushing a game because it’s supposed to be similar to one of my all time favorites ... to find out it’s some amateur hour trash getting a push cuz of pixel art.

Indie games can suck it. Lol

Bloodborne is the best Metroidvania since Super Metroid. That AAA quality for the win.
 
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ROMhack

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I don't think you're wrong, the culture surrounding AAA games has gotten a bit shit really. I don't think the games are bad but they certainly aren't as exciting anymore.

Personally I think the architecture of modern platforms is all wrong. I've said it before but the UI of modern consoles is that of 'distraction architecture'. The relationship between players and games has become less direct this generation. Factor in social media, which is now fully integrated into consoles, and you have a recipe for cynicism.

Games, more so than ever, have become disposable products. It's why I think a lot people are going back to retro games.
 
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Jubenhimer

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This generation is superior to the last across the board and my favorite console gen to date
I agree. In general, I think 8th generation is the best one we've had since the 6th simply due to the sheer variety of games these days and the developers making them. I'm just saying that the reputation of AAA games has generally gotten worse this generation.

Last generation, most gamers only really cared about the big AAA titles, which was fair, as there were a oot of great ones that gen, This generation, though, you're seeing indie games and lower budget titles take more of the spotlight as there's not only less AAA games this gen, but the quality is much more hit and miss vs last generation.


The indie novelty factor has also diminished a bit, with a lot of over-saturation in certain genres and "inspirations".
Indie games have evolve past the sprite-based platformer stereotype they had before. We have indie games that look and play like downscaled AAA games, yet are somehow way better and more creative than many of them.
 

EightBit Man

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Generally speaking, I couldn't care less about them anymore. This industry ain't purely about games anymore, but agendas, manipulation, outrageous sums of money. And I don't want to sound all high and mighty, but the masses have ruined it; these are the people who these companies are aiming for. It became far too big for it's own good. Just look at how Hollywoodized the E3 has become. It's all fake this industry.

I miss the days when I was excited about upcoming consoles, and when getting them experiencing new things, but these days are over unfortunately.
 

johntown

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I am more jaded as I see more and more AAA games turning into things I don't like. Politicizing games and forced diversity is probably what irritates me the most. I just wants games to be games, made by gamers for gamers and there are getting less and less of these.

There are still plenty of good developers and studios out there but I also see an increase in just bad games and games that seem to be nothing but attempted cash grabs with little thought to the content or the gameplay itself. Just trying to copy other games and cash in.
 
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I generally find a lot of AAA titles have all the fancy bells and whistles, but it often detracts from the general gameplay. You spend just as much time watching cutscenes as you do playing the actual game.

That, combined with endless amounts of smaller titles servicing specific niches, I've generally been avoiding AAA titles lately.
 

Northeastmonk

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I think the framework was expanded upon last gen. You had better looking open world games, new IPs, and so forth. Then the framework got so repetitive. How many western Triple A sandbox game(s) have the same type of menus, fetch quests, etc. I don't exactly need to pre-order my copy of Watch Dogz, Assassin's Creed, or Call of Duty. (the only game I didn't get was Watch Dogz) I got WD for free from UPlay. I bought the Call of Duty game(s), but it feels pointless when I go back to the game months later. That is causing me to think twice before I drop the money for the next one. I just haven't learned my lesson yet. I did get RDR2, GTAV (again), and etc. Its not like everything is terrible. I enjoyed quite a lot of AAA games this gen. I think what has also done me in is that I know what I want now. I got to play the list of game(s) that made their mark on the industry. I either get the next entry or something completely different. I skipped out on the last Tomb Raider and I didn't really bother with AC. I enjoyed AC up until 3 came out. I bought all the AC after 3, but it wasn't there for me anymore. I like the game(s) that I like.. I just don't want to buy into some series just because. I tend to do that more with Japanese developed game(s).

There was so much buzz about game(s) like BioShock, Mass Effect, and Dragon Age. The Elder Scrolls had some awesome launches. As the years go by you see them get torn down or a new set of eyes breaks down why they were so great. Watch the reviews for BioShock at launch and look at the fan reactions. I had a blast playing it back when it came out. Then look up a conversation list about it. It talks about how untrue it was to the Shock name, it had plot holes, or it had some other issue. People cry tears when Skyrim was shown, but years later its a buggy mess that some people hated.

The online only multiplayer stuff has gone out the window for me. I can't get into it anymore. I use to think Halo was fun, but it phased out after 5 came out. The other game(s) like Star Wars Battlefront 2 sells for super cheap and same with Battlefield. I remember when Battlefield 3 and 4 were huge. Now its all microtransactions, cosmetics, and etc. I'd much rather buy a AAA game or an indie game than support that. I think what's changed is that the "great graphics" of the 360 and PS3 gen brought more critics to the mix. A game use to be beautiful because it had small fragments all around (PS1 and PS2 era). Now its all about the smaller tech stuff. Sometimes a discussion about a game is just about how it runs. It doesn't matter if the game is actually good or not. I honestly think some people either love to hate on video games or they're just too critical. I think video games are an easy target in terms of critiquing. There are too many small thinks to pick out and you either like it or you hate it.

There's so many newcomers to gaming. Not that I'm some long time fan with some special right to anything. I'm not. But there's so many people claiming grounds to very outspoken opinions. Its all a bunch of bias at the end of the day. I don't like to look at in-depth analysis of what made a game so great. Sometimes YouTube will have a synopsis of a game I played over 10 years ago. They go through the boss fights and etc. It wants to define the experience. In my mind the experience comes from the actual player playing the game. A person needs to have the experience rather than watch it unfold with commentary. Sometimes I feel like I'm listening to someone discuss having the exact same reaction I did when I played it. I feel as though they want to credit themselves for simply pointing it out. That's not a bad thing, but it feels like a sea of gamers that don't have any type of voice. Its one giant shared experience. Its so easy to claim entitlement when you have a lot of attention to your opinions.
 
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Trogdor1123

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I can only speak for myself but I certainly am. I think the second tier stuff is where most of the best stuff is now days
 

ShirAhava

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This generation is a wash for me I sold my PS4 in 2017 and never looked back

The few (very few) games I care about are also on PC but I mostly play retro games on my CRT monitor these days

Funny how I can play those old games forever yet the newest the shiniest games don't hold my attention at all
 

Danjin44

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I personally more frustrated with western AAA games this gen and some of them I enjoyed but I feel like western developers no longer care about giving me gamey fun like they used to make, instead they are much more concern about realism and immersion.
 

synchronicity

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I'm more jaded towards AAA games because everything in that space is becoming more and more homogenized. The formula for what sells is being leveraged and focused too narrowly. Creativity suffers enormously as big gaming seeks efficient dollars at the expense of innovation and risk-taking.

Thankfully, there is a wide swath of gaming that is still fertile and experimental. In this day and age, you can safely ignore the focus-group, assembly line products that are endlessly spit out of gaming factories and still have a wonderful time.

Edit: Or you can always turn your gaze back in time and enjoy great games of days gone-by.
 
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synchronicity

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Not to sound too much like a Nintendo fanboy, but in retrospect, it's easy to see that Nintendo made the right decision to leave the arms race that generation. Sure, the Wii didn't receive all the big budget AAA games from third parties, but in many ways, it was the last bastion of the quirky AA titles that largely vanished from other home consoles that gen, and didn't start making a comeback until recently. Unfortunately, a combination of the Wii's casual stigma and the "go big or go home" mentality of major publishers back then meant the Wii wasn't enough to save it, even when it tried to give them CPR.
Nintendo's fiscal responsibility along with their polish and creativity in gameplay and hardware and general "we-do-it-our-way-screw-what-everyone-else-is-doing" stubbornness makes me wet.

 

Hypereides

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AAA took the worst aspects from the previous generation and amplified them. I'm baffled how absurd these multi-million dollar AAA budgets have become. Graphical advancement has become meaningless at this point. Not only that, but development cycles have become ridiculously longer. Their decision-making has pushed a burden on the gaming community. Their history of business decisions have lead to the supposed necessity of the egregious games-as-a-service/live services business model.

I semi reluctantly think that the 7th generation, despite it being a disappointment compared to the 6th, is overall better in comparison. Primarily for this observation I haven't transitioned to the current generation yet and likely won't. Same applies to the next going by current trends. In all honesty I think the 7th generation was the last hurrah for traditional games as we know them.

Btw, GAF used to have a member who went by the username OldJadedGamer (I don't know if he's still active or not). His username speaks for itself. I never thought I'd see things from his point of view.
 
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Herr Edgy

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People aren't more jaded. Triple A has come to mean being driven by greed, supposed mainstream appeal and technical marvel over mood, which wasn't always so.
All three things come with multiple disadvantages. The medium 'Game' does not belong in that space.
 

lensoftruth

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Aaa games have always been shit, they’ve been better this gen though. They’re so focused on casual gamers and now with added pay to win I don’t know why people bother
 

lensoftruth

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Not at all, the switch is great for games and the PS4 has some fantastic exclusives if you like cutscenes
 

jadefire66

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This generation is a wash for me I sold my PS4 in 2017 and never looked back

The few (very few) games I care about are also on PC but I mostly play retro games on my CRT monitor these days

Funny how I can play those old games forever yet the newest the shiniest games don't hold my attention at all
People are going to say that it's just nostalgia. That you are playing old, outdated and inferior games instead of all of the "amazing" PS4 exclusives. This happened to me many times despite the fact that I was playing those old games for the first time... So next time you find an awesome 20+ years old game that you've never played before, keep in mind that it's just nostalgia bro! :messenger_grinning_sweat:

I should also sell my PS4 as I haven't touched it in more than a year and it's just gathering dust now. The only exclusive game that was actually good imo was Bloodborne.
 
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lensoftruth

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I play awesome old games all the time. Good games are always good games. If I didn’t have a pc the content now available on consoles is brilliant. Playing flashy, terrible games like fifa, ass creed and GTA is a waste of a console.
 
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FStubbs

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They definitely did. And I always got the impression that Sony's hand was forced more than they'd ever care to admit with PS3, simply so they could match 360. Until then, PlayStation was a competent but affordable hardware brand. Microsoft were the ones who wanted to spend, spend, spend, and it cost everybody.
No way. Kutaragi was dead set on his Cell-powered monsterpiece with or without Microsoft.
 
Oct 26, 2018
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Jaded yes. But it can't be that bad when the best selling games are still the same franchises with sequel-itis.

And it looks like price doesn't mean a thing.

Gens back, most games (console at least) were $60 US. Greatest Hits and some budget games were cheaper, but most start at $60. Gamers still stuck with popular quality games as most games are $60, so if you're going to pay the same money, get the best.

Last gen, consoles finally had a mix of traditional $60 games, $40 budget games and tons of indie/digital games at $1-20. Gamers still stuck with big franchise $60 games because most of those downloadable games were quick arcade fixes, could be lower quality, and the XBLIG games for $1 could be total trash. Wide variety of games and prices, but people stick to traditional $60 games.

This gen. Normal $60 games as always with the millionth FIFA and Call of Duty games. Just about all of those crappy XBLIG types of games for $1 are gone. Most of the digital games skew to $15-40, but skew more to higher and consistent quality games.... more like PC gaming that has a wide net of pricing and quality from big and small devs.

People still prefer legacy franchises on console.
 

Danjin44

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This generation is terrible, almost everything good is on PC. Consoles are a waste of money.
For you maybe, for me this generation have been fantastic especially if you are fan of single player and Japanese games.
 
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JordanN

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2006 to 2010 was the best time for AAA games in my eye. I remember every day would pass by and I was kicking myself for not having a PS3 or 360. So many new games that made the transition to HD that I wanted to play.

It all came crashing down 2011 and after, when we got so much dudebro shoot bang games, I started to lose interest. I needed handhelds to keep my interest in gaming going and now it's just PC.
 
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ROMhack

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There's so many newcomers to gaming. Not that I'm some long time fan with some special right to anything. I'm not. But there's so many people claiming grounds to very outspoken opinions. Its all a bunch of bias at the end of the day. I don't like to look at in-depth analysis of what made a game so great. Sometimes YouTube will have a synopsis of a game I played over 10 years ago. They go through the boss fights and etc. It wants to define the experience. In my mind the experience comes from the actual player playing the game. A person needs to have the experience rather than watch it unfold with commentary. Sometimes I feel like I'm listening to someone discuss having the exact same reaction I did when I played it. I feel as though they want to credit themselves for simply pointing it out. That's not a bad thing, but it feels like a sea of gamers that don't have any type of voice. Its one giant shared experience. Its so easy to claim entitlement when you have a lot of attention to your opinions.
You've really nailed why I don't like YouTube here. Kudos.
 
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Vorg

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This generation is terrible, almost everything good is on PC. Consoles are a waste of money.
This is also where I am. Sold my ps4, bought a PC and I'm never going back. I think what pushed me over the edge was the mid-gen console upgrades, but honestly playing every game at 60 fps with much better graphics is a completely different experience. Not to mention that if you get a decent PC you're also getting a way to play a lot of console and arcade games through emulation.
 

Rhazer Fusion

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This generation is terrible, almost everything good is on PC. Consoles are a waste of money.
Hmmmm. I love me some consoles, but besides the obvious convenience and the cheaper price, they really don’t have much software-wise over the PC compared to the past consoles. I really miss the days when each platform had their own identity and games. Now, they all feel essentially the same unfortunately with minor tweaks in visuals and the occasional exclusive.

As far as AAA games go, things are going to even worst next generation especially with the escalating development costs.
 
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Harry Tung

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I agree somewhat, but I think it´s mostly western devs that have completely dropped the ball when it comes to AAA. They seem so uninspired and bland, whereas Japan has had a resurgance and keeps coming out with lots of fun and exciting games that just ooozes quality and originality. For me, who loves Japanes games, this gen has been one of the greatest, if not the greatest gen ever. But if you´re only sold on western IP I can understand if you are jaded and tired, the glitches, microtransactions and loot boxes in big western titles are absolutely crazy and every game that has them I have avoided like the plague.
 

Jubenhimer

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I agree somewhat, but I think it´s mostly western devs that have completely dropped the ball when it comes to AAA. They seem so uninspired and bland, whereas Japan has had a resurgance and keeps coming out with lots of fun and exciting games that just ooozes quality and originality. For me, who loves Japanes games, this gen has been one of the greatest, if not the greatest gen ever. But if you´re only sold on western IP I can understand if you are jaded and tired, the glitches, microtransactions and loot boxes in big western titles are absolutely crazy and every game that has them I have avoided like the plague.
I think the generation kind of opened people's eyes to the lower end gaming markets. Indies games are much bigger on consoles now than they were last generation, where even by the platform holders, they were seen as a novelty. Now you've got small team devs on a shoestring budget putting out more creative and critically aclaimed games than most major publishers.

Regarding Japanese games, I think the Switch to simpler, cheaper PC-Based technology help Japan make a comeback in the gaming market. Finally allowing them to focus on making a great game without thr insecure need to pander to Western audiences. It's also the reason the mid-budget AA games are starting to make a comeback as well. Look how successful Hellblade was, and how anticipated The Outer Worlds is, especially as Fallout 76, a massive budget game with over 200 people on the development team, left a bad taste in everyone's mouth.
 

Saruhashi

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Personally, I don't think the label "AAA" is really all that useful anymore.

My initial thought was "yes, I am jaded" but then I considered that I have had awesome times with Resident Evil 2, Devil May Cry 5 and Sekiro all in the last few months and I think those are "AAA"?

On the other hand you have so many of these online multiplayer flops like Anthem and Fallout 76 that I wonder if that is the "AAA" we are talking about.

Then you have the massive open worlds (mostly Ubisoft) that are not multiplayer but that do come with the full microtransaction treatment and giant maps with about a million things to do. So that's another type of AAA.

Then there's rarer stuff like Red Dead Redemption 2 that seems to have a little bit of everything.

I find myself snapping up and thoroughly enjoying Nintendo's exclusive content but I think the power of the hardware excludes those from the "AAA" category?

When people talk about "AAA" I think it's a category that contains too many different types of games for one to have a consistent view on that section of the industry. Sekiro and Anthem and Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Resident Evil 2 Remake have so few similarities that it seems weird that they would have the same classification.

If we are just talking about big budget games with 12 to 20 hour play-through times containing a bit of story and some good gameplay then I am not jaded at all.

If it's these 70+ hour monsters loaded with repetitive side quests, terribly paced stories, online multiplayer and so on then yeah I find myself looking at the big-name upcoming releases and thinking "nah, I'll pass."
 
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