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Is THQ Nordic Reviving the AA Game?

Omnipunctual Godot

Gold Member
In a lot of threads for the past few years, you often see people asking, "Where have the AA games gone?"

And they're not wrong. For a long time, it seemed like you had your choice of big-budget studio games or indies, without much in between.

But looking at some of the games THQ Nordic showcased today, and seeing what studios like Supermassive have accomplished, I'm starting to think that AA might have a resurgence after all.


Look at Tempest Rising.

Does it look like a $100M showcase? No.

But as a C&C clone, it has a lot of potential in a genre that's been pretty starved over the last few years.


The same goes for Alone in the Dark.

Does this look like it has the production value of something like RE VIII? I don't think so. But it does seem like it could fill a budget-horror nitch. And sometimes those are the types of horror games that can be the most enjoyable (like Deadly Premonition, Fatal Frame, and Rule of Rose).


Outside of the horror and RTS genres, they also showed off the Gothic 1 Remake, which looks like it has potential to be pretty great.

And that's what I've missed about AA games. They don't always have to swing for the fences. Sometimes doing something well enough or adding something new to the mix is all you need.

My only question is if they will be AA-priced games. I think the thing we're missing right now is AA games that are priced somewhere between indies and full-budget tentpole releases. This is something that's been largely missing since the PS2 era. I'd love to see it come back and give gamers more options.

Do you think the AA game might be making a comeback? Do you think there's room in the gaming market for a third option between major AAA releases and lower-budget indies?
 
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BennyBlanco

aka IMurRIVAL69
Even a step beyond THQ Nordic.... Embracer as a whole kind of feels like this. I don't know how the fuck Embracer Group is gonna finance their 120 studios, where they came from, where they got their money from, etc. But I hope it doesn't fall apart. They have a ton of good IP and devs under their belt. I love it.
 

.Pennywise

Banned
When did it die in the first place? AA games (along with indies and "indies") have been keeping the industry alive in the last 10 years where AAA games are the same shit over and over and over
 

DaGwaphics

Member
Great to see games with this scope getting pushed by someone. There were so many great AA games in the Xbox/PS2 era, hopefully we are starting to get that back.
 
So excited to see what else they would bring.
 

Vaelka

Member
Something I really like about THQ Nordic is that they don't seem to micromanage what the devs do.
There's a lot of games they publish that I don't think any of the big publishers would lol.

The games they publish tend to feel a bit less restrained and feel more organic.
Less screwed over by corporate American culture.
Y'all think Natalya in Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed would look so accurate to the original under basically any of the mainstream publishers?
No freaking way lol.
And the game would be less fun and feel more bland because of it.

THQ Nordic feels like they still care about games under their umbrella first and foremost being fun rather than '' maximizing marketability ''.
 
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poodaddy

Member
Goddamn I wish someone would attribute specific numerical guidelines to what constitutes A, AA, and AAA titles. I despise arbitrary labels in general and I honestly think most of this shit is just tales from someone's asshole.

That being said, I love THQ and their IP catalogue is fucking rad, so I'm in all the way.
 

Hoddi

Member
I'm just glad for the effort. I don't need all my games to cost $100M when many of my favorites over the past 10 years didn't cost even a tenth of that to create. Which is still pretty damn expensive.

Most of these 200M+ budgets that you hear about probably aren't even being spent on the games but the marketing budgets. I don't want to pay 80€ instead of 60€ if it just means that more influencers will talk about it.
 
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hlm666

Member
Do they own darksiders now/still? Can one of those unannounced games be the darksiders game with all the horsemen finally together? I'm willing to let the multiplayer part take a hike from those rumors but I want the final part of the story. They can even do the stupid overhead thing again if they can't budget a proper one I really just want the final part.
 

sobaka770

Member
AA is a tricky business in current uber-blockbuster realm. I hope these games are actually good because the market is due for a correction. These Aaaa game releases with ballooning budgets and predatory monetisation schemes cannot be a sustainable industry practice.
 
I hate AA games. Only 1 or 2 out 10 are good. Just stack the AA teams toghether and make better games. Stop cutting corners, stop having janky animations, sub-par stories.
 
I hate AA games. Only 1 or 2 out 10 are good. Just stack the AA teams toghether and make better games. Stop cutting corners, stop having janky animations, sub-par stories.
I got an alternative solution for you: how about sticking only to your polished, but shallow AAA/AAAA games that take 5~7 years to develop instead. There, problem solved. Everyone's happy.
 
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Tams

Member
When did it die in the first place? AA games (along with indies and "indies") have been keeping the industry alive in the last 10 years where AAA games are the same shit over and over and over

Went all in trying to expand a Wii accessory to the other consoles. No seriously, I kid you not.
 
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xrnzaaas

Member
It's nice they're focusing on AA games but it doesn't mean they're all going to be good and THQ should monitor their quality better. For instance I liked Darksiders Genesis but hated Destroy All Humans Remake for its archaic mechanics and the unchanged difficulty spike in the finale.
 

Ladioss

Member
It's probably a good strategy as long as the market is not flooded with AAAs competing with each other for consoomers mind share.
2022 provide a good opportunity for that, with all those delayed releases, but what about it once the market normalize again during the next 12-18 months ?
 
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