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Monday, October 7, 2013

Even Activision Thinks AAA Games Are Problematic

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - ...Or something like that.

Infinity Ward and Activision folk think that "games are becoming harder to make and more expensive to make". Didn't I just write an article about that? ...Yeah, I did! (And a lot of people have seen it.) They're developing Call of Duty: Ghosts for "five consoles, six if you count the Wii". (It's actually the Wii U, but that's okay. Not a lot of other people know the difference, either.)

So consumers are clamoring for more graphics, more processing, more scope. More budget. Other companies can't match that. Even Activision is getting worried, and they're... you know, they're Activision. They kind of helped create this problem to begin with.

But there is something about Activision I respect, despite me boycotting them. They treat videogames as a business and use concepts like Return On Investment (ROI) when determining whether to fund a project. They try to control costs and don't want them "spiraling out of control". As I wrote about earlier, Rockstar Games doesn't care and wants to just throw money at things.

I love that this is a thumbnail.

Obviously, as a fiscal conservative, I'm much more inclined to take the studios seriously that actually treat gaming as a business. There is revenue. There are expenses. You maximize the first and minimize the second. Sure Rockstar is making a profit, but they could've sold the same amount of copies without spending the same amount on game development. They published that $266 million just to sound impressive. "Hey, look! You can get a piece of this giant budgeted game for only $60! You're prestigious and cool!" (I'm worried it'll be $70 soon.)

Yeah, not that I think anyone should get Call of Duty: Ghosts or anything, but at least Activision isn't trying to develop a community of faux-connoisseurs. (In fact, they recognize the exact opposite.)

Are there even any "mid-sized" game developers anymore?


Ludwig is an avid fan of Miiverse. Follow him at NNID PrinceOfKoopas.

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