AAA games dying out, says Assassin's Creed III director

Alex Hutchinson claims Ubisoft's new stealth-action game is the "last of the dinosaurs."

AAA games are on their way out, according to Assassin's Creed III creative director Alex Hutchinson. Speaking to Edge, the Ubisoft developer said that big-budget projects like this October's new Assassin's Creed game are fading fast.

AAA projects like Assassin's Creed III won't be around for much longer, Hutchinson claims.

"We're the last of the dinosaurs," Hutchinson said. "We're still the monster triple-A game with very large teams [and] multiple studios helping out on different bits. There are fewer and fewer of these games being made, especially as the middle has fallen out."

This is not the first time Hutchinson has envisioned a future where AAA titles will fade out. During the 2012 Game Developers Conference, the designer said the pursuit of big-budget projects is a "kind of cancerous growth…that will leave AAA blockbusters as nothing more than the last of the dinosaurs."

Set during the American Revolution, Assassin's Creed III features a new protagonist named Connor who will involve himself in the ongoing struggle between the Templars and the Assassins. The game, due October 30, is being built by Ubisoft Montreal and six collaborating studios on a new engine called Ubisoft-AnvilNext.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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americanchiff
americanchiff

Oh so what the hell is Far Cry 3 lol. Same publisher, idiots.

xzzzaaasss
xzzzaaasss

This is silly. They're not dying, they're just resyncing the market to meet *actual* demand for AAA titles. The reality is that over the last few years there have been way too many AAA games out there, and companies are realizing the market is oversaturated. Eventually they will start dropping projects until a few more years down the road where there is another opening in the market, and you will see yet another flood of AAA titles. Ebb and flow of markets, people.

ash162
ash162

AAA games will not die out unless the companies wish it too. The current game execs see more profit in an internet and mobile based gaming 'cause it uses less resources and the casual crowd will spend money on any crap. There is no value for them in telling beautiful and majestic stories with visceral gameplay.

division_9
division_9

The awkward moments when Assassin's Creed's director says AAA games are dying.

Sweendrix
Sweendrix

I think that Zelda for the Wii-U with rekindle the dinosaur flame. 

Defender1978
Defender1978

Screw this!!! I'm hooking up my NES and Turbografx 16 right now. 

truecross
truecross

AAA games are dying out when companies are massively sucking every penny out of gamers with DLC, even DLC and pre-order bonuses that do not even make much sense? You have the money, what the heck is he complaining about, talk about an annoying quote.

Ghetto_ninja
Ghetto_ninja

Are you kidding me? How can you say this in a year that has seen and will see more triple AAA releases than ever? Mass Effect 3, Black Ops 2, Borderlands 2 just to name a few.  We are late in the current gens life  cycle meaning that more IP's can survive because were at the peak of this gens user base. It may be the end of AAA titles for this gen but they've already announced Bayonetta 2 exclusively for Wii U. Maybe not Triple A, but certainly a high profile title and a favorite among hardcore action crowds. 

Pyro978
Pyro978

AAA games are dying because you have companies like activision pumping out a AAA game each year that is a reskin of a previous game. Or you have a sequal for a sequal for a sequal. These companies need to come up with new ideas. I know it's tough but hey....

csward
csward

Well Alex Hutchinson is a fool. There will always be AAA games, just like there have always been AAA movies. 

 

The movie industry is experiencing the same problem - a lack of quality in the middle and more competition than ever for our entertainment dollars.

 

If game companies focused on doing a few things really well and built on that rather than trying to make an epic out of the gate, the industry would be better of. Plus, we have a very long console cycle, slow economy, overpriced console games, ect. to deal with. Why charge $60 for a Battlefield or COD clone when it's not as good?

In my opinion, the mean price for console games should be $40, not $60

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

I think the cost into making games is much to high. Also developers ruined most of the AAA titles in the end. Alex is feeling his age..

Coren_Larken
Coren_Larken

Hmm...

I've thought about this, but at the same time, it seems there are still plenty of AAA games coming out. They seem to make a good bit of money. Weird. I might have more to say if I knew the actual financials behind it. But I really can't see the industry without games such as Halo, Battlefield, Elder Scrolls, Final Fantasy, etc.

 

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

Old news. However, he might be on to something. Make cheaper games that are worth selling at $40 at the most and abandon the online pass and other abusive DRM. If they start treating people with respect, they could still be success without making games that have to sell like crazy just to break even.

eliebaz
eliebaz

I believe that people have become more business orientated over the past decade or so, and therefore want to produce games in batches rather than good quality games like how they used to be made. The problem is I believe that they've got their resources too spread out to be able to make a productive and good game, and I also feel producers are focused on all the wrong things many people feel that because technology is advancing so should games, they focus too much on the technical aspects like online gaming, different features to make a game exciting but there's a reason why many people prefer old school games because whatever they did worked and there's no reason to change it sometimes you've just got to take a step back and realize it's not all about money and games should differ not by the way they're played but by the way they're told which is a key point most producers are missing or maybe that's just my perspective being a story driven fan :P 

Heshertonfist
Heshertonfist

That's because AAA games usually had something big, new and exciting to offer. Every gamer now knows that the industry has run out of ideas.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

FYI people, "AAA" refers to a game's budget. Not its quality.

ColoradoKindBud
ColoradoKindBud

Wow, pretty presumptious.  Yeah, AC1 & 2 were good, the other "filler" games were total crap IMO.  Now 3 does look pretty awesome to me, but I don't think this series will stand the test of time like other true AAA titles that come to mind.  Damn, gotta love that hyperbole.

lordvulcan
lordvulcan

Assassins creed 3 is not what I would consider an AAA title. They've been going downhill fast with yearly releases and tacked on MP modes leeching the quality from the games SP component {which has remained largely stagnant with the overuse of AC 2's protagonist. We should not have had brotherhood or revelations and they should have started work on 3 once 2 was done and not produced filler games that have tarnished the franchises reputation with many gamers. 

 

In ten years time gamers will still look fondly on games that they enjoyed. I don't see any AC game being thought of with the same fondness as the true greats of gaming.

mr111111
mr111111

im gonna go play chrono cross again

swyg
swyg

Don't kid yourself, Hutchinson.  AC hasn't passed the test of time yet to be considered one of the classic "dinosaurs".  Yeah we see what you did there MFer.

Drkr_Zen
Drkr_Zen

Wow, modest much, Mr. Director? 

 

There's plenty of AAA gaming out there... most of which doesn't have a Ubisoft logo on the cover. Like the AC series. Great games, but certainly not AAA titles.

isshiah
isshiah

i don't know about anyone else, but i'm a big fan of the AC games. granted, the last two were stretched thin, but i still find the history/conspiracy story interesting. i mean running around rome with leonardo da vinci? hell yes.

brynhyfryd
brynhyfryd

Why are AAA games failing.

 

1.Greedy publishers.

2.Not listening to gamers.

3.Rehashes and generic sequels.

4.Huge advertising budgets to try to hype crappy games.

5.Inefficient development practices wasting huge resources and costs.

6.Push toward digital only and online only games turning all games into a multiplayer fest.

7.Draconian DRM.

8.Requiring and having to register a client to install and play games. EG origin, U play, Steam ETC even if purchased at retail.

9.Day 1 DLC, Online passes and cutting crucial gameplay elements to sell later.

10. The push to FTP model to rape customers so neglecting AAA development.

11. Blame all failures on the gamer and not facing up to your own mistakes.

nisgos
nisgos

Yes AAA games will die out and everyone will just begin to play angry birds.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

I swear this guy comes out with this stuff just to get his name in the news. The cheap download games for the casual gamers seem to have peaked; people are growing tired of CoD and looking at the line-up of games for the future I'd say the big budget games that get more than a week's development time are having a resurgence. I've probably said it before but I'm going to say it again: shut up Hutchinson.

DeltaMike90
DeltaMike90

So no more AC and CoD Modern Ripoff? GOOD! As others have noted, AAA games are dying because YOU KILLED THEM!

And they're dumb. Why spend so much on "cool" production when you can make a better game for less?

I preferred when games were run on sensible budgets anyway. The first CoD games were like that, and they were awesome.

Gankstar_VX84
Gankstar_VX84

I think what he meant was Assassin's Creed 3 is dying out. Primarily beacause they're all frickin boring. and have been since the first, they churn em out like cod with nothing new, and whilst the premise and general gameplay elements of the series in general are quite fun and rewarding, it's 30+ hours of the same thing again and again, and it's just boring. AC has outlived it's welcome as far as I am concerned.

sieg6529
sieg6529

 @Derbo79 Was that an ironic insult?  If not, you might want to use a contraction and not a possessive.

deuely
deuely

 @percuvius2 Your an idiot. First of all, it fits perfectly into the AC universe. Its a fresh and new era to explore...one that, to my knowledge, has yet to be explored in the action adventure genre with this much detail and magnitude. Second...the American Revolution was one of the most honorable, sacrificing and meaningful wars of all time. It was a war of freedom and independence. A war to give birth to a new idea. Had it not been for that war...and the Americans winning it....the world would be a very different place right now. I can think of no better time period to take the AC franchise to.

Coren_Larken
Coren_Larken

 @parrot_of_adun Right, and I know there are plenty of exceptions to this, but a lot of AAA games usually result in more polished experiences, which I believe can lead to better quality.That being said, I still play lower budget games such as Earth Defense Force 2017 and Insect Armageddon. Both of which are hardly polished but still oh so much fun.

 

A lot of the AAA games I own have a much longer lasting appeal to me. I'd be sad if they were gone.

Ghetto_ninja
Ghetto_ninja

 @lordvulcan You're a fool and the multiplayer in AC  is  quite fun actually.  Brotherhood is considered by most the best AC. I also consider it in the top ten games that have come out this gen. You're just some whiny hater.  Why develop a game engine  for only one game? That's asinine and a waste of money.  

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

 @lordvulcan I think they did start work on 3 shortly after 2... alongside the other "filler" games.

deuely
deuely

 @Drkr_Zen It's interesting to see how many people try and shoot down a franchise....yet when it comes out....everybody will be raving about it lol. If you ask me...with the exception of Revelations...the AC franchise is a classic and has revolutionized the action/adventure genre. I mean, before AC....how many other games were there that did what AC did (and did it as well) prior to its existence?? To my knowledge there werent any. None that with the stunning amount of detail int he fighting, story, open world and sheer imagination that was used. I mean theres a reason Ubisoft has been able to create 5 AC games in the last 6 years....as well as books, short films and a full length live action film which is now in production. I mean if thats not the mark of a AAA franchise then idk what is. Not saying it will last forever....as we all know, most franchises eventually fail and falter and eventually fall off the grid due to overuse. But this one isnt there yet.

 

Utra
Utra

 @brynhyfryd You forgot to mention releasing multipull versions and promotional the the customer has to buy if they atually want to the the compleate game.

 

Not to mention DLC was once about expanding on a game after its release not charging access to unfinished content then charging for access to it once its release.

 

Other than that i 100% agree with you.

bryjoered2007
bryjoered2007

 @brynhyfryd I'm not sure if AAA franchises like battlefield or COD or zelda/mario will ever really "Die", but I for one would welcome some actual unique franchises for once. Games are not the same as movies in that the sequels usually tend to be better than the old ones. Your spot on though, it seems the developers think that we like DLC. Gamers don't like DLC we like good expansions

Haplo17
Haplo17

 @brynhyfryd I couldn't agree more, especially with no 6.  Shoehorning in multiplayer in obviously single player games is a waste of money, effort and time.  EA's announcement of "multiplayer" only games was jaw-droppingly stupid.  Sometimes, I don't WANT to play with other people, occasionally (most of the time, really) I'd prefer a good story and a quality game over crappy tacked on multiplayer on games where it doesn't even make sense to have it.  The gaming world will be a better place when EA finally dies.

mike300zxt
mike300zxt

 @brynhyfryd so true, you're dead on the money!  I only really care to play epic AAA games.  Alex Hutchinson is out to lunch.  Sounds like the atypical corporation looking to make more money with less effort.

wyan_
wyan_

 @nisgos Yeah and maybe their new game. What the hell is it called? Stupid Pigs or something?

nisgos
nisgos

 @Gankstar_VX84  Please Revelations was the only game that actually felt dragged , This ac will be new , no doubt.

sieg6529
sieg6529

 @deuely  @percuvius2 Deuely - No you're an idiot.  First of all, it's 'you're', not 'your'.  Secondly, the War of 1812 was not part of the American Revolution.  Pay better attention in history class.

Drkr_Zen
Drkr_Zen

 @deuely Eh, to each his own. AC is a great franchise, and all the things you listed make for a AAA franchise, but not all of those apply to AC. Its story is great, a wicked web of real world details, which we've already seen done in MGS for years, its gameplay/combat is overly convoluted... how many games have you hold 3 different buttons to do a sprinting long jump? lol And, the open world and "shear imagination" put into it has been done many, many, many times before AC... The Elder Scrolls, Grand Theft Auto and a few others come to mind.

 

AC didn't really revolutionize anything... it simply hits the nail on the head in plenty of areas that make for a great game, but other areas it simply passes for mediocre. But as I said, to each his own. I see Ezio as one of the strongest and most well developed characters in any videogame be it a single title, series or franchise. AC as a whole, however, is an over-saturated, convoluted work that does many things well, and shoots itself in the foot with plenty of others that got stale with Brotherhood. 

 

This director is full of himself, though. And, that's something that cannot be argued. 

 

At any rate, much like Capcom, Insomniac and Square-Enix, I'm getting to the point that I'm over Ubi, as well. Waiting on BG&E2, a sequel to PoP08 and a handful of other things only to see yet another AC spin-off or Rayman game is disheartening.

adamska156
adamska156

 @nisgos  @Gankstar_VX84 Yeah I agree nisgos. I think brotherhood was the best one...but Revelations sort of took a step back and got repetitive. Let's just hope its done after this one and there's not a bunch of yearly releases after it.

deuely
deuely

 @sieg6529  @percuvius2 Maybe you should pay better attention to what I wrote and learn to read. I never said the War of 1812 was part of the American Revolution lol. You must be from Europe lol