Big-budget games here to stay, says Just Cause dev

Avalanche Studios says there will be fewer AAA games, but this is a good thing; "we don't need 40 first-person shooters."

Big-budget titles are here to stay, though they may decrease in number, Avalanche Studios creative director Stefan Ljungqvist told Gamasutra.

"I don't think big-budget games are going away," Ljungqvist said. "There's going to be less of them. But that's a good thing, because maybe we don't need 40 first-person shooters. I don't want to play them all [laughs], but maybe we need one, two or three."

Avalanche Studios is best known for its creation of the Just Cause franchise, one that many would consider to be AAA. The studio is also behind free-to-play game The Hunter and downloable title Renegade Ops.

For Avalanche Studios, the "AAA" qualifier is all about quality and not necessarily associated with the size of a development team or a game's budget.

"It seems that everyone has a different definition of what AAA is," cofounder Christofer Sundberg said. "I think if you're a big publisher, AAA is associated with big budgets and huge risks. But I see AAA as a stamp of quality."

"We don't have to develop bigger, more expensive games," he added. "We don't have to hire more people or have bigger teams. We just want to make better games."

Avalanche Studios is rumored to be working on a third entry in the Just Cause series, which could be unveiled at the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo this June.

Written By

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

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74 comments
SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

"We don't need 40 first-person shooters." Truth!

bongsyas_23
bongsyas_23

"wed don't need 40 first-person shooters", tell that to infinity ward and treyarch

tchanah
tchanah

Nothing to question the statement! The beauty of Just Cause 2 [i haven't played 1st one] proves it all!! 


ryancyc
ryancyc

"we don't need 40 first-person shooters", said the guy who made the game with a lot shooting and explosions.

Wej_accept_it
Wej_accept_it

"we just need to make better game" Well said!!! And the stuff about FPS is so true right now, we don't need a slew of generic action games (and this is coming from an FPS junkie) we just need a few great ones

hadlee73
hadlee73

"we don't need 40 first-person shooters."... but I wouldn't mind seeing some more first person games for non-shooter genres. I like the first person perspective because it makes me feel like I'm in the actual story, rather than just guiding someone else in the right direction.

Timmy_Gwar
Timmy_Gwar

How many articles does Eddie write? Holy crap, I see his thumbnail picture in my sleep!

Kerrizma
Kerrizma

Just cause 2 wasnt' a FPS.....

Jyakotu
Jyakotu

Despite what many people are saying, yes, of course there will still be AAA games being made. I think those titles should be reserved for ongoing franchises. I think new IPs shouldn't be AAA, but should evolve into AAA titles if it garners support. Games are getting more costly to develop for, so I can see why developers are a little bit hesitant on presenting new games. However, if it means scaling back the budget a little bit while still being able to create a great game that sells and people love, then that's all that should matter.

Hurvl
Hurvl

I also think that ambitious games won't die, but as game development gets more expensive and companies want more profit, they'll be fewer. Or at least new IP's will be fewer, because there's no reason not to cram more money out of proven IP's. There are still many games to look forward to, even though people have for some time wailed and ranted about the death of gaming development and/or AAA games.

nurnberg
nurnberg

"we don't need 40 first-person shooters."  More like 400.

deadpeasant
deadpeasant

I can't wait to start seeing some gameplay from Just Cause 3. 

Syrlink
Syrlink

Just give me Just Cause 3

Chr0noid
Chr0noid

Wow, even the industry itself admits there's too many mother loving FPS out there.  


Finally, a ray of light is shining through the murky clouds! 

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

AAA is about budgets, because there sure as hell are enough AAA games that suck.

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

Yep The industry doesn't need 40 First Person Shooters. AAA games can be of other Genres too.

X-Blackrose
X-Blackrose

I'd like more platformers. Although, particularly, something other than Mario.


cboye18
cboye18

I want a 2D-side scroller game.... haven't play such games for years 

anonymousicko
anonymousicko

...And AAA games don't have to be first person shooters.

Saketume
Saketume

I'm sure production costs for high quality graphics engines will eventually go down and everyday people will have access to truly powerful tools and very high end programming languages so they can focus on making the games good without too much technical know how.


Even now I can see single people making awesome graphics in indie games so I doubt very much that studios really need 120+ people to make a so called AAA title.

They're over spending. They're not being efficient enough.

A smaller team of 10-15 people should be able to churn out a new FPS yearly with top notch graphics (although I'd rather they made games in different genres).

Dumachum
Dumachum

Again, the cost of developing a title hasn't gone up. The amount publishers are spending has gone up. There is too much needless spending because no one knows how to make a game without spending hundreds of millions of dollars and then it becomes impossible to turn a profit without selling some unrealistic number of copes (4+ million)


You don't need to spend a Hollywood budget to make a "AAA" title. Wtf is a "AAA" title anyway? It's become just another made up buzzword in the industry that really doesn't even have a true meaning.

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

Don't need 40 first person shooters...but its okay to have 40 Pokémon/Monster collecting games, 40 Madden/sports games, 40 GTA games, 40 Sims games, 40 Blizzard expansions in games....

But god forbid there be another shooter game.  Like you enjoy single player RPGs...other people enjoy shooters.  Its reverse criticism... 

Sam_021
Sam_021

Just Cause 1 and 2 been amazing so far, really wanted co-op for Just Cause 2, would have been fun to play with mates. Just Cause 3 will sort it it for sure!

barrica
barrica

i finished just cause 2 this week after so many years. Best value for money game i ever paid.When we spoke of the HD era this is what an xbox 360\ps3 was made for, huge maps, long story hours of fun. Only FPS are inverting the trend! Keeping this pathological way of thinking with the new consoles expect smaller games in the storyline context, but the graphics will be amazing for the first 2 days.


hardeddie
hardeddie

Exactly as every gamer below has mentioned.

cogadh
cogadh

"We don't have to develop bigger, more expensive games. We don't have to hire more people or have bigger teams. We just want to make better games."

Finally! Someone (other than CDPR) who gets it!

hadlee73
hadlee73

@Timmy_Gwar Did you get to watch the live stream on Gamespot when Sony announced the PS4? Eddie was the insane typing machine giving all the updates in the commentary section. I have no idea how the man still had fingers left by the end of the presentation. lol

vihazur
vihazur

@Thanatos2k ..and some high quality indie games, that are definitely not AAA.

Wej_accept_it
Wej_accept_it

@wilhelmalexis The first one didn't make a huge impact, but the sequal was massive; a game world big enough to give Elder Scrolls or GTA a run for their money, beautiful visuals and crazy over the top action game play.
If JC3 can up the ante again it'll be one of the biggest and best action games ever

Gordon_Shock
Gordon_Shock

@cboye18 Why don't you give Steam a try? They have a huge selection of those at a very nice price.

Greyfeld
Greyfeld

@Dumachum AAA has always been about big-budget spending.  It's the "summer blockbuster" of the gaming industry.  The problem is that some companies keep trying to churn out one AAA title after another, and then wonder why they're losing money (*Cough* Square-Enix *Cough*).

Gallowhand
Gallowhand

@Dumachum I totally agree about the term 'AAA' - it's just marketing-speak with little meaning.

When it comes to budgets, I do agree that publishers/developers need to keep tighter control - but I will also say that the need for more content inevitably leads to more content creators (artists, modellers, animators, etc.).  Graphical fidelity and detailed environments have increased a great deal over the years, hence the need for larger teams to make that content.

Some games shouldn't actually need the amount of detail they have, and I do think the quest for 'photo-realism' in many titles is hurting the developers when they can't recoup the investment.

TohouAsura
TohouAsura

@Gravity_Slave "40 GTA games,"

You're an idiot and do not deserve your freedom of speech.


That is all. Carry on.

Morokoo
Morokoo

@Gravity_Slave 

Well Madden and sports are mostly the same as the last, just like MOST shooters are the same, The others you mentioned normally have new things upon each release or enhancements. The majority of games nowadays though are shooters.

interrasteral7
interrasteral7

@QueerGamersXist @hadlee73 

I thought Gabe Newell and Valve Corporation does not count their series up to 3, but seriously though I want some Mirror's Edge 2.

burgeg
burgeg

@Gordon_Shock @cboye18 Requires you to have a decent gaming PC. That costs money. Steam is cool, but not so cool that I'm willing to spend much money on the hardware itself. Plus I have very little room where my gaming setup currently is. Not enough to have a desktop PC, and that room is the only place I'd want to do gaming. Plus there's various other hassles involved with PC gaming to keep a console peasant like myself away. Such a shame because I really do love what Steam offers. This is why I'm hoping Valve do a good job with the steam box. Just give me a reasonably priced console with Steam and I'll buy it....at some point. I'll have to pack my xbox away, but I barely touch that anymore anyway so no big loss.