The viability of middle-market "B-games" has come to an end, according to Ubisoft Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat. The executive told Games Industry International that the onset of next-generation consoles means big-budget AAA experiences and smaller efforts will continue to draw new consumers in, but what falls in between will suffer.
"On one end of the spectrum you will have all the big, AAA blockbuster games that [offer] more and more production values, more value for the players, but there will be fewer of them taking a bigger chunk of the market," Mallat said.
The other end of the continuum, Mallat said, is made up of mobile efforts, tablets, and Facebook. The space between is what stands to get cut out altogether, he argued.
"The in-between, the belly of the market, is the one that just collapsed in a way and disappeared," he continued. "Meaning there is no room for B-games, if I should say so, which proves the point of quality. I think that companies that put quality and consumer value as a primary focus, as we've been doing at Ubisoft, will enjoy great success."
Earlier this month, Just Cause developer Avalanche Studios creative director Stefan Ljungqvist said big-budget games are here to stay, though he believes--much like Mallat--that they will decrease in number.
Cofounder Christofer Sundberg also echoed Mallat's comments on quality, saying the studio's goal above all else is to make products that resonate with gamers.
"We don't have to develop bigger, more expensive games," he said at the time. "We don't have to hire more people or have bigger teams. We just want to make better games."