Ex-Battlefield Director Says AAA Development Stifles Creativity

"AAA is the equivalent of the One Percent right now."

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Ex-Battlefield 3 lead designer David Goldfarb has said that the development process for big-budget games restricts creativity.

"I think the risk/reward for the companies that can spend the marketing money and that have big successful franchises, for them it's still worth laying out that investment," Goldfarb told Gameindustry.biz in an interview. "But for people who don't have that kind of capital, you're not really in a practical success loop. AAA is the equivalent of the One Percent right now. It comes with all these caveats. You can't make the crazy stuff really."

This isn't the first time Goldfarb shared this opinion about AAA game development. Last summer, after leaving his position at Payday developer Overkill Software, Goldfarb said that he's "abandoning AAA," for the same reason.

Other notable developers have also criticized AAA development lately. Last year, creative director of Just Cause 3 developer Avalanche Studios said that AAA development is unhealthy and unprofitable. Even Metal Gear Solid developer Hideo Kojima shared Goldfarb's sentiment last year, saying that it's hard to maintain creative freedom when working on such a large scale.

"I do think there's a spot between the $100-$200 million dollar AAA games and the $1 million indie games that is not being adequately explored," Goldfarb said. "To me that's a really rich field to plow and you can do awesome stuff there."

Earlier this week, Goldfarb announced a new, Stockholm-based, four-person studio called The Outsiders. The company's first project is an untitled role-playing game that is aiming to launch for PC and possibly other systems later.

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