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Alright, thanks to all of you so far. Thanks to some of your posts (especially by vivster and Shiken) I realized that there are indeed two ways to look at this subject and I realized that I indeed looked at it from the wrong side. I can admit that. In hindsight I should have made a different thread that revolves around the link between high budgets and good games. This is an entire different subject and doesn't fit into this thread, so maybe this one can be locked, I guess.

Still, nobody of us can truly explain when a game is AAA and when it isn't yet. We can only make guesses.

danasider said:
I did a google search and came up with the following:

As per Wikipedia: In the video game industry, AAA (pronounced "triple A") or Triple-A is a classification term used for games with the highest development budgets and levels of promotion. A title considered to be AAA is therefore expected to be a high quality game or to be among the year's bestsellers.

Sure, it's Wikipedia, but all of the following results said the same thing in slightly different words. So there is a perception of expected sales or quality, because people conflate big budget and high production values. Doesn't mean the end product is going to be good. We see overhyped big budget games fail frequently. However, there is a perception and expectation that quality and sales come from putting a lot of resources into the development.

So I agree that not all AAA games are great. However, I disagree that this changes the definition of the phrase. The phrase is about budget and promotion. Quality is assumed but not necessarily realized. Can't change that, just because there are heavily promoted games with huge budgets that end up sucking.

This is exactly the thing. There is a level of expectation about the quality when we see or hear that a game has a high buget. Let's look at future blockbuster games like Ghost of Tsuhima or Smash Ultimate. We easily consider those games as AAA because they look huge and have high efforts put into them. But we don't know how expensive they are to be produced. We only project a high quality into them as we believe that a) high budgets are to some extent necessary for games like these and b) high budgets ensure that these games will be good and c) other games that look similar are known to be expensive. All of those are nothing but guesses.

Nogamez said:
What planet are you from? AAA means production values and money, nothing about quality, its a phrase that was coined to describe a certain game(s), similar to a blockbuster movie. Why are you coming round here trying to sprout bullshit that aint true?

You've probably had a bad day, hadn't you? Wanna grab some ice cream, perhaps?

Gameplay > Graphics

Substance > Style

Art Direction > Realism