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Forums - Gaming Discussion - The term 'AAA' has nothing to do with production values or budgets

HoloDust said:
Shiken said:
On a consumer level, it is/should be about quality. Octopath Traveller, Mario Kart, Splatoon, etc all fall into this category.

On a development level it is about cost and Production. God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, Uncharted 4, etc all fall into this category.

However what also would fall into that category is all the crappy "AAA" products as well. Battlefront 2, Sea of Thieves, The Order 1886, etc all fall into this category.

If one looks at AAA as a measure of quality, production and cost are not a factor. As a consumer, we should care more about quality than anything else. Just because a game is expensive to make, does not make it a quality game.

This is why Tomb Raider on PS360 was called a failure with several millions of units sold. It was good, but needed to sell an insane amount of money. Breath of the Wild was also a AAA game, but only needed to sell 2 mil to break even. They are both AAA games, but one cost way more than the other.

And there lies the problem with using AAA as anything other than a measure of Quality. If cost was the only factor, Zelda would be AAA and Tomb Raider would be AAAAAAA. It does just does not make any sense.

So for that reason, I look at things on a consumer level, as I am a consumer. Quality and content mean more to the term AAA to me than how much a game costs to produce. Development teams look at it differently, and they should, as they need to deliver a AAA quality experience to justify those costs. However, that does mean that level of quality will be met in the end depending on a number of factors involved.

I consider BotW 7.5/10 game (and I'm Zelda fan) and, for example, Divinity Original Sin II 9/10 game - yet, I would never say that latter is AAA game.

You would be the vast minority.  To the majority of consumers who got the game, it truly deserves every award it recieved.

 

Kind of like how I feel I got my money's worth with The Order 1886.  I enjoyed the gameplay, plot, and feel of the gunplay.  I took the time to get the plat and beat it a second time on the hardest difficulty.  All in all, I got about as much time as I would playing Uncharted 4 once.

 

However my experience alone does not measure quality, just like your experience alone does not measure quality.  We have preferences sure, and that dictates how we personally value our purchases.  Quality is different however.

 

Zelda for example, many people put in 100+ hours.  I personally did 165.  Horizon Zero Dawn I put in about 45 hours, got 89% of the trophies, and beat the main story.  Once the credits rolled, I had no desire to play anymore.  To me, BotW was a vastly more enjoyable experience.  However, in terms of quality, I see them as equals and love both overall.

 

Back to The Order 1886.  Even those who got the plat still are not guaranteed to get as much value as I did.  You do not need to play the game a second time like I did.  You can also get the plat on one playthrough, and if you did not, chapter selection makes it a quick task to complete.  Most people who played the game played for 6-8 hours and felt the game was over priced, despite the high production value.  I loved the game, but it was severely lacking in many areas.

 

In short, while one person can measuer their own value of what they buy, they cannot measure overall quality with their opinion alone.  You need to look at mass reception and why most people feel the way they do to get a more accurate measure of quality.  Other things must be taken into consideration as well, like wether or not a game is niche, but that is another topic entirely as none of the games I listed were part of a niche gener.



Nintendo Switch Friend Code: SW-5643-2927-1984

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It is quite simple to estimate the cost of a game at least for the ballpark.
Size of the team, time to develop (just look at the time of release minus time of the last game released) and average salary.
When we talk about indies - B - A - AA - AAA let's say something like 100k 1M 10M 30M+ budget (or if you want to define other boundaries) since they have a very big gap between them you can easily separate as some already made here.
And even if you don't want to use absolute numbers you can still look at the game in hand and see if it have all the scope for AAA or not.
I don't know why do we need 2 reaction thread for the Octopath Traveller though (this one even being a reaction to the reaction, on the platform holders games being AAA).



duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994

Shiken said:
HoloDust said:

I consider BotW 7.5/10 game (and I'm Zelda fan) and, for example, Divinity Original Sin II 9/10 game - yet, I would never say that latter is AAA game.

You would be the vast minority.  To the majority of consumers who got the game, it truly deserves every award it recieved.

 

Kind of like how I feel I got my money's worth with The Order 1886.  I enjoyed the gameplay, plot, and feel of the gunplay.  I took the time to get the plat and beat it a second time on the hardest difficulty.  All in all, I got about as much time as I would playing Uncharted 4 once.

 

However my experience alone does not measure quality, just like your experience alone does not measure quality.  We have preferences sure, and that dictates how we personally value our purchases.  Quality is different however.

 

Zelda for example, many people put in 100+ hours.  I personally did 165.  Horizon Zero Dawn I put in about 45 hours, got 89% of the trophies, and beat the main story.  Once the credits rolled, I had no desire to play anymore.  To me, BotW was a vastly more enjoyable experience.  However, in terms of quality, I see them as equals and love both overall.

 

Back to The Order 1886.  Even those who got the plat still are not guaranteed to get as much value as I did.  You do not need to play the game a second time like I did.  You can also get the plat on one playthrough, and if you did not, chapter selection makes it a quick task to complete.  Most people who played the game played for 6-8 hours and felt the game was over priced, despite the high production value.  I loved the game, but it was severely lacking in many areas.

 

In short, while one person can measuer their own value of what they buy, they cannot measure overall quality with their opinion alone.  You need to look at mass reception and why most people feel the way they do to get a more accurate measure of quality.  Other things must be taken into consideration as well, like wether or not a game is niche, but that is another topic entirely as none of the games I listed were part of a niche gener.

Content value is in big part quite subjective - that's why BotW is for me worst 3D Zelda (bar MM, which I never liked due to time gimmick), despite being able to provide so many hours of gameplay, and for many others it's best Zelda and even best game ever made - yet few will try to argue its production values.

I can pick so many great games with great content value (some of them even genre defining titles) and nowhere near as great production values, but no, I will never call any of them AAA games - even if many of them are in my Top 10 of all time.



While I agree that conflating "AAA" with quality is a mistake -- "AAA" in the modern games industry is more of a black eye than anything, in my mind -- the term does have a lot to do with high productions values and development/advertising budget, along with anticipated sales.



It means exactly what people think it means.



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AAA game is the same as like a big hollywood blockbuster movie.

Quality means nothing. Just means a shit ton of money was spent on the game. The movie/game can suck or bomb in sales, but that doesn't make it not a blockbuster/AAA game.



irstupid said:
AAA game is the same as like a big hollywood blockbuster movie.

Quality means nothing. Just means a shit ton of money was spent on the game. The movie/game can suck or bomb in sales, but that doesn't make it not a blockbuster/AAA game.

I think that for movies they need to sell a lot to be blockbusters (movies that the waiting line would go over the block), but yes generally they'll all be those high budget and usually action movies.



duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994

irstupid said:
AAA game is the same as like a big hollywood blockbuster movie.

Quality means nothing. Just means a shit ton of money was spent on the game. The movie/game can suck or bomb in sales, but that doesn't make it not a blockbuster/AAA game.

Then we as gamers need to word things better when making certain requests.  Like instead of saying, "I want more 3rd party AAA games on Switch," people should say  " I want more QUALITY 3rd party games on Switch."

 

Most people would rather have games like Octopath Traveler, Mario Plus Rabbids, or Fortnite on the console than many of the other lackluster AAA games.  They would be nice to have, and people would brag, but quality seems to be trumping games that cost more to make.  Even the better AAA games that do come to Switch seem to struggle despite people wanting them on the system.  DOOM and Wolf 2 for example, while great ports, lacked in quality when compared to their counterparts.  But cheaper games that are just as good like Crash, Sonic Mania, Octopath, etc are selling like hotcacks.  So when most Switch gamers beg for more AAA 3rd party games, they are not truly asking for what they want based on sales numbers.

 

I am not saying you are wrong, it is just a difference of perspective.  One party is looking at it from a consumer standpoint (mainly Nintendo fans) while the other is looking at it from a development standpoint.  Both sides have a point, and while the development standpoint seems to be the traditional term, a difference in perspective is causing a lose in translation when the topic is discussed.



Nintendo Switch Friend Code: SW-5643-2927-1984

Shiken said:
irstupid said:
AAA game is the same as like a big hollywood blockbuster movie.

Quality means nothing. Just means a shit ton of money was spent on the game. The movie/game can suck or bomb in sales, but that doesn't make it not a blockbuster/AAA game.

Then we as gamers need to word things better when making certain requests.  Like instead of saying, "I want more 3rd party AAA games on Switch," people should say  " I want more QUALITY 3rd party games on Switch."

Most people would rather have games like Octopath Traveler, Mario Plus Rabbids, or Fortnite on the console than many of the other lackluster AAA games.  They would be nice to have, and people would brag, but quality seems to be trumping games that cost more to make.  Even the better AAA games that do come to Switch seem to struggle despite people wanting them on the system.  DOOM and Wolf 2 for example, while great ports, lacked in quality when compared to their counterparts.  But cheaper games that are just as good like Crash, Sonic Mania, Octopath, etc are selling like hotcacks.  So when most Switch gamers beg for more AAA 3rd party games, they are not truly asking for what they want based on sales numbers.

I am not saying you are wrong, it is just a difference of perspective.  One party is looking at it from a consumer standpoint (mainly Nintendo fans) while the other is looking at it from a development standpoint.  Both sides have a point, and while the development standpoint seems to be the traditional term, a difference in perspective is causing a lose in translation when the topic is discussed.

I'm a little spoiled so I want both. High production value and High quality.

But you are right when looking at average titles PS4/X1 sell more the high budget than Switch but Switch have a healthy number for quality lower budgets.



duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994

GoOnKid said:

Let me ask differently.

Where is the line between AAA, AA and A and how can we distinguish them?

I'm guessing AAA is like gta, AA is like fortnite, and A is like shovel knight