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.
Yep, a lot of AAA are shit and several B or A games are great. Doesn't change that the first one put a lot more money on it (and usually will sell a lot more).
Myself I end up buying most of my games when they are both AAA and good.
Would you not consider John Carter a blockbuster? The movie cost a shit ton and marketing was huge. The movie was a giant bomb. Like one of the largest of all time.
Obviously we want quality and quality helps a system sell as well, but whether or not a AAA game ends up being good or sells well in the end, before it is released it works as one giant advertisement for the system. People will buy a system for the promise of a future AAA game coming out for it. When the game comes out and sucks, it don't matter, the system was already sold and that consumer is in the ecosystem for that system.
So when people want say Call of Duty for the Switch, it's not because they give a shit about the game, it because they want those that do give a shit about that game to buy the Switch.
John Carter may have been created to be a blockbuster, but for me if it didn't bust the block it aint block buster (I may be wrong and for Hollywood blockbuster mean only high budget, but for me, only if it had high sales it would be blockbuster).
And also there are some that want CoD on the system not because they will play but just so they don't see the publisher not caring about the system as they do. Myself I wouldn't have any complain if they dropped the yearly sport and fps games on PS4, but I know that would probably impact a lot the sales of the system.
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.
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.
You've probably had a bad day, hadn't you? Wanna grab some ice cream, perhaps?
It is not that hard to investigate and see if a game could be qualified as high budget.
duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"
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"