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Assassin’s Creed 3 dev: ‘big triple-a games are dying out’

Wednesday, 5 September 2012 12:41 GMT By Dave Cook

Assassin’s Creed 3 is “the last of the dinosaurs”, according to creative director Alex Hutchinson. The developer suggests that games of AC3′s size – that require teams in their hundreds – are becoming a thing of the past.

Speaking with Edge, Hutchison stated, “We’re the last of the dinosaurs. We’re still the monster triple-A game with very large teams [and] multiple studios helping out on different bits. There are fewer and fewer of these games being made, especially as the middle has fallen out.”

“We really felt like this was a rare opportunity, “Hutchison added, “We had an experienced team, who had worked on the franchise for a while; we had the full backing of Ubisoft to make something huge.”

“We had almost three years to do it,” Hutchison continued, “which is a rarity these days; the tech and the hardware platforms were both mature, which allowed us to start running instead of building base features; and the installed user base for all platforms is massive.”

“Many of these factors are about to change, by choice of circumstance,” Hutchinson added, “so a lot of us truly believed this was a once in a career opportunity,” Hutchison concluded.

Thanks CVG.

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21 Comments

  1. ArithonUK

    Dying out? Like the DODO maybe – hunted to extinction.

    Poor quality (zero day bug fixes, followed by a stream of patches), absurd and unusable DRM (always on DRM, and just as bad, at-start DRM only work if UBI’s site is up, what happens when it {often} isn’t?) and releasing half the game (at full price) followed by the rest of the game as DLC at almost full price. These things are killing gaming.

    Want to sell games? Sensible or no DRM, mod-support, LAN support, quality control, forget DLC – go back to expansion packs 12-18 months after release. Keep prices sub £30. We don’t need Hollywood A-list stars to voice games. Use the janitor and save the cash. You don’t need to run film-style live-action trailers in cinemas. Again save the cash, pass on the saving. Gaming website reviews are all the advertising you will ever need.

    Piracy is only a problem (i.e. significant volume) when a game isn’t seen to be worth buying. No perceived value means there’s no perceived wrongdoing. If you treat PC gamers like idiots and thieves, they are not going to lose any sleep over living up to the label.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. TheBlackHole

    As soon as the next gen comes along they will be commonplace again. True, no-one is willing to build these types of games as we come to the tail end of a generation, but they aren’t dying out. Not by a long shot.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. SlayerGT

    @1 What happens if the next Assassins Creed for next Gen cost 3 times as much to produce..and only the same if not slightly less amount of people buy it? Something will give.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. DarkElfa

    What we need are a bunch of smaller studios, allowed to work more freely for a longer amount of time on something they’re passionate about.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. xxJPRACERxx

    The industry won’t survive without AAA games. Sure smaller games are nice too but more like fillers between the major ones.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. DrDamn

    This is just adjustment. Costs for AAA games are going to go up, not triple, but they’ll go up. We’ll get fewer and more smaller games where more risks can be taken. It’s a good thing.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. absolutezero

    Maybe it’ll make the giant dinosaur blockbusters up their game aswell.

    HA

    #7 3 years ago
  8. DSB

    Ultimately it’s up to the industry to balance the cost of production. The movie industry certainly hasn’t gotten cheaper over the last 20 years, but somehow you can still get a 10-20 dollar DVD or movie ticket.

    I’m guessing that’s because they’ve put a lot of time and effort into making the backend production more efficient. One artist and a Mac today can do more than twenty artists in a drawing studio 30 years ago.

    Adapt or perish. Come up with a solution. Are you a CANadian or a CAN’Tnadian?

    #8 3 years ago
  9. TheBlackHole

    @2

    You could say the same for movies – they have many times the budget of triple-A games and often make less money. Hasn’t stopped blockbuster movies being funded, has it?

    #9 3 years ago
  10. rotsae

    AAA game is just a fancy way to say rehash of a rehash of a game that was once successful. What we need is innovation, not more COD, Assassin Creed, or Street Fighter. People want something new. Sure they can make a sequel to those games, but how about every 4-5 year, not every single year FFS. What these big studio have are very expensive IP and instead of creating new IP, they decide to milk the existing one to death. And now they are crying out about why not as many people buy their games any more.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Maximum Payne

    @2 There won’t be dramatically increase in cost of development.
    Unless next gen consoles are more harder to develop then ps3, that won’t be an issue.
    Problem for this gen was very huge leep in hardware from single core cpu @ 300mhz to 6 ”cores” cpu.
    So lot of stuff developers will already know how to take advantage of like more ram,better graphic card…

    #11 3 years ago
  12. DSB

    @9 Wishful thinking. The big triple-A franchises are pretty much driving the industry. What’s bringing the average down is largely the copies of those triple-A franchises.

    Darksiders sold half of the last Zelda, Homefront sold a tenth of the last CoD, Resistance sold a fraction of the last Halo, and I’d imagine that Space Marine sold less than a fifth of the last Gears of War.

    The problem isn’t the big franchises, the problem is all the wannabes. Instead of trying to beat them on variety where they actually have a chance, the smaller publishers desperately scramble for one of their own.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Gheritt White

    @ 10: There definitely WILL be an increase in the cost of development. Higher quality art assets simply cost more to produce. Equally, the existing consoles will overlap with the next gen for *at least* two whole years, so in essence you’re gaining two platforms, not replacing two.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Gheritt White

    @11: I agree. What we need is a refined sequel to Mirror’s Edge, perhaps spliced with a bit of Portal – that could be the start of a whole new genre in first-person gaming, IMHO (a la Quantum Conundrum).

    #14 3 years ago
  15. SlayerGT

    I would argue the movie business is a bit more broad reaching the the games industry. Its true more people are playing games then ever. And believe me I don’t want “anything to give” either. But it’s already happening. I hope that remaining devs and pubs can become more efficient. As much as I like the idea of different architecture in the console space, because it produces different looking games, I hope the “similarly built” next Gen consoles with help keep the cost increase to a minimum. And also bring with them tools to make making games easier.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. Dragon246

    I like dinosaurs.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. DSB

    @13 I may well be an optimist on this, but I think all it would take is one dedicated, hands-on, artisan publisher, where the execs dare to make games the main focus, instead of spending most of their time on “monetizing”, “emerging markets” and “services”.

    2K are maybe halfway over in that rut, but they’re not really there.

    The first publisher to go for a slate of creatively driven releases, who throws away the focus groups in favor of their creatives, and which doesn’t put a lot of energy into making their games fit the feature checklist of the last forgettable triple-A, is gonna see a lot of money come in.

    A succes like that is all you need to tip the scales and make everybody else pay attention. Sadly those kinds of games are only made in spite of the industry itself right now.

    It’s not likely to happen any time soon. Nobody’s going to invest in an industry that’s burning out, but it does seem like gamer apathy is finally starting to affect the bottom line, so maybe the industry will weaken itself to the point where the entrepreneurial investors see a challenge in trying to turn it around.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. stealth

    AAA games are only budget related, if they mean budgets are getting smaller sure

    #18 3 years ago
  19. TheWulf

    @4

    Eh. I disagree completely. Some of my all time favourite games have been developed by smaller teams. To the Moon was created by a one-man team, and I would pay for more like that much sooner than I would for any triple-A game. (And I recently saw on here that the next episode to that is coming along. Hooray!)

    Another example of a small team doing better than what triple-A developers do is Bastion. Bastion was the game of that year for quite a lot of people, and there were only seven people working on that title throughout its history, from beginning to end.

    I could go on to mention titles like Trine 2 and Magicka, which were also made by relatively small developers. Both of those are truly fun co-op experiences (for very different reasons). Or how about games like Terraria or Minecraft? Those have been mostly developed by teams of one or two. It’s only Jeb working on Minecraft right now, for example. And some people have played Minecraft more than they’ve ever played anything else.

    Not your flavour? Well, how about Torchlight II, the feisty upstart made by another small dev house (Runic Games) which seems to be the house favourite versus the triple-A Diablo III.

    I could namedrop other things that I’ve loved from over the years, too. Like Nimbus, VVVVVV, Gemini Rue, and so on.

    And you honestly want to tell me that all of these games (none of which are triple-A) are filler?

    #19 3 years ago
  20. Da Man

    Rather, massive teams releasing glitchy trainwrecks are.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. xxJPRACERxx

    @18 Those games you’ve mentioned are nice, but I’ll take an Uncharted or a GTA game over them anytime. And yes, for me, those small games are fillers.

    #21 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare DLC Ascendance has arrived on PC, PlayStation consoles

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare players on PC and PlayStation consoles can now download the Ascendance DLC. The second content pack contains the OHM weapon, the OHM Werewolf custom variant, and the second entry in the Exo Zombies saga, Infection. Four new maps are also included: Perplex, Site 244, Climate, and Chop Shop. Ascendance was […]

  • Latest Xbox 360 system update is live, now supports 2TB hard drives

    Xbox 360 now supports 2TB hard drives via the latest system update for the console. Support for the drives was announced earlier this month and has been available for preview members. “In addition we will also no longer reserve space in advance on your hard drive,” said the firm. “If you are using 16GB of […]

  • Kickstarter for Banjo-Kazooie spiritual successor Yooka-Laylee launches tomorrow

    Playtonic Games has announced the Kickstarter campaign for its spiritual successor to the Banjo Kazooie series, Yooka-Laylee, will launch tomorrow. The title of the game was announced today along with the Kickstarter date. Formerly known as Project Ukulele, the 3D platformer is said to be “between the size of Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie,” and stars Yooka […]

  • Console version of Mistwalker’s Terra Battle is in development

    Now that Mistwalker’s Terra Battle has surpassed 2 million downloads on mobile, the developer is now working on a console version of the tactical RPG. As part of the original Download Starter campaign, the 2 million milestone means the company will begin development on Terra Battle’s console version with details to be announced at a […]

  • Prison break game The Escapists is heading to PlayStation 4 from May 29

    The Escapists, Mouldy Toof’s prison break game originally released as a timed console exclusive Xbox One, has a release date for PlayStation 4. For those unfamiliar with the title, which is also a PC release, it tasks players’ time management skills as they do a bit of digging and crafting, and other prison-type stuff as […]

  • Dead Island 2 delayed into 2016 to ensure series is “taken to the next level”

    Dead Island 2 has been delayed into 2016 by Yager in order to ensure the sequel “takes Dead Island to the next level.” According to a tweet from the developer, it set “big goal” for the game, and in order to deliver what fans expect, the team needs more time to reach development goals. “We […]

  • Project Cars: here’s a list of all available cars at launch

    Project Cars will contain many, many cars and if we are counting correctly, there will be 74 total at launch. The standard edition contains 65 total, and when factoring the free car as well as the Modified and Limited Edition cars packs, you can add an additional nine cars to the mix. Comb through the […]

  • Competitive matchmaking support is coming to Team Fortress 2

    Team Fortress 2 will soon feature support for competitive matchmaking, which Valve says is a “high priority” project for it at the moment. According to a report from TeamFortress.tv, which visited Valve headquarters recently, Valve is looking into the possibility of 6v6 or 9v9 matches 9v9, a possible quick play option and it is also […]

  • GTA 5 PC patch fixes garage, Job crashes – full notes here

    Rockstar has pushed out a 353 MB patch for GTA 5 on PC The patch fixes a number of annoying bugs related to vehicles and garages, some deathmatch issues and purchase errors. It should also fix various freezing and crashing bugs, as well as a little issue with Steam. Time will tell if the patch […]

  • Fire Emblem If will come in White Kingdom and Black Kingdom versions with amiibo support

    We’ve finally got some juicy details on the next Fire Emblem game, but the most interesting aspect is that there will be two versions of the game. According to Siliconera, who translated an interview between Intelligent Systems and 4Gamer, there will a White Kingdom and a Black Kingdom version that offer different aspects of the […]

  • Deception 4: The Nightmare Princess heads west with “Golden Toilet” pre-order bonus

    Deception 4: The Nightmare Princess will debut on western PlayStation 4 systems this summer, Koei Tecmo has announced. It is also coming to PS3 and Vita. The game was produced by Keisuke Kikuchi of Fatal Frame fame and takes up where Deception 4: Blood Ties left off allowing players to relive Laegrinna’s pursuit to free […]

  • Nintendo US eShop update: Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario demo, Paper Mario, more

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with a demo of Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition, Paper Mario on Virtual Console, and amiibo Tap. The full update is below. eShop update amiibo Tap – free – Wii U Star Wars Pinball DLC – Wii U Paper Mario – Wii U […]

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided PC port handed off to Nixxes

    The PC port of the new Deus Ex has been handed over to Netherlands based studio, Nixxes software. After the initial reveal trailer at the beginning of April, we’ve only had a few morsels in the way of additional news. The most intriguing tidbit to date has got to be the fact that you’ll be […]

  • First-ever PC Gaming Show to take place at E3 2015 in June

    PC gaming will finally have its very own E3 press conference this year, thanks to PC Gamer and AMD. The PC Gaming Show will take place on June 16 at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles and it will be livestreamed on Twitch. PC Gamer said speakers at the presentation will include representatives from Blizzard, […]

  • Majora’s Mask light available now on Club Nintendo for 6000 stars

    Club Nintendo shuts up shop on September 30 and members are being encouraged to spend accumulated stars before then. And what better to spend them on, than this adorable Majora’s Mask light? If you’re a member based in Europe you can nab it for 6000 stars. If you’re in Australia or New Zealand, it’ll only […]

  • Unity support announced for HoloLens, will work with Windows universal apps

    Microsoft is partnering with game engine developers Unity in order to make HoloLens compatible with apps and games which use the cross-platform engine. The partnership was announced yesterday during its Build Developer Conference. Universal apps for Windows 10 systems will also be available on Xbox One later this year, suggesting possible HoloLens functionality with the […]

  • Splatoon Nintendo Direct airs Thursday, May 7

    A Nintendo Direct focused on Splatoon, the Wii U multiplayer title, on May 7. It will kick off at 7am PDT/10am EDT/3pm UK and it can be watched via the Nintendo Direct website. You can also have a look at the game through Nintendo’s Twitch channel. The last game-specific presentation took place last week and […]

  • GTA 5 PC: clean up the streets as a member of the San Andreas PD with this new mod

    Remember the awesome mods for GTA 4 and San Andreas that let you run amok online as a member of the po-po? Well, dust off your taser and load up your gun, because it’s coming to GTA 5. The new mod for GTA 5 is currently in alpha and can be downloaded at palmbeachgames.com. You […]

  • Indie shoot ‘em up Project Root comes to Xbox One, PS4 and PSVita

    Project Root is a self-proclaimed rejig of the shoot ‘em up genre that was released on PC last year, and it’s finally coming to consoles. Combining free-roaming elements with the usual business of shooting things, Project Root was released this week for Xbox One, PS4 and the PSVita.

  • You can now bet on eSports online, starting with League of Legends

    If you’re getting bored with sticking a pony on the races, you can expand your gambling horizons at Unikrn where you can watch esports streams and get a little action on the side. The new platform was set up by Rahul Sood – previously the general manager of Microsoft Ventures. At the moment, customers are […]

  • Has Watch Dogs 2 been leaked?

    Ubisoft employee, Julien Risse, may have inadvertently confirmed Watch Dogs 2, thanks to his online CV over at LinkedIn. Videogamer.com spotted the slip up, in which Risse lists Watch Dogs, the DLC Bad Blood, and Watch Dogs 2 on his profile. Creative Director Jonathan Morin has already talked about his ideas for improvements for the […]

  • GTA 5′s Trevor makes his Jackass debut, complete with leopard-print knickers

    YouTuber Abstract Mode has shared his vision of what Trevor Philips’ life might have been like, had he not been completely batshit crazy. Watch Trevor get mauled, run over, and hit by a train, before taking a majestic swan-dive into someone else’s pool at the climax. Thanks, Kotaku.

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 season pass will cost you £35

    Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 isn’t released until November 6, but you can already hand over your cash for the Season Pass. The Season Pass is available for pre-purchase on Steam for £34.99, and will cover four DLC packs – although the details we have on the content are limited to ‘exciting’ at this […]

  • GTA Online’s cheating assholes are no match for this player’s vengeance

    Think you’re smart for using invisibility and infinite ammo glitches? You need to be taught a lesson, sucker. You can have all the hacks you want but if your GTA Online game is weak, you’ll still get your ass handed to you. As this fool discovered when attempting to hassle another player. There’s a fair […]

  • PS4 sales help Sony’s games division swing to profit

    Sony’s PlayStation business has made an operating profit of 48.1 billion yen ($404m / £261.5m) in the past 12 months. That’s thanks to stellar sales of the PlayStation 4 and PS Plus, even as sales of the PS3 have stalled and the company wrote off costs for the PSTV and PS Vita. The profit puts […]

  • New patch for Dirt Rally gives co-driver’s attitude a tune-up

    Dirt Rally gets a new patch three days after release on Steam. On Monday, we reported that the newest Dirt game has popped up on Steam’s Early Access and is available to pick up for £24.99, as well as giving you an eyeful of tasty screenshots. The patch – released yesterday – fixes some issues […]

  • New The Witcher 3 screenshots show combat, exploration and general carousing

    New screenshots released on the official facebook page for The Witcher 3 show Geralt annihilating a winged beast, out and about in the world exploring, and living the life of Reily amidst a bustling feast. We were already treated to some glorious screenshots a few days ago, but these new ones are in-game and give […]

  • Destiny: 14 things you might have missed during House of Wolves intel drops

    Destiny: House of Wolves does a great deal more than just slap some new content on the existing game structure. House of Wolves changes Destiny in a lot of interesting and very welcome ways. Bungie showed off many of these changes in its livestream, and let both me and Arekkz come and have a look […]

  • Scratch that cyberpunk itch with Technobabylon on May 21 – new trailer

    Technobabylon more like Wrecked-yo-babbling with my smooth flow about how good Wadjet Eye games are. I don’t know y’all, it’s clock off time and everything feels like a reach. Wadjet Eye makes pretty good adventure games – award winning, in fact. The latest project to spring forth from the benevolent, sheltering hand of the label […]

  • Skullgirls 2nd Encore brings exclusive new features to PS4, Vita in northern summer

    Skullgirls, the little indie fighter that could, is getting another crack at it. Skullgirls 2nd Encore is the second re-release of the one-time troubled 2D versus fighter from lab Zero Games. Having survived the shut down of its developer and collapse of its publishing contrast, Skullgirls re-emerged as Skullgirls: Encore, adding in a ton of […]

  • Danganronpa series generates “impressive” sales for Vita exclusive

    Danganronpa is selling quite nicely, thank you, says NIS America. Danganronpa is a series of murder mystery visual novel puzzlers in a similar vein to games like 999. Two of these have been released for Vita in the west – Trigger Happy Havoc and Goodbye Despair. Speaking to MCV, NIS America CEO and president Takuro […]

  • I have no idea what is going on in J-Stars Victory VS+ but I kind of like it

    In this J-Stars Victory VS+ trailer, we see – uhh. Well. We certainly see some things. Look y’all, I was a massive weaboo in high school, but that was back in the dark ages when we had to take out Manga Entertainment VHS tapes from dingy little specialist rental joints that were literally underground, and […]

  • Please just watch this terrific trailer for Toren

    Toren is the kind of game I dream about when I drift off to sleep at night. This indie puzzle adventure strikes a spark in my little soul in the same way as Ico and Tequila Works’ Rime do. Mysterious, almost ethereal fantasy setting – check. Chance to actually walk around in that setting – […]