Ubisoft Toronto head Jade Raymond has stated that although free-to-play, mobile, mid-tier and lower cost games are broadening the market significantly, there is still in the industry room for the $60 big-budget, triple-a experience.
Speaking with The Guardian, Raymond said, “I think there’s still room for really great triple-A games that can, despite the budget, retain the classic model of expecting people to pay in one big chunk. There’s still room for that.
“But the big publishers have to be honest with themselves – there’s only room for let’s say ten successful titles a year on those sorts of budgets. So you have to go all-in on those; you have to be sure you’ll have a hit, and when you make it you have to invest everything to make sure it’s amazing.”
This year we’ve seen Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 sales drop-off quicker than previous instalments, several big-budget IP from format holders such as PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale have flopped financially, considering the production cost involved.
These games can still exist and succeed, argued Raymond, but developers and respective publishers need to play it smart. Part of the challenge comes with new payment models and lower cost on PC, Mac, mobile and other digital store-fronts.
Raymond concluded, “The audience for games is becoming broader and even core gamers who are used to buying games in boxes,are spending more of their time on mobile. So whether it’s long term gamers or the new generation who started out by playing free games on the web or mobile, we have a whole bunch of people who’ve been trained to think differently about the way they spend money on games.
“There’s an expectation to be able to try for free, and only spend money if they want to. We have to figure out how to make that type of thing work with console games as well.”
Do you think the era of triple-a blockbusters is starting to waver slightly, or is the industry merely in a state of flux as next-gen approaches? Let us know below.