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Jade Raymond: games industry still has room for “really great triple-A games”

Monday, 25th March 2013 14:48 GMT By Dave Cook

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.

Thanks MCV.

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16 Comments

  1. Dragon246

    Agreed.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. mreko3230

    See how positive that all sounds when you leave out the word “microtransactions”?

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Erthazus

    Resident Evil 6 showed that tripple A games are just games without any soul.
    big budget and 500 people developing a game just hurts it.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. YoungZer0

    “That’s why instead of creating a whole new franchise about pirates, we simply put the name Assassin’s Creed on it.”

    #4 1 year ago
  5. DSB

    The problem is that executives who have no clue are “picking the winners” instead of relying on creatives that actually know what they’re doing.

    As a result you’re getting the kind of concept that’ll look good to a bunch of suits in a powerpoint presentation, instead of a truly great experience.

    Other than that, wow. Ubisoft are really getting their money’s worth with this one. Truly great products sell well? Nofrickenway Jade!

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Erthazus

    Indie development is also not a solution.

    In my opinion indie-independent studio with 25-100 people is the best for the industry. Look at Valve (studios that makes games), Epic Games, Kojima Productions (They are with Konami, but i’m talking about studio’s culture. It’s independent from a publisher), Bohemia Interactive and others. They are doing good.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. YoungZer0

    “indie-independent studio”? So an Independent-Independent Studio?

    #7 1 year ago
  8. viralshag

    You know what they say: two independents are better than one…

    #8 1 year ago
  9. theevilaires

    and Playboy still has room for her to do a spread in their magazine. This woman is hot! When she speaks I listen :D

    #9 1 year ago
  10. KrazyKraut

    @9
    it was so nice to see eight comments without making the woman a sex object. Well done, you fucked it up.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. viralshag

    @10, To be fair he is only voicing what most of us are probably thinking.

    I guess the difference is he actually said it. ;)

    #11 1 year ago
  12. theevilaires

    @10. Hey I can’t help it shes the hottest chic in the gaming industry. Shes more than a sex object to me trust me. I have a lot of respect for the woman. I didn’t say she had to be nude in the spread ;)

    @11. Thank you :) Now if you don’t mind I’d like to get back to my fantasy of making love to this woman on a bed of 1 million dollars.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. zinc

    If Jade has never dressed up as Jack Nicholson’s Joker for Halloween, she really needs to reconsider her life choices.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. osric90

    Do you also have a micro heart attack when you hear her name or look one of her pictures?

    Anyway, I think quality in videogames has already demonstrated how much big budgets can do. What I think is lacking (with some really amazing exceptions) is character development and innovative storytelling. I wish one day people around, everywhere, say “Hey, I want to be a videogame producer”, “I want to be a videogame casting director”, “I want to be a videogame dialogue writer”, “A videogame director”, “A videogame actor, including voice acting and mocap…”

    Just my thoughts.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. TheWulf

    Indie is fine. It just needs funding, and that’s where elements like KickStarter come in. A good round of funding can allow an indie team to increase from 5 to 25, 30, or more. I see independent games as being reminiscent of ’90s game development, where smaller teams (around 20-25 people) made games without any outside help. That was something of a golden age.

    I can see indie going a lot further than triple-A, to be honest. What you have to look at is every year they’re paying out more and more to make these triple-A games, and yet every year they’re making less and less sales. I believe that this is because the majority has triple-A fatigue, they’re looking for unique experiences now made by more passionate people, rather than the soulless efforts of big publishers.

    Me? I’d rather put down a good sum of money on something like this rather than buying two triple-A games. As that’s where I believe my money is better spent. Personally I’m just really fed up of triple-A stuff right now, and there’s very little of it which is actually good.

    Plus, another problem with triple-A is that it’s teaching people to have no imagination or creativity whatsoever. That’s not a good thing. If big publisher stuff continues to do that, then the gaming community is only going to become better and better — at being uncultured troglodytes.

    So I’m really not a fan of the mainstream. Very rarely will something from it catch my eye. This is why I don’t buy very many non-indie games, I’m incredibly picky.

    I’m expecting that the next generation is going to cost so much for production that most publishers will just implode, anyway.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. Kabby

    Triple A development used to be indie. The cycle will just continue. Today’s Anakin is tomorrows Vader.

    #16 1 year ago

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