Former Silicon Knights boss Denis Dyack has compared the games market of today to the 1920s movie industry, in which filmmakers had a tough time making a return on investment through their productions. In today’s world of spiralling game costs and lay-offs he certainly has a point.
Speaking with GameSpot, Dyack said, “AAA is not fine. I think our industry now is in a position exactly where Hollywood was in the early ’20s – the golden era of films. Making movies like Cleopatra or Ben Hur where everyone was employed and they had thousands of staff. And they made fantastic movies; those were great movies; I still watch them today; they’re amazing. But studios looked at it and said, ‘We’re not making money. This is not working.'”
“And then those [film] studios didn’t disappear; and it’s not to say that it’s going to be over for EA or any of the studios. They’re still going to be around. I don’t think anyone should kid themselves about that.”
“But what did happen is they changed the way they worked and it went more towards the model that we have. Which I would call…a micro-studio or a very focused studio that grows and expands but are not employees of this one group, where it’s basically not internal development. It’s much more efficient that way. I think that’s where AAA may go, or at least game development can go.”
We’re seeing a lot of what Dyack calls ‘micro-studios’ reaching prominence these days. Just look at the likes of Double Fine, Thatgamecompany, Mojang, Zombie Studios, and other indie or small operations reaching great success in both artistic merit and monetary returns.
What do you make of Dyack’s opinion? Do business models need to shift for the triple-a studios to make financial gain easier to attain, or are big budgets now so engrained they won’t be able to shake them off?
Let us know below.