The AAA game business is “not healthy”

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Unhealthy

The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are here to revitalise the games industry and make games publishing a profitable business again, right? Not so fast. Avalanche, the guys behind just Cause 2 and the very cool, as yet unreleased Mad Max think the industry is in serious trouble.

"It’s really not healthy at the moment," Avalanche boss Christofer Sundberg told Gamespot when asked about the state of gaming. "Games have evolved, technology has evolved but as businesses we’re still stuck where we were 15 years ago. As budgets grow, risks increase."

"The publishers are nervous because they have to project a game being a massive hit three years into the future and the developers are frustrated because they need to be flexible to every move the publishers make," Sundberg added. "It’s impossible to make everyone happy in the current equation."

The unfortunate reality of it is that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for big games, with their big budgets to actually make money. Not all games are GTA V or Call of Duty.

"Very few traditional $60 games make any money, and what used to make sense doesn’t any more," he said. "Publishers and developers very rarely see a return of investment from a 5-8 hour long game."

It’s one of the reasons, at least, that we’re seeing more games saddled with microtansactions, and why we’re seeing more and more larger developers start up their own indie studios where they’re afforded the opportunity to take a few more risks and be more creative in a risk-averse industry.

Last Updated: February 5, 2014

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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