The creative director of Just Cause 3 developer Avalanche has predicted fewer triple-A game releases in the future.
That’s not to say that triple-A is going away, of course – despite the booming development costs and seemingly shrinking market.
"I don’t think big-budget games are going away,” Stefan Ljungqvist told Gamasutra. There’s going to be less of them. But that’s a good thing, because maybe we don’t need forty first-person shooters. I don’t want to play them all [laughs], but maybe we need one, two or three.
"What I like now is that there are more opportunities to be creative. Maybe over the course of the past five years, developers have pitched creative or more artistic games, but publishers had been more careful of betting a lot on those games, because they’re associated with some risk. But maybe now they can [take more risks] because they need to be more unique in the marketplace."
What the term triple-A means, of course, is open to debate. Is Just Cause 3 triple-A? Surely yes. The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct? Hmmm. Journey? You may scoff, but for an indie game it certainly had plenty of money put it into it as the support of a platform holder.
"It seems that everyone has a different definition of what triple-A is," studio co-founder Christofer Sundberg added. "I think if you’re a big publisher, triple-A is associated with big budgets and huge risks. But I see triple-A as a stamp of quality.
"We don’t have to develop, bigger more expensive games. We don’t have to hire more people or have bigger teams. We just want to make better games.”