The popularity of emerging business models and free-to-play has significantly reduced the scope for full-price triple-A success in the modern games market.
That's the opinion of Ubisoft's Toronto Studio boss Jade Raymond, who believes that while the sector has reduced in size there is still scope for success in more traditional markets.
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,” she told The Guardian.
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.”
Part of this, of course, is due to the rise of free-to-play gaming and the resultant changes of consumer expectations.
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,” Raymond added. 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.”