Ryan Wilson

Ryan Rants: AAA Sequels

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Sure, they might call themselves “AAA titles”, but they aren’t fooling anyone.

The following article is the writer’s opinion. It does not portray the opinions of WatchPlayRead as a whole

As much as it doesn’t look like it, these so-called AAA titles happen multiple times in a year. A big name publisher throws millions upon millions of dollars at a franchise, publicizes the hell out of it, and is guaranteed at least an 8.0 from all the major publishers. So, what’s my problem with AAA? Well, think of this in terms of eggs. In order for an egg to be considered “AA”, it has to reach a certain level of quality, and thus earns its higher price, while the “B” grade eggs are flawed and intended for mass consumption. In the game industry, the grade only seems to correspond with the price.

As for quality, I really don’t see it in AAA titles. These are the games meant for mass consumption, as they don’t take any risks with their already tired formulas. This likely directly correlates with the fact that most of these games are sequels. I guess you could say that when you are guaranteed to make all your money back plus a good profit, most of these companies think “why change perfection?”. But that’s the thing. These games aren’t perfection, they’re incredibly stale and tired.

Bioware, I feel, is a AAA company doing it (somewhat) right. For this example, let’s use the controversial Dragon Age II. The first Dragon Age was incredibly successful, even if it was no more than a “spiritual successor” to Baldur’s Gate. The game did so well, that it spawned not only expansions and a standalone prequel, but got the greenlight for a sequel. So what did Bioware do for its highly anticipated sequel? Well, they through out the entire tried and true formula for Western RPGs and tried something completely new with everything. Guess what? The mass consumption crowd hated it. They felt betrayed by the company, some even downright boycotting any future titles, but they never gave up trying new things with their franchises, most recently Mass Effect. While I might disagree with some of the choices the company has made (an action-heavy Mass Effect 3? Really?), I have nothing but respect for them stirring up the pot.

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