Epic Games‘ Designer Cliff Bleszinski thinks that the gaming world might want to start considering the possibility that it will enjoy a smaller quantity of triple-A gaming experiences during the next console generation.
In speaking with OXM, as reported by CVG, Bleszinksi indicated that financial risk will play a huge factor in whether or not big blockbusters will get the funding they need. Here he is on the future of triple-A gaming:
The six-to-eight hour triple-A game might be going away, maybe there’s only three or four that come out a year, and those are the established brands…
The key is to bet on people who understand technology, but also understand creative and business. Too many games are made just because somebody says, “A bullfighting game sounds cool!” And you’re like, “That would only play in Spain.”
People just get these random things they want to make, and other people throw money at them without looking at the business…We need not only to be creative but also to be surgical in terms of the games we make.
That’s where, as far as I’m concerned, games in the digital marketplaces on each platform step up to the plate. Digital distribution makes it much easer, and much less expensive, for publishers and developers to get inventive games out to potential consumers. While it may be too risky to release a whacky game idea in disc format, a downloadable version sold on Steam, XBLA or PSN is cheap enough to happen.
Thanks to bigger storage capacities and better online connectivity, gamers may actually see some big blockbusters only release on the digital marketplaces during the next console generation. That would save publishers a ton of money.
Bleszinski is definitely right about one thing: developers do need to be “surgical” with the games they make. Publishers are typically only willing to throw tons of money at physical releases of guaranteed blockbuster successes. Studios know that, and they have to make their games fit that mold.
So, what do you think, will we see less in the way of triple-A games during the next console generation? Or, will the industry continue to grow and boom in a way that guarantees big gaming experiences are permanent?