Cliff Blezsinski - the man behind the behemoth (some would say Epic) Gears of War series and three-time winner of the ‘Most Awkward Last Name’ award - claims that the ‘double-A’ game is dead. He goes on to state that the games of the future will either be ridiculously overblown blockbusters like Activision’s recent Call of Duty efforts, or whimsical indie games created by developers with small budgets.
Before I continue ranting, I should probably define what a ‘triple-A’ title is. A triple-A title is: a game which sells well; a game which reviews well; a game which helps to shift consoles. Examples of triple-A titles include the Call of Duty series, the Halo series, and, yes, Blezsinski’s own Gears of War series.
However, just because a game sells well and shifts a pleasing amount of consoles for a particular company doesn’t mean it’s instantly worthy of your money. Activision has pocketed a disgusting amount of money from its Call of Duty series, yet it has become as fashionable to mock Black Ops in gaming culture as it has to mock Justin Bieber in…well, any culture. I’d rather buy Activision’s Singularity - by no means a triple-A title - than any entry in the blockbuster series the publisher is known for.
So, what say you? Would you be content playing big dumb blockbuster epics, or low-budget indie games with interesting ideas but little means to convey them? I think that would be a very miserable existence. The gaming market is, literally, staying afloat on the ‘middle class’ games Cliff Blezsinski obviously holds so much disdain for. A triple-A game is truly something special, but a triple-A game isn’t able to push the creative boundaries in the same way a double-A or even single-A game can.