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AC3 dev: We're the last of the AAA dinosaurs
 AC3  dev: We're the last of the AAA dinosaurs
September 5, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

"We're the last of the dinosaurs."
- Assassin's Creed 3 creative director Alex Hutchinson argues that triple-A games with massive development teams are a dying breed in today's industry.

"We're still the monster triple-A game with very large teams [and] multiple studios helping out on different bits," said Hutchinson in an interview with Edge Magazine. "There are fewer and fewer of these games being made, especially as the middle has fallen out."

Ubisoft has dedicated seven internal studios toward Assassin's Creed 3's development, as well as twice the production capacity of any previous title from the publisher. It's rare to see any publisher devote those kind of resources to anything but the biggest tentpole releases nowadays.

Hutchinson's statements echo many others' belief that the game industry is becoming more and more polarized, with publishers working on fewer medium-budget games and many developers shifting their focus to smaller projects.

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Christer Kaitila
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Same thing happened to movies in the "epic movie" era waay back in the day. Each new media artform goes ballistic fighting an arms race via budget until the bubble bursts. Good news: a focus on fun/emotion/plot/quality over pure spectacle is what replaces this.

Silvio Carrera
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You sir. Said it all!

Joe Morton
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Re: your conclusion, I wish that were the case. In fact what happens - as evidenced by the current gaming landscape - is that people just flounder around in other media, and everything regresses.

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Christian Nutt
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I miss the middle.

Evan Combs
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I don't know what middle you are talking about. I do know of a different middle that exists on channels such as XBLA and PSN.

Max McRae
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I don't!

Because I have Nintendo. :>
Really, though. DS, 3DS and Wii have been great "middle" systems. XBLA and PSN have some awesome "middle" games as well. They're out there. You just need to look for them.

Lalleve Julien
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Same here, I miss when "AAA" where made by twenty persons. Low quality expectations due to hardware limitations enabled variety, personnality, risks.

Dennis Crow
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I'm proud to be a dinosaur!

marty howe
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AAA will be here forever Alex (because consumers want it )

Don't you?

The key is to make AAA games at lower cost, more efficient team sizes, efficient development processes, no dead weight etc. High costs and multiple studios to make a game is just absurd.

Ted Brown
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I miss the rumble of dinosaur herds, myself. Tiny games on my iPhone and simplistic, toon-shaded indie games on my PC are all well and good, but the absolute immersion offered by the AAA experience -- both in development and play -- is an intoxicating brew I'm sad to have sworn off.

Adam Romney
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I would like to see a break down of the work done by different teams and how long it takes them to accomplish it from Ubisoft or any other AAA dev. It's easy to call the size of this organizational setup absurd, ridiculous, unacceptable, etc if you don't know how the work is being done. It sounds like a lot but I have no frame of reference. This is also curious because this is the 4th (or 5th?) iteration on a series. I thought sequels were supposed to be easier because you're borrowing knowledge/assets from previous releases?

James Hofmann
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We built this city on rock and roll...

David Blalock
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I like to think there's plenty of space for development between the tiny 1-2 person indie teams and the multi-million dollar behemoths with teams numbering in the hundreds. That being said, I haven't seen a huge influx of names in that space lately, and I personally don't believe it's because the market doesn't exist. I can't believe I'm alone in wanting more offerings in the $20-$30 USD range, especially if the focus is on gameplay over hyper-realistic graphics.

Cody Scott
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could it be that we are on the verge of a new console generation, so no one is dropping money on something that will be discounted to $10 or lower within the next 2 years?