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Where's the triple A?

03-04-2016, 09:59 PM
#1
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 5
Where's the triple A?

Between the astronomical amount of money to be made with free to play and the power of iOS devices increasing yearly, I've been wondering where are triple A developers at?

I understand the scenario; why develop a genuine console equivalent when 2D clash clones bank just as much revenue, but there must be some limit to be reached, where clones are no longer cash grabs, and iOS devices have become more capable of console-like graphical fidelity.

I honestly would be OK with a f2p economy in a genuine triple A game; Team Fortress anyone? But there's no one stepping up to the plate. Gameloft dropped off, Glu games are garbage, I opine. Ubisoft let me down completely with Assasins Creed which I guarantee will soon be f2p.

TLDR; Would you be interested in AAA f2p games?
03-04-2016, 10:25 PM
#2
Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Philippines
Posts: 22,193
I wouldnt consider F2P games AAA at all. But that's just me.

03-05-2016, 04:43 AM
#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikilix2 View Post
Between the astronomical amount of money to be made with free to play and the power of iOS devices increasing yearly, I've been wondering where are triple A developers at?

I understand the scenario; why develop a genuine console equivalent when 2D clash clones bank just as much revenue, but there must be some limit to be reached, where clones are no longer cash grabs, and iOS devices have become more capable of console-like graphical fidelity.

I honestly would be OK with a f2p economy in a genuine triple A game; Team Fortress anyone? But there's no one stepping up to the plate. Gameloft dropped off, Glu games are garbage, I opine. Ubisoft let me down completely with Assasins Creed which I guarantee will soon be f2p.

TLDR; Would you be interested in AAA f2p games?
No. What I'd like is for people to put their money where their mouth is and stop saying things like 5$ is a steep price for a premium game.

By the way, don't know how it is on other stores, but here AC has been #1 on paid apps since launch. May I ask you why that game "let you down completely"?
03-05-2016, 08:47 AM
#4
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warriv View Post
No. What I'd like is for people to put their money where their mouth is and stop saying things like 5$ is a steep price for a premium game.

By the way, don't know how it is on other stores, but here AC has been #1 on paid apps since launch. May I ask you why that game "let you down completely"?
Id love to see premium happen; Crashlands should've gone for $10 or $15, but they made a smart decision I suppose. The AppStore ecosystem has already been flooded with decent f2p & .99$ games; relatively speaking, $10 is steep on the AppStore.

Also, AC is essentially a watered down version, little story; wonky controls, just loosely connected missions with small non open world areas; they've completely dropped the ball in my opinion.

The PSP version is marginally better & the Vitas version is exceedingly better; with a true story & open world gameplay. Why didn't they port these versions to iOS? Fairly hard to juxtapose a dual currency system & optional iAP into a standard $30 handheld game.
03-05-2016, 12:09 PM
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikilix2 View Post
Id love to see premium happen; Crashlands should've gone for $10 or $15, but they made a smart decision I suppose. The AppStore ecosystem has already been flooded with decent f2p & .99$ games; relatively speaking, $10 is steep on the AppStore.

Also, AC is essentially a watered down version, little story; wonky controls, just loosely connected missions with small non open world areas; they've completely dropped the ball in my opinion.

The PSP version is marginally better & the Vitas version is exceedingly better; with a true story & open world gameplay. Why didn't they port these versions to iOS? Fairly hard to juxtapose a dual currency system & optional iAP into a standard $30 handheld game.
Agreed on Crashlands, 5$ but for so much content is almost ridiculous. I understand that's the App Store ecosystem, as you say, but it just doesn't translate to real life. I guess the issue is most people still don't think of their device as a proper gaming system, and as such are unwilling to part with their money, but that'll have to change someday.

I understand what you mean about AC, my first impression of the game was similar, but it has since grown on me. You're an assassin, you do contracts, you grow in skill, and that's basically it, but I'm having so much fun playing I don't even care about the lack of story.

The balance is a bit off, though, and I very much doubt they'll make much money from IAP's in the current state of the game, since you can basically get 10$ worth of coins in three or four missions. Unless they can figure out some other way to cash on it, I guess it's possible the game goes f2p sometime, but they'll probably release the second campaign before that.

I must add, I've only really played the first AC, which, besides the story and open world, is actually more limited than Identity, since all you do there is kill targets, over and over. I'd love them to port those games you're talking about, I guess if enough people buy this iteration, maybe they'll realize there is a market for them.
03-05-2016, 12:34 PM
#6
Joined: Feb 1983
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 1,268,692
Honestly, the ship has sailed on paid "AAA" stuff. We live in a world where there is a complete excess of choice when it comes to mobile games. I promise everyone here on TouchArcade at this point has amassed so many games that there's titles on your iOS device right now that you haven't even opened, or if you have opened them, you haven't done more than play for a few seconds.

The paid stuff that has "succeeded" in recent years have been extreme exceptions, and not solid examples of what anyone can or should be doing. Crashlands worked because it was a team of three guys who had the luxury of insanely low overheads working out of St. Louis, an incredible cancer-laden story behind the game, and strong featuring across every major platform on launch day. Monument Valley is another example people often point to, but, again, that's a spinoff project of an actual real multi-national multi-million dollar design firm who can afford to toss a couple hundred thousand dollars at a project to make something cool, with no real concern as to whether or not it sees a return. Minecraft, is, well, Minecraft, and the Infinity Blade series was largely bankrolled by Epic as a flagship product to drive interest in what the Unreal Engine is capable of.

Taking a bucket of money and saying, "I'm going to make a game like Minecraft" is about as wise of an investment as taking that same bucket of cash to the gas station to buy scratch off lottery tickets. Is it possible you could catch lightning in a bottle in either situation? Sure, anything is possible... But is that something you'd stake your future on? People often flippantly respond to questions like that with, "Of course I would, I'd make a great game and people would buy it," without realizing the ramifications of the nearly inevitable failure with the odds stacked up against you.

If you own a game studio, you've either got a ton of your own money (So, think your kids' college education fund, your retirement, etc. on the line) or you've taken loans or some other sort of agreement where you're at least vaguely liable for that money on whatever level you were able to get away with. From there, you've got a company filled with people who are depending on you for things like health insurance, money to pay their mortgage, feed their families, and things like that. If your game fails, those dominos all come falling down which will have significant impacts on your own life as well as the lives of the people who are depending on you from your family to your employees and everyone who depends on them.

...Alternatively, you could look at the market intelligently, and see what clear-cut trends exist and work towards what has been proven to make money, which then translates into a sustainable studio, your life potentially not being ruined, and employees who can keep on rockin'... Which is why you see so many highly derivative free to play games, because you can actually have a sustainable company off a title like that. The market has spoken loudly that that's what they want. It's not just a mobile thing either, as we posted yesterday, the console world is being similarly hit by people voting with their wallets on literally hundreds of millions of dollars worth of microtransactions in any EA game that has them.

I'd like to think the market will correct eventually, but right now, as far as big, blown out, huge-budget AAA stuff is concerned, no one on any platform is looking at premium pay-once games anymore. It's not a winning bet for anyone who isn't into high-stakes gambling... And, well, those people are spending their money on poker tournaments and similar, not making video games.
03-05-2016, 01:54 PM
#7
Well, damn... That's thread over right there, Eli. You're right, of course, but won't people (or at least gamers) just eventually tire of f2p, and start looking more and more for premium experiences? I mean, that's what drove me to TA, and it opened a whole new world for me.

Before that, I had no idea there were "real games" on iOS. I'm guessing, hoping, that's the state most gamers who own a mobile device are currently in. The AppStore is such a scary place, it's outright impossible to find anything there without proper help. Also, this is such a young industry, I'd wager most people understand nothing at all about it. To illustrate this, most reviews on the Portuguese AppStore are actually written in English, because people have no idea there is a localized store for each country.

So, while I understand there's not much choice for devs who want to have their game be profitable (heresy), maybe, just maybe, as people get more familiar with their device and its potential, that'll gradually change?

That article about EA's profits is outright scary, of course, and it alone could prove me wrong, but I must believe there'll always be a market for games as we know them. Even if they must include optional IAPs. "Optional" being key here.
03-05-2016, 03:19 PM
#8
Joined: Feb 1983
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 1,268,692
Honestly I think games like Hearthstone, Clash Royale, League of Legends, World of Tanks, and others have shown it's that it's totally possible to make a great, high-budget, well maintained, totally core-gamer AAA "real game" game and still have it be free to play. Just because the way you pay for it might be changing doesn't mean those experiences are going to go away- That's what always gets mixed up in these discussions.
03-05-2016, 04:02 PM
#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eli View Post
Honestly I think games like Hearthstone, Clash Royale, League of Legends, World of Tanks, and others have shown it's that it's totally possible to make a great, high-budget, well maintained, totally core-gamer AAA "real game" game and still have it be free to play. Just because the way you pay for it might be changing doesn't mean those experiences are going to go away- That's what always gets mixed up in these discussions.
I knew I'd regret that "real games" commentary, but aren't those the exceptions ? Hearthstone was clearly crafted with love, and they never expected it to be such a hit. It's actually curious, how a side-project wound up having a lot more soul than a big project like Diablo 3.

I noticed you only mentioned multiplayer games, though. Do you believe developers will be able to provide enthralling, free to play, single-player experiences in the future? And how would that work? How would one pay for that, if not with an upfront price (or a full game unlock iap)?

I don't mind f2p when done right, but there aren't many games that fit the bill, if you discard multiplayer games, auto-runners, and stuff like that.

I get it though, I belong to a tiny minority that uses his device as his only gaming system, and as such is willing to pay full price for a premium experience. All I'm saying is it is possible there will be more of us in the future, and that that could change the market.
03-05-2016, 05:30 PM
#10
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 809
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warriv View Post
I knew I'd regret that "real games" commentary, but aren't those the exceptions ? Hearthstone was clearly crafted with love, and they never expected it to be such a hit. It's actually curious, how a side-project wound up having a lot more soul than a big project like Diablo 3.

I noticed you only mentioned multiplayer games, though. Do you believe developers will be able to provide enthralling, free to play, single-player experiences in the future? And how would that work? How would one pay for that, if not with an upfront price (or a full game unlock iap)?

I don't mind f2p when done right, but there aren't many games that fit the bill, if you discard multiplayer games, auto-runners, and stuff like that.

I get it though, I belong to a tiny minority that uses his device as his only gaming system, and as such is willing to pay full price for a premium experience. All I'm saying is it is possible there will be more of us in the future, and that that could change the market.
It's plain impossible for single player,it has been proven.People are not idiotic enough to spend thousands of cash just to beat certain boss in the game,unlike in MMOS where they feel "competetition" , the feeling that they have destroyed somebody's castle or other stuff like that.While MMOs are better as f2p games,single player games are not.
So premium games are not going anywhere cause these are single player games and people can't live without them,so...