Naughty Dog Founder: Triple-A Game Model “Not Quite Working”

Posted by on Wednesday, 4th August, 2010

NaughtyDog founder Jason Rubin weighed in recently on the future of the industry, and in particular the viability of tremendously-expensive AAA titles.

We’re entertaining more people in more ways than we’ve ever done before. But from a profitability standpoint, the console Triple-A stuff is, right now, not quite working.

More after the jump.Rubin’s comments are featured in a video segment called “Game Theory”. Food for thought..

Share this post


  1. DaveDogg says:

    with all i said in my previous post i must admit to being a small part of the problem i buy a new Fifa each year and normaly a new tiger but i yern for the days when a sequl was an exception rather than the rule yeah i know that was a long time ago. but im sure i can remeber a time there there would be around 3 titles a month and all new IP’s

  2. Murphys Law says:

    Reality is that AAA exclusive titles with huge budgets probably on a whole make a marginal profit. They are an important cog for each specific platform as they give the PS3’s and 360’s of the world a bit of identity. Multiplatform AAA games probably see much better returns versus costs.

    Developers are part of the issue. They continue to seek the big budgets to make these huge over the top games when in reality they hurt the industry more than help it by doing so. Gameplay and story are the two cornerstones of a great game. “Top End Graphics” while great are not must haves for creating a great game.

    As for the complaint about sequelitus plaquing the gaming market. Sure there are a handful of titles (especially sports) that come out every year….but on a whole those games put up the kind of numbers that warrant an every year title. There have been plenty of good new IP’s to come out in the past year both retail and via download. I dont see why people get all crazed about wanting more new IP’s. They have been coming out in droves this year: Bayonetta, Darksiders, Alan Wake, Heavy Rain, Red Dead Redemption, Singularity, Transformers War for Cybertron, Dante’s Inferno, Mod Nation Racers, Blur, Split Second and that doesn’t include Arcade titles.

    I say vote with your wallet as suggested and enjoy the gaming. I for one look forward to both new IP’s and many of the sequels. Halo: Reach, Madden 11, NHL 11, Dead Space 2 and Call of Duty Black Ops all have my eye.

  3. Surface_Lizard says:

    It’s a depressing cycle, Dave. Each year, ANOTHER CoD, FIFA, MADDEN, etc, is unceremoniously defecated onto the market. They sell. By the million. EA roll in profits. Activision bathe in caviar.

    Until the mass of players vote with their wallets, and instead opt for Singularity, or Limbo, instead of the same game as last year with a new team roster, then we’re heading for stagnation.

    Gaming has wide appeal, and that is, perversely, part of the problem. A large part of that ‘casual’ market have a 360, or a Wii, and only buy one or two games a year, which are usually the well known titles from the EA canon. They don’t even know about Limbo, for example.

    keep an eye out for a future feature I’m going to write for VG on this very topic…

  4. DaveDogg says:

    with you there lizard in fact i would go slightly further the endless rollout of game franchise and sequel and lack of creativity. while certain titles lend themselves to yearly updates football(soccer)etc. more emphasis should indeed be placed on each title being a quality product with at least a certain amount of originality

  5. surface_lizard says:

    Firstly – stop using this irritating jump-cut degrading style of video. This is not the opening of the film Se7en. I am not attention-deprived. I can pay attention well enough, thanks.

    So, it seemed to dodge the issue of WHY the AAA model is ‘not quite working’. I don’t have sales figures to hand, but I would say that quality titles, platform specific or otherwise, will reach a revenue level that’s profitable. If not, stop making Dark Void quality offal, and expecting people to pay £40 for it. Is this just another version of the ‘creativity versus profit’ argument? Why are the publishers not making profit? Mediocre titles? A market waiting for preowned or price reductions?

    The closing comments in the final minute are rather disturbing. Do we see a shadow of a ‘pay to play’ online model AS WELL as the retail cost for the game?


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Where to find us