Monday, July 21, 2014

Why are video games' brightest stars abandoning AAA games?

Image courtesy of Crave Online
Jeffrey Grubb tackles this question for VentureBeat's Game Beat section in an article entitled "Why triple-A devs are going indie (and why indies aren’t going triple-A)":
"Joe and Anthony Russo had a pretty good summer. The brothers directed and released Marvel’s summer blockbuster Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The pair got that opportunity after working with smaller budgets in the independent-film scene and on television, and they worked their way up to making one of the biggest movies in the world.  That’s a story we don’t really have in gaming.   
Independent and triple-A gaming development is experiencing the opposite, really. The big names from top developers are leaving their jobs directing huge projects to start their own, smaller development studios. Meanwhile, the hottest talent responsible for beloved, best-selling indie games aren’t moving up to direct larger projects for major publishers with enormous budgets. They’re sticking to their roots or focusing their efforts on expanding the games that made them popular in the first place.   
The question is why is “upward mobility” in gaming broken?"
While the article goes into a lot more depth on the reasons why, with a host of great quotes from developers and other industry professionals, I'm also pretty sure that over-specialization on dev teams, the grueling hours expected of workers on AA titles and the relatively low pay probably don't help matters either.

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