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Obsidian, consoles and AAA games


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As you may have guessed with the title, I am wondering if Obsidian will ever return to consoles and making "AAA" games?

As much as I enjoy isometric games I really want Obsidian to deliver another game in the vein of New Vegas or Alpha Protocol, not another Fallout mind you (tho it would be nice if...) but something were I could grab a pad and play comfy on my couch.

 

 

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What's an AAA game? The term is so ambiguous, that using it is close to pointless. Do you mean publisher funded games? Or may be high budget ones? Or simply high quality games? All of these can be called AAA by some, and they can have different exclusive combinations. I.e. high budget game can be made by independent studio without publishers involved (example - Star Citizen), and publisher funded game can be very low quality (example - Batman: Arkham Knight) and so on.

 

Also, there is no relation between these and gameplay mechanics like isometric view and such. Those are completely orthogonal subjects.

Edited by shmerl
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I think AAA generally just means high production values. Doesn't need a high budget, just needs to look it.

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@Oerwinde: that's the catch. Original meaning seems to denote quality like you said: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AAA_(video_game_industry)

 

But I've seen this term used many times to mean different things, most often simply big budget games or publisher funded games. Meaning of quality is really the least used today. That's why I avoid using it altogether, and generally ask what they mean if someone uses it.

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What's an AAA game? The term is so ambiguous, that using it is close to pointless. Do you mean publisher funded games? Or may be high budget ones? Or simply high quality games? All of these can be called AAA by some, and they can have different exclusive combinations. I.e. high budget game can be made by independent studio without publishers involved (example - Star Citizen), and publisher funded game can be very low quality (example - Batman: Arkham Knight) and so on.

 

Also, there is no relation between these and gameplay mechanics like isometric view and such. Those are completely orthogonal subjects.

I believe the poster gave examples of what he considers AAA - New Vegas and Alpha Protocol. No ambiguity required. I think everyone knows what it means, just those that pretend they don't. 

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I don't really know what AAA means. Since original poster didn't just bring examples, but also tried to equate AAA with non isometric view. Is Pillars of Eternity an AAA game for example? Or not?

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I don't really know what AAA means. Since original poster didn't just bring examples, but also tried to equate AAA with non isometric view. Is Pillars of Eternity an AAA game for example? Or not?

 

No, not in the least.

 

AAA games are typically defined as games that have both a high development and advertising budget.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AAA_(video_game_industry)

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I don't really know what AAA means. Since original poster didn't just bring examples, but also tried to equate AAA with non isometric view. Is Pillars of Eternity an AAA game for example? Or not?

 

It's not. It's not developed with state of the art techniques : P 

 

Microsoft guys told Obs dudes, that the game(cancelled Tyranny) had to feel like Xbox first party; compared to this differentiating what's an AAA game and what's not shouldn't be difficult. You'll know it when you see it. And what Blodhemn said.

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I don't really know what AAA means. Since original poster didn't just bring examples, but also tried to equate AAA with non isometric view. Is Pillars of Eternity an AAA game for example? Or not?

 

It's not. It's not developed with state of the art techniques : P 

 

Microsoft guys told Obs dudes, that the game(cancelled Tyranny) had to feel like Xbox first party; compared to this differentiating what's an AAA game and what's not shouldn't be difficult. You'll know it when you see it. And what Blodhemn said.

 

So an isometric game can never be a AAA game?

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I agree with the OP.  Reminiscing about the old IE games is nice and all in PoE, but I'd also like to reminisce about FO:NV and Alpha Protocol and KOTOR II.

 

Plus, it would be nice to be able to play another Obsidian game on my PS4, instead of having to somehow use my POS laptop to play on.

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"Console exclusive is two words Darque." - Nartwak (in response to Darque's observation)

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I imagine it is really not up to them.  If a bigger publisher wants to hire them to do a big title, I am sure they will jump at it.  As is, working with Paradox is still a pretty good gig.

 

PoE probably needed to do a few million in sales to give Obsidian more control over their destiny.  Still they seem to be in better shape than they were before PoE.

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Oh, I understand why Obsidian does it.  I'm just saying I'd like them to make games that I can play on my console and not on my crappy laptop.  Three of my favorite Obsidian games (KOTOR II, FO:NV, AP) are ones that, it seems, I'll never ever see them develop that type of game again.

"Console exclusive is such a harsh word." - Darque

"Console exclusive is two words Darque." - Nartwak (in response to Darque's observation)

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Microsoft guys told Obs dudes, that the game(cancelled Tyranny) had to feel like Xbox first party..

 

 

According to some of the stuff coming out of Lionhead there may have been a complete change of philosophy involved there:

 

According to three separate sources familiar with Lionhead's relationship with Microsoft in 2012, Xbox executives insisted the studio make a new Fable in the games as a service mould. A single-player focused role-playing game would not be allowed, Lionhead was told. "There's no way anybody's going to be making single-player boxed products any more," sources say Microsoft executives told Lionhead. "I want something that's games as a service."

 

"You make a service game or you get closed down," was how another source with knowledge of the conversations remembers them. "It was the new big push from Microsoft and I heard that all first party studios got a similar message, however some had more of a push back against it."

 

 

So it seems it was more like it had to have a 'XBone philosophy', as was with its 'original' plan when it was going to be all online, all Kinected, all services all the time.

 

Xcom would be a good example, both isometric and turn based, but still pretty firmly in the AAA category.  As would Diablo III.

 

Personally I wouldn't have XCOM as being AAA at all- smallish team, smallish budget, smallish sales expectations. Not that it really matters, it just illustrates that 'AAA' isn't a very well defined term so there's plenty of room for personal opinion as to what is it and what isn't.

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I don't really know what AAA means. Since original poster didn't just bring examples, but also tried to equate AAA with non isometric view. Is Pillars of Eternity an AAA game for example? Or not?

 

It's not. It's not developed with state of the art techniques : P 

 

Microsoft guys told Obs dudes, that the game(cancelled Tyranny) had to feel like Xbox first party; compared to this differentiating what's an AAA game and what's not shouldn't be difficult. You'll know it when you see it. And what Blodhemn said.

 

So an isometric game can never be a AAA game?

 

 

Maybe they were considered AAA 15 years ago but now we may never know; I don't think we'll ever see an isometric/not wholly 3D rpg with highest production values and heavy marketing with at least 5x the budget Pillars had and even then it would still be a niche game... which maybe why we may never see it/they are not making it.

 

ed-ps: 3D games with top down cams were and can easily be AAA nowadays and in the foreseeable future, I'm talking about isometric games as in locked isometric cam with 2D backgrounds.

Edited by Quillon
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Diablo and XCOM (already mentioned), StarCraft, Civ, whatever MOBAs (I dunno, I don't play them but I'm sure there is at least one that has some serious backing behind it). Pretty much any strategy type game. Bio even made a big deal about adding an isometric view option back into Inquisition even though I personally didn't care for its implementation

 

Pillars isn't AAA by any stretch

 

Look, I don't care if they make console games or not, I play console games as well as PC games. All I'm arguing is that the camera has nothing to do with if it's AAA or not

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Personally I wouldn't have XCOM as being AAA at all- smallish team, smallish budget, smallish sales expectations. Not that it really matters, it just illustrates that 'AAA' isn't a very well defined term so there's plenty of room for personal opinion as to what is it and what isn't.

 

 

Not according to Firaxis: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-03-06-firaxis-xcom-is-a-very-very-big-budget-game

 

It might be slimmed down now though, with the sequel only being on the PC.  

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They're hardly going to say it wasn't AAA publicly since to a lot of people on the console side that would say low production values, low quality, don't bother- PC side doesn't care much about that though. 50-60 people is a pretty small team for a supposedly AAA game when you're putting it in the same class as the GTAVs/ CoDs/ Diablos of the world with their supposed 250+ person teams.

 

It is an arbitrary classification, I just couldn't put that size game into the same grouping as the really big budget big team projects..

Edited by Zoraptor
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