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What are AAA and AA games? What is the difference?


What are AAA and AA games? What is the difference?

Why are some games classified as high-profile Triple-A projects, while others are second-rate Double-A projects? A bit of development history and key differences.

An AAA game is a project that is developed by a large studio, funded from a huge budget. An easy way to lay down the concept of AAA is to compare them to blockbuster movies. It costs a fortune to develop an AAA game, as does the creation of a new Marvel movie . If all goes according to plan, the expected profit of such a game often justifies the cost.

In an effort to maximize revenue, publishers typically release games for major platforms (currently Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC). An exception to this rule is a game created as a console exclusive product. In this case, the manufacturer pays for exclusivity by compensating the developer for the loss of potential profit.

Also the term is used in other industries. For example, Minor League baseball teams are placed between A and AAA to show how close they are to the Majors (Major League). Level B teams are not provided as this is not a professional level of play.

History of AAA video games

History of AAA video games

The first "computer games" were simple, inexpensive products that could be played by individuals or multiple people on the same screen. The graphics were minimal or nonexistent. The development of high-end, technically sophisticated consoles and the World Wide Web has changed all of this, transforming video games into sophisticated multiplayer products that include high-quality graphics, video and music.

By the late 1990s, companies such as EA and Sony were producing blockbusters that were meant to reach huge audiences and generate substantial profits. That's when game developers started using the term AAA. Their idea was to create hype, anticipation. And it worked: interest in video games grew, as did profits.

In the 2000s, many video game series became popular in the AAA world. Examples include Halo , Zelda , Call of Duty, and Grand Theft Auto . Final Fantasy VII (expensive CGI on 3 discs at that time) and Shenmue are considered some of the first projects of the "Triple-A" level . Some of these games are highly violent, drawing criticism from groups of citizens concerned about their impact on youth.

How does Triple-A differ from Double-A?

Over time, a new term appeared - AA. Usually, creations in this category have a lower budget than AAA games. They try to achieve the same level of game design as AAA games, but tend to lag behind in one or more areas, such as gameplay, storyline, graphics, game pace, and so on.

How does Triple-A differ from Double-A?

The line between AAA and AA is often blurred and subjective. Examples of AA projects include games like The Outer Worlds , ELEX , Xenoblade Chronicles , Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice .

The future of AAA

Some observers point out that the biggest AAA video game producers face the same challenges as film studios. When a project is being built with a huge budget, a company cannot afford to fail. As a result, games tend to be designed with what has worked in the past; this prevents the industry from reaching a wider audience or exploring new topics or technologies.

The result: Some believe that an increasing number of AAA video games will be produced by independent companies with the vision and flexibility to innovate and reach new audiences. However, games based on existing TV series and blockbusters are definitely not going away anytime soon.