Rising AAA Costs Make Indie Games Vital

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Gaming can be an expensive hobby, and with the rising cost of AAA titles, gamers may have to start turning to indie titles to fill the void.

Despite what some may believe, gaming is a costly hobby. With the prices of equipment and games continuing to rise, players must find what will give them the best value for their dollars. For many, this could mean that AAA releases are no longer an option. Instead, indie titles will start to fill their game libraries.

The last few years have seen dramatic shifts in the cost of gaming as a hobby. Graphics cards can cost upwards of $1000 due to production costs, with resellers purchasing entire stocks to sell at higher prices, and bitcoin miners creating increased demand. In addition, AAA releases have shifted the cost of a regular game from $60 to $70, not including special and deluxe editions plus in-game purchases. The industry is also seeing changes in the individuals responsible for creating new titles.

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AAA Titles Continue to Rise in Cost

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Multiple factors can determine the cost of a game, and unfortunately, they tend to add up quickly for AAA releases. This is because AAA titles are significant releases that typically require months, if not years, of work to produce the end product and they can go through multiple changes during the development process. This is why games like Skull and Bones continue to be delayed. For example, different mechanics or themes might need to be reworked, or the company may need to alter various aspects of production to help ensure profit.

With the introduction of unions to the gaming world, the cost of large releases will continue to rise. Huge productions require massive teams, and those people need to be paid. The cost of an employee’s wages must be offset by the revenue generated from game sales. This doesn’t even include the cost of the equipment to bring a game to life, such as programs, hardware, voice actors, and more. It’s expensive to produce AAA titles, which need to be offset by the game’s price point, leaving consumers footing larger bills.

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The Low Price of Indie Games Can Entice Players on a Budget

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Indie games have a considerable advantage over AAA titles because they tend to be made on a much smaller scale. This is not to say that the Indie genre cannot produce larger games reminiscent of AAA titles. Stray is a fantastic example of an indie game that feels like a AAA title. However, indies are smaller in production and tend to rely on just a few passionate individuals. They also tend to be more stylized and shorter than their AAA counterparts.

The characteristics that make up an indie game are what will make them more prominent as prices rise for AAA titles. Indie games vary wildly in price but typically hover around the $20 to $30 mark for more polished pieces, while smaller games are generally under $10. In addition, their simpler graphics and more significant focus on the mechanics mean that while they may not always look as polished as a large product from a company like Ubisoft for Nintendo, they can save on the cost of looking pretty and still put out functional games that are enjoyable to play.

Indie titles have always been an essential part of the gaming world. Some players use them to discover a new genre, while others enjoy their unique designs and explorative nature. Indie titles have always pushed the boundaries of what was possible in a game. Their cheaper cost of production means the developer doesn’t need to worry as much about if their game will be popular in the mainstream, instead focusing on making the experience enjoyable for those who play. Now they will have the chance to go further and possibly become the new standard in the gaming sphere by staying within players’ budgets.


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