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There are so many popular video games available that it is difficult to play them all in one lifetime. As a result, we will need to be more selective about the games we play. Just a decade ago, indie games were a curiosity to ordinary players. They were only talked about in small circles, and many talented projects did not even reach a large audience. But the last few years have clearly showed: independent games have their place in the industry! After all, they have offered gamers something that AAA projects do not dare to offer: variety, creative courage, and honesty towards the audience.
While large publishers try to influence large development teams, indie developers are most often independent – and players love that. There are no familiar patterns in the indie world, where we know in advance what can happen. Just think of the puzzle game “The witness“. where you pick up the intrigue from the beginning – and go with it to the end.
The reasons for the decline in popularity of AAA games are primarily due to a lack of new ideas. Trying to turn the game into a “series” (e.g. Mafia 3 or Madalin Stunt Cars 3) Decline in quality. Connected to the gluttony of the development company. No direct contact with the audience and fans. A game is made based on financial scores from the previous years and not on the desire of the players. Today’s gamers have a great appreciation for indies. At times, they attract far more attention than AAA blockbusters with billions of dollars in budgets (https://kevurugames.com/game-art/aaa-game-art-studio-services/).
The vast majority of AAA games are on top of the technical aspects: great graphics, sound design and, given the scale of production, few bugs. Publishers achieve these results thanks to big budgets and a team of people working on every aspect of the game’s look and mechanics.
Papers, Please is one of the simplest games in terms of gameplay. The user, in the role of a checkpoint officer, has to determine which of the incoming refugees are worthy of passing through the border and which should be turned back. And you have to really work out if this cute girl is going to turn out to be some kind of spy or assassin. Sometimes the stories these parishioners tell are more powerful than Hollywood movies or tabloid novels.
The creators of the platformer Celeste have managed to make the simplest yet most complex core gameplay. The protagonist can do exactly three things – jump, dash in a specified direction and climb walls. On the basis of this negligible number of elements, the authors have created a powerful set of levels that will not only test your strength, but also tell a cute and heartwarming story. A must-have for all platform jumping fans, no other way around (Kevuru).
Some observers point out that AAA’s biggest video game producers face the same problems that film studios face. When a project is built with a huge budget, the company cannot afford to fail. As a result, games tend to be developed based on what has worked in the past; this does not allow the industry to reach a wider range of users or explore new themes or technologies.
Some believe that an increasing number of AAA-level video games will be produced by independent companies with the vision and flexibility to innovate, with the ability to reach new audiences. Nevertheless, games based on existing TV series and blockbusters are definitely not going away any time soon.