In the exciting and diverse world of development and game art outsourcing, there is a clear dividing line between the two categories. It’s pretty easy to tell them apart.
The first is a sparkling AAA category stuffed with money and high expectations. Only large publishers and huge development teams have access to it, ready to invest great amounts of money in creating a game.
The second category is proud and independent indie games, smaller in scale and grandeur. They are handled by small teams or even single developers who do not have investors but have an irresistible desire to make entertainment projects and an unquenchable enthusiasm.
It would seem that the question is closed. But we assure you that there is more to be said on this topic.
Indie: Small Steps to a Greater Future
So, it’s a small team, limited resources, and a big love for video games. Where do indie developers get their money? Often this is either personal savings or crowdfunding platforms where developers talk about their ideas and invite people to participate in the creation of the game through a feasible financial contribution.
Financial constraints often make large-scale work impossible. When comparing indie vs AAA games, the first difference that comes to mind is the scale. The player will need much less in-game hours to complete it, and the storyline usually does not have intricate branches and a lot of side quests. Therefore, to attract players, indie developers resort to stylized designs, which can sometimes even be a breakthrough.
High requirements for equipment, the need to purchase the most advanced technical parts and components – this is not about indie games. They can easily be installed on equipment of average power and will not annoy the player with freezes, glitches, and bugs usually associated with the fact that the power of the computer is not enough to handle a modern game.
Finally, indie games are not as expensive to sell as their AAA counterparts. If the starting price of the latter is at least $60, then indie ones are no more than $20. Therefore, a much larger part of the players can afford them.
AAA: Big Steps Into the Unknown
A huge studio, a thousand people in a team, millions of dollars of the budget – AAA games are already here. They are large-scale, colorful, have huge open worlds, and use the most modern graphics technologies. Usually, for such projects, developers create a custom engine, which becomes either a feature or a reason for players to grind it to dust.
AAA is considered top quality in all respects, which is why players have especially high expectations and evaluate games very strictly. This is not surprising: they want the high price for the game to be justified, and the publisher’s reputation to be once again proven, and not undermined.
Players also need to take care of modern and powerful hardware if they want to enjoy the full benefits of AAA games. Cutting edge graphics are very demanding. And if the computer is too weak for such requirements, then there is no point in purchasing an AAA game – it will be a complete disappointment.
Which Game to Choose?
It’s pretty simple. Based on the above characteristics of games, first of all, answer the question – are you a player or a potential developer?
If you are a gamer and you want a simple, not very epic, inexpensive, not very long, but interesting game – welcome to the indie world. The range of genres is limitless, so you can choose the one to your liking.
If you are a player and you need the latest achievements of the gaming industry, cutting-edge engines, and graphics, if you have a lot of time to explore huge worlds and a well-lined wallet – AAA is your choice. Here you have to think about the correct development of the hero, complete many side quests, find a huge amount of hidden objects, and so on.
It is even easier with game development.
If you are a developer with a limited budget, small team, and good ambitions, then you are an indie developer.
If you are a developer with a huge team, almost unlimited funding, and a well-known name – you are an AAA developer (it is very interesting that you wander here today).
So, this is the main thing to know about what defines a game as AAA vs indie. And by the way, some indie games are not much inferior to the well-known AAA titles: colorful art, perfect smooth animation and polished 3D models of the AAA class can confuse even a sophisticated player. Turn your eyes to the AAA game company that can easily provide you with all of the above: more than 120 highly qualified professionals with vast experience and amazing creative vision will help spark any game project.