Hutchinson: Mid-tier games don't exist anymore

Hutchinson: Mid-tier games don't exist anymore
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

August 22nd 2012 at 10:38AM

Developers still trying to make blockbusters with a tenth of the budget

Medium-sized games do not exist anymore, claims the creative director behind Assassin’s Creed 3.

Speaking in an interview with develop, Ubisoft Montreal's Alex Hutchinson said many mid-tier developers use to make smaller licensed games for consoles as their bread and butter, but these deals had now gone to Facebook and other social media channels.

“They use to be licensed games and slightly crappy games,” he said.

“I say that as someone who worked on those, and not as a judgment call. It use to be the way if your studio was coming up you would get a deal to do Barbie’s Racing Ride, and you would try to build some tech and experience and roll that into a bigger game.

“I think all those licensing deals have gone to Facebook and other social media channels. I don’t think they see the value in a $60 box product anymore.”

Hutchinson added that many mid-tier developers were still trying to make blockbusters with a tenth of the budget, despite having little chance of competing.

He highlighted that few people in the film industry would attempt to make a Star Wars competitor for a fraction of the cost, and questioned why developers would do so.

“It is a sign that those mid-range games were still trying to make blockbusters with a tenth of the budget, and I think that’s a terrible mistake,” said Hutchinson.

“No one goes out and makes a Star Wars competitor for $50 in the movie business. But we spent a lot of time with people making shooters to go against Call of Duty with four per cent of the budget.”

For the full interview on developing Assassin’s Creed 3 and the virtues of building on a franchise versus new IP, you can read it here.