Ninja Theory Believes AAA Retail Model is “Crushing Innovation”

September 6, 2011 Written by Alex Osborn

The games industry is currently dominated by big budget sequels of tried and true franchises, a fact that has left many developers feeling trapped and frustrated. Ninja Theory is one such studio, and recently spoke out on the issues that stem from the development of AAA titles. recently got a chance to talk with the creative chief at Ninja Theory Tameem Antoniades who shared his thoughts on the current state of the industry.

High budget, high stakes retail model – the barriers to entry for that are so high, so difficult, that we seem to be getting, being offered, decent work in that area. It’s hard to say no when you’ve got a team of 100 and you have to keep the payroll going. Another big project comes along, you tend to go for it.

There’s always an opportunity between projects to explore things, a lot of team members are hobbyists, they create their own iPhone games and things like that so I can see us kind of taking a punt with that. The whole digital revolution is happening now and it can’t come soon enough. The model we’re under, the big retail model, is creaking.

He went on to express his excitement for the digital-focused future, believing it will bring about some much needed change to the gaming market, which is currently bogged down by the confines of a big budget retail model.

It’s such an opportunity for fun creative games to reach a target audience, there’s this stranglehold that the AAA retail model has which I think is just crushing innovation and access to creative content. If you’re paying that much for a game, you don’t want to take chances. You want everything to be there, all the feature sets. You want it to be a known experience, guaranteed fun. That’s not healthy.

Tameem Antoniades and his development team are responsible for a number of great titles including Heavenly SwordEnslaved and the upcoming Devil May Cry reboot.