Bring your AAA game

A couple weeks ago, I was speaking with a friend about potential writing work on a new MMO. After he’d said a bunch of things and I’d asked a bunch of questions, he added as an afterthought, “And you’d be working on a triple-A game. That’s a nice carrot. I guess I could mention that closer to the front.”

And I said, “Oh yeah, that’s pretty nice.”

I didn’t say, “What makes it a triple-A game anyway?” in the same way that you don’t ask what postmodernism is in a roomful of black-clad philosophy students. Because you’re afraid to look stupid.

But let’s face it, I am stupid, on this topic anyway. Are there double-A games? If there were, would those be better like batteries, or worse like bonds? So I went looking online to see what a “AAA” title is, exactly.

It turns out that (just like postmodernism), “AAA” is a term with no clear definition. Everybody just uses it to mean “expensive game with a big marketing budget.” Which, unlike the derision normally heaped on this definition, is a fine thing. I’m all for big, loud, blockbuster games. They don’t all have to be winners, as long you don’t want me to buy the losers. But then I wondered, “Can I come up with a definition?”

Yes. Tomorrow.


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