The Jimquisition: The Joykilling Culture Of ‘AAA’ Games

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We Happy Few has slowly transformed since it first arrived on Early Access, but its latest metamorphosis was sudden and jarring – it’s a “AAA” game now.

Gearbox acquiring the title, and the effect it’s had on the game, demonstrate that “AAA” is not so much about the funds or the studio, but about the culture.

Now take your Joy, and appreciate that I’m Undertale canon.

Bonus Content: Fuck Konami News

ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ
Guest
ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ

Actually, this is Gearbox.

They’re gonna crowbar Duke Nukem into a game specifically set in a 60’s british mod setting, aren’t they?

WyattGr
Guest
WyattGr

I gave We Happy Few a chance last year when Xbox let me have a trail, and I immediately stopped caring about it. If it gets better, that’s great, that’s the point of early access. Then I hear all of this, and, nope, I’m starting to expect it to just become something that people only cared about before it came out. That is a shame, but it’s Gearbox. On a related note, I ended up thinking about Cuphead a lot from this. Microsoft found Cuphead enough of a darling that they bought the console exclusivity rights, made it a “play… Read more »

MattParmeter
Member

After spending part of my day interacting with their reps, it’s pretty clear they don’t understand why people are upset with this decision. It would appear to be sticking with the line of “but the backers are getting more than what they asked for!” without once understanding what it was the backers were motivated by.

This would appear to be a group that wanted to found a studio on the back of a game, not create a game all by itself.

Christopher Allen
Guest
Christopher Allen

Being from Indianapolis, I am surprised Konami would even have a presence there in that convention center specifically. Are we sure it’s really them, or just someone pretending to be them as a joke?

JIryn
Guest
JIryn

Is there any chance in hell we can get you to dress up as Sans from Undertale for Halloween this year?
Please say there is a chance!

JIryn
Guest
JIryn

I love you Jim, and I agree this is total bullshit on the part of the companies involved.. but I feel you’re throwing around AAA a bit too much. So I have to ask this, is this actually a AAA game, did they allocate the manpower, resources, budget, and advertising budget to officially make it a AAA or are people just calling it that because they have a scummy, halfassed AAA publisher backing them now? I bought the Early Access to We Happy Few way back when it first became available, and have patiently been waiting for the final product.… Read more »

Secuda
Guest
Secuda

So what exactly are they offering us who did not entering EA again? by charging us full price for a game that will essential be the same for backers who paid half the price?
yea cant say i am all that happy for the new trend.
If it fails its your fault for jumping on the train.
if it succed tough luck hand over the money.

Kirk Hammer
Member
Kirk Hammer

I’ve suspected for awhile now that if the current games industry does crash, then it will be at the level of one or more AAA publishers eventually collapsing under their own weight, and the only reason I don’t welcome such a prospect is the number of good, blameless people whose jobs would be lost in the shockwaves of such a demise.

GreenGarden
Guest
GreenGarden

I agree with you that we need more mid tier games and varied prices in gaming and this pre-order culture stuff needs to stop. For me Street Fighter V is still one of the biggest disapointments for me in recent years and I still can’t believe World of Final Fantasy had language options as pre-order DLC. Not sure if I want Hellbalde to be how their like though, I don’t want the idea that developers can lie and be deceitful to sell their products like they did to be a good thing or replicated and I refuse to buy that… Read more »

Amy
Guest
Amy

I really feel that things are coming to a head within the “AAA“ space. Between the money grabbing practices, there’s also been a real glut of games trying something new with a big budget and the vitriol from the community is only getting louder.

I think the combo of Shadows of Loot boxes and now We Happy Few (editions; Standard, deluxe and CE) just a year after the NMS incident is leaving people even more bitter than usual.

It’s going to be an interesting Q4.

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

The weird thing to me is – £20 mid tier games were being published alongside the full priced £40 ones (Oh, for the days when a console game was full priced at £40 rather than £50. PS2 and Gamecube, how I miss you) by the major publishers just a couple of generations ago, so this ‘indie AAA’ or ‘AA’ release model for Hellblade, aside that they’re now a large enough company to self publish a game with that size of budget without having to go via Kickstarter, doesn’t feel like bringing a new model into the picture to me, but… Read more »

reidyy
Guest
reidyy

I think the price increase has a lot more to do with the fact that it’s leaving early access than anything else.

dyscode
Member

On the other hand Darkwood has just come out of Early Acccess and is selling for !$14! and it’s good! – Amazing!
#FuckGearbox.

Benj
Guest
Benj

I think someone needs to make a survival horror game where you’re an inventive young indie developer trying to survive in a world of eldritch AAA monsters and hordes of undead asset-flippers.

MuddyScarecrow
Guest
MuddyScarecrow

To me what AAA really means is you’re never going to get a finished product ever again. I was extremely angry to take a quick browse through the DLC store of Arkham Knight (out of morbid curiosity) only to stumble on the “Season of Infamy.” A ten dollar SIDE MISSION PACK. Featuring popular villains that the base game itself doesn’t give you any closure on. Such as Mr. Freeze, Mad Hatter, Killer Croc, and RAS FUCKING AL GHUL; a character that they hint at making a comeback in one of the goddamn riddles! Oh but you thought you would actually… Read more »

Arcane Azmadi
Guest
Arcane Azmadi

You said it, Jim: in today’s industry, not only do we no longer really need publishers, but they do more harm than good, IMMENSE amounts of harm, actually. Publishers rot everything they touch. They are the root of all that is evil in modern gaming (aside from modern gamers of course, bunch o’ pricks the lot of ’em). Fuck the publishers, fuck every last one of them.

Anton
Guest
Anton

I’ve personally become weirdly OK with pre-order/CE BS that’s oh-so-common within the AAA space. Not because the practice is ok in of itself, but because it actively discourages me from buying AAA games early on. I skip the release date, wait for reviews….. then give it a couple more years till the complete edition goes on sale on Steam. The system works… sort of. It’s really amazing how much money you can save once you get over the hype.

Terry Osaurusies XI
Guest
Terry Osaurusies XI

Extra credit due for including the coolest of Dire Straits tracks. Mark Knopfler has a nice musical range. And that drum intro is pretty sweet. 🙂

Terry Osaurusies XI
Guest
Terry Osaurusies XI

Randy Pitchford (after viewing Jimquisition): “Wait wait wait…there are voice recordings of Jim Sterling in this game and nobody thought at any point to fucking tell me??” – Intern 1: “Sorry sir, it was quite a whiles ago and the files have already been assigned to the appropriate events. It never crossed our mind that there would be any problem sir.” – Intern 2: “We didn’t realize you had history with one of our cast. Is it that bad, sir?” – Randy Pitchford: “Find the files and delete them all! I want him erased from this. Completely ERASED!!” – Intern… Read more »

HelixShade
Guest
HelixShade

Oof, I get the feeling history is about to repeat itself here. Mighty Number 9 anyone?

Also, congratulations on becoming Undertale Canon, Jim! Any chance you can convince Papyrus to do the 2017 Game Awards this year? :3

Imp Emissary
Guest
Imp Emissary

Wait. Since Jim exists in our universe, and he is Undertale Cannon. Doesn’t that make everyone and everything else here ALSO Undertale Cannon?

Jim! You’ve brought us all into the universe/multiverse of Undertale!
Thank God for you, Jim. =w= b

Arella Jardin
Member
Arella Jardin

Ok, I know these are all things Jim hates, but don’t act like indie games don’t do the Preorder and Collector’s Edition racket, already. For crying out loud, he does a call out to Undertale at the beginning, and their console debut did both. And people are clapping like seals over that CE. Sure, it’s less common, but pre orders and CEs aren’t AAA exclusive.

Galactix100
Member
Galactix100

As cool as We Happy Few looks (fucking cool), and I kinda really want that mask because I love physical tat I’m not getting the game at that price with all the caveats like the season pass and likely future microtransactions. Gearbox can jump in a fucking skip, the greedy [♪SKELETON WARRIORS♫] that they are. Seriously Randy, ya wee rocket. Just. Fucking. Stop. It.

R.M.Renfield
Guest
R.M.Renfield

That was kind of cool when you were laying it down with Dire Straits in the background.

A new music genre is born: Jim tearing AAA games a new one with rock music in the background.

Chris
Member

God, that is just gross. I’m incredibly glad I didn’t back We Happy Few at this point, I would be furious if I had given money to fund a cool idea and then they sold out to the “AAA” industry at the first chance for what I can only assume was pure greed. And to Gearbox no less. And I don’t believe for a second that microtransactions won’t rear their ugly head between now and launch, the survival formula is too rife for abuse with them and I simply don’t believe for a second that Randy “Greedy Lying Asshole” Pitchford… Read more »