Industry moving away from high budget blockbuster model, says Splinter Cell: Blacklist director

The future is in "systemic depth"

While speaking at the Gamercamp festival in Toronto, Patrick Redding, director of Splinter Cell: Blacklist, described how he thinks the industry will be moving away from AAA titles.


Redding has suggested during a talk that "the market as a whole is going to undergo a critical shift in priorities, a shift away from the absolute primacy of graphics and production values, and content creation toward systemic depth," as reported by

Redding added that "the trend is going to trigger a reality check for developers like me who work on established franchises with a large succession of sequels, and it's also going to be a call-to-arms for smaller game creators."

According to Redding, procedurally literate players, digital distribution channels and rising cost of production will cause the shift away from blockbuster titles. Redding even suggested a new term for this new class of game: 'aaa titles.'

Redding believes that aaa titles would focus on systemic design and open-ended games that would allow for a variety if possibilities, rather than a single "right" approach.

He states that aaa title creators will need to relinquish some control of the game as the meaning will only emerge as players experience it, and use the game's mechanics to tell their own stories and achieve their own goals. The game that Redding believes to be the best example of a 'aaa title' is Minecraft.

Blacklist however, remains a AAA title, but Redding believes it has some aaa title qualities in its systemic AI.

What do you think - are 'aaa titles' the future?