the main differences between “indie” and “AAA” video games 


Last Updated on October 23, 2022 by

At the last TGA 2019 award ceremony, Reggie Fies-Aim, former president of Nintendo of America, gave a fiery speech presenting the award for the best indie game of the year. In it, he touched upon indie developers, calling them the most important people in the entire video game industry, who, thanks to hard work, create something new and breakthrough, are not afraid to experiment and reveal new facets of gaming genres.

Despite the huge library of games available to gamers today, the vast majority of them can be surprisingly divided into two groups depending on their development. Both styles are very different, from price to graphic design and file size. This article is intended to clarify the difference between them. 

It is important to note, however, that this is an overview of indie and AAA games. There are some emissions in both groups. In addition, console users do not need to worry about hardware limitations almost the same way as PC users, because games created for consoles are adapted for unchanged hardware. 

Indie: Being small means having a lot of importance 

In general, indie publications are usually cheaper, shorter and smaller with a more stylized artistic direction. 

Indie games are always developed by individuals or small teams who rarely receive financial support from the publisher. In fact, many indie developers rely on crowdfunding or personal investment to cover development costs. Since developers do not have a huge budget, games are usually smaller in size and shorter in length. This is also why many of them show stylized art projects or turn to 3d game art outsourcing

Indie style is usually considered more accessible to a wide audience for several reasons. First of all, they are much cheaper than AAA games – indie games rarely cost more than twenty dollars. In addition, they have a relatively simple gameplay and are easier to select and play. This simplified character allows players to enjoy the game, regardless of gaming skills or experience. Finally, they are usually much cheaper for hardware, which means that for PC players you will not need the latest components to work properly. 

AAA: titanium industry 

In general, AAA games are more expensive, but offer more content and realistic graphic style. 

Unlike indie games, AAA games are developed by large studios that employ hundreds or even thousands of people. In addition, projects are supported by a publisher (such as Activision), which provides the development team with a huge budget. Due to the size of the budget and development teams of the AAA game, it is usually long, large and detailed, with realistic graphics, because if they can hire character designers. The term AAA itself is designed to refer to expectations that these games are of incredibly high quality. 

As a result of much larger investments in AAA games, they always cost more money than indie games. As a rule, AAA games range from $40 to $60. The gameplay in AAA games also tends to be much more complex, and multiplayer games often have a learning curve that players must go through. Since they usually have advanced visual effects, players on the PC need strong enough equipment to play the name smoothly. 

Which one is right for you? 

If you are an ordinary gamer who plays to relax, has a limited budget, wants a simpler experience or simply does not have much time to play, then indie games are likely to suit you. Their prices cannot be beaten, and if you don’t mind short or simple games, they will be perfect. If you are a more “hardcore” gamer who plays more seriously, you have free money, you have time to learn complex games and realistic graphics, the AAA industry is your way. Although they may be a little more expensive, most AAA games make up for this, offering players more content and deeper impressions. 

Your thoughts 

Do you agree with our opinion on the differences between indie games and AAA games? Which aspects of indie or AAA games do you like the most and which ones you don’t like? Be sure to let us know.

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