AAA Games Need to Stop Chasing Trends and Start Making Them

AAA Games Need to Stop Chasing Trends and Start Making Them

How many times have you heard this, a hit new AAA game enters the market out of nowhere and startles gamers across the globe with new ideas and gameplay they’ve never seen before, instantly hooks a large audience, and sets a new trend that we’ll be seeing repetitively in games to come.

However, this repetitive cycle ends up taking away the uniqueness of a game and instead produces mediocre rip-offs and lackluster AAA games that aren’t able to stand the test of time.

Most, if not all, gamers have become tired of experiencing games that aim to milk the essence of recurring trends but fail to capture that lightning in a bottle. At this point, the market becomes oversaturated with copycats and knock-offs, and gamers are left waiting for the next big thing.

It’s no wonder why we see several AAA game studios announce cancellations and delays day in and day out. Even though we’re just in the 1st quarter of the year, we’ve already seen massive layoffs, the closure of live-service games, and mobile versions of games being shut down by industry giants such as EA and Xbox. When looking into the details, these responses can be attributed to how companies with more money than mind aimlessly try to ride the bandwagon of current gaming trends.

This sparks the debate of why AAA games need to stop chasing trends and start making them, which is precisely what we will be discussing in today’s blog.

Why Game Studios Chase Trends

The gaming industry has seen a growing trend of AAA games replicating successful formulas to achieve similar success. While it's natural for competitors to capitalize on the latest trends, this tendency has led to an oversaturation of certain game types, pressuring these games to succeed at all costs.

To better understand this phenomenon, let’s look at why game studios chose to chase trends in the first place.

The Pressure to Succeed

Recently, we've seen a surge in live service and battle royale games, sadly accompanied by an alarming number of closures. In this case, the gaming industry is similar to the fashion industry, as it experiences trends that come and go. Game studios thus end up chasing these trends in hopes of achieving commercial success, but in doing so, they risk oversaturating the market and losing their unique appeal.

High Development Costs and Financial Expectations

The development of AAA games usually involves large teams and budgets, resulting in immense pressure for these games to succeed financially. Unfortunately, this pressure pushes developers to follow in the footsteps of successful predecessors and trendsetters, so they end up sacrificing creativity and innovation to play it safely. Unfortunately, this contributes to a lack of originality and diversity in gaming.

The Shift Toward Games as a Service

With the rise of 'games as a service,' developers focus on fostering long-term engagement and revenue generation. Unfortunately, this business model can lead to prioritizing monetization strategies over creating innovative and engaging gameplay experiences. As a result, AAA games may end up feeling like they're simply chasing trends rather than offering players a unique, memorable experience.

The Pitfalls of Trend Chasing

Chasing these trends comes with its fair share of risks and adversities, making it quite evident why so many AAA titles get delayed or canceled. The main pitfalls of trend-chasing are:

Oversaturation of The Market

What makes games great is the number of unique elements and experiences they provide to their intended audiences. Thus, when AAA titles adopt recurring trends, the players face repetitive and washed-out gameplay. This leads to oversaturation within the gaming market, eventually causing customer fatigue.

A noteworthy example is how the success of PUBG and Fortnite spawned an influx of battle royale games, all of which found it difficult to differentiate themselves and couldn’t establish a long-lasting presence.

Stifling Innovation and Creativity

When studios aim to adopt current game trends, they limit their developer’s creative freedom, which translates into decreased innovation and discourages them from taking risks with novel and unique ideas.

Going with the flow of these trends means developers and game studios will be less likely to experiment with new concepts, effectively bringing a halt to the idea of exploration within the gaming industry.

Making Trends; Be the Game Changer

Players have become hungry for new gaming experiences and innovative mechanics. Still, to their dismay, they are met with trend-hopping studios that aren’t able to churn out anything new or unique.

Embracing Creativity and Encouraging Innovation

These game studios have to start encouraging their development teams to present new concepts and ideas and embrace risk-taking within their approach. This can effectively allow them to push the boundaries of gaming and develop experiences that can stand out from the competition.

The past has shown that such a move could become a massive success for game studios, as seen with how FromSoftware’s Dark Souls series brought about the concept of an enhanced level of difficulty paired with a cryptic yet interconnected world with loads of lore for players to find by themselves. This gave birth to an entire sub-genre known as “Soulsborne” the success of which is evident in 2022’s game of the year, Elden Ring, which is the latest addition to FromSoftware’s list of AAA titles.

Another example of a game that revolutionized an entire genre is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild. The open-world game introduced a non-linear physics-driven world that provided emergent gameplay. The combination of experimentation and exploration inspired several game studios to rethink their approach to AAA open-world games.

Why Set Trends?

AAA game studios have to start realizing the potential that creative experimentation and risk-taking could present them with. We’ve already begun to see how game creators have taken their creativity to new heights with titles such as Hi-Fi Rush and Rollerdrome which have garnered tremendous praise from players worldwide.

Thus, trendsetting in the gaming landscape can effectively help AAA game studios open the doors to:

Diversifying Revenue Streams

By reducing their overall reliance on a single hit game, AAA studios must look toward exploring new streams, including experimental gaming projects, collaborations, and even smaller projects similar to what indie developers are doing. This can enable them to alleviate financial pressure while embodying more creativity and innovation in their projects.

Establishing a Lasting Legacy

With the creation of never-before-seen game experiences, AAA titles can cement their legacy in the gaming world and become a genre-defining experience for years to come, all while stirring up a whole new trend in the gaming industry. Examples include revolutionary games such as BioShock and the Half-Life series, which have influenced countless games in the FPS genre.


The gaming revolution has only just begun, and studios that present groundbreaking ideas will likely end up at the top of this industry by winning the hearts of players worldwide. Thus, it’s not enough for AAA game studios to simply replicate successful formulas and chase trends. Instead, they must embrace creativity, encourage innovation, and take risks to make trend-setting games that stand the test of time.

Aspired, a company dedicated to providing remote development expertise to all kinds of tech businesses, can help game studios achieve this goal. By collaborating with Aspired, they get access to a pool of talented developers with diverse skill sets and experience, allowing them to experiment with new concepts and push the boundaries of gaming.

It's time for AAA game studios to stop chasing trends and start making them. With Aspired by their side, game studios can hire remote developers and break away from the mold by creating unforgettable gaming experiences that redefine the industry. So don’t wait; let’s make trend-setting games together and change the gaming world forever!

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