In recent years, the gaming industry has, at the same time, received high-budget titles, the famous AAA, hugely successful and a series of games that despite the big investment, failed in one of the basic missions of a video game: fun
The person who decided to devote his time to that adventure.
In the early 2023, the Hi-fi Rush action game came by surprise on January 25 for Xbox Series and PC and quickly became a great success in critical and public assessment.
Although it does not reinvent the wheel, the title of Tango Frameworks, a studio founded by Shinji Miami and responsible for the creation of franchises such as The Evil Within and Ghost wire: Tokyo, exudes charisma in his approximately 13 hours campaign, presents a gameplay that is easy to learn, but it requires a little more dedication to the improvement of combos in the right beat and at no time fails to offer the player a carefree fun, with a campaign that does not fall into the trap of extending beyond the necessary.
And although Hi-fi Rush has arrived at the Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, the game has been successful even among non-subscribing service players, already reaching in its Steam good sales week and appearing among the games
best-selling from Valve’s online store, behind only the newly released Dead Space remake, Hogarth Legacy, who is still in pre-sale and should be one of the great commercial hits of 2023, and the already long Red Dead Redemption 2.
Hi-fi Rush’s success has become even more significant due to the contrast to the Spoken fiasco, a Luminous Productions RPG of action published by Square Enix, which was bombarded with negative critic and public assessments and has a great chance of a being
One of the great commercial failures of the games in 2023.
It is quite possible that the Tango title has not been released with Microsoft and Bethesda waiting for such success, as games that unite action, hack and slash and rhythm are quite nice, but the great reception to the title is the result of good execution
From a project that focused on a simple story, not too large scenarios and a very linear campaign to some extent, but at no time lost sight of having to entertain those who are playing is still, or at least it should be, the main objective of
Game Industry has been affected by the sameness in the AAA?
Fortunately, over the last years productions outside the axis of AAA games have achieved great success by presenting proposals that today have no space in the highest budget games in the industry.
Games such as Hades, Hollow Knight, Dead Cells, Celeste, Elysium have independent studios achieve commercial success and visibility with projects well executed in artistic and gameplay aspects, which shows that much of the public today also yearns for games outside the formulaic
which has become a real trap for many heavyweight publishers.
Square Enix, for example, accumulates in recent times, two fiascos: Marvel’s Avengers and now For spoken.
EA, on the other hand, embittered with Anthem and Battlefield 2042 two of the company’s greatest fiascos, which should even promote a reformulation in the franchise.
Warner Games, in turn, saw Gotham Knights have an extremely warm reception and become a quick forgotten game, even far from the success of the Batman Arkham series,
It should be noted, however, that Hi-fi Rush is far from fitting in the independent game category, since it was developed by a studio used to developing higher budget titles, especially the two The Evil Within, and published by
Giant Bethesda Soft works, today under Microsoft umella.
What is under discussion in this article is like even studios and publishers that could focus on projects that require a very high budget and with long periods of development can, from time to time, bet on lower financial projects can be beneficial in many
First, less scope and budget games do not need to cross very long development cycles, especially when they have a large publisher structure, such as hi-fi Rush with Bethesda.
In addition, titles outside the AAA axis also do not face the pressure to reach the mark of tens of millions of copies sold to pay.
That is, with more modest sales it is already possible to achieve a relevant profit margin.
In the specific case of Hi-fi Rush, the simple success of the game in Game Pass would be enough to justify the relevance of the action and rhythm game, but the title of Tango Soft works seems to have gained attention even of those who are not subscriber of
Obviously, every year the biggest hits in the game industry remains the AAA.
In 2022, for example, it was the turn of Elden Ring, God of War Ragnarök, Enfilade Chronicles 3 and Horizon Forbidden West, for example, feature among the major releases of the year.
The discussion here is that for each game that costs from $250.00 to $350.00 on consoles or PCs, there are many others that are not close to achieving the success that studios and publishers expect these projects.
Most of the great AAA titles we see today are the result of franchises with ands already consolidated in the public imagination, if God of War, for example, or studios that had the merit of winning such a positive reputation that any new title
It ends up attracting immediately the attraction of the audience, in case of each new soulslike released by From Software, which since the success of the first Dark Souls has consolidated itself as one of the hottest studios in the industry.
When Horizon Zero Dawn was released in 2017, for example, Sony has an aggressive marketing campaign on top of the game, precisely because it is a 100% unpublished IP and a new studio work that, until then, had only experienced
with FPSS like Kill zone.
To convince the public, it was necessary to show not only the visual exuberance of the project and elements of action and adventure of the game in detail, but also to reinforce that the game differed from its peers in theme, aesthetics and gameplay.
Being the most successful console manufacturer in the world since PlayStation 1 times, Sony has ballast to invest in weight in marketing its unpublished intellectual properties, which somehow helps capture public attention at first.
When the game presents impressive visuals and receives good reviews in its release, this sum of factors already contributes to the title in question to draw a successful path without major mishaps.
And even if some games have a warmer reception, as was the case with Days Gone in 2019, they still have a good chance of making a profit for the company.
The same goes for the games published by Nintendo and Xbox Game Studios.
Here, we are talking about companies with capital raised enough to not only invest in the marketing of their main releases, but also to handle projects that eventually not successful.
Nintendo embittered a low sales period with Nintendo Wii, but Nintendo Switch’s enormous success is not only through the merits of the console, which attracted the audience for their great practicality to play in different environments, but for the immense success of most of them
Main releases many of these games have even been new franchise iterations for decades already consolidated, such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Super Smash os.
and Mario Kart, while more recent franchises, such as Platoon and Enfilade Chronicles, conquered their space as excluding series from Big N consoles.
Microsoft’s case is the most peculiar among the three major console manufacturers.
In a period when PlayStation 4 sold much more than Xbox One, Redmond’s giant created the Xbox Game Pass and invested massively in signature service marketing with a motto of hundreds of games in the catalog for a more monthly subscription
Over time, Microsoft has expanded the offer of games, put all the major titles of Xbox Game Studios at Game Pass at the launch, invested massively on the purchase of studios and has partnered with large Third Party publishers, such as EA.
With many IPs under its umella, Microsoft has been working on two fronts.
While investing in AAA games of their main franchises, such as Halo, Gears of War, Fora Horizon, Fora Motorsport and Fable, bets on smaller (financial) projects of studios that today belong to the company.
Titles such as Sentiment, from Obsidian Entertainment, Grounded, also from Obsidian, and Hi-fi Rush are not budget games as high as AAA or bet on ultra-realistic graphics, which increasingly become synonymous with high-budget games, to
the good for evil.
On the other hand, these projects diversify the Game Pass game catalog and, at the same time, are released in stores like Steam for those who do not necessarily want to sign the service.
It’s hard to specify how successful these titles would be commercially without the support of a billionaire company behind it, but it is positive that smaller scope games are also supported outside the independent studios.
In the end, commercial logic is what guides all console, studios and game publishers manufacturers, but there is not only a way to achieve this goal.
If the AAA market is saturated with titles very similar to each other, it is important that large companies are also more aware of what independent studios have done and bet themselves in new ideas.
Tango Soft works, from Survival Horrors The Evil Within and studio founded by Resident Evil’s creator, came out of the comfort zone with Hi-fi Rush and found in a project very unlike anything that had so far had made a surprising success and why not, very welcome.