AAA Games Are Announced Early For Fear Of Being Canceled, Developer Says

AAA Games

Have you ever noticed that some of the largest AAA games on the market are announced earlier than before? How it always feels that when a big game is revealed, it’s still five, six, or seven years off at least? It’s something that many wonder why and now one prominent developer is giving his insight into what that reason could be.

Mark Darrah is known for being the creator of the Dragon Age series and is currently working as a consultant on the new Dragon Age: The Veilguard. He also has his own YouTube channel where he recently addressed the topic of why AAA games take so long to release.

While the nearly 25-minute video is worth a full watch for the insight from Darrah, one thing he said that really stood out has to do with a potential fear within the studios making the games.

“There might be reasons why it’s important for the studio or the publisher to have that game in the public consciousness,” Darrah said.

“It might be because the publisher’s slate is a little weak, and they want the public to remember it still has important games in its back pocket. It might be because the studio wants the game announced because they’re worried the publisher might kill it otherwise.”

He added that it’s not usually the best strategy for building up attention and hype for the game.

Aside from that possible fear, Darrah says that just because a studio says it’s working on a game, that doesn’t mean it’s full effort or focus is on that game when it’s announced.

“Studios can kind of be misleading on this front, because they’ll say things like ‘we’ve started work on Elder Scrolls 6’, or they might even a trailer for the game even though the current team size is under 10 people,” he said.

“So they’re giving the impression that this is parallel development, that the team is working on this game, when in fact it’s a few people having a few meetings, and not much is being done.”

There’s also the likelihood that when games are 10 or so years apart, no work is likely being done on that game for the first few years.

On top of this fear, other factors that go into it are things like the size of the game, the team working on it, a focus on more intricate features, and more.

You can watch his full video on the topic below. Again, it’s highly recommended.


What do you think of a possible notion that AAA games are announced early for a potential fear of it getting canceled? For more Insider Gaming, check out what games are coming to PS Plus members in July, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for exclusive shows, news, interviews, reviews, and more.

  1. For one thing, hype is almost completely destructive in the games industry. Hype makes for expectations, and the current executive-poisoned climate makes complications and under-delivering on those expectations basically guaranteed. It’s one of the main things you can point to for games like No Man’s Sky, Cyberpunk 2077, etc. being so poorly received on launch. They may be good games now (Cyberpunk is one of my favourite open world games outright), but the Fumbling Period will always be remembered for happening.
    Hype: not even once.

    For another, I would like to see proper statistics on people forgetting franchises or things they otherwise like, especially if the datapoint of “being reminded of that thing having a new entry coming in a year or more” is controlled for in some way. Forget that Elden Ring has had a big expansion, imagine nothing has happened since their release: I’m not exactly going to forget the developers who make some of my favourite games, just because I’ve heard nothing about an Elden Ring 2,or Dark Souls 4, or Sekiro: Shadows Die Four-Times-Over in the works. I’m not a salmon, I remember the things I enjoy for more than 12 days afterwards.

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