In-Game Glossary: What Is A Triple-A Game?

Player using black Xbox controller in front of a TV
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

“Nobody in this industry knows what they’re doing, we just have a gut assumption.”

Cliff Bleszinski

Gamer or not, you may have heard of the term AAA (also written as Triple-A) floating around the internet. Any game called AAA assumes outstanding quality, graphics and storytelling. Well, unfortunately, that’s not true.

AAA is used to categorize video games with high development budgets. Like most Triple-A titles, the masses expect these video games to be graphically beautiful, complete and entertaining. For example, Grand Theft Auto V (2013) had a development and marketing budget of $265 million. At the time, Grand Thief Auto V was the most expensive video game to develop. Triple-A video game budgets are neck-to-neck with Hollywood movie budgets. Also, Grand Thief Auto V is a great game, in my opinion. 

A significant video game development and marketing budget can’t foretell if a video game is bad or not. You’ll have to play the game yourself and see if you like it or not.

Video game enthusiasts use this term to differentiate good games from bad games. What is a good or bad game depends on the person. Triple-A is more of an inside joke or slang term as opposed to more formal rating boards like Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB Ratings).

III (also written as Triple-I) is a lesser-known term for high budget indie video games. These games have less manpower than larger video game developers. On the plus side, indie game devs have more freedom to create games their way.

Did you already know what what AAA or III games were? Are there other video game terms? Let me know in the comment section below.

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