AAA versus Indie Games

In the world of gaming, there are amongst others, 2 distinct classifications of games. Those produced by major publishers, and those that aren’t. We ask “what are the key differences between these two types?” Firstly, let’s introduce both AAA and Indie games.

What are AAA Games?

AAA or Triple A games are those made by a large team costing a lot of money to produce. The games maybe the result of collaboration between several gaming companies working together. In turn, these games are also generating a lot of revenue in sales. They are the kind of games distributed by large publishers such as EA, Activision or Nintendo.  Think games like Fifa, Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto.

What are Indie Games?

Conversely, Indie game tend to be made by small teams of less than 30 people, or even just by one individual. The term refers to the games as being made independently, without the financial or technological backing of a major video games publisher. Think games like Minecraft. Indie games may be thought of as more accessible to wider audiences sine they are usually easy to play and inexpensive.

Price: AAA versus Indie Games

AAA games tend to be expensive. Maybe $50 or $60 for a new game release. Indie games have much lower production costs and overheads, so the price is more like $10 – $20. You might also get an indie game for less if you support a crowdfunding venture. For example, on kickstarter you may be asked to make a donation and in return you get a free or discounted copy of the game.


AAA games usually offer the game play a huge amount of gameplay time. There may be expansive maps or extensive missions. For the price you pay, you’ll be expecting hours and hours of gameplay. Maybe thousands of hours worth and you can certainly get it from AAA games. Indie games tend to be far shorter, you may even complete them within a few hours. This may be because there is a finite task or story to complete.


Probably the most obvious difference is within the animation of the games. This is not to say that indie games are not sometimes beautiful or exquisitely made. However, in general, the bigger budget games mean the most advanced technology. 3D graphics, realistic motion and voice overs. You’re looking at almost movie style quality of graphics in some cases.

Which is better in AAA versus Indie Games?

It really depends on what type of game you enjoy! If you like large scale action with team collaboration, you’ll probably prefer AAA games. These games have a wide reach and with mass marketing budgets they have garnered mass appeal.  However, don’t discount the little guy. As already mentioned, Minecraft is an indie game. This familiar, cuboid world was created by Markus Alexej Persson. Minecraft has sold over 144 million copies! It has since been bought up by Microsoft so it’s now firmly in the commercial lane, but from humble beginnings it has shown how successful an Indie game can be. Distribution platforms such as Steam have helped give exposure to a wide range of indie games and design studios that they probably would not have achieved on their own.

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