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Unity can't make good Triple A games?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Valkronos, Mar 21, 2015.

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  1. Valkronos

    Valkronos

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    My friend told me this, and now that I think about it, what Triple A games HAVE been made with Unity? It seems like no modern games are made with Unity, maybe some low end iOS game, no console games...


    Is this true? If not, justify your answer?....
     
  2. Deleted User

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    AAA games can be made with Unity, Square Enix and some other biggies already do. Whether a company wants to use Unity is a different matter (they tend to use their own), doesn't mean it's impossible as shown in the following examples:



     
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  3. TheSniperFan

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    The question isn't whether Unity can make AAA games, it's whether YOU can.

    AAA games have two things the typical Unity developer hasn't:
    1. Tons of manpower
    2. Development budgets that are measured in millions of dollars
    Those are two of the reasons why AAA games tend to use engines developed in-house.
     
  4. ChrisSch

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but plenty of Unity games are available on consoles too.
     
  5. RichardKain

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    There has been a recent shift (over the past few years) in the AAA space for major publishers to bring a lot of their internal development over to in-house engines. This has affected how many AAA games get developed using non-proprietary engines. That's actually the reason why you don't see as many AAA-developed Unity games these days. It has nothing to do with capability or features.

    Unreal Engine 4 has also been affected by this shift in focus from the major publishers. In the previous console generation, Unreal Engine 3 was getting used to produce all sorts of AAA titles. Now, the number of big-budget titles getting produced using Unreal Engine 4 has decreased significantly. It's not the fault of UE4, it's feature set is better than ever. Ditto for Unity 5. It's a matter of publishers wanting to have consistent tools across all of their studios, and not having to pay licensing fees and royalties to a third-party engine developer.

    Both Epic and Unity realized what was happening years ago, and I'm certain this shift in the industry affected their decisions to open up their engines to a broader indie-development market. They are extremely limited in how much they can influence a major publisher. But the smaller indie market is a huge opportunity for them to expand their user base and promote their on-line asset stores.
     
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  6. Ness

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    That's not true, but Unity has not a good image amongst the gamers. Its not like UE4 where if you put on its logo gamers will thinks that that's awesome. But the reason is that the games made with Unity where usually a low budget games, not because of the engine(IE: Hearthstone).
    Hopefully that will change with Unity5.
     
  7. Ryiah

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    You're not required to advertise that your game was developed with Unity. That's most likely the real culprit for this rumor.
     
  8. Stardog

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    How about the #1 selling game on Steam right now, Cities Skylines?


    Not really AAA, but there aren't many AAA games because they can make their own engine. Some still use customised versions of Unreal Engine 3 (Batman, Bioshock, etc).
     
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  9. Kiwasi

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    This is half the problem. The other half is you are required to advertise on low budget games. So every game you see with the Unity logo has a budget of less then 100k. This leads to the reputation of unity for low quality games.

    There are a few good comparison threads where artists have gone for high quality graphics both in Unity and that other engine. The general thought seems to be that the other engine does have nicer graphics, if your end user is running on an NSA super computer. For most platforms out there today Unity can do better graphics while keeping the frame rate up.

    Of course a generic engine for making every game will never be able to compete with a propriety engine built for a specific type of game. That's the big driver for proprietary engines. Its not cost, its the fact that a custom built engine will do any specific job better.
     
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  10. shaderop

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    Chances are you can't make AAA games either.

    Or, less tritely, AAA games require AAA content and AAA man-hours. Most people don't have that kind of money. And I'm assuming that that applies to you and your friend because otherwise worrying about game engine choices would be well below your pay grade.

    If you're asking because your concerned about employability, then nothing says "hire me" like a good portfolio, and you can definitely knock that out of the park using Unity.

    And don't be offended by my shock-and-awe opening paragraph. I can't make AAA games either, nor am I interested in that. I'm more interested in finding the intersection between the things I would love to make and the thing that I can actually make.

    If you're starting out, then you probably should focus on expanding the range of games that you can make. Worrying about the things that you would love to make and whether Unity is going to limit you or not can wait until later. Much, much later.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
  11. Kiwasi

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    I saw a calculation somewhere showing it would take more then the average life expectancy of a human for a single person to make a AAA game. Logic runs something like this.

    Lets say a team of 79 people work on a AAA game for one year. That's more man hours then the average American life expectancy. Lets also assume you don't get in any valid game development during potty training, and lets say you want to retire at a decent age too. The size of the team drops to 40 people.

    Now lets say an AAA studio works on a game for two years instead of one. The size of the team required to beat out your average life expectancy drops to 20 people. 20 people is getting pretty darn small for an AAA team.

    So moral of the story is if you want to work on AAA games, join yourself to an established AAA company with a big team. Its impossible to do on your own.
     
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  12. the_motionblur

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    It's not true but I also don't feel like I have to justify anything, actually.
    Ask your friend why specifically he thinks Unity can't do AAA games and what exactly he thinks AAA means.
     
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  13. Tomnnn

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    Answer: yes
    Justification: Blizzard, hearthstone
     
  14. Deleted User

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    Well it's just like a custom built PC really, they can be cheaper, more specific and vastly more powerful. But require enough knowledge, time and resources to be able to do it and if anything goes wrong you've got to deal with it.

    Well errrm, hmmm not quite if you're smart about it and have a fair amount of money, use pre-made engines and tools etc. I've seen single enviro artists make a full AAA game worth of material in six months and three man teams beat AAA games graphically and in game play.

    Where it all falls down being the small guy is venture vs. capital, you sink $ 250 - 500K into a game as small indie and somehow have to front up the money to have it advertised to match a reach where the return is enough not to sink you. If you want to stand a chance, you will need to spend a lot of money / outsource and buy a lot of tools there is no other way around it.

    It leaves you in a tricky fiscal situation not many dare to venture and too right, it's pretty silly to make a AAA game with so much at risk. It's far from impossible to do, but extremely impractical and devoid of logic in most cases..
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 22, 2015
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  15. eskovas

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    The big games made with Unity are often overlooked by some "bad" games.
    It's the sad truth that people always remember Unity by those games instead of the good ones.

    there are so many good and successful games made with Unity and some also made by known developers, like:

    Cities: Skylines ( http://store.steampowered.com/app/255710/ ) ( AAA Publisher )
    Ori and the Blind Forest ( http://store.steampowered.com/app/261570/ ) ( AAA Publisher ) probably the best visuals in Unity btw,
    Grow Home ( http://store.steampowered.com/app/323320/ ) ( AAA Publisher )
    Hearthstone ( http://us.battle.net/hearthstone ) ( AAA Publisher )
    Subnautica ( http://store.steampowered.com/app/264710/ )
    Rust ( http://store.steampowered.com/app/252490/ )
    Kerbal Space Program ( http://store.steampowered.com/app/220200/ )
    Plague Inc ( http://store.steampowered.com/app/246620/ )
    The Long Dark ( http://store.steampowered.com/app/305620/ ) ( also already with a movie planned (i think) )
    Besiege ( http://store.steampowered.com/app/346010/ )
    Unturned ( http://store.steampowered.com/app/304930/ )
    Standed Deep ( http://store.steampowered.com/app/313120/ )
    Verdun ( http://store.steampowered.com/app/242860/ )


    This one hasn't been released yet, but sure deserves to be mentioned :D
    FireWatch ( http://www.firewatchgame.com/ )

    And there are so so many more fantastic and successful games with Unity.
    It's sad that most people only remember the "bad" ones and associate Unity with those...


    I probably spent way too much time on this post, but i found it fun to find all these amazing games using Unity :D


    EDIT:
    Here's a couple more that deserve to be mentioned :D

    Hand of Fate ( http://store.steampowered.com/app/266510/ )
    The Forest ( http://store.steampowered.com/app/242760/ )
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
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  16. drewradley

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    Wasteland 2.
     
  17. 121

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  18. eskovas

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  19. cod3r

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    I alway see on steam forums people posting about how Unity isn't right for this kinda game blah blah. Lots of gamers out there that literally have never touched Unity or gamedev at all, but are quick to say Unity can't do this or that.

    Every new early access alpha that was made in Unity and people grab there is alway someone that pipes up about how Unity is the wrong engine. It's a thing that started a while back and just spreads because people know nothing about it.

    Reign of Kings is a new game that was made in Unity and I saw it recently on the steam boards some guy posted about how they shouldn't be using Unity blah blah and the performance is never going to be blah blah.

    When the fact is it actually performs pretty great and you can tell that there is almost zero optimization.

    I'd ask to see your friends credentials to make such a claim. Something tells me he actually knows nothing about it like the other gamers that make the same false claim.
     
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  20. Tomnnn

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    @eskovas wow, didn't realize stranded deep was made with unity! It's so pretty to look at lol. I knew all of those other games, but for some reason I keep forgetting about the cities one. Maybe because that [relatively] small dev team put EA to shame on an engine no one would expect :D

    Well pre unity 5 maybe no one would expect it. Things are looking interesting.
     
  21. Kaladin

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    I think you need to define "Triple A" game. Hearthstone was made using Unity and it's likely one of the 5 most played games in the world. I would certainly call that a triple A game. Hell, I would say it goes above and beyond most triple A games.
     
  22. ZJP

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    At the same time, the games that are made with Unity and have much success does not loudly proclaim they are made with Unity.

    I discovered on a Unity forum that Cities: Skylines was done with Unity. And I am certain that few players know it.
     
  23. cod3r

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    I don't blame them. Gaming community for some reason can't come to grips with the fact that unity is a fine engine. So you gets friends like OP has that can slow your sales based on false info
     
  24. ShilohGames

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    The gaming community certainly enjoys playing well done Unity games. As long as the game is fun to play, most gamers don't pay attention to the engine used to make the game.
     
  25. ZJP

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    Oh yes. Don't surrestimate the couple Unreal + Nvidiaaaaa !!! :D

    When I was younger, whenever I saw the jingle "20th Century Fox", I was sure to spend a good evening (back to the 70-80's). Even now, 20th = Star Wars :p
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015
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  26. Valvy1

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    Isn't the triple AAA status an indication of how much the development cost?

    If so then unity cant make triple AAA because the engine is dirt cheap compared to creating your own. ( what big studio's often do)
     
  27. Ryiah

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    Using an existing engine saves you tremendously by providing a good starting point. Having to re-invent the wheel by developing an engine from scratch takes away some of those resources that could have been better spent on improved visuals, sounds and music, gameplay, play testing, etc.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015
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  28. ArthurT

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    It's weird how AAA became a synonyme for awfully executed games and indie for good games. Very few AAA titles in the last year were actually any good.
     
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  29. NomadKing

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    Thanks for the list - I don't know how I hadn't seen Ori and the Blind Forest before... wow that's a pretty game!
     
  30. derf

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    Um...can we stop throwing around the "AAA" brand like it has merit or weight?

    It is really a misnomer and should not be used to try to quantify the quality of work.

    It was coined a long time ago in some article by some know nothing writer to try to showcase their opinion on the difference between games of different talents of developers and it just some how stuck in the minds of gamer's (and devs) as the industry measuring stick.

    There is no such measuring stick. A game could have just over a million dollar budget and look gorgeous with amazing game-play, another could have a twenty million dollar budget and look like crap, with S***ty game-play.

    One could use a in house custom built game engine, the other a 3rd party proprietary game engine, but which is which and is it the engine or the talent of the studio using it that is the difference.
     
  31. thxfoo

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    For me AAA means huge budget. Hearthstone was created by a very small team in a very short time. That is not AAA for me.

    AAA for me is a relative measure. It means belonging to the most expensive games. E.g. if current expensive games are 50-100 millions, than anything below 20 million cannot be AAA in my eyes. Or we could measure in people: if many games are made by 100+ people a 20+ people game is not AAA.

    I don't know of any AAA game made with Unity. But not saying they don't exist. Ok, I say it: they don't exist.
     
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  32. RichardKain

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    This is not a bad idea. For some time now I've been thinking a better "label" would be "big-budget," as that is what is actually being referred to. (the amount of money available to be spent on the title)
     
  33. LaneFox

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AAA_(game_industry)

    Yes, there are plenty of big budget, successful and high quality Unity games. You can easily find information about them via the search function or Google.

    Haven't we gone over this topic enough?
     
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  34. tiggus

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    I would tend to agree, Hearthstone is a great game but it could have been written in any number of free engines or from scratch for how simple it is. AAA to me means big team, big graphics, big marketing, on the order of many millions. APB(oh poor APB) cost on the order of $100 million to make, that's AAA.
     
  35. Tomnnn

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    @thxfoo oh, I thought we were going by quality of product instead of quantity of production. Stranded Deep is beautiful, but I doubt they spent a few hundred million dollars on it. I know some games that haven't turned out too well but did collect a few hundred thousand dollars. Are those more 'AAA' than the games without huge budget even though they're unpolished and awful?
     
  36. thxfoo

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    Did not find any. You know a 100 million Unity game?


    For most people AAA means huge budget and has nothing to do with quality. Many AAA games even s#ck.
     
  37. RichardKain

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    That's a bit of a dicey metric. The quality of a product is rarely ever tied to the amount of money spent on it. There are numerous games with budgets of tens of millions of dollars that turned out terrible. And there are plenty of small-scale indie games that had minuscule budgets that were fantastic. Having a huge amount of resources to draw on does not insure quality.

    Quality is a more subjective evaluation, divorced from measurable statistics. Budget is far easier to quantify. This is part of the reason why "big budget" would be a better term to use than "AAA." The term "AAA" implies a judgement on quality. In other industries it is normally used to imply that something is high-quality, or deserving in some way. It's often associated with different awards. Applying it in a blanket sense to all games with large budgets is a mistake.
     
  38. LaneFox

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    Try harder?
     
  39. RichardKain

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    A good recent example would be SimCity vs. Cities: Skylines. The most recent iteration of SimCity was constructed by a highly experienced team at Maxis, with a sizable budget and plenty of time. But the end product they shipped was not really up to snuff. The Cities: Skylines team was much smaller by comparison, with a lot less resources available to them. But the game they shipped is garnering all sorts of critical praise, and is clearly a hit with the general players as well.

    This is partially a comment on the disparity of the budgets. SimCity had the larger budget, and more available resources. Of course, no one was knocking SimCity for looking bad. It apparently looked quite good, and even had an appealing art style on top of its technical prowess. The disparity in these two games was more a matter of design decisions than any effect of their difference in budgets.

    SimCity had several bone-headed decisions shoe-horned into it that crippled its potential. Most of these centered around the on-line multiplayer. Cities: Skylines focused down on the single-player aspects of the game, and is thriving because of the market that wanted a single-player friendly city simulator. This difference had very little to do with the engines being used on either game.

    The moral of the store is simple. The quality of the tools you are using are meaningless if you don't use them properly. SimCity had access to far more in terms of tools, but the decisions made on how to use the resources they had spoiled what would have otherwise been an excellent game. Cities: Skylines was using the Unity engine, and presumably had a much smaller budget for art production. Thanks to several very good design decisions that were made in developing that game, it is succeeding quite well. The limited tools at the developers disposal were used well and wisely.
     
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  40. Daydreamer66

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    A game's scope and budget are not the only "AAA" qualifiers. After all, a company spends only what it needs to create and market a successful game, and not ever venture requires over $100 million. One could argue that any game released by a large, prominent game development house is "AAA".

    And this brings me back to Hearthstone. With a slew of game of the year awards in 2014, and over 25 million registered users, I'd be surprised if Hearthstone hasn't already surpassed $100 million in profit. I also suspect most gamers would consider any Blizzard property to be "AAA".
     
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  41. thxfoo

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    Normally my google-foo is very powerful, but no luck in this case. I know the Unity gallery, but no AAA game there. And it would sure be in the gallery, wouldn't it?

    Can you help me and name some, or at least one? Thanks
     
  42. thxfoo

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    See wikipedia. For most people it means Budget.

    Most people bind it to budget (or maybe to look, so much "boom" => AAA). Hearthstone does not fall in to either.
    Also a AAA studio can create small games. And a small game is not AAA. Hearthstone is small. Like Disney has departments for "smaller" games (that use Unity).
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015
  43. Kaladin

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    All of Blizzard's games, imo, are AAA. Even if you don't like the games, you would have to be ignorant to say they're not top notch quality. WoW, Diablo, and StarCraft are each the pinnacle of games in their respective genres. Blizzard is like Valve. Every game they make is of insane quality.
     
  44. thxfoo

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    Read wikipedia linked above. It is not about quality, it is about budget. And Hearthstone was done with mini budget by a mini team.
    If you like to define AAA differently you can say Hearthstone has good quality. But that is not how the term AAA is used normally related to games.

    Edit: Or would you call a flappy bird clone by Epic a AAA game only because of other games Epic created?
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015
  45. LaneFox

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    The budget is ambiguous, so there isn't much point in referencing anything.
     
  46. ZJP

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    @RichardKain
    Another lesson learned: Unity is a very good "versatible" engine, as it seems that Maxis uses a specific one for its projects. :cool:
     
  47. Kaladin

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    From wikipedia:

    "term used for games with the highest development budgets and levels of promotion"

    First of all, I doubt the development budget for Hearthstone is low. The game is MASSIVE in popularity. Easily one of the 5 biggest games in the world. Blizzard has offices in multiple countries with teams for Hearthstone in each of them. They have to translate the game into more languages than most games, and support more payment methods than most games. The core team at Blizzard headquarters probably has 30-50 developers working on it. Blizzard developers are likely among the best paid in the industry.

    Second, the promotion and advertising for Hearthstone is huge. I would guess that they have spent more on that alone to bring it into "triple a budget" even without development costs.

    There's also the esports division of the game. Millions probably go into that every year.

    If you say Hearthstone isn't a "triple A" game, you're delusional and/or a Blizzard hater. Just because the game itself is small and simple doesn't mean it's not a "triple A" game.
     
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  48. Daydreamer66

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    From the wiki, the origin of the term:
    Per Hearthstone, check and check. Also, keep in mind that a "smaller" game from Blizzard might be considered medium to large in other development houses. Blizzard also spent a pretty penny on Hearthstone marketing and continues to do so with each new expansion.
     
  49. Andy-Touch

    Andy-Touch

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    Alot of these terms are purely semantics and vary on your background of them. Does it matter if Unity is used for whatever AAA is percieved as, or if it isn't? You can make fantastic and beautiful games with Unity either with a huge team or a lone developer; and there are plenty of examples of such. :)
     
  50. darkhog

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    I've always thought AAA meant "best possible graphics and sound for current-gen hardware".
     
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