Why blender is not used in AAA video game industry?

Only speaking for myself here, but I tried it about once or twice a year since 2.5, gave it about 1-2 weeks every time and just switched back to my usual package in the end because I was way less efficient with it. You’d need to make it either accessible or give professionals a very good reason to switch, else they won’t invest time learning it.

If I need to choose what to learn when doing 60-80 hour weeks I’m going to be very selective, it’s either going to be a new skill, or a package giving me something that other’s can’t.

With the current UI/user experience I think the transition is pretty smooth, and there are a couple of good features Maya doesn’t have - took me only a few days to transition to Blender for some everyday tasks for which I’m very grateful.

status quo bias

1 Like

From the perspective of those artists that I’ve tried to convince that are experienced with another software (mainly 3ds max), they don’t see the benefits of using blender outweighing the effort required to learn the new software. And they also feel a sense of regret that they will have to abandon the software they have spent so much time learning.

When it comes to indies at least, it does not help that Google and Steam have changed their algorithms to do away with discoverability and direct traffic to the big titles instead (which means far less chance of success for any indie dev. unless they do a massive marketing blitz).

That would mainly impact titles where Blender might be used for nearly all of the assets as opposed to a large studio using a lot of different software.


A.K.A. “the sunk cost fallacy”:

Wikipedia - Sunk Cost

It is worth noting that the sunk cost fallacy is classed as a fallacy as, rationally, unrecoverable loss should not logically affect future decisions.

But, in practice, as we’re all human and have an innate aversion to loss (as well as being creatures of habit), then this particular irrationality occurs all the time everywhere. Even if it logically shouldn’t.

And folks will keep riding that inertia, even when it’s long past obvious that they’re heading downhill fast.

Not certain this would be classified as that though. There is a loss from switching due to lost work, lost capabilities, asset transfer, and other concrete results. To ignore that in favor of some nebulous wibbly-wobbly feel good future is not exactly good business practice.

1 Like

A lot of people that I know are working in Blender in studio, but still, the pipeline is Maya or 3DS Max.

1 Like

Blender is great.
Scripting for Blender is a wonderful experience- a hell of a lot easier than scripting for Maya.
However, there just isn’t the ecosystem yet, and as much as Blender is growing and 2.8 is a huge leap for the program, I don’t expect the ecosystem to properly build around it for at least another 5 or 10 years.

This is because of a few problems.
The first is pretty simple- there aren’t a lot of plugins available that produce game ready material, and there aren’t a lot of people dedicating time to creating such plugins.
The next is lack of support for the plugins that are out there.
The last and biggest is open sourciness issues.

For lack of support, I use the Cloth Weaver plugin sometimes, and it’s pretty great.
However, it’s not really a full company.
Cloth Weaver could pretty much disappear and become unsupported at any time, and it’s actually one of the better plugins out there.
If I was at EA and started using it, I’d be worried if anybody else started using it.
Probably I’d just end up hiring the creator to make sure he kept enough time to maintain and expand the product for me.
Then the tool would probably become EA proprietary.

The biggest problem is open sourciness.
Recently, ManuelBastioniLAB, one of the best plugins ever made for Blender, shut down without much reason or warning.
Fortunately, there are some forks on it on Github, but the license for the software means it’s simply not possible to expand on it.
Any product created with an “unofficial” version is AGPL.
For developing games, that makes the product pretty much 100% useless because it comes with a viral license.
This is a problem, and because Manuel Bastioni walked away from the project it’s unlikely it will ever be resolved.
So the plugin is dead.
Anybody who was using it and needs bug fixes is screwed.
The other part of open sourciness is a lot of game stuff is done in proprietary formats.
This is getting better.
Epic Games has pretty much finished support for glTF2, but until more engines add better support for open source formats, Blender is always going to struggle in this regard.

I came from 17 years of 3ds max use and work as an artist in many game studios in Montreal and i have teach 3ds max for 7 years. 3 years ago i start my own game and i became an indie dev.

So i have some real production experience in the video game sector in Montreal and all i can say is simply that current big studio cannot switch their pipeline to blender since first even if blender is an excellent 3d software it is missing so many features that studio will never make the switch. Add to this that even if they call Blender office and yell at Tod to release an urgent patch for their production pipeline they will not get the almost instant help they got from autodesk(Only very big studio that pay them millions in licensing).

Imagine a big studio with 700 employees that all got their formation for the main big boys like 3ds max or maya and now calculate the cost and time require to switch them over blender and you got another reason why they wont switch.

Where Blender will shine is with the indie game developer market that cannot afford the insane subscription price of 3ds max, remember that today indies are going to be the tomorrow eventual big studios so thing will get better for Blender in a few years.

I myself recently switch to blender and i am very glad i did it since blender is way faster for modeling and also very stable compared to 3ds max or Maya crashing every 10 to 20 minutes. I really miss a lot of neat tools from 3ds max like the unbeatable splines,the precision tools and spinners, the particle system, the max listner and max script, the geometry painting system, the modifier stack, the very numerous and handy modifiers, the amount of primitives with parameters etc.

I know some studios use blender for very specific task and often only have a few employees capable of working with blender while the majority of their staff work on Max or Maya.

With time Blender will probably get in but it is going to be a very slow process and studios will only consider using it once features are really on par with the software they use.


But where the costs have already been unrecoverably paid in the past, it is not rational for that to affect future decisions. That’s exactly what the “sunk cost fallacy” is saying. And, really, your knee-jerk objection to this is kind of only perfectly proving my point.

Yes, switching halfway through a project would seem dumb - although no-one was suggesting that, of course - but when beginning a brand new project, from the start, past costs that are already paid in the past should not rationally determine future decisions.

You had to learn and invest in Maya or Max 3DS originally, yes? At that point in time, you were in the same position of having costs ahead of you. Should you have also not bothered back then either?

You keep trying to make this narrative fit, but: These studios have invested in a particular software package and pipeline, and it works for them. For them to switch to Blender, they’d need to a: see an advantage, on top of the financial, and b: have the time and resources to train their entire company on a new pipeline before a new project, which means: stand-still for a certain amount of time, and uncertainty.

1 Like

Sunk cost fallacy only applies when there’s something to be gained by making a change. There isn’t a single studio in the world so upset with Maya or 3DS that they’re going to toss it away to use an untested, unproven software with no guaranteed support, a relatively weak, unstable add-on ecosystem, and major cross-app compatibility issues just because it’s free. Free is next to useless to a studio. The cost of a seat for an Autodesk product is almost immaterial if you’re turning any kind of profit.

At times, it seems Sunk Cost Fallacy has joined Slippery Slope Fallacy as more of a weapon with which to dismiss all counterpoints to an argument than pointing out genuine flaws in an argument.

If a FOSS project relies on something like that to gain users, it is because it failed to obtain a healthy amount of development so as to become a viable solution. Fortunately, this argument and the “blame his tools” argument has seen a major reduction in use on these forums.

1 Like

The Sunk Cost Fallacy is basically “crappy though it may be, we’ve already done so much with this thing, doing anything else would make all our previous efforts a waste of time and money, so we may as well stick with this crap.”

In terms of studios foregoing Max to switch to Blender, it’s more like “sure, Blender’s great, but we already know Max already does everything we need, and does it well, plus everyone’s already comfortable with our current pipeline setup, so there’s no real, compelling reason for us to change.” That’s less a concern of sunk cost, more a concern over a lot of effort for what’s, at best, a lateral move.

1 Like

It’s true, they won’t get much support from the Blender Institute (although the Blender devs are known to just fix bugs overnight in some cases). However, if they take the millions they spend on licensing and hire a few devs just to modify Blender to their needs, they’ll still have the instant support they want and lower the cost, while never becoming dependent on Autodesk’s good will. Blender’s open source nature is one of its best features.

1 Like

I agree a 100% with you but these CEO in big studios are very stubborn and they often think that if it’s not made by autodesk then it’s surely not good!

1 Like

If you look 3d software like this and can explain everything.

you’ll know why blender xxxx , why maya xxx, why c4d xxx .

Autodesk(Maya,3dmax,etc) is Microsoft (Windows OS).

Maxon(C4D) is Apple.

Blender is Ubuntu (Open source).

For big studios it’s also (if not mostly) about the internal toolset. Most of them are using several year old software versions because it’s too tedious to migrate all the internal tools.

Also, from a big vfx studio perspective (not sure if AAA games are any different) autodesk support is great when it comes to recovering corrupted files, but when it comes to bug fixes that doesn’t exactly happen over night, and anyone can safely forget about feature requests.

At first glance Blender’s development is far more transparent and with that, if it was up to me I’d rather invest a chunk of the subscription cost in the foundation supporting a developer or two.

1 Like

Uhhh, what?

And the same for pretty much the rest of your post, the only thing windows only is 3D Studio Max, and thats only because it’s tied to DX. Maya and blender both were available on SGI’s Irix before they became available on Linux AFAIK.


I’m not said 3dmax only support windows. I said company style. imagine it.