Daikatana had an AAA budget.
It really isn't.Hello? I didn't play Left 4 Dead because it had a big budget, but because it's sophisticated and cool, that's what AAA games mean.
Try reading an industry rag like MCV. It has adverts in it, not for end customers, but for retailers - i.e. "buy this game from your distributor, you'll sell loads of it". Every "AAA" game comes with a tagline for the marketing budget, since that's what defines an AAA game.
Left 4 dead had a marketing budget of 10 million dollars. L4D2 was $25m for marketing. Not a penny of that went onto the game, that's money for adverts. That's what makes a game AAA.
1) Psychonauts is an AAA title (from 2005) - however, unlike other HIB games, it was originally funded by a big-name publisher who spent millions on it.I haven't seen such games on Humble Bundle.
2) A vaguely modern AAA game costs tens of millions of dollars to develop and the same again to market. The best selling HIB ever raised 5 million, which is split first between charity/developer/tip split, then again between developers. If you assume that 100% of HIB revenue went to the 8 game developers, then each got $600,000. That's a decent chunk of change for an indie, but it's a rounding error for something like GTA4 with its $100m budget.