They put the same amount of money and resources into the game play, story, and less into graphics?
The way I see it, the largest cost in games at this point is them trying to add as much detail and graphic power into the high profile games as they can. Yes we have indi games that are doing little things and having crappy looks to them.
But take a game like Dishonured. Lower the graphics form what it is to, maybe early 360/ps3 gen graphics, money would have been saved, the game play would have been the same, story the same, everything, but less crap tossed around the game.
Take your most played "AAA" title, and if the graphics in it where less, but you only played 40 bucks for it, would you still hold it in high esteem?
In some cases yes for me, in others no. In Skyrim, I got a lot of enjoyment out of seeing the awesome vistas that game could have. Take some of the graphical power out of that game, and it would not be as fun for me.
But for the Batman games, if the graphics where toned down a notch, I would still love that game for the combat, voice work, and somewhat storylines.
Really what I would like to see happen, is as game devs start to feel the squeeze from not making as much per "AAA" game that they used to, in place of putting all of there resources into tiny phone games like Epic, just put less into the graphics.