Soseki of Games on Smash explores what the black markets within gaming mean for developers and the future of the industry.
Good article, even though I disagree with some points. But, I do agree that Steam has basically saved PC gaming. Also, it is interesting that you can basically buy any new release for 40 bucks like 2 weeks after it releases. Those type of deals are cropping up more and more nowadays. It's clear a way to pro actively fight used game sales.
This article's description is a bit over-exaggerated. The article more simply states game prices are too high yet doesn't offer too much insight on the developers position, or the future of the industry. The most interesting point was regarding Steam, I definitely believe rather than reducing prices, adding more value at current prices would better solve this issue. Hopefully we can get a more comprehensive analysis of this kind of business model.
I thought we were all the same, and by claiming one type of person likes something means it's stereotyping.
***If developers are unable to receive compensation for the purchase of their creative good, there is a problem on the side of the supplier, not those who demand the good.*** Try telling that to developers as they close shop due to dwindling profits. The fortune of our market is that A) certain methods of distribution have made it easier not to pirate/buy second-hand (Steam, Collector's/Limited edition offerings) and B) mass appeal games tend to make up for loss of sales in other games (CoD, WoW, etc.). ***In truth, lowering the price could increase revenue for the game company.*** There are economists that are paid to analyze these sort of things and they so far support the pricing of video games. Economists who I am sure understand how to price products in the market better than you or I. If it was merely the factor of reducing prices to grab a larger market share, they would do it already. But, it's not that. In an ideal world, perhaps the solution of selling for lower would work out. But in this world there's still people who will buy used for even cheaper than $40 deals now that they're there and will pirate a game for free rather than paying full price for the game. These elements don't suddenly get thrown out the window because you lowered the price as the resulting second-hand market adjust in relationship to the new lower prices.
I may just write a follow-up article to go along with this. "Try telling that to developers as they close shop due to dwindling profits...There are economists that are paid to analyze these sort of things and they so far support the pricing of video games. Economists who I am sure understand how to price products in the market better than you or I." Well then they must not be doing a good job if devs are closing up shop due to dwindling profits. I also don't trust all-knowing economists with a title to determine the proper price for a good, especially when the used game stats are what they are; I'm pretty sure the market has spoken there. "But in this world there's still people who will buy used for even cheaper than $40 deals now that they're there and will pirate a game for free rather than paying full price for the game." Of course they will, and enterprises such as Steam offer services that attract people who would otherwise engage in piracy or used game sales. The industry needs to adapt. But in the process of lowering prices, a larger market could be tapped, and $60 gamers would sit around with even more money to throw around. One of my favorite inventions of the gaming industry though is the stigma of releasing a sub-$60 game; people treat those games as though there must be something wrong with them. If it isn't $60, it isn't "full-priced," so it must not be a "full release."
I think that while your arguments for the publisher & dev's is fairly solid, it's missing a few angles. One - their are few devs that produce complete products these days. They gimp their baby either on purpose or behest of their publisher. DLC for outfits in ssf4 or a game play mode ala BC2 (200kb means it was already on the disc) hurts my desire to pay full price. EA's VIP idea is great as long as the support is there. Which brings me to another issue....devs need to convince me that when the inevitable newness wears off, that support is coming fast! Patches are a nessecary evil These days. And DLC that is free and or reasonably priced. Pirating is stealing...no defense there. But trades/selling for credit towards newer titles is the market saying we want more value for our $81 with taxes. Here's a few ideas: betas should always be available to customers who bought the titles earlier incarnation. Buy game x and receive free dlc for any other game of a publisher! This will be timed so you need to keep the original game x to access a ingame browser when other game releases. Think ODST but instead of a beta, make it significant DLC.
Yes I agree it's a well written article unfortunately the facts don't support his opinion. Given an utopian society, everyone would feel as his friend does. However, PC games at $40 are full price and even I have a hard time paying more than $20 for a PC game which accounts for the lack of action my PC gets. The problem is that there is a decreased demand for games right now period. You can see that in what publishers chooses to put out. Many continue pumping out sequels and those companies that make original content like Remedy, Play.Create.Share, or Quantic Dreams get little to no recognition for their new games. Compare the sales of Heavy Rain, LittleBigPlanet, and Alan Wake to CoD. People don't like paying for anything except what they love or trust. Demos could help that. But reducing the price won't fix the demand entirely. If Heavy Rain was $30, people would still have a hard time buying it. Alan Wake is probably worse because of the piracy issues on the 360. If you can get it for free, people will do that over paying most of the time.
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