Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Monday, January 29, 2018

I Would Prefer an Upfront Price ... But That's Not the Way The Market Works

 I am a gamer.

I like playing video games. Have as far back as I can remember. But I haven't played many recently. My computer is the sort of junker that makes playing anything made past 2012 force me to hurl things at it. And being super broke with a mountain of debts I can't justify spending half a grand on consoles that are still essentially toys, luxury items for me to play with.

Still to me playing video games is one of the fastest ways for me to actually enjoy myself. I am really hoping for the day when I am just able to get back into the game. As such I try to stay current on games I might like and the general conversation occurring around the medium.

And for the past year, it's been microtransactions. microtransactions, mictrotransactions.

But this week Extra Credits put out a video explaining things from the industry side with an interesting argument.

Video games should not cost $60 anymore.

Now for me, it's a bit hypothetical. I don't have the money for new games and haven't for a while. But if I did somehow earn that dump truck of stupid money and could do whatever I wanted would I have a problem paying $75-100 for new video games? Do I feel that that would be a fair price?


What annoys me most about microtransactions and even day one DLC, again I'm dealing hypothetically here, is that they obscure the real price of the game, how much money it takes to get a fully enjoyable experience.

I feel like right now a lot of these games are essentially lying to consumers telling them the game will be enjoyable to them at the $60 mark when it's been developed from the ground up not to be.

Furthermore, without a set price or even guidelines, these games can feel downright predatory, extravagantly bilking their customers regardless of what it does to their lives. Sometimes you got to know when to cut 'em off.

But here is the thing. A price hike on games would require a first penguin. It would require a major studio being willing to be the first and take all the slings and arrows that implies. They aren't living in a vacuum. It hurts me to say it but there just isn't the variety there used to be in AAA games as there used to be, at least from where I sit. If Activision were the studio to do it (they won't be) with Call of Duty, EA would be sitting in the wings selling nearly the exact same game with a sticker price of $20-40 less.

Moreover. Even though I don't play games this conversation seems kind of "hardcore" (maybe I haven't been keeping up with the conversation as well as I should have been) and dear god I know how that sounds. But hear me out. I understand the frustration with microtransactions. Heck, I WAS RAISED ON MAGIC THE GATHERING! But a parent who doesn't play games buying their kids Star Wars Battlefront II for a birthday present might not. They're likely to just see a lower price on the shelf not realizing what it means. As I said in the beginning. As much as I would like to get into the game they are still essentially expensive toys.

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