Monday, August 29, 2011

The Update About Nothing

I'm gonna warn problems sure aren't very serious when compared to those of...pretty much everyone else in the world. Since I acknowledge that fact, everything that comes after is TOTALLY ACCEPTABLE GRIPING.

I've been resisting for days the urge to cave in to the critical and popular acclaim and purchase Deus Ex. First, I saw the “Digital Super Who's It's What's Collector's Designer's Cut” edition for $59.99 and scoffed that way that I do when I see companies trying to sell PC games higher than the absolute maximum any PC game should rightfully cost.

I yield. I am ready to look like Park Bench Keanu Reeves.

Here's the thing: DVDs of movies with multiple hundreds of millions of dollars in budget...they cost about 20 bucks. You get a physical disk, a case, and probably some other paper ridiculousness. You know. Things cavemen use to build fires or throw at small creatures for amusement. Digital distribution gets rid of all this crap and yet I'm still paying AT LEAST $50 for a AAA title clocking in at, in most cases, a fraction of the production budget.

But I digress.


The point is there were these factors preventing me from buying Deus Ex and all my resolve finally washed away. When Something Awful offers a review lacking in derision AND sarcasm, you know you're on to something. I was gonna get this game if it was the last thing I ever did. It totally wasn't going to be the last thing I ever did. I fired up Steam and got ready to make my purchase.

I have a girlfriend. This is a recent development for me in as many possible ways as you can imagine. Often, when she's been staying over for a while, a non-trivial amount of clothing also gets left behind. Clothes that aren't mine. Occasionally, her schedule prevents her from coming over for a while so she'll collect the clothes she'd been leaving to do her laundry while she's at home. I leave my wallet in my back pocket a lot. Can anyone see where this is going?

Yes, Steam saves credit card info and crap like that so you can take part in the incredibly safe practice of keeping sensitive information in spaces where no one would dare infiltrate a la Sony and their PSN. I DON'T CARE, IT'S CONVENIENT. Except I had ALSO just gotten a new credit card and thus ran into the issue where I no longer have valid information in the system. DO YOU HEAR THAT? I'M NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO PLAY DEUS EX UNTIL TOMORROW. Where do I even live? Zimbabwe? What is this third-world bullshit?!

We can't stop here.

UGH. Anyway. My roommate is probably going to be writing things for the blog soon. How exciting is that? He's even a Z-list internet celebrity of sorts so...there's that. More info to come, I guess!


  1. I agree that the price of games is a bit silly at this point but the comparison to movie price points is a bit off. Most movies make back their money in theatres (incredibly overpriced big screen viewing pleasure). Which means that most all of the cash from DVD sales is extra profit (and arguably at $20 are disgustingly overpriced). So it makes perfect sense that they could sell a DVD cheaper than a game that is ONLY released once. Sort of.

    The problem is that most games take hundreds of people a couple of years to develop - which is expensive. And our ravenous desire for better graphics and smoother gameplay only exacerbates that problem given that technology development in basic game systems seems to have stalled in favor of the development of system add ons like Kinect and Move. Thanks Nintendo. Oh and the wonderous modern God of Profit can't be forgotten! I guess that means it's up to us to make Indie games worth playing that don't cost an arm and a leg. Get crackin'! Smiles.

  2. I tried to take into account development time as being all wrapped up into a game's total budget. The number that gets bandied about the most that I've seen - outside of EA Louse - is the $100 million development cost of World of Warcraft. Now I understand MMOs are a completely different beast because of the continuous development and server costs after launch, but I'm led to believe that $100 million point includes the pay of Blizzard staff during the years of development leading up to the game being made available to the paying public.

    If that's the relative high-water mark, and you have movies with MUCH shorter production times racking up budgets in the hundreds of millions, I think it IS somewhat of an apt comparison, especially when you consider how many AAA titles come out nowadays that aren't finished themselves and launch with the promise of pay-for-add-on content down the road, sometimes at greater than half the cost of the original game.

    Boxed software sales are profitable. Even with piracy and everything else running rampant. If they weren't, we wouldn't have games. The reduction in costs to the gaming companies when distributing digitally rather than in physical store locations is significant. I'm not saying I don't understand why prices are the way they are - I'm sure it's a complex beast trying to set different price points for multi-platform releases - ultimately, I'm just trying to say it's IRRITATING! Ha.

  3. Ich bin damit einverstanden, dass der Preis der Spiele ein bisschen dumm an diesem Punkt ist aber der Vergleich zum Film Preispunkte ist ein wenig abseits. Die meisten Filme machen ihr Geld zurück in den Kinos (unglaublich überteuert großen Bildschirm Sehvergnügen). Das bedeutet, dass fast alle der Mittelzufluss aus DVD-Verkäufe ist extra Gewinn (und wohl bei $ 20 sind ekelhaft überteuert). So macht es durchaus Sinn, dass sie verkaufen konnten eine DVD billiger als ein Spiel, das nur dann freigegeben wird einmal. Irgendwie.ffxi gil
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