Friday, March 22, 2013

I am a believer of used games driving sales. Used games are not just video game discs that people sell back to Gamestop (at ridiculously low prices). They are also rented games, video games shared in college dorms, even games passed among siblings. Used games, promoted sales, when it came to Mass Effect, I wasn't a fan of RPG styled games at the time. A friend let me borrow the game, and I was hooked instantly. I then went on to own the trilogy.  I still remember where I was when I first saw Grand Theft Auto 3 and instantly wanted it for myself. My friend let people borrow the game for like an afternoon. But an afternoon with that game wasn't enough. Soon after I was out to get the system, memory card, and disc. I watched a friend play Ico and he watched me play Shadow of the Colossus and we both waited and waited for the Last Guardian. But if my buddy says hey I would let you borrow this game but it won't work on your console. I will feel like the developer doesn't want me to share experiences with my friends and family.

Word of mouth, and witnessing proof of concept are what drive gamers to buy. Faith in your product also drives sophisticated users to believe more in your presented concept. If before I hear about the game play features of a video game, I am hearing about how to prevent piracy, and controversy over its marketing. I am going to feel as if the majority of work isn't going into making the best game possible. I feel its more board room meetings deciding, the eventual onslaught of nickel and dime dlc, or what part of the story can we cut and then reintroduce it as dlc. With these practices, how can they get mad at users letting friends borrow used games when the bulk of the content is delivered post launch within dlc packs. The barrier of an online pass has prevented me from wanting to even get to know some titles. I was enjoying Assassins Creed Revelations multiplayer with friends then was prompted to enter in a key pass to continue playing online. Once that dialog popped up, I was instantly turned off, I don't play or buy Assassin Creed games anymore. Why because I am bitter about that one experience.

So all the amount of marketing video game companies put into fancy CGI commercials, sending copies of the game into space, and using the media sites to hype their game up, is instantly lost once I see the game and it doesn't fulfill the claims the developer made before hand. Some companies run around talking about how they have the best product of the season. Smarter ones let their game speak for itself. While others bury the media with lies and thus bury their franchise as well.

If a player cannot afford your game and really would like to play it they are going to wait until it fits in their budget. If your game is always ten dollars out of their budget then you won't have that players attention. Erasing used games from the market place will make your overall user base much smaller rather than larger. If I want three games and can only afford two, well guess what? One of those titles are just not going to be purchased, simple as that. For failed games, if the game never is discounted to a price I think is fair then it wont even be a pity purchase.

Bottom Line: Publishers/Developers the issue between you and gamestop, is between you and gamestop. Not us the consumer.

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