Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Original or Profit. Video Games Are A Business.

Unfortunately, that’s the fact. Or rather, I believe that’s the fact.

A friend showed me a game he was interested called Brink and wanted my opinion on if he should get the PS3 or PC version. My first question was “what’s Brink?” Followed by a wiki lookup. My response was, “so it's APB for ps3 >.>”

“No, it's not an mmo, max is 8v8 online. It’s an fps too.”

*me reading the website* “Let's see. it's got 2 sides of resistance and security. it's got them fighting in one city for control. You have to use weapons and vehicles in a GTAesque style. And it kinda looks like [APB]. Doesn't have to be an mmo to have the same ideas >.>”

The conversation delineated into talking about sporks.

But before that point, I began to have some slight concern for the gaming industry. I’ve had them before. But now it’s more prevalent. What happened to the originality of gaming? Every year we get a slew of the same sports games from EA, some Call of Duty, Halo-though it’s been said after every game since Halo 3 that it’ll be the last. And then we have the massive amounts of copycat titles. Because we really need 5 different variations of Call of Duty on a yearly basis.

And why not? People continually buy them. They’re a guaranteed sale.

So while we complain about seeing the same games over and over again on the store shelves, we still buy them. I’ve heard some say that it’s because there are no other options. There’s always an option. There’s the option to NOT BUY the game on the shelf. You can always use the internet to find another alternative. You could make your own game (flash, LBP, or other). You could try something else that is completely outside of your normal gaming, even a lesser known title.

Gaming companies will produce products based on what sells. If we stop buying a particular product, they’ll stop making it and shift their focus onto something else. Will it be a new idea? Probably not. But if we, the consumers, show favoritism towards games that are not the same, different stories, different gameplay, different styles, etc., companies will start to look towards more original ideas.

Does it seem too easy? Yes. But I’m going to use an example from the documentary Food Inc, which basically tells us where our food comes from and how the American public can influence prices and what’s being bought. There’s a segment in the film about why organic foods are not seen in conventional super markets and are crazy expensive. Go to whatever non-Whole Foods or Central Market store that is in your area. What do you see? Isles and isles of pre-packaged, processed food, and maybe one isle or corner of fruits and vegetables. Why? Because the consumer population spends vast amounts of money on packaged foods and very little on fruits and vegetables. So it’s of better use of the store’s space to have loads of the packaged foods and few fruits and veggies. Why do we buy so much packaged food? Marketing, advertising, loads of money spent on making those products look more appealing over the organic goods. Even government money backs up packaged foods and very little goes towards organic. Because so few people buy organic, prices on fruits and veggies go up, which allows for packaged foods to be at a better value and easier selection for those on a budget. And it’s not that making organic foods is more expensive (picking an apple off the tree so expensive!!) Rather, the prices are up to help recoup any losses for having low sales.

It’s all about supply and demand. If we demand it, they’ll supply it. So think about the games you buy. What do you have in your collection? Are you content with spending $59.99 on the same item with the same story and the same interface? Do you see a row of Call of Duty followed by 20 other war related FPS dealing with similar subjects?

Always good to think before you buy. Might be surprised at what your purchases say.

Aside: Apologies if you haven't seen your comments showing up immediately in the blog. I only JUST received a notification from Blogger that some were flagged for spam. Not sure why. No links. Nothing regarding buying/selling. Just...comments. lol But they've been released now. Silly Blogger.


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