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Oct 31 2010
By: GrayGargoyle PlayStation MVP 11063 posts
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Are game makers greedier than gamers?

14 replies 303 views Edited Oct 31, 2010

Look at them and look at us. They set the prices. Once at $50 per purchase, for $100 you could walk home with two games in hand. That all changed with the introduction of the current generation. Prices went up. $60 a pop here, and $150 for a Collector's Edition there. Killzone 3's Helghan package will set you back $130. Rock Band neared the $200 point. PSP Go was $250 just one-year ago. The PlayStation 3: $600.

 

While costs are high and their revenues are up, don't think that we gamers at home aren't getting something in return for it all. We, the gamers, constantly demand things. Trophies. Multiplayer support. 60 frames per second. 1080p. 3D and Move compatibility.

 

"Where is it?"

"Why didn't you do this?"

"Make this sequel!"

 

They want, they give. We want, we get. Publishers and developers are tied up in this constant string of action and reaction regulation between the guys who make the games possible and the people who receive the product, play the product, and pay their share to stay healthy, money-wise. Strings of downloadable content produce extra rations, rations which ask for more green, and the gamers themselves quest for fixes, extras, and overall the kind of games that they generally wish to be a part of.

 

Between game makers and gamers, who is the greedier subject? Are they asking for too much money ,or more so are we asking for too much content?


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Treasure Hunter
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Re: Are game makers greedier than gamers?

Oct 31, 2010

I would say it all depends on the companies. The ones that look really greedy over their fans to me, would be Square Enix, EA, Activision, and probably Capcom. There are others on the other end though, that I would think the fans would be the greedy ones, such as NIS, Atlus, and so on. Why do I think this?

 

Square Enix is a company, that regardless of what people want, they try to force out whatever they want, regardless of what everyone else truly wants....that, or they label anything as Final Fantasy...... need I say even their tower defense game, they made it FF? A simple game one can play online, sold at a DL game's price, just with a FF skin? EA and Activision, nothing that hasn't been said before. They live, eat, and sleep money.

 

NIS and Atlus seems like they are more for their fans than anything else. The fans want something, in due time, they make it happen. Both companies are low on money, but they know their place in the market, and what do they do? They don't push to make a blockbuster hit. If it happens, it happens, if not, they know what to expect. How many games have they tried to bring over for the people? Sure, they might not be top quality on everything, but they do everything to please their fans. No idea how, but with that, they deserve all the respect they can get in my eyes.

 

Another thing I would say, is that any JP dev that goes "western", would also be on that greed ladder. Changing formulas for big named games, to sell out to another audience, really lets the fans down. SO MANY devs this gen have done it. Why do they go "western"?..... Not for the fans.....for the money. They, as said, want a slice of the pie, that Modern Warfare got for sales. If you are a Japanese dev, and you "must" go western, for reasons beyond your own "wanting to, because it is for the good of the series" or "making a new IP series for the west, but will keep JP games within their respective boundaries", I call a greed card on that.

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PlayStation MVP
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Re: Are game makers greedier than gamers?

Oct 31, 2010

I'd say overall the Gamers are the ones more greed dependent than the developers. Then come the publishers rather than the developers.

 

To start with, one has to place the largest chunk of the blame on inflation. I've gotten into more than a few debates, or rather one sided arguments laced with whining, about the "price" of gaming. While at the heart of it, $60 is more than the $50 that the last 2 generations saw as the standard price. But, it's cheaper overall when adjusted for inflation.

 

20 years ago, minimum wage was somewhere in the $3 an hour range. I want to say I started off around $3.50 or so. Minimum wage now is $7.25 (or is it $7.50?) It took me roughly 12 hours of working back then to buy 1 $40 game in the late 80s. Some were even close to $60. To buy a $60 game now takes 9 hours. I won't go too far into the whole inflation equation, but let it suffice to say, today's dollar doesn't go as far as it used too either.

 

Development costs are also far higher today than they were 30 years ago. I think development teams in the 80s could be counted in the dozens at worst. Today's development teams number in the hundreds. Not to mention the voice acting cast, musicians, composers, advertisment, etc. Most gamers are "demanding" high def games, multi-player action and so forth. I doubt Trophy inclusion really adds much to the overall cost of a game, but HD and Multi-player do.

 

Many gamers are also willing to spend extra money for collector's editions and down loadable content. If you were the publisher, why wouldn't you cash in on that? 

 

With that portion said, there is such a thing as too much. $0.99 - $3.99 for costume packs that only change the exterior of your character without actually adding anything. Seriously? $10 for online play? Or for a bonus extreme mode? Come on. Horse Armor? Really? $15 for 3 extra maps for multi-player? Now we're talking about getting bilked. $15 a month for an MMO is more than likely way more than is really needed, especially since people have shown their willingness to buy in game content. While I will defend a person's right to pay to play, I will also say there are some good solid free to play games out there as well. 

 

There is something to be said about poor sales killing sequels. Proven IPs are less costly to produce than new, original material. If you build a successful new IP, much of the sequel is already in place. Why spent another $100 million on something that may or may not sell, if you can produce a sequel for less than half that? Granted I know nothing of what it takes to produce games, but logic would tell you it's cheaper to reproduce than to simply produce.

 

Ports are cheap to produce as well. Which is why you've seen a good number of older games brought back out on handhelds. Like Final Fantasy. I want to say there's at least 8 different platforms which it can be played on now. Look at the Atari collections or Sega collections. Cheap, easy and a good way to raise money. But do we need that many versions of one game? Probably not. But then again, if someone's willing to buy, why not?

 

You can't entirely blame the companies for catering to the demand. If gamers as a whole didn't support these actions, then publishers would not get away with quite so much. Do we need HD? Trophies? Multi-player? 120 FPS? 16 languages on the disc just to appease people who want to import a game? No not really. But again, people have made these demands and have bought into the hype of need rather than wants. Guess what? It's there. We buy it. 

 

Who's the bigger issue? I'm more inclined to say we're in a catch 22 cycle. We feed their greed, they feed ours. 

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PlayStation MVP
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Re: Are game makers greedier than gamers?

Oct 31, 2010

  Well, first of all, it's unfair to say all devs and publishers are greedy, or that all gamers are.  Sure, the companies that make and distribute games are running a business, so of course they want money.  That's all fine.  And there are devs and publishers that actually listen to their fans, and taking what they say into consideration when developing and distributing games.  And there are gamers who spend more time gaming than complaining.  And the opposite is true too.  Some devs no longer produce games they're passionate about producing, and will instead throw together anything that'll make them more money.  They may decide to downgrade a game so that it could work in multiple formats.  They may overcharge for dlc.  They may even decide to turn their backs on their current fanbase, all for the sake of some extra cash.  Publishers may be more inclined to attach their name to something that'll sell more.  But to say that all devs and publishers have certain business practices that some consider to be less than idea, is unfair in my opinion.

 

  And yes, there are gamers who are greedy too.  It has often been said that gamers have a sense of entitlement.  And I think that's true.  I think sometimes we expect too much of devs and publishers.  We can't always expect them to throw in free content or extras, or to extend the replay value of a game at their own expense, simply because we'd prefer it if they did.  And we can't tell them how to make a game either.  Sure, we may want certain kinds of games, but it's ultimately up to the dev or publisher.  And they can't help us if we don't help them.  That means buying new copies of all the games we want to support, even if that means having to wait for a price drop.  But lack of sales is a major problem for devs and publishers.  But not all gamers are unreasonable either. 

 

  Personally, I can't blame either party.  There are greedy devs and greedy gamers out there.  And I'd say both sides can be a little extreme.  But that isn't true for all devs, publishers and gamers out there.  But judging the greedy members of both parties, I'd say, neither is really more greedy than the other.  Both are looking out for themselves, ultimately.

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PlayStation MVP
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Re: Are game makers greedier than gamers?

Nov 1, 2010

Naturally, not all game companies and gamers are greedy. With perception, we do tend to target particular people or groups of people in this case. Looking at Electronic Arts, for example, years before gamers could play their used games online without spending anything extra to get there. Now EA has issued a strategy to rake in more money whether or not gamers' who buy used are thinking they're getting their EA game for less money, when in fact they're likely spending the same or near the cost for a brand-new copy.

 

Other game companies are cornering the used market the same way, and in other areas are ringing dollar signs along their eyeline. Specifically, the DLC market is a great place for such specimens as Activision to ask $10 for four new multiplayer maps, and later on raise the price to $15 for three new maps. Bundling two revised versions of maps from the previous game, there's a good chance you've bought and played through these already if you've been paying for Call of Duty all three years in a row.

 

Gamers, too, also voice their concerns across the Internet. Often nowadays you'll find an article from someone in the industry that comments on their game, detailing how "...we listen to our fans..." That tells you companies lend an ear, which makes the gamers the designers of the game in part. If we're correcting their past mistakes instead of game designers knowing what to do, then we're fulfilling our wish... our desire... our greed, if you can see it that way.

 

We all want something. I'm not sure if game companies as a whole can be looked at as the greedier, as gamers too are in constant demand for games to be like going to Burger King: "Have it your way!" Both are about even, I would think, as not everyone can be pegged as a Greed Gremlin, after riches more so than those that just sit back and let things be.


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Wastelander
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Re: Are game makers greedier than gamers?

Nov 3, 2010

Everybody looks to make a buck or save a buck sometimes. That’s just the nature of modern economics. And gamers certainly do the same. Why we even have a guide on this very forum about gaming on a budget.

 

But “greed” perhaps has a more negative connotation than the basic ideas of frugality or profit. Greed, I think, becomes problematic when those selfish actions have negative consequences for others.

 

When the subjects of “greed” and “gaming” are being discussed, somebody usually brings up Gamestop. I guess that will be many. Some gamers and developers find Gamestop’s used sales practices to be greedy, as they sell second-hand software for $5 cheaper than brand new. And if Gamestop could be considered greedy for doing that, then perhaps the gamers who purchase those titles just to save $5 could be considered greedy too.

 

Of course, what Gamestop is doing is legal. As are other supposedly greedy developer practices, such as DLC or extra pay for multiplayer.

 

But you know what greedy practice isn’t legal? Piracy. As I’ve said before, people who purchase games used are still legitimate customers who at least show a willingness to pay for their entertainment. Video game pirates on the other hand are flat out stealing game titles, which is unquestionably an act of pure greed, and I think that practice puts gamers over game makers in this debate.

 

Not all gamers are pirates though, just as not all game companies are out to rip off their customers with deceitful practices. Some greed, as the quote goes, is good. It’s normal to want the most for your money. Just don’t take it too far.

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Re: Are game makers greedier than gamers?

Nov 5, 2010

Bobby Kotick and Activision aside I think that it's gamers who are generally the greedier of the two.

 

A quick glance at almost any forum here reveals the variety of demands/wants/gripes/requests/wishes of gamers. We want GT5 to have 1000+ cars, 50+ tracks, full damage modeling, accurate physics, online gameplay, 60fps, 1080p, 7.1 surround sound... and we want it yesterday.

 

In certain ways having a demandin audience is a good thing. For one it drives developers to out do each other and themselves. It's kind of like Darwin's Survival of the Fittest theory. The best and brightest developers/publishers see the spoils of a job well done and the others shrink into financial ruin and closure.

 

The negative aspect is that as the bar is continually pushed we get accustomed to nothing but the best all the time. We become jaded to slightly less pretty games. Games that don't have online multiplayer or 7.1 surround sound or whatever bells and whisltes get you going. We may miss fantastic games because we're anxiously awaiting CoD17 and truly deserving studios may have their work go unnoticed.

 

Speaking of financials I always chuckle when folks complain about the cost of gaming. It's difficult to think of a single item that costs the same or even less (adjusted for inflation) than it did 10 or even 20 years ago. I still remember my folks forking over $80 USD so I could have Chrono Trigger on release day - that was in 1995.

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Last Guardian
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Re: Are game makers greedier than gamers?

Nov 5, 2010

I think they raised it to 60 due to the blu ray disks, idk if they are more costly to manufacture but thats what im guessing, 

 

As for collectors editions, it depends on what comes with it though ill agree they seem very overpriced. 

 

However still great deals to be had, you can get both God of War games on one disk for only 40 bucks and they come with two sets of trophies for example 


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Re: Are game makers greedier than gamers?

Nov 7, 2010

Although games keep going up in price, consoles keep going up in price, and generally everything else is as well, I still think that gamers are the greedier of the two. After all, developers and publishers (usually) aren't raising prices because they want to take advantage of the consumer, they're raising them because of the rising cost of developing a game. The last thing these companies want to do is go out of business so they have to follow these 60-dollar price-points and the like.

 

But, alas, the hard work coming from the developer never seems to be enough for the general public. And, sure, I recognize that we occasionally have the right to demand certain features that have been promised to us, but generally, we aren't happy even though we almost always get what we want. We have Trophies, 1080p/720p resolution, free online service, remastered PS2 classics, Netflix, Blu-ray, Move, etc. The list can go on and on but, sadly, people's complaints go on and on as well.

 

A great example that I can think of where people are never happy relates to the Call of Duty series. Gamers always seem to go through the same process of demanding new content, getting excited for the release of the game, and then whining that they're bored with it a week or two after its release. They then play the game and continue to whine or drop it altogether and wait for the next "great" iteration of the franchise.

 

I'll never forget when Modern Warfare 2 was close to release. I can recall, as if it were yesterday, people complaining about how the game offered literally nothing new. Really? The game had a completely new story, new multiplayer maps, new killstreaks, the introduction of callsigns, a completely new mode called Spec Ops, new guns, etc. I just failed to see where people could be fine in calling the game "the same thing" as the previous installment.

 

Now, I haven't been gaming as long as someone like PapaWarlock, but I can already very clearly see how the gaming culture is quickly getting more and more greedy and therefore less and less thankful. Again, there are always exceptions, but developers work themselves at a crazy pace to try to make consumers happy and, generally, we do little to return the favor. Another great example of this, actually, can be found in betas. People, for the most part, play them just to play them and offer little-to-no feedback to the developer on how the game feels, what bugs they encounter, what the developer could do to improve something, etc.

 

The only strong counter-example that I can think of is when developers release content on the PlayStation Store that easily (from what I think, anyway) could have been included on the retail disc. For example, it was either the day of or the day after Soulcalibur IV released, content was put up on the Store. If I remember correctly, the soundtrack and various costumes were released. I may just be assuming things, but I feel like this was a very greedy move on Namco's part.

 

But, in general, I feel like game makers are not greedier than gamers. Developers always try to satisfy us and we're never truly happy. I wish I could say that I see this trend dying off in the future, but we're a very hard crowd to please.

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Limit Breaker
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Re: Are game makers greedier than gamers?

Nov 13, 2010

 


Jim777 wrote:

I think they raised it to 60 due to the blu ray disks, idk if they are more costly to manufacture but thats what im guessing, 

 

As for collectors editions, it depends on what comes with it though ill agree they seem very overpriced. 

 

However still great deals to be had, you can get both God of War games on one disk for only 40 bucks and they come with two sets of trophies for example 


 

More to do with inflation, and rising game budgets. 

 

$60 now is like $51 back in 2000, and yet game budgets are 2-3 times what they were back then.  The console world doens't have much choice here, but prices are a bit lower on the PC side, due to lower licensing costs and stuff like digital distribution. 


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