7 March 2011

Death to Disposable Games - by Benjamin Quintero

      Posted 03/06/11 11:10:00 pm  

I am probably about to say something that is going to piss off a lot of people, but here is goes... I agree with Nintendo and their opinions about the direction of the gaming industry, disposable video games are hurting our image.  It seems that some developers took offense to Mr. Iwata's statements about games on mobile devices and how low price points are creating a perception that video games are only worth $1.  I don't see what is wrong with this assessment.  If the postal services across the board suddenly released a statement that said, "we've been under charging you all these years; the free ride is over," and raised their rates to $5 per stamp people would lose their heads.  There were nearly riots in the streets when stamps were raised by 5 cents, because the perception of a stamp and it's value has lasted for so long.  How long do we honestly believe that we can continue to sell disposable games without repercussion against higher quality titles?

In my opinion, a game like Angry Birds was far under-priced at $1 but only reached it's level of success because of it's disposable price point.  The problem with this approach is that it sets an expectation that all games must now look and feel as polished as an Angry Birds to garner the attention of the buying public, even for a $1 price.  With time, the bar of quality will continue to rise and developers will continue to work in excess just to keep up; all the while, their price can not move from it's $1 spot.  In future generations of phones, we could be looking at a level of graphics and sound fidelity that is comparable to home consoles.  Do we continue to price our games for $1 just because we know the other guy will?  Do we staff up to 10

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