Tobold's Blog
Friday, August 26, 2011
 
Who are you, and what did you do with the Syncaine I know?

Friday is the traditional day for blog wars between me and Syncaine. Unfortunately it appears we will have to cancel that, because some doppelganger ate Syncaine and replaced him with somebody I agree with. That, or the guy is getting old and reasonable. Yesterday's post about how great it is to be able to spend $150 on a Free2Play game could have been written by me. And I completely agree with Syncaine's points on the greatness of turn-based strategy in general and Final Fantasy Tactics in particular.

Coming up: A joint post by Syncaine and Tobold on how the skill system in Darkfall 1.0 was completely messed up, and how good an idea it is from Aventurine to do a complete character reset in Darkfall 2.0.

Scary, isn't it?
Comments:
I think we're just witnessing the power of the companies to break down their fans' resistance.

I remember thinking in 97 that it was ridiculous for someone to try charging you a monthly fee for a game you had already bought. But somehow MMOs caught on.

I remember Darren persuasively arguing that paying $10 for a virtual horse was a high water mark that we as gamers should resist going over. Less than a year later WoW was selling out of $25 sparkle ponies.

It's not even new. If the product is good enough we'll pay. I read GRR Martin last night reminiscing about feeling outraged to pay 12c for a Fabulous Four comic back when comics were supposed to be a dime. But he still paid it.
 
Yep, we are paying more for games* and the games are better than they ever were before!

Right, guys?

...guys?


*It would seem like the money we save buying indie titles is being soaked up by the AAA titles.
 
It would seem like the money we save buying indie titles is being soaked up by the AAA titles.

I agree, the span between the price of the latest Call of Duty sequel on launch day and an indie game giving an equivalent amount of hours of fun has gone up.
 
I agree, the span between the price of the latest Call of Duty sequel on launch day and an indie game giving an equivalent amount of hours of fun has gone up.

Shouldn't this mean that, as irrational as gamers are, eventually there is going to have to be some sort of market correction, either downwards for the topmost titles or simply the blockbusters not selling as indie games are way more efficient, thanks to the market inequality?
 
That is a common misconception, based on the fallacy that a number like "$70" represents something which is of equal value to different people. In reality that is not the case, and different people are willing to pay different amounts of money for the same product. See the famous post on Camels and Rubber Duckies for a detailed explanation.

I think that with the average age of gamers going up, and PC gamers being predominantly of a demographic that isn't all that poor, many people simply won't mind spending $70 on the latest blockbuster game on release day. Those who *do* mind, buy the indie game, and pick up the blockbuster game at half price a year later in a Steam sale. By selling the game to everybody at the maximum price they are willing to pay, game companies maximize profits.
 
Very interesting article by Joel, thanks for pointing it out Tobold.

One of the interesting things about segmentation is that it sometimes makes games cheaper. I got a lot of value out of free to play DDO, far better return on the money I spent than if I had paid for box + sub. I've had some free fun in Lotro, I admittedly overspent a bit in EQ2X, and I expect Diablo 3 to actually be a net gain to play.
 
Dear Tobold. Thanks for pointing this out. :)
 
I meant to post that entry here rather then over there. Oops.

Also funny, no ping-back from you, but I did get one from a copy/paste site.
 
That's funny, I actually just read Syncaine's Darkfall 2.0 post a few moments before yours so the context is quite stark in my head!

But it isn't a bad thing to agree once in a while. Why can't we all just get along?
 
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