Jump to content

Video game survey for class - ULTRA SHORT - win an album


zircon
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 134
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Before I begin, this is definitely a fun discussion, Coop, and is quite helpful as another form of 'market feedback' for our assignment!

I'm sure game costs have gone up. Bigger staffs and all that. But the fact that we pay anywhere from $50 to $90 for a game tells me that companies are already charging enough as it is. Plus, many on-line games require a monthly/yearly fee to play on their dedicated servers, or to even be able to get into the game you just paid for to make a character. How much more do they "need" to charge us?

The majority of new games reside in the $50-60 range when NEW - except handhelds, which are more like $30-40 - and these prices typically go down very quickly. Despite inflation, the price of games hasn't really gone up that much, if at all.

At least with regards to this survey, I was presenting the pay-per-content delivery method as an alternative to monthly fees. With a game like WoW, your monthly fee goes towards the development of new areas, new monsters, and new items. What if you're so low level you don't use any of that stuff? Your money is being wasted. Conversely, with the proposed system, you only pay for what you need (or want.)

Annual server fees are understandable, as those things take constant maintenance. But considering how many large and small companies have released patches filled with new content for free over the years, I just don't agree with the view you're putting forth. To me, "development costs" comes across as flimsy an argument for micro transactions, as the "free patches in the past" argument against them might seem to others.

If they want to add new content, then let them make an expansion pack... something that contains a lot of new quests, goodies, characters, and such. People will happily pay $20-30 for that. But charging $3 for a classic football team, or $1 for a damned helmet is just asinine.

Ah, you're the first person to really touch on this. Expansion packs! You see THAT is truly what we're getting at with the mini-content purchasing method. The problem with expansion packs is exactly like the problem with a monthly fee. You might not want the new stuff you are actually paying for - or at least, not all of it. Let's put this in RTS terms for a moment. What if you loved Warcraft III, and wanted to use the new units from it and play with them in multiplayer, but had no interest in the single player storyline? You're out of luck. What if you could simply pay $10 to get that functionality, rather than $30 for the entire expansion pack? See what we're getting at?

This is particularly pertinent in a single-player RPG setting, which is what our first product would be (of course, this is all hypothetical.) Due to the highly procedural and modular nature of our game, it is highly suited for a system where the player chooses what new features he or she wants. Let's say they really love the combat aspect of the game, as opposed to diplomacy and exploration, and just want more flashy spells. Well, they can order an addon that increases the spell library size by a good 25% - for $7 or 8 of course. Another player might be more interested in playing new and interesting locales, so they buy the New Continent addon, which adds an assortment of new possible areas for their continued playthroughs. Perhaps this would be $10. Then there might be the monster addon, which offers a variety of high level creatures that you might find in your playthrough.

OR you could order all that stuff at once, which is, effectively, an expansion pack (and would be priced about the same.) However, we think breaking it down is a superior method. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

... wow. That's quite a fascinating pricing scheme. I had been siding with Coop as I read his posts, but I can't argue with that kind of system - you get exactly what you want, or everything in a package deal (with the corresponding discount for bundle). It's only vaguely similar to Valve and Orange Box with the Steam business model, but that's what sprang to my mind - maybe it's because they're the only ones who have done anything at all in that kind of non-standard model. A shame, if you ask me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

wouldn't it be insane to manage the difficulty?

I mean depending of the various add you offert, quest can be easy as cake or nearly impossible. For exemple if you purchase let's say a new spell pack, and a new continent quest, what about the mob pack? depending you have one or another ( spell or mob) calibrating the difficulty can be hard. Another point is the world, you need to consider it as a whole. Putting stuff in it and it interaction with other adds need to be calculated carefully.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

NEWCOMER: Pezman

Practically, what Zircon is putting forward makes a whole lot of sense. But consider what this would do to the game as a living, breathing world. Well, single player RPGs anyway.

For simplicity's sake, I'll use the example near and dear to all our hearts, Final Fantasy VII. What if that had been broken down into these various aspects? You'd pay extra to go to Wutai, and the extra WEAPON bosses as well. And rather than having to go through the sidequest for the Master Materia, you could probably just pay a (large) fee to get it instead. Nobody would be playing the same game anymore. That's okay for something as customizable as WoW or Diablo, but for a game like that, when you're trying to create a world and characters that gamers all over the planet can enjoy, standardization is key.

Furthermore, that game is a shining, legitimate example of how the media can be art (well, so says IGN), and the consensus really seems to be that great works should not be appended later, even if the original artist has only the best intentions in mind.

I'm not 100% sure I agree with that statement, but I do believe that if Final Fantasy VII were to be constantly added to and tweaked, it would lose much (if not all) of its storytelling power and art status.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah, you're the first person to really touch on this. Expansion packs! You see THAT is truly what we're getting at with the mini-content purchasing method. The problem with expansion packs is exactly like the problem with a monthly fee. You might not want the new stuff you are actually paying for - or at least, not all of it. Let's put this in RTS terms for a moment. What if you loved Warcraft III, and wanted to use the new units from it and play with them in multiplayer, but had no interest in the single player storyline? You're out of luck. What if you could simply pay $10 to get that functionality, rather than $30 for the entire expansion pack? See what we're getting at?

This is particularly pertinent in a single-player RPG setting, which is what our first product would be (of course, this is all hypothetical.) Due to the highly procedural and modular nature of our game, it is highly suited for a system where the player chooses what new features he or she wants. Let's say they really love the combat aspect of the game, as opposed to diplomacy and exploration, and just want more flashy spells. Well, they can order an addon that increases the spell library size by a good 25% - for $7 or 8 of course. Another player might be more interested in playing new and interesting locales, so they buy the New Continent addon, which adds an assortment of new possible areas for their continued playthroughs. Perhaps this would be $10. Then there might be the monster addon, which offers a variety of high level creatures that you might find in your playthrough.

OR you could order all that stuff at once, which is, effectively, an expansion pack (and would be priced about the same.) However, we think breaking it down is a superior method. :)

And I believe you just hit one of the biggest problems with your selling system... consistency in the game's standard.

With so many little different things offered, you're making the game you're trying to create entirely too convoluted. Game balance is going to go right out the window, and the game world is going to become a hodge podge of areas that can't be reached, and items that players can't even pick up because they didn't buy it yet (thanks to players selling those new items off).

Imagine playing the "out of the box" version of IL2-Sturmovik, versus the version with content from the latest patch. There's a lot of new content separating the two, and the game makers usually set it up so that playing on-line can only be done as "same game version vs same game version". Why? To preserve the game's balance, and keep its standards in check. Selling a bunch of small packs of content is going to make this notion insanely complicated, as suddenly there's going to be dozens of different content filled variations of the game. Tack on any patches that get released, and things get even more convoluted. Why create so many road blocks for a having smoothly run gaming world?

Plus, look at it from the new gamer's perspective. So much stuff will get spread out in the game world, that someone new coming into it would be bombarded with areas, items and people that they can't access without dishing out more cash. It quickly becomes a, "See how cool this is? GIVE US MORE MONEY FOR IT! See how nice that is? GIVE US MORE MONEY FOR IT!"-world for the newcomers. This is why expansion packs (and free patches for pissy little content items) make so much more sense. One purchase, and there ya go. Everything that was once unreachable is now at your fingertips, and it keeps the on-line aspect of the game from getting wildly out of hand in balance and standardization. Having 30-50 different variations of the game simply doesn't make sense, and that's what you'll wind up with selling things as small micro transaction packs.

Regarding the single player, non on-line RPGs you're talking about, it might work better as long as the game never goes on-line to let players co-op or compete. But even so, it still comes across as trying to nickel and dime the gamers to death, regardless of what reasoning is put forth. I guess I'm looking at this on a different psychological level as well. Offering 10 downloads for $2-$10 a piece, isn't going to look as attractive as 10 new additions for one $20-$25 payment. In today's world, getting everything in one package looks a lot nicer to the average Joe than having to make a bunch of smaller purchases to end up with the same thing (especially if those smaller purchases add up to costing more in the end, like what Bethesda did with all their TES:IV additions before the "Knights of the Nine" expansion came out). Plus, if you sell the single package at a price that's a bit lower than what it would cost to buy each thing individually, that makes even the less interesting pieces look nicer too.

Anyway, to me, there's a reason the acronym K.I.S.S. is still being used today. It holds a big nugget of truth, in that simplicity is a far better thing to aim for. Expansion packs that combine all the ideas into one package are simple. Micro transactions, and everything that comes about as a result of them, is the opposite IMO.

Yeah yeah... tl/dr :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...