Tuesday, March 26, 2013


I Know my last post had a political bent, but I guess this puts me on a roll..

With the new generation of game machines about to launch their way into our living rooms soon enough I think we need to look at how videogaming has changed from the age of Atari, where you bought a cartridge and were done, to today where we are going to be downloading apps from the internet and then buying extra bits for our games later, Downloadable content or DLC, has changed teh way we look at gaming. It used to be a single product, that you would buy and maybe you might on some formats have an add on or expansion pack, but now videogame venders want to nickel and dime you for every little damn thing. the IOS market is a perfect example of this, I recently bought Batman, Arkham City, an IOS stand alone game based on the Playstation-3 X-box-360, action game. it is an extremely shallow game for $4.99 but you can add depth with new DLC including multiple bat suits and the like for only $0.99 per suit, and Waynetech points to buy upgrades in game for $0.99 to $14.99 how awesome is that? Well not really it's a punchout clone with a bunch of extra crap they want you to buy to give you extra trinkets. It is the new way of milking players for extra cash. This isn't the only game that works this way. Most of the IOS library has in app purchases or DLC, to make your game EVEN BETTAR!!! My main gripe with this is this isn't an achievement it's a microtransaction. It's not like someone found a secret cleverly hidden by programmers. It is a technique to replace learning and practicing the game with real world cash. In short it's a sham and it isn't going away lots of talk about both new machines going direct download to kill the used game market, and DLC packs which used to be an enticement to buying a game new, is now going to be forced to buy the game new, and then bugged to buy extra virtual crap with real cash. I get it makes more money, and they sell more stuff.

And speaking of corporate greed in games, I am not against DRM on the principle of protecting copyrights to an extent but when you manage a shop like iTunes with international sales and distribution of the internet, it still baffles me that we cannot buy stuff from other countries. Anime fans in the US and Canada, or fans of British comedies have to deal with the specific selections of BBC America, Anime Network or VIZ Media. These guys are essentially middle men that repackage product and profit. Why it's not to protect against piracy. If I want to buy That Mitchell Webb Look or Maccross directly from the source, then they legally get their money for their product. Why would this be wrong in the days of analogue TV where getting shows from overseas meant dealing with the differences of format (NTSC, PAL, or SECAM) but artificially blocking me from legally buying works because you want me to buy from only authorized middlemen is the kind of enticement that makes piracy so enticing to many. if i can easily get it and you make a profit everyone is happy if I have to jump through a series of bizzare hoops to get it legally but can easily torrent it which would you choose. I am willing to pay for ease of use this is why I don't pirate and why I have bough so damn much in movies and the like on iTunes, but seriously this kind of stupid artificial barrier only costs companies more money, as they give it to their middlemen if they get it at all.

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