Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Pre-Orders, Call of Duty & The Gaming Industry

This morning I had the pleasure of carrying on a twitter chat with a like-minded gamer who is also very passionate about what's going on in the gaming industry. We discussed what I, and so many other gaming supporters have said over the years in regards to the business side of gaming. The slogan, "Speak with your wallet" came up as it usually does in such a conversation, and both of us talked about what needs to be done to change things for the better. What one has to understand going into such a debate is that certain marketing ploys that are being put into play via publishers, and the greed driven product pushing that follows suit are ultimately dictating the quality of video games that hit the store shelves as well as the online store listings. One publisher in particular, the one behind the modern-day "Call of Duty" franchise has set the standards that other publishers go by. They think that since the majority of gamers will pre-order the game despite the company's reputation of having released a sub-par game in the past that they can continue to do so, and milk the franchise for what it's worth. This leads to the "Half-Assed" game development that I'm constantly preaching about ...

We all know, whether we want to admit it or not that game developers aren't being pushed to produce a quality gaming experience anymore. They are instead being pushed to push out a game as quickly as possible despite it's imperfect build, and that they are also being told to piece out the game with additional DLC, and season passes for profit sake. As gamers continue to pre-order these types of games, and pay up for the DLC, and season passes it says to the publisher that the product sells like it is. With this knowledge of profit in mind the said publishers then think up new ways to pick apart a game even more, and release it in even smaller segments, because they know that more than likely the majority of gamers are hooked, and will pay upfront not caring about the state of the game on launch day.

In the end it's a habitual business practice that can only be made right by the gamer. As much as you want that pre-order bonus, and however attractive it may be to you you have to soldier up, and not give in to the pre-orders. You have to speak with your wallet. I know from experience that most day one releases can be bought with bonus content included (minus some minor DLC codes) despite not having paid for a pre-order. In fact I stopped by Gamestop recently, and bought "SMT: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker" without having pre-ordered it, and got all the bonus content regardless. Believe it, or not but you are not going to miss out on anything of importance if you choose not to pre-order a game. Just go there upon release, and buy the game. More than likely you'll end up with what's called a "Day One Edition" that comes with all the physical bonuses that you would have gotten if you had pre-ordered the game. In doing things this way you'd also be doing gamers a huge favor by setting an example that could sway the publishers' opinion of how the business should be run.

We must work in numbers to make a difference, and the more of us that choose to speak with our wallets the better the gaming industry will be. I'll close in asking that you please do your part, and give your money to the publishers who produce quality gaming experiences without exploiting the shady business practices that are pre-orders, DLC, and micro-transactions. Unless you want less for your hard earned money this change in spending habits is a must. Trust me.

Your Last Samurai,
Brad Carver (OtakuDante)

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