Friday, February 15, 2008

It Prints money...

This is going to be a rant outside of my normal, probably cross-linking to various comics that I feel are appropriate for the commentary if I feel I need to. Several of the gaming web-comics (go figure I read web comics about the game industry) have been using the phrase "it prints money" the last few weeks. That is a very interesting comment, and one that I think speaks volumes to the consumer brainwashing in this country.

Take this article from gamespot about a new Guitar Hero game - Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. I'm a huge Aerosmith fan, and have been for a quite a while now. Rockin' Rollercoaster is that much better because it has Aerosmith music playing as you are twirling through darkness. I've been to their concerts, I buy their albums. But this is taking it a stretch. To have an entire game in the "Guitar Hero" genre dedicated to Aerosmith is the epitome of exploitation of a franchise, and it's fan-base, to me. And I'm talking Aerosmith as much as Guitar Hero. In today's day and age there really isn't a reason to put out a disc like this. Rock Band has shown with a smaller customer base a take rate on Download Content of almost 3:1 versus the GH3 franchise. Why is that?

Why is there a need for a new "Mario Party" game every 12-18 months? Why do we need to be incessantly pushed on with a new Madden each year, that the value of plummets faster than the value of your new car as you drive it off the lot. I know this is a shock for many of the rabid gamers out there, but Microsoft really did do a lot of things right with the xbox and the 360. The concept of episodic content is becoming a reality now for console gamers, because they have a massive storage device on the unit. XBL and PSN (xbox live and playstation network) are competing because Microsoft starting using a hard drive to be able to use for content. Now the push needs to be on to stop having episodic content be delivered by a disc, but rather by digital download. And if they want to press a disc with the update and put it in GameStop for $10 as well, even better!

The need for gamers today to wake up and realize that they need to spend their money wisely on games that aren't just a rehash with one new widget every 12-18 months should be on the rise. I don't see it happening right now, rather I see a new breed of gamer getting inducted in the "exploitation of the consumer" plight that we've had for ages.

Hopefully the tide is turning...

for reference on how I feel the gaming companies think about their consumers, here is the Penny Arcade that fortells of the impending pillage of the Guitar Hero franchise:

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