Friday, 24 February 2012
Game rich and Time poor
The costs of games is always a contentious issue, however the fact of the matter is that games if anything are now cheaper than they were 10 years ago. If you are happy to bide you time and looks for deals, you can pick up titles at half the launch rrp within a couple of months. Throw in things like Steam sale and the various indie bundles, and you get to the point where you have massive number of games that you simple don't have time to play.
I currently have a good dozen or so games I have purchased that i haven't even loaded, ranging from small title to the recent Alan Wake PC relaunch. So when an enticing new game pops up brand new, like The Darkness 2, I remind myself that I already have a couple of hundred plus hours game time just waiting to be played, and the finger moves off the buy button. And this coming from a man who probably puts in more game time a month than most out there.
I think this saturation point is part of the reason for the fall off in retail sales. Simply put people don't need to go out and buy new games when the current ones they have will keep them busy for months to come. After all I am currently playing Skyrim, have put in about 70 hours and there is still a lot of game for me to play.What motivation would I have to go out and buy another rpg.
Another issue that I have is that games aren’t really improving in terms of technological appeal. This is, to a certain extent less true for us PC gamers, but it still holds true. Yes the likes of Crysis 2 and Battlefield 3 looked significantly nicer on the pc, but the Modern Warfare games (one of the biggest franchise out there), have been using the same engine for years. I recently played through the Wolfenstein game from a few years back, and it still managed to look pretty respectable, so what is the advantage to buying new.
And I suppose that is the final reason for the drop in sales from retail, people aren't buying new (see what a a flawless link that was). And I think that the pre owned market (or indeed rental) isn't going to go away no matter how much publishers reward/punish players.
Free to play isn't going to go anywhere, in fact I expect it to spread further onto the consoles. Retail isn’t going to die off entirely, however when you see a major UK GAME store refusing to stock certain games, it is not difficult to see why people are turning to internet stores and download services.