The gaming industry needs to change and it's down to you to make it happen.
It’s time for a market crash, not in stock but in gaming. There has been a growing trend recently in anti-consumer business practices across the entire gaming industry. Whether it’s major companies sending a game out unfinished or app developers creating addictive games designed to make the consumer spend more money than they ever would on a normal game. It seems like developers and producers want to squeeze every last penny out of their fans. The exploitation of the most devoted gamers is wrong on so many levels. It’s like an artist asking for a pound for every minute you look at their painting. Nowhere is this behaviour more prevalent than in the triple ‘A’ gaming industry.
The triple ‘A’ industry pretty much encompasses all the big developers including; Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, Activision and Ubisoft to name a few. Each of these companies produces games that are unfinished at launch and then expect their fans to pay for the full game through DLC content, this can lead many fans into paying three times the cost of the original game for all the content. This is wrong. Take Arkham Knight, if you want the entire game with every skin for Batman and every bonus level you will have to pay for the season pass which will cost you around £32.99 which is the same price you can buy the game for through online retailers. Back in the Playstation Two generation and even in the early days of the Xbox 360 generation a lot of paid added content was for ascetic changes to a game, this didn’t effect the game it’s self as it was thought that a game shouldn’t be shipped unless it was complete and everyone should receive the same content. Then it all changed.
The community of gamers is vast, the gaming industry is becoming almost as large as the film industry and the community reflects that. Unfortunately as much as we may play at being warriors, soldiers and plumbers the majority of the gaming community are not fighters when it comes to their rights as consumers. There was a time when we were unsure whether it was right for to pay for services like Xbox Live or PSN, but we let it happen because it didn’t seem like a big deal. There was a time when we were unsure whether it was right to pay for download able map packs and overpowered weapons, but we let it happen because it didn’t seem like a big deal. Now we are unsure whether we should pre-order games based on pre-rendered trailers and little else, but a lot of people are letting it happen because they don’t think it seems like a big deal. When we give up fighting we get companies phoning it in like Ubisoft did with Watchdogs last year.
There are a lot of amazing games coming out over the next few months, almost all of them have pre-order bonuses which give players extra content if they pay for it in advance. This means that players are encouraged to pay for the game before it has been finished or released to critics. It can mean that developers don’t have to try as hard to make a good game because they already know that the game is going to sell well. That is not to say that all game developers take advantage of this, but a lot of them do. Games like Fallout 4 and Star Wars Battlefront are making millions on a name and a trailer, but we can stop it using one of the worlds oldest weapons.
I know I can’t get anyone to stop buying video games, that’s unrealistic and it shouldn’t happen because there are a lot of developers that are working hard for their art, but I want to encourage you not to pre-order. Money is power, your money is your power so think before you spend it. Do not give your money over and buy a game until you know that someone who isn’t part of the development team has played it. Try and find out how much you will actually have to pay for a game post-launch to unlock all content on for the product that you have already bought. Try and distinguish the games that are just designed to make money from you and the ones that are birthed from a place of creativity and artistic integrity, that deserve your money. If everyone in the gaming community could do this, just consider their purchases, companies would have to change to continue making money and the power would move away from the producers and back to the consumers, where it belongs.