By: Chandler Robinson
Since the 1980’s video games have been viewed as a niche medium for entertainment, during this era games did not have online multiplayer, downloadable content, or online stat tracking. However, to keep players coming back for more, game designers had to use difficulty to extend a game’s life span, to make the consumer feel like they got their money’s worth.
In the 2000’s, games are a much more accepted medium of entertainment. According to DualSHOCKERS.com, 68% of households have a game console. This does not only apply top game consoles but cellular devices as well. Thanks to the app store people have literally thousands of games at their fingertips. These games range from free to almost $10 dollars. In these “free to play” you can play them for free, but it does not go into about what someone has to pay for. A very popular game at one point was Candy Crush and Candy Crush Saga, these games are initially free. However, to compensate for the price tag the incorporate “In-App” purchases. A list of their purchases include extra lives, extra moves, a lollipop hammer, and gold bricks, those “In-App” purchases range from $.99 to $4.99. At one point Candy Crush and Candy Crush Saga (two free to play games) was earning $850, 000 dollars per day, according to eonline.com.
That was just one game on a cell phone, where as there are hundreds of games on console trying to implement the same functionality, in ways of downloadable content or micro transactions.
The most recent offender to this a game called “Evolve” which pits four players vs one monster (who is also a player). On the first day of release there was over 120 dollars’ worth of downloadable content on day one. This game had micro transactions and day one downloadable content; it included map packs and monster packs that should have been with the game. Then on top of that there are minor customization options for your weapons in the game, in exchange for real world currency.
“The Elder Scrolls Online” is a MMO (massively multiplayer online). That game is $60 dollars at the counter and then on top of that, there’s a subscription fee. Due to fan back lash they dropped the subscription plan. In addition to this if someone wanted to transfer their PC character to a Xbox One or PS4 it cost $20 dollars, just to transfer a character. Then after all that there is a (optional) membership fee ranging from 60 to 180 days.
When a consumer makes an investment they should feel rewarded and not cheated. Even if miniscule content with a small price of $.99, it will accumulate over time. Games are still a product for the masses so they should be given what they paid for at the start and not later down the road.