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#27 Feb 10 2012 at 11:59 AM Rating: Good
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For those interested, Sean "Day[9]" Plott, known primarily for his Starcraft casting/dailies, did a launch party playthrough thing with a bunch of other video game casters and celebrities. The total thing lasts some 16 parts (of 15-30 minutes each), but there are some nice episodes in it where he interviews the people behind the game.

Part 1 - Character creation and intro (w/ Felicia Day)

Part 7 - Interview with Curt Schilling

Part 11 - Interview with Ken Rolston

Part 13 - Interview with R.A. Salvatore

Part 15 - Interview with Todd McFarlane

I love it when the people behind the games do stuff like this. Customer relations are the future for any self-respecting video game company. They come off as actual humans, not some corporate money-siphoning suits with sticks up their asses.

Edited, Feb 10th 2012 7:07pm by Mazra
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#28 Feb 10 2012 at 12:19 PM Rating: Good
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I have to say, I think I'm preferring this game to Skyrim (though I can't say that for sure, since I've only spent half an hour with it). Don't get me wrong, I think Skyrim definitely has some superior features. But this game is closer to the parts of Skyrim that actually interested me, with some other nice ones.

Honestly, Skyrim was always a title that was outside the realm of what I normally enjoy. Lack of direction normally kills me in games. I feel like it was just the vastness of options, and rich lore (if you looked for it) that let me enjoy the ES series. But that is why KoA's less open, more directed "open world" style is more to my liking.

The fact that combat is fun helps. XD

Oh, and I don't end up running for my life every 7 minutes, because I happened to run into a bear while exploring.

I think this is next on my to-buy list. Well, this and Mass Effect 3. But both of those are tied to good sales as of right now. FFXIII-2 as well...

Why is gaming such an expensive hobby? D:
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#29 Feb 10 2012 at 12:35 PM Rating: Good
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This game is better than Skyrim because Curt Schilling.
#30 Feb 10 2012 at 12:45 PM Rating: Good
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KTurner wrote:
This game is better than Skyrim because Curt Schilling.


I'll buy it if there is an in-game bloody sock item.
#31 Feb 10 2012 at 12:48 PM Rating: Decent
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Wait, wait... you run from bears? Why? Smiley: confused

And yeah, why are games so expensive? I get that it takes a lot of money to make a video game, but I'm paying $70-80 per title here, unless I wait six months and buy it on sale. Seems a bit pricey and it definitely doesn't encourage people to not pirate stuff.

They need to lower the price and up the quality of games. Some video game companies just copy a previously popular game, come up with some ****** 5-hour campaign, skip the demo so people are forced to buy it to try it, and release it with a $50-60 price tag.
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#32 Feb 10 2012 at 1:01 PM Rating: Good
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I wish game stores would operate more similarly to Steam. I want to buy this game and I probably will pick it up soon, but I already know that it won't matter if I buy it now or in 6 months because the price will not change. And game developers wonder why used games are so popular...
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#33 Feb 10 2012 at 1:03 PM Rating: Good
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Mazra wrote:
Wait, wait... you run from bears? Why? Smiley: confused

And yeah, why are games so expensive? I get that it takes a lot of money to make a video game, but I'm paying $70-80 per title here, unless I wait six months and buy it on sale. Seems a bit pricey and it definitely doesn't encourage people to not pirate stuff.

They need to lower the price and up the quality of games. Some video game companies just copy a previously popular game, come up with some sh*tty 5-hour campaign, skip the demo so people are forced to buy it to try it, and release it with a $50-60 price tag.


I can't speak to prices in other countries, but in the US, video games are essentially cheaper than they've ever been. Earlier on, games were at least the same $60 before inflation, and many used to cost much more. IIRC, the costs used to be based on the amount of data on the cartridges. Some RPGs could run you up to $140. Go back to when you had to buy cabinets, and the prices were staggering.

Sales are getting more drastic and frequent, too. You don't even need to wait 6 months...many games drop $10-20 within just a few months. Downloadables have added more mid and lower-tier costs. Steam is just plain crazy.

Poor quality games are another thing, but in the US, there just isn't much reason to complain about the costs of games today.

Edited, Feb 10th 2012 2:04pm by Eske
#34 Feb 10 2012 at 1:07 PM Rating: Good
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Because they like to flay me alive...

As for pricing...

What really irritates me is the fact that digital downloads (for everything) cost the same as the disk copy. For one, I've eliminated most of the costs to the company related to shipping, handling, and production--data delivery is way cheaper. More importantly, I've also eliminated the risk for used resale. I shouldn't have to pay more to help them cover those costs, considering I'm a no-risk customer there.

It's really true though, regarding prices. There's no good reason for companies to be charging $60--the only reason they do is because people at the top tell them to. If games costed $30, I'd buy WAY more of them (probably more than double what I do now, because it's much easier for me to spend $30 here and there, than spend $60 sparingly). And considering most gamers aren't hardcore early adopters, I assume that goes for everyone.

Not all companies suck there, though. CCP has been decent with EVE. $5 to buy the game, $15 a month after your trial period (which can be huge if you know someone who plays... or can post on a message board). All expansions are free.

But I'm honestly afraid of how TOR will handle expansion pricing. I justified the $60 for the game, because I knew I'd get a comprehensive single player experience. I rationalized the monthly fee as being normal once I hit endgame (and am ignoring that I won't be DOING endgame activities to any significant degree for a few months). But if they intend to charge more than $30 for expansions, I'm gonna be *******

[EDIT]

@Eske,

A big part of it was that games used to be a small market. You could charge $140 for a game, because you weren't going to see any significant drop in sales for doing so--your market was only so large, and the profit of selling at $140 was much higher than at $30, because not too many more people were going to buy.

Gaming has mainstreamed now, but the market hasn't really adjusted itself. Gaming companies are getting worried, because cheap games are doing incredibly well right now. Look at the mobile market--they are terrified it's going to disappear, because $40 PSP games really aren't all that much more fun than a $2 iPhone game.

There's a huge market for games now, but companies are still acting like there's a small one of dedicated customers. Thing is, even dedicated gamers are having increasing difficulty paying $60 for anything but the biggest titles. Because there are plenty of really fun $5-10 games on Steam.

Edited, Feb 10th 2012 2:12pm by idiggory
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#35 Feb 10 2012 at 1:09 PM Rating: Excellent
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I wonder if more people are just refusing to buy a game until it's on sale regardless of the starting price. Taking $10 off might not change the release:sale purchasers ratio but having the $10 helps make the game profitable out of the gate.

I'm just spitballin' here. But I don't buy anything unless it's at least 25% off and strike closer for 50%. But while I was waiting for a 50% sale on Skyrim a whole lot of people dropped $60 each on it.
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#36 Feb 10 2012 at 1:16 PM Rating: Good
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If I was intending to play on the PC, I probably would have waited for Skyrim. Price drop and time for mods.

But since I was going to use a console, the most I could realistically hope for was $10 off, unless I intended to wait a very long time. And even that was going to take a long while.

I get the biggest hit games charging $60. What bothers me is that there isn't any price deviation in the console market any more. Even the crappier PS3 games are going to launch at $60. And it's really irritating.
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#37 Feb 10 2012 at 1:22 PM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
There's no good reason for companies to be charging $60--the only reason they do is because people at the top tell them to.

the one good reason that trumps all else is that people pay it.
#38 Feb 10 2012 at 1:31 PM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
If I was intending to play on the PC, I probably would have waited for Skyrim. Price drop and time for mods.

But since I was going to use a console, the most I could realistically hope for was $10 off, unless I intended to wait a very long time. And even that was going to take a long while.

I get the biggest hit games charging $60. What bothers me is that there isn't any price deviation in the console market any more. Even the crappier PS3 games are going to launch at $60. And it's really irritating.


I definitely agree that there needs to be more stratification based upon quality. I'd wager that's part of the reason for the death of the 'middle class' games that are in between AAA titles and mobile/indy/downloadables. That's another issue, though. As far as the mobile market goes: it's likely going to have its effect on handhelds, but I haven't seen any signs that it's affecting regular console sales negatively.

It's certainly not as simple an issue as "I'd totally buy more games if they charged $30 instead of $60", though. I think the problems are more systemic, something related to the publisher-developer relationship. Games are well received, and can even sell well, and the developers still get the axe.

It's an interesting time, though. You do get the feeling like everything's about to shift, but the infrastructure just isn't there yet. Steam might be the model of the future...will used games get phased out almost entirely? What pricing models will get adopted? What DRM will be in place?

Tough to tell right now.


Basically, it's just that when I hear that games are too expensive now, I get the urge to do a "Back in my day..." rant.

Edited, Feb 10th 2012 2:34pm by Eske
#39 Feb 11 2012 at 12:27 AM Rating: Good
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Penny Arcade actually had an interesting post on the subject today:

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There are a lot of things that Digital Distribution was supposed to accomplish, but didn’t. I won’t say it was a wash; I rather like the new scale of project mass market downloadable games created, I’ve had tremendous enjoyment in that middle space. The convenience was just as they suggested. The savings never materialized, but that’s party because why would they and partly because “price” is a beast of which the delivery of product is only a part.

The industry is engaged in what is essentially a Mexican Standoff between Publishers, Platform Holders, and Retailers, which explains the distortions you see. You’ll note that developers aren’t in that grim triad. This allows for surprising lateral maneuvers.

The Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter was the second million dollar Kickstarter, but it was the first to generate this level of donative ferocity in such a short span of time. With thirty-two days remaining and some interest no doubt left to be discovered, I would be startled indeed if it weren’t also the first two million dollar Kickstarter - or if it weren’t the catalyst for other projects.
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#40 Feb 11 2012 at 7:44 AM Rating: Good
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I wouldn't mind paying full price on steam if I could play the games I purchased at the same time, on different computers. If I go out and buy a hard copy, I can install it on my computer in my room, and the hard copy of the second game on the computer in my living room. If I use steam, I have to set it to offline mode which I've never done but doesn't allow multiplayer/online play.
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#41 Feb 11 2012 at 8:21 AM Rating: Excellent
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axhed wrote:
the one good reason that trumps all else is that people pay it.

Reminds me of when CDs came out and the claims that as production of them ramped up, price would drop because they were easier to produce than cassettes (less parts, no assembly of the gears, tape, springs, etc). Years later, a CD was still $18.99 while the cassette of the same album was $12.99. Why change? People all wanted the CD version and were willing to drop twenty bucks on a disc so what benefit was there to crippling their profits?

I like digital downloads just so I don't have to dork with a thousand scraps of paper with activation codes & the convenience of home purchasing (including the sales). I wouldn't assume that they'd drop the price for me; people have already proven they'll spend $60 on a game and they're not really buying it for the silver and plastic Frisbee.
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#42 Feb 11 2012 at 8:24 AM Rating: Excellent
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I wouldn't mind paying full price on steam if I could play the games I purchased at the same time, on different computers.

In theory, you're buying a license for YOU to play it. It's impractical for you to play the same game simultaneously from two different locations. They can't stop stuff like you letting a visiting friend play it but they don't have to facilitate it either.
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#43 Feb 11 2012 at 9:26 AM Rating: Good
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Plus, with how common limited installs are, it's not like you can definitely play the game on too many computers anyway.

Also, as long as the game doesn't require you to stay Online (and most don't), you can download and play them on different computers. Authorize both in Steam (there's a limit to how many devices may be authorized), go offline, play.

And if a game requires you to be on, it was going to require that if you were a downloader or a disc buyer.
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#44 Feb 11 2012 at 9:33 AM Rating: Good
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So Kingdoms of Amalur is only $45 for PS3/360 versions at Toysrus.com right now. With free shipping. Dunno if that deal applies to stores.
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#45 Feb 11 2012 at 10:10 AM Rating: Excellent
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Cleaning my desk, I thought of another reason I like digital downloads. I don't have to scrape up the discs every time I want to play. I can't play Arkham City on two computers at the same time anyway because it demands that the DVD be in the drive to play it.

I'm not sure if it would work if I dumped the entire contents of the disc onto my hard drive but that's just extra hassle and tweaking on my part anyway. Almost all the games I have on DVD require them to be in the drive to play which is inconvenient for me due to where my computer is located and having to store all the discs. Not life-shattering difficult, just a pain in the *** compared to getting/playing it off a digital distribution outlet.
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#46 Feb 11 2012 at 11:21 AM Rating: Good
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I thought we left disc to play DRM behind us in 2005...
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#47 Feb 11 2012 at 11:47 AM Rating: Good
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Me too. It's the only reason I don't adore Arkham City.

Well, that and GFW Live.

Edited, Feb 11th 2012 6:48pm by Mazra
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#48 Feb 11 2012 at 12:45 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
Cleaning my desk, I thought of another reason I like digital downloads. I don't have to scrape up the discs every time I want to play. I can't play Arkham City on two computers at the same time anyway because it demands that the DVD be in the drive to play it.

I'm not sure if it would work if I dumped the entire contents of the disc onto my hard drive but that's just extra hassle and tweaking on my part anyway. Almost all the games I have on DVD require them to be in the drive to play which is inconvenient for me due to where my computer is located and having to store all the discs. Not life-shattering difficult, just a pain in the *** compared to getting/playing it off a digital distribution outlet.


Mount it on a virtual drive.
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#49 Feb 11 2012 at 12:54 PM Rating: Excellent
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I previously wrote:
...but that's just extra hassle and tweaking on my part anyway...

The point where it's more work than it would be via DD means that DD will win 100% of the time.

Edited, Feb 11th 2012 12:54pm by Jophiel
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#50 Feb 11 2012 at 3:55 PM Rating: Good
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I was thinking of those you do have on DVD. Might be less effort than disc hunting.
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#51 Feb 12 2012 at 8:13 AM Rating: Good
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I'm only level 13 right yet, but smithing + sagecraft seems to verge on near broken levels of OP.
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