Editor's Note: The New Deal

The New Deal

Even if the industry as a whole is recession-proof, we aren't. And when the money gets tight, something has to give.

Read Full Article

What happens when people are afraid a stock will fail? They sell it. Like mad. Attempting to purge their portfolios of the "toxic" assets. The result? The stock fails. It's like Schrodinger's bank book, except every time you look inside you see only what you fear most.

Afraid there will be a run on a bank? Take your money out. All of it. The result? Banks fail. No consumer confidence in the American automobile? Well, then, they can buy Japanese. And as a result, American motor companies go bankrupt, thus fulfilling the prophecy.

This is all too true. If only the global economy relied on something more solid than the collective opinion of the masses we wouldn't find ourselves in such a situation. And with everybody in doom and gloom mode, things ain't looking up. I for one am staying positive though. I figure we've already suffered enough, an economic rebound must be within sight, if only a glimmer on the horizon.

Well I do not thinking gaming is going to fail simply because of industry corruption. Right now the price of games are inflated to a ridiculous amount, most of which is pure profit (as you can guess by the numbers). A AAA title and one by a fly by night company both retail for the same amount, and it wasn't long ago where the game industry illegally coordinated a price hike (which the goverment was not paying attention to, having it's mind on other things, despite how flagrant an act this was).

The bottom line here is that game prices can drop a *LOT* and still remain very profitable. *IF* things literally start to come down to food or games, so people stop buying $60 games the industry can of course reduce the prices by a substantial amount and still make money.

So as a result it's not something for gaming hobbyists to worry about too much at this point. The industry will scream and yell at that point, but in the end nothing will change.

Actually, if buying games proves to be unusually tight for you, my suggestion is NOT to buy them for the moment. Seriously, if you cut corners and go through an act of congress to buy them like a drug addict, your sending the wrong message. Choose not to buy right now, and when enough people refuse to scrape like that the prices WILL lower.

Well written article Russ. I would comment more but I have class in a few minutes. I will say that hour for hour, gaming is one of the most relatively cheap form of entertainment. sans Books.

does getting braces cost anything in usa? god that country really is afraid of socialism, its fun to share remember?

swaki:
does getting braces cost anything in usa? god that country really is afraid of socialism, its fun to share remember?

Yes but if you believe in something you gotta stick at it, even if it means your mouth becomes horrifically deformed. Gods I love been British :D.

Mr Companion:

swaki:
does getting braces cost anything in usa? god that country really is afraid of socialism, its fun to share remember?

Yes but if you believe in something you gotta stick at it, even if it means your mouth becomes horrifically deformed. Gods I love been British :D.

aren't you brits famous for having extremely bad teeth's?

I don't agree Pc hardware is stupidly cheap nowadays and even the consoles have had a decent price drop with no next gen for about 5 years

jamesworkshop:
I don't agree Pc hardware is stupidly cheap nowadays and even the consoles have had a decent price drop with no next gen for about 5 years

"Cheap" is relative.

Russ Pitts:
Editor's Note: The New Deal

Even if the industry as a whole is recession-proof, we aren't. And when the money gets tight, something has to give.

Read Full Article

I never understood how economics worked until I read one of Tom Clancy's books and then I realised "Oh, it's like lemmings being pushed to their death but the following horde..."

Science my ass.

Good description though, kudos Mr Pitts.

Very nice description, I love economics

At around $10 bucks a pop, PSN (and I'm sure XBox arcade as well) games replace major studio polish with good old fashioned fun. Paying $60 for a blockbuster title with a lot of glitz but retarded controls and boring gameplay is hopefully the kind of thing a down economy is going to weed out.

Despite the $50 down payment, and whatever you might feel about MMO's, they oftentimes have WAY more content then their counterparts and if they are addictively fun can easily be one of the better gaming deals. When I was playing WoW that was $15/mo. for my gaming habit and that was it. In time between WoW I'll easily buy two games per month, and then some Indie games, which starts adding up fast, and for the most part they aren't even as fun as WoW is. (However I must say, with full disclosure, I only played WotLK for a couple day before going back to WAR, which I eventually quit, so that was mostly 40-something bucks down the drain.)

(I'd like to give a quick plug for Champions Online which I played compulsively all Labor Day weekend and was great fun. At least the early game content is every bit as addicting and fun as WoW. I hope it holds up over the months and if it does it would be a very suitable filler until SC2 or Cataclysm comes out, whichever comes first.)

Anyway that is my two cents for cheaper gaming. Experience has forced me to become very leery of the block buster releases which, if I can, I hold off and only buy it if people are still talking about it a few months later.

Russ Pitts:

jamesworkshop:
I don't agree Pc hardware is stupidly cheap nowadays and even the consoles have had a decent price drop with no next gen for about 5 years

"Cheap" is relative.

Yes but I can't think of any point in time where 80 graphics cards could play the latest games with maximum settings or DDR2 ram being 10 a Gig or where 1TB hardrives can be picked up for under 60.
look back to 2006 and that kind of money wouldn't buy you anywhere near that level of hardware.
Plus there are far more free to play games nowadays even Quakelive and Battlefield heros don't require a 3D card and thus happily played on an old computer.

Just a question...

Do you and Susan switch jobs every issue?

swaki:

Mr Companion:

swaki:
does getting braces cost anything in usa? god that country really is afraid of socialism, its fun to share remember?

Yes but if you believe in something you gotta stick at it, even if it means your mouth becomes horrifically deformed. Gods I love been British :D.

aren't you brits famous for having extremely bad teeth's?

Yeah, but then again we can afford to have bad teeth. :D

Fortunately I'm a civil servant, and here in Brazil civil servants can't be fired, at all (unless they stop showing up or commit a crime, although every time I mention that the story of a guy who killed someone else and wasn't even fired comes up. If you're curious, he ended up getting killed by family members of the person he 'alledgedly' murdered). Since I have no reason to save up or reduce my spendings (as my next month's pay is 100% certain), I have a duty to spend money to help reheat the economy.

Unfortunately, games are also ridiculously expensive around here, so I just rent'em and buy some old stuff on Good Old Games. (Earthworm Jim is painfully hard.)

Mr Companion:

swaki:

Mr Companion:

swaki:
does getting braces cost anything in usa? god that country really is afraid of socialism, its fun to share remember?

Yes but if you believe in something you gotta stick at it, even if it means your mouth becomes horrifically deformed. Gods I love been British :D.

aren't you brits famous for having extremely bad teeth's?

Yeah, but then again we can afford to have bad teeth. :D

Every part of this cracked me up. I'm American, badly in need of proper dental care (crowns), and it'll cost me as much to buy a new car as it will to have my teeth fixed. I'm not afraid of socialized medicine, I've seen it work in other countries, and we have other 'socialized' programs here anyway.

Another gaming crash might just be what the industry needs to put and end to aimless shovelware and uninspired same-such titles. I can only think of 4 games that have really blown me away in the last decade. True innovations like Street Fighter 2, Portal, and Shadow of the Colossus are just way too few and far between, while on the other hand I can barely tell most shooters apart anymore.

FROGGEman2:
Just a question...

Do you and Susan switch jobs every issue?

All of the editors rtake turns writing the Editor's Note.

jamesworkshop:

Russ Pitts:

jamesworkshop:
I don't agree Pc hardware is stupidly cheap nowadays and even the consoles have had a decent price drop with no next gen for about 5 years

"Cheap" is relative.

Yes but I can't think of any point in time where 80 graphics cards could play the latest games with maximum settings or DDR2 ram being 10 a Gig or where 1TB hardrives can be picked up for under 60.
look back to 2006 and that kind of money wouldn't buy you anywhere near that level of hardware.
Plus there are far more free to play games nowadays even Quakelive and Battlefield heros don't require a 3D card and thus happily played on an old computer.

You've stymied me with your use of GBP. :)

But I can tell you this, 10 years ago I built a mid-level PC gaming rig for just under $1,000US. Looking at prices right now, I would spend roughly the same. Which, on the one hand, is good news considering inflation and all. It is cheaper to build a PC now than it ever has been.

And yet, I know from long experience that a mid-level PC gaming rig will only be a viable platform for roughly 5 years. Considering that $1,000US is roughly 4 times the price of a current gen console, and that the life expectancy of a console as a frontline gaming platform is roughly 5 years as well, the price of PC gaming is still higher than console gaming.

Thus, my point that "cheap" is relative. I grant you that PC gaming is currently less expensive than it ever has been, but it is still a pricier option than console gaming.

Russ Pitts:

FROGGEman2:
Just a question...

Do you and Susan switch jobs every issue?

All of the editors rtake turns writing the Editor's Note.

jamesworkshop:

Russ Pitts:

jamesworkshop:
I don't agree Pc hardware is stupidly cheap nowadays and even the consoles have had a decent price drop with no next gen for about 5 years

"Cheap" is relative.

Yes but I can't think of any point in time where 80 graphics cards could play the latest games with maximum settings or DDR2 ram being 10 a Gig or where 1TB hardrives can be picked up for under 60.
look back to 2006 and that kind of money wouldn't buy you anywhere near that level of hardware.
Plus there are far more free to play games nowadays even Quakelive and Battlefield heros don't require a 3D card and thus happily played on an old computer.

Thus, my point that "cheap" is relative. I grant you that PC gaming is currently less expensive than it ever has been, but it is still a pricier option than console gaming.

My point wasn't that PC was cheaper than console gaming but tht it was less expensive than it used to be with PCs being cheaper than they have ever been in the past (console ports can't challenge the hardware ATM) plus the greater numbers of free to play models and flash based browser games (or popcap games) .
Also the major 3 consoles are going throught price drops and thus gaming isn't that expensive on the whole in the current economy.

jamesworkshop:

Russ Pitts:

FROGGEman2:
Just a question...

Do you and Susan switch jobs every issue?

All of the editors rtake turns writing the Editor's Note.

jamesworkshop:

Russ Pitts:

jamesworkshop:
I don't agree Pc hardware is stupidly cheap nowadays and even the consoles have had a decent price drop with no next gen for about 5 years

"Cheap" is relative.

Yes but I can't think of any point in time where 80 graphics cards could play the latest games with maximum settings or DDR2 ram being 10 a Gig or where 1TB hardrives can be picked up for under 60.
look back to 2006 and that kind of money wouldn't buy you anywhere near that level of hardware.
Plus there are far more free to play games nowadays even Quakelive and Battlefield heros don't require a 3D card and thus happily played on an old computer.

Thus, my point that "cheap" is relative. I grant you that PC gaming is currently less expensive than it ever has been, but it is still a pricier option than console gaming.

My point wasn't that PC was cheaper than console gaming but tht it was less expensive than it used to be with PCs being cheaper than they have ever been in the past (console ports can't challenge the hardware ATM) plus the greater numbers of free to play models and flash based browser games (or popcap games) .
Also the major 3 consoles are going throught price drops and thus gaming isn't that expensive on the whole in the current economy.

Again I have to point our your bias, because gaming - a hobby with a buy-in of at least $299US + (the price of one game), and a subsistence cost of $60US for every new game - can only be considered "cheap" by someone who's been conditioned to not worry about paying for things like food, heat and shelter. While I agree with you that gaming is, perhaps, cheaper now than it has ever been, that does not make it an inexpensive hobby, compared to, say, birdwatching, or walking outside in the sunshine.

Russ Pitts:

jamesworkshop:

Russ Pitts:

FROGGEman2:
Just a question...

Do you and Susan switch jobs every issue?

All of the editors rtake turns writing the Editor's Note.

jamesworkshop:

Russ Pitts:

jamesworkshop:
I don't agree Pc hardware is stupidly cheap nowadays and even the consoles have had a decent price drop with no next gen for about 5 years

"Cheap" is relative.

Yes but I can't think of any point in time where 80 graphics cards could play the latest games with maximum settings or DDR2 ram being 10 a Gig or where 1TB hardrives can be picked up for under 60.
look back to 2006 and that kind of money wouldn't buy you anywhere near that level of hardware.
Plus there are far more free to play games nowadays even Quakelive and Battlefield heros don't require a 3D card and thus happily played on an old computer.

Thus, my point that "cheap" is relative. I grant you that PC gaming is currently less expensive than it ever has been, but it is still a pricier option than console gaming.

My point wasn't that PC was cheaper than console gaming but tht it was less expensive than it used to be with PCs being cheaper than they have ever been in the past (console ports can't challenge the hardware ATM) plus the greater numbers of free to play models and flash based browser games (or popcap games) .
Also the major 3 consoles are going throught price drops and thus gaming isn't that expensive on the whole in the current economy.

Again I have to point our your bias, because gaming - a hobby with a buy-in of at least $299US + (the price of one game), and a subsistence cost of $60US for every new game - can only be considered "cheap" by someone who's been conditioned to not worry about paying for things like food, heat and shelter. While I agree with you that gaming is, perhaps, cheaper now than it has ever been, that does not make it an inexpensive hobby, compared to, say, birdwatching, or walking outside in the sunshine.

Runescape = free
Mapplestory = free
Quake live = Free
Battlefield heroes = free
All those games on newgrounds = free
Evony = free
The massive quantity of Facebook games = free (I believe the escapist covered this new Phenomena)
All those cheap arcade games on the console networks

The point is that gaming is not working against the economy but is moving in accordance with it and thus not in any real danger sure times are hard but we can clearly see the gaming industry addapting to the economic enviroment and not just sticking thier fingers in their ears and raising prices (unless you're Bobby Kotick)

Spending $60 a game isn't a requirment of videogaming, much like driving doesn't require a Ferrari F50
Everything has a price thats just how the world works and gaming on a budget has never been as good as it is today.
I mean look at the PS2 and its continuing unit sales success over its bigger and more expensive PS3 now for a complete videogame virgin (with little disposable income) it offers a nice price point (ebay can be your friend)

http://popular.ebay.co.uk/ns/Video-Games/Playstation-2-Console.html

And every game by now is going to be stuck in the bargin bin and with over 900 titles to choose from gaming on the PS2 would be comparable in price to buying a DVD player and a sizeable movie collection and offer far more hours of entertainment.

jamesworkshop:

Russ Pitts:

jamesworkshop:

Russ Pitts:

FROGGEman2:
Just a question...

Do you and Susan switch jobs every issue?

All of the editors rtake turns writing the Editor's Note.

jamesworkshop:

Russ Pitts:

jamesworkshop:
I don't agree Pc hardware is stupidly cheap nowadays and even the consoles have had a decent price drop with no next gen for about 5 years

"Cheap" is relative.

Yes but I can't think of any point in time where 80 graphics cards could play the latest games with maximum settings or DDR2 ram being 10 a Gig or where 1TB hardrives can be picked up for under 60.
look back to 2006 and that kind of money wouldn't buy you anywhere near that level of hardware.
Plus there are far more free to play games nowadays even Quakelive and Battlefield heros don't require a 3D card and thus happily played on an old computer.

Thus, my point that "cheap" is relative. I grant you that PC gaming is currently less expensive than it ever has been, but it is still a pricier option than console gaming.

My point wasn't that PC was cheaper than console gaming but tht it was less expensive than it used to be with PCs being cheaper than they have ever been in the past (console ports can't challenge the hardware ATM) plus the greater numbers of free to play models and flash based browser games (or popcap games) .
Also the major 3 consoles are going throught price drops and thus gaming isn't that expensive on the whole in the current economy.

Again I have to point our your bias, because gaming - a hobby with a buy-in of at least $299US + (the price of one game), and a subsistence cost of $60US for every new game - can only be considered "cheap" by someone who's been conditioned to not worry about paying for things like food, heat and shelter. While I agree with you that gaming is, perhaps, cheaper now than it has ever been, that does not make it an inexpensive hobby, compared to, say, birdwatching, or walking outside in the sunshine.

Runescape = free
Mapplestory = free
Quake live = Free
Battlefield heroes = free
All those games on newgrounds = free
Evony = free
The massive quantity of Facebook games = free (I believe the escapist covered this new Phenomena)
All those cheap arcade games on the console networks

The point is that gaming is not working against the economy but is moving in accordance with it and thus not in any real danger sure times are hard but we can clearly see the gaming industry addapting to the economic enviroment and not just sticking thier fingers in their ears and raising prices (unless you're Bobby Kotick)

Spending $60 a game isn't a requirment of videogaming, much like driving doesn't require a Ferrari F50
Everything has a price thats just how the world works and gaming on a budget has never been as good as it is today.
I mean look at the PS2 and its continuing unit sales success over its bigger and more expensive PS3 now for a complete videogame virgin (with little disposable income) it offers a nice price point (ebay can be your friend)

http://popular.ebay.co.uk/ns/Video-Games/Playstation-2-Console.html

And every game by now is going to be stuck in the bargin bin and with over 900 titles to choose from gaming on the PS2 would be comparable in price to buying a DVD player and a sizeable movie collection and offer far more hours of entertainment.

Pointing to the absolute low-end minimum expenditure of maintaining the hobby as evidence that it's not, in fact, an expensive hobby is not a convincing argument. Obviously a budget-minded gamer could subsist at the level you indicate, but in reality most gamers buy some high-end products and some low-end products, and as a result ride the middle of the bell curve in terms of cost. Which I argue still places gaming in the high end of hobbies, by cost.

I could spin an analogous argument to yours by saying "walking outdoors" is a more expensive hobby than gaming because hardcore walking shoes cost $X, wicking, rip-proof fabric trousers cost $Y, a portable GPS unit costs $Z and maps for your local area will cost 4Q. But anyone who spends time outdoors knows that this argument is a fallacy, because in actuality you can spend far less and still have an enjoyable experience.

You're attempting to prove that gaming is an inexpensive hobby by pointing out that there are free and bargain products one can buy to maintain their hobby, which is true, but anyone who games knows that most gamers don't live out of the free and bargain bin section alone, just as anyone who hikes knows that most hikers don't buy all their gear from premium outfitters.

Again, I maintain that, in spite of various ways in which gaming can be made less expensive through thriftiness or by taking advantage of the state of the economy, it is still, by far, one of the more expensive consumer hobbies one can undertake.

Russ Pitts:

jamesworkshop:

Russ Pitts:

jamesworkshop:

Russ Pitts:

FROGGEman2:
Just a question...

Do you and Susan switch jobs every issue?

All of the editors rtake turns writing the Editor's Note.

jamesworkshop:

Russ Pitts:

jamesworkshop:
I don't agree Pc hardware is stupidly cheap nowadays and even the consoles have had a decent price drop with no next gen for about 5 years

"Cheap" is relative.

Yes but I can't think of any point in time where 80 graphics cards could play the latest games with maximum settings or DDR2 ram being 10 a Gig or where 1TB hardrives can be picked up for under 60.
look back to 2006 and that kind of money wouldn't buy you anywhere near that level of hardware.
Plus there are far more free to play games nowadays even Quakelive and Battlefield heros don't require a 3D card and thus happily played on an old computer.

Thus, my point that "cheap" is relative. I grant you that PC gaming is currently less expensive than it ever has been, but it is still a pricier option than console gaming.

My point wasn't that PC was cheaper than console gaming but tht it was less expensive than it used to be with PCs being cheaper than they have ever been in the past (console ports can't challenge the hardware ATM) plus the greater numbers of free to play models and flash based browser games (or popcap games) .
Also the major 3 consoles are going throught price drops and thus gaming isn't that expensive on the whole in the current economy.

Again I have to point our your bias, because gaming - a hobby with a buy-in of at least $299US + (the price of one game), and a subsistence cost of $60US for every new game - can only be considered "cheap" by someone who's been conditioned to not worry about paying for things like food, heat and shelter. While I agree with you that gaming is, perhaps, cheaper now than it has ever been, that does not make it an inexpensive hobby, compared to, say, birdwatching, or walking outside in the sunshine.

Runescape = free
Mapplestory = free
Quake live = Free
Battlefield heroes = free
All those games on newgrounds = free
Evony = free
The massive quantity of Facebook games = free (I believe the escapist covered this new Phenomena)
All those cheap arcade games on the console networks

The point is that gaming is not working against the economy but is moving in accordance with it and thus not in any real danger sure times are hard but we can clearly see the gaming industry addapting to the economic enviroment and not just sticking thier fingers in their ears and raising prices (unless you're Bobby Kotick)

Spending $60 a game isn't a requirment of videogaming, much like driving doesn't require a Ferrari F50
Everything has a price thats just how the world works and gaming on a budget has never been as good as it is today.
I mean look at the PS2 and its continuing unit sales success over its bigger and more expensive PS3 now for a complete videogame virgin (with little disposable income) it offers a nice price point (ebay can be your friend)

http://popular.ebay.co.uk/ns/Video-Games/Playstation-2-Console.html

And every game by now is going to be stuck in the bargin bin and with over 900 titles to choose from gaming on the PS2 would be comparable in price to buying a DVD player and a sizeable movie collection and offer far more hours of entertainment.

Pointing to the absolute low-end minimum expenditure of maintaining the hobby as evidence that it's not, in fact, an expensive hobby is not a convincing argument. Obviously a budget-minded gamer could subsist at the level you indicate, but in reality most gamers buy some high-end products and some low-end products, and as a result ride the middle of the bell curve in terms of cost. Which I argue still places gaming in the high end of hobbies, by cost.

I could spin an analogous argument to yours by saying "walking outdoors" is a more expensive hobby than gaming because hardcore walking shoes cost $X, wicking, rip-proof fabric trousers cost $Y, a portable GPS unit costs $Z and maps for your local area will cost 4Q. But anyone who spends time outdoors knows that this argument is a fallacy, because in actuality you can spend far less and still have an enjoyable experience.

You're attempting to prove that gaming is an inexpensive hobby by pointing out that there are free and bargain products one can buy to maintain their hobby, which is true, but anyone who games knows that most gamers don't live out of the free and bargain bin section alone, just as anyone who hikes knows that most hikers don't buy all their gear from premium outfitters.

Again, I maintain that, in spite of various ways in which gaming can be made less expensive through thriftiness or by taking advantage of the state of the economy, it is still, by far, one of the more expensive consumer hobbies one can undertake.

Look I never said gaming was cheap only that it was as expensive as you want to spend nor did I make any mention of wether gaming was cheaper/expensive when compared to other possible hobbies

"Everything has a price thats just how the world works"

jamesworkshop:
"Everything has a price thats just how the world works"

My, that sounds an awful lot like "cheap is relative," which, I believe, was the statement of mine to which you first objected, touching off this fine debate. I'm glad to see we could reach a common ground ;)

Russ Pitts:

jamesworkshop:
"Everything has a price thats just how the world works"

My, that sounds an awful lot like "cheap is relative," which, I believe, was the statement of mine to which you first objected, touching off this fine debate. I'm glad to see we could reach a common ground ;)

Yes I guess your right
still the gaming indusrty isn't going to disappear anythime soon

jamesworkshop:
still the gaming indusrty isn't going to disappear anythime soon

I agree. Anyway, I certainly hope it doesn't. That would put me out of a hobby and a job. :(

 

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