Jimquisition: Better Does Not Mean Good

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I've had a lot of talks on this with my brother on the fact that I thought if Game Companies/Developers/Publishers (or just the Sellers of Games, I guess) just reduce the price for their games that they would get far more people to buy those games, because the "bar to entry" would be lower in terms of trying to get those games. Sure, you aren't getting something like $60 dollars per game, but for each person who would have bought the game for $60, you instead get something like 5 customers if the game was priced at $20, wouldn't that pay off in the end? It just seems to make some good business sense to me, at least from my perspective.

Unfortunately, it seems like the collective Sellers of Video Games seem to rather want as much money from people as they can and I get the feeling that a lot of people seem to be okay with it, which isn't a bad thing for them. There are probably people out there who could pay for the price of these games as they are no problem because they have jobs and are probably able to manage their money well to buy the games they want. It's very hard for me to find a reason to blame these people then as obviously, the price of the game isn't an issue with them.

However, as I was saying about the "bar to entry" as before, there are still a lot of people who probably would like to buy games but the price is just too high at the moment. While I guess a lot of people who pirate games are real people who just don't want to pay a dime for anything, I think it is equally possible that a lot of the pirates are people who would have bought the game if they could have. To me, it just seems like lower the price for games anywhere would help the Sellers of video games a lot more than it might hurt them.

It's because of this that I am curious as to the breakdown of what the $60 dollars might be for each video game, or perhaps a dynamic pie-graph of some kind that can be applied to all games. I'm just curious in where that money for that $60 dollar game or whatever that is just coming out and exactly where it might be going to pay for the game. I know some of it has to go into the production cost of the game, but I just wonder what else is to that price that might prevent the Sellers from reducing the price to games and make things nicer for all; besides just general greed.

wtf was with the shrimp? what was that for?

Ragsnstitches:

It's a tricky subject. I can't agree with being treated like a criminal just because criminals are doing criminal things somewhere else. I can understand the need to protect your property... but some of these systems in place are pushing it. They aren't a necessary evil, they are exploitative and oppressive to the consumer disguised as a means to counter piracy/2nd hand sales. They punish the consumer, tell us it's for our own good, while making it harder for us to enjoy their product... that doesn't make sense, and is unacceptable.

I agree contingencies are needed to stop piracy, though that will never happen in totality. Jim made a point a couple of weeks back about offering a better platform then the pirates... that means cutting out DRM, gutting intrusive systems like GfWL and refining the positive aspects of platforms like steam.

Online passes are an arbitrary response to used game sales... rather then taking a step back and seeing a way to reduce the price of new releases they just say we'll ask for more money from honest consumers. When people scoff at that, they site our resistances to their current contingencies as being counterintuitive to the industry.

So, let me get this straight. You aim to make games that consumers would be willing to buy in order to be profitable, but you aren't making enough money so look to find who's to blame. When you cherry picked a few candidates for finger pointing you proceed to implement systems to thwart them. That evidently doesn't work but you continue to push it on us, the honest consumer, because we haven't stopped buying your games... but you can't figure out why you still aren't making MORE money. So you start to blame the perfectly normal 2nd sales market, a secondary option for gamers around the world and a valid option for those who aren't particularly wealthy or don't have confidence in your product. You penalise potential future fans, for not taking a risk, by charging them more (defeating the purpose of 2nd hand sales). Then you wonder why people are getting angry at you, all you've done is try to make games they would like... oh wait, in your attempt to protect themselves from loss you started to put undue pressure on the only people who are actually supporting them and on potential future supporters, and even after not seeing an improvement you continue to force it on us and even have the gall to tell us we are being bad consumers.

Da fuck is dis shieeet!
/rant

Anyway, I also said earlier something along the lines of "We as customers do have choice, buy or not buy. We talk with our wallets. Pro-consumerists tell us this all the time (along with demanding transparency in the market, which we still don't have)", So I agree with you on that point.

"Let your mind and your dollar be your choice". Exactly. They are providing things for us because they want something from us... if they don't have what we want, they don't get what they want. If that upsets them, then it's their obligation to make changes, not ours to submit to.

A few points, but generally, we're not too far out of line.

1.) Steam is really pretty DRM. There's plenty of games that can't be played without being perma-connected to Steam, or at least connected on launch. If your gripe against the Ubisoft copy protection is that "why do I need to be online all the time to play my game?", adding a pretty GUI and a chat over the top doesn't make it any less hypocritical. There's always going to be a certain percentage of piracy - even if we banned BT and Usenet, people would clone discs, make SneakerNets, etc. The thing is, Ubisoft/EA/Everyone else have a right to protect people from stealing their property as much as anyone else does. I don't agree with all their tactics, and I understand the gripes. The issue isn't the concept so much as the immediate implementation. Developers and publishers need to better, and the gaming community needs to discourage piracy. I may not like Activision. I may not agree with things they do. However, if I steal their stuff, I'm as much the cause as anybody else.

And to paraphrase Louis C.K. - "What happens after you enter the code or the online pass? Did you get a hundred hours of the work of the best animators, game designers, writers, coders, and voice actors ever? Did your magic box give you the awesome experience of being a space captain bounty hunter treasure finding ninja soldier world hero that flirts with beautiful women and saves the world? Did that happen? Then shut up! Technology is amazing and everyone sucks."

There's a sense that even the most minor of inconveniences are used as excuses to hate on the most wonderful of things. You may have to jump through some hoops. Get over it. I'm not saying this applies universally (especially when the DRM makes your PC not work...) but sometimes it really is just whining. If you have nothing but a desktop on a persistent 12 MBPS connection in the U.S. and you're worried about always on DRM, maybe the problem is you. You're not going to the third world with that video game. If you do, you're not going to worry about playing it. If it affects you, then gripe. Again - your results may vary here.

The thing is - why do they need to reduce the price of new releases? $60 was the same price a game was in 2002. I think that's when they went up from $50. The price of making a game has gone up exponentially, and the price hasn't. GameStop is a cancer. They buy games at $20 and sell them at $50, intact. Now, if they go all digital, and there's no used games sales, I expect them to drop the price, since my equity (the opportunity to resell my game) is gone, but that's it.

Now, if games had depreciation - if the discs wore out easily - if there were a way to age a game, the same way any normal good ages and becomes less functional, then this would be fine - but if a game is kept well, and doesn't get scratched to death, the systems won't damage it, so there's minimal depreciation. The game you buy used a year from now, is the same game I bought new. It is a year old, but the only value is in perception - the good itself does not depreciate. That's what makes the secondary market so nasty - there's no incentive to buy a game from the publisher the day after purchase unless they make it.

Pretty awesome!

Always nice to see another Jimquisition up. Wish I had something wittier to say here, but I would only pale in comparison to "The Jim".

J.d. Scott:

Ragsnstitches:
snip

A few points, but generally, we're not too far out of line.

1.) Steam is really pretty DRM. There's plenty of games that can't be played without being perma-connected to Steam, or at least connected on launch. If your gripe against the Ubisoft copy protection is that "why do I need to be online all the time to play my game?", adding a pretty GUI and a chat over the top doesn't make it any less hypocritical. There's always going to be a certain percentage of piracy - even if we banned BT and Usenet, people would clone discs, make SneakerNets, etc. The thing is, Ubisoft/EA/Everyone else have a right to protect people from stealing their property as much as anyone else does. I don't agree with all their tactics, and I understand the gripes. The issue isn't the concept so much as the immediate implementation. Developers and publishers need to better, and the gaming community needs to discourage piracy. I may not like Activision. I may not agree with things they do. However, if I steal their stuff, I'm as much the cause as anybody else.

And to paraphrase Louis C.K. - "What happens after you enter the code or the online pass? Did you get a hundred hours of the work of the best animators, game designers, writers, coders, and voice actors ever? Did your magic box give you the awesome experience of being a space captain bounty hunter treasure finding ninja soldier world hero that flirts with beautiful women and saves the world? Did that happen? Then shut up! Technology is amazing and everyone sucks."

There's a sense that even the most minor of inconveniences are used as excuses to hate on the most wonderful of things. You may have to jump through some hoops. Get over it. I'm not saying this applies universally (especially when the DRM makes your PC not work...) but sometimes it really is just whining. If you have nothing but a desktop on a persistent 12 MBPS connection in the U.S. and you're worried about always on DRM, maybe the problem is you. You're not going to the third world with that video game. If you do, you're not going to worry about playing it. If it affects you, then gripe. Again - your results may vary here.

The thing is - why do they need to reduce the price of new releases? $60 was the same price a game was in 2002. I think that's when they went up from $50. The price of making a game has gone up exponentially, and the price hasn't. GameStop is a cancer. They buy games at $20 and sell them at $50, intact. Now, if they go all digital, and there's no used games sales, I expect them to drop the price, since my equity (the opportunity to resell my game) is gone, but that's it.

Now, if games had depreciation - if the discs wore out easily - if there were a way to age a game, the same way any normal good ages and becomes less functional, then this would be fine - but if a game is kept well, and doesn't get scratched to death, the systems won't damage it, so there's minimal depreciation. The game you buy used a year from now, is the same game I bought new. It is a year old, but the only value is in perception - the good itself does not depreciate. That's what makes the secondary market so nasty - there's no incentive to buy a game from the publisher the day after purchase unless they make it.

1. Steam is DRM. I don't like that. But steam is also an online store that offers GREAT deals. It offers a FREE, comprehensive and user friendly community service. It makes massive promotions for Indie and little league developers, promoting stuff that would have been forgotten or missed entirely under the shouting and raving of the big boys. It promises security and a right to own your purchased games if ever the platform is taken down, not just a license to play it with the service. It offers an offline mode that DOES function (but isn't well implemented). Steam is like a vaccination by a nice doctor, it's uncomfortable and is not something I want, but he promises to make things feel better and gives us a lollipop and a warm smile. I would rather not be treated like a child, but at least I'm not furious over it.

Ubisoft? Shafts us and tells us we deserve it. Their DRM is intrusive and DOESN'T WORK. Ubisoft is a rapist that let's us watch what we want on the telly. I fucking love watching Cowboy Builders, but I don't think I love it enough to compensate for BEING BONED unwillingly.

Sorry for the crude analogy. I hate Ubisoft and actively avoid their products. I don't pirate their stuff, I just ignore it. I refuse to even give them a chance.

2. The issue with DRM isn't that it's there. Steam makes it imperceptible AND offers a platform worthy of my money, they make a bad thing less bad by offering a really big good thing and as much support as is practical to the consumer. Ubisoft? Give it to us raw and tell us it's for OUR own good and that we don't know what we need anyway. ITS NOT FOR OUR OWN GOOD. Its for THEIR own good. They failed on their end, so we get punished, while the crooks walk away laughing. Great!

It's not Ubisofts place to punish Pirates (which it fails at totally anyway), but to offer a better service... a service we want to pay for (which it fails at for me). But a game is a product right? Well yes, it is a product... however they also work with functions beyond the product that have long lasting effects and are used to monitor the community... that is a service. Their service sucks and unfortunately the distinction between their service and their product is non-existent, so I treat them the same. Their service sucks, which makes their games suck.

TAKE NOTE OF THIS POINT
If I pirated a bad DRM game I get to play it without hassle from any hidden software within the product (as it is cracked) and I get it for FREE. That happens when I do the WRONG THING, the thing they don't want me to do in the first place. IF I PAID FOR IT, I have to fill in serial keys to confirm what I paid for legitimately is legitimate, register to a site so I can be monitored by it and remain connected to that site/service to be monitored at all times... just in case my game suddenly turns into a pirated game!? WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!?

Way to make your friends into enemies and your enemies laugh their asses off.

3. Pricing is... a tough nut to crack. It's not perfect. In a bid to avoid a few more rants I can say that I agree with your sentiments but feel that system is showing too many holes in it. It's flawed (by the simple fact that they aren't getting enough and we aren't happy with the prices) and rather then getting it fixed they keep shovelling more money (the thing that they want more of) into SERVICES no one wants and that don't work as is intended, but instead completely counter intuitively..

If you're poor, you shouldn't be buying games, or you should wait until they are cheaper, why must people insist on buying every new game that comes out and then complain when they say they are too expensive, have a little self control for god sake. And vote with your god damn wallet people.

Ragsnstitches:

Urh:

DVS BSTrD:
This episode could have been a lot worse.

...but I'm not sure if it could've been better. I also find that people who espouse the "it could be worse, so shut your trap and take another dick in the arse" attitude are usually the ones who piss and moan about "entitlement" when people air legitimate grievances about a particular game/business model/whatever.

As a person who see's an issue with entitlement among gamers, I resent that. People do throw that buzz word around a bit too much, but it is a problem in some cases.

When gamers chastise a developer about a game for being "consolised" or being dumbed down, arguing that the developers don't care about their franchise and fans that follow them, ignoring the fact that the "streamlining" is intended to make a game more accessible to people with less tolerance to inefficient/unwieldy designs, and that audience being just as entitled to the games as you (but not as patient with games as you) since they will pay for it with money that is of equal value to your own... . Ergo, Entitlement. Your investment is equal to theirs, you have no real ground to argue otherwise (beyond feeling entitled).

Complaining that a product you paid for does not meet your expectations is not entitlement. It is a legitimate consumer complaint. Other people being happy with it does not negate your issues with it. By your logic, if they developed a car with no brakes to make it more marketable to the reckless driving enthusiasts, anyone who complains about that vehicle would be an entitled whiner cause they think cars should have brakes.

zacharyk88:
wtf was with the shrimp? what was that for?

Better we shrimp the videos, than let the videos shrimp us.

Jim; I have a challange for you:

Go to Australia and just take a look at how much we are asked to pay at retail for "Modern" warfare 3, Mass effect 3, Star Wars: The Old Republic, "Modern" warfare 2, CoD 4 and so on while keeping in mind that the Australian dollar is MORE valuable than the US dollar!

Good point. I also laughed so hard at the Raisin Bran.

Sylveria:

Ragsnstitches:

Urh:

...but I'm not sure if it could've been better. I also find that people who espouse the "it could be worse, so shut your trap and take another dick in the arse" attitude are usually the ones who piss and moan about "entitlement" when people air legitimate grievances about a particular game/business model/whatever.

As a person who see's an issue with entitlement among gamers, I resent that. People do throw that buzz word around a bit too much, but it is a problem in some cases.

When gamers chastise a developer about a game for being "consolised" or being dumbed down, arguing that the developers don't care about their franchise and fans that follow them, ignoring the fact that the "streamlining" is intended to make a game more accessible to people with less tolerance to inefficient/unwieldy designs, and that audience being just as entitled to the games as you (but not as patient with games as you) since they will pay for it with money that is of equal value to your own... . Ergo, Entitlement. Your investment is equal to theirs, you have no real ground to argue otherwise (beyond feeling entitled).

Complaining that a product you paid for does not meet your expectations is not entitlement. It is a legitimate consumer complaint. Other people being happy with it does not negate your issues with it. By your logic, if they developed a car with no brakes to make it more marketable to the reckless driving enthusiasts, anyone who complains about that vehicle would be an entitled whiner cause they think cars should have brakes.

Okay, Brakes on a car? Essential... no, mandatory. It would never be put on the market otherwise. Of course it would still work, but brakes are typically expected by the consumer, let alone necessary for safety reasons.

For games the equivalent of the above analogy would be releasing a game with missing audio files or textures. It will still work, but not as intended... the consumer knows audio and visuals are part of the experience therefore not getting what they paid for.

This is just a bad analogy.

A proper analogy of my point would be this:

A car that is sold with everything you need, but the floor matting or dashboard finish isn't what you expected it to be based off of pictures in the catalogue and your idle fancies (or maybe the car radio doesn't have enough nobs or too many nobs for your taste, but we'll stick to the finish analogy). You had no reason to think the finish would be better then that, you just hoped it would. So you complain to the manufacturer that you bought their car and that the finish wasn't what you hoped for and you demand a better finish. They will then laugh at you (actually they won't, they might offer condolences or a free coupon or something else petty and near worthless). Why? because their is a difference between what is on offer, and what is to be expected. By all means say what you want to say, shout it on the rooftops... but the most you can do is just that, voice your disapproval. You can't demand more then what was on offer... that is being entitled.

For games, the same thing. Just because you wished really hard for skyrim/mass effect/assassins creed/starcraft etc. to have certain things, the absence of them does not give you the right to demand them. You can complain and voice your displeasure, but you got was on offer. You are entitling yourself to something that wasn't on offer.

Now, if by chance something WAS offered but you didn't get? Yeah, you are owed it and make sure they know that... and make sure others know that.

In the end, your voice is in your wallet. That's all the industry will listen to. If you don't like what they do, don't fund it. That will come at a sacrifice for you however in the form of not playing their games (if you aren't a scumbag pirate)... the price for freedom and all that rhetoric.

EDIT: Actually, upon reflection YOU CAN play their games. Get them second hand... it's not illegal or morally reprehensible like EA would want you to think. They also don't get your support.

Know when to stand up for yourself and when not to make a show of yourself.

Hilarious introduction, actually laughed. Also the episode was insightful, lots of good points, etc. etc.

... you mean the contributors are actually reading our topics?

Oh! I feel so exposed! Don't look at me there!

I personally feel this message to be more poignant about the "Occupy x" protests than games. Even if one is making a point about games. This really resonates with me about all the times people have complained about problems in the United States or so forth, and met with "but even poor Americans are rich, stop whining like an emo teenager!". Don't complain because someone has it worse mentality, is sadly really common.

You think poverty in the United States is bad? What about the Africans?

You think that that's racist? This isn't Nazi Germany!

You think that's sexist? Try living in the Arab world!

No, that's horrible logic.

one of your best jim, keep it up

i'm sorry, i stopped watching the video halfway through cause you guys are complaining 60 bucks!!!! fricken hell 60 bucks is what i rather pay 100 or over for games in australia, i have to get games shipped over from england that are 60 bucks or cheaper

Hmmmm I see your argument Jim with prices (I live in Australia) but the way we can all fix that is to have the Good Old Games pricing where it's American currency and the dollar of your country is what affects the amount you pay but of course Steam,Xbox live, PSN and Origin would never do that cause they are fucking greedy (well except for steam the prices are set buy the publisher or something).

Jimothy Sterling:

BehattedWanderer:
Aww, sounds like someone had their feelings hurt that they were losing to EC.

Pfft. I'm too busy winning hearts to be winning polls!

well I think the Jimquisition and Extra credits should get together and make a baby ... hell throw some game overthinker in there too.

IamLEAM1983:

So I've been known to fall to the whole "It could be worse, right?" mentality, but I also know that opposing this approach doesn't necessarily warrant some of the shit pulled off by the Mass Effect zealots, for instance. We have a right to ask for nice things, but we have to ask for these nice things in a reasonable and civil manner.

I'm sorry, who were the extremists here? What did they do?

Well I'm going to get on my high horse and complain that when Jim was talking about Australia ad posted an image of "starving children" he actually posted an Oxfam Australia ad for "Closing the gap" an Australian movement to "close the gap" in the education disparity between white indigenous Australians. Starvation is less of a concern here, and instead concerns like alcoholism, drug abuse, homelessness, poor health, no job prospects and widespread abuse of children (more of a problem in isolated communities) take precedence. So yeah... get told?

Also, Australians do have a right to complain about game prices because here a AAA title retails for ~$120. That includes no DLC, no special edition, no included bonuses. A stock standard vanilla game for $120. For no reason.

There is no possible way that a $60 game can accrue a further $60 of taxes and shipping costs. Especially in this day and age of mass transport and digital distribution. The Australian dollar is even outperforming the American dollar so exchange rates cant possibly affect anything.

Modern Warfare 3 is priced at $99AUD (~$103USD) on steam. That's $43 higher than US for a digital download. There is no excuse for that. Australia is just a gaming dead zone as far as the industry is concerned.

Perhaps the thought process pervading some of the audience to this media, is that game sites, which sponsor journalism, have elements of bias and contamination pertaining the the financial aspect of the business. It's part n' parcel to the garbage business practices of some of the larger publishers. It's a business not a charity.

We look at Jim here, who states he wanted to do an episode with Konami... of course they shit in his face. He doesn't have a whole helluva' lot of material to work with here, other than... those douche-bags? They shit in my face. So that is what we get. Man has to make a living ffs, even if it is going to be just another opinion piece. Hell' I would like to see Jim interview people in publishing and development... ahhh wish in one hand...

As once said, "wars long done... where all just folk now", and in that we all by degrees have to dance to tunes that may not be or have been in our best interest or cater to our perception of integrity. That's life.

The EC Vs. Jim, really? They are both opinion leveraged series. Though, speaking for myself... I would treat Jim to a round and wouldn't piss on EC'n crew if they were on fire.

Jim makes me laugh (to spite myself sometimes), EC makes me face palm... because of spite... there IS a difference.

man for some reason I want some "raisin bran" cereal I wonder why?

jimquisition VS EC thread?

whooooaaaaa..breaking the 4th wall

Vault101:
jimquisition VS EC thread?

whooooaaaaa..breaking the 4th wall

I think there has to BE a fourth wall before you can break it.

Custard_Angel:
Well I'm going to get on my high horse and complain that when Jim was talking about Australia ad posted an image of "starving children" he actually posted an Oxfam Australia ad for "Closing the gap" an Australian movement to "close the gap" in the education disparity between white indigenous Australians. Starvation is less of a concern here, and instead concerns like alcoholism, drug abuse, homelessness, poor health, no job prospects and widespread abuse of children (more of a problem in isolated communities) take precedence. So yeah... get told?

.

yeah..I found that odd..those kids arnt africans

the situation with the indigenous people is.....bad to say the least, its clear though all the handouts just don't work

Lilani:
What I want to know is if Jim just went out and bought that box of Raisin Bran to feature in the video, or if he really starts his days with two scoops of shriveled grapey goodness.

Same and no branston pickle, :( for shame.

thanks for mentioning my forum thread jim :)

Zachary Amaranth:

IamLEAM1983:

So I've been known to fall to the whole "It could be worse, right?" mentality, but I also know that opposing this approach doesn't necessarily warrant some of the shit pulled off by the Mass Effect zealots, for instance. We have a right to ask for nice things, but we have to ask for these nice things in a reasonable and civil manner.

I'm sorry, who were the extremists here? What did they do?

I was mostly referring to the FTC comaplaints and the whole cupcakes thing.

Granted, that's a personal opinion and I've talked at length about how I feel towards the whole Retake Mass Effect subject, but I really don't want to anger anyone else again. Also, I'm more than a little sick of the whole ending kerfuffle.

Trolling the devs or more or less counting on the opinion of a figure of authority who may or may not understand how game pitches are structured to prove that BioWare made false claims doesn't change the fact the property remains in EA and BioWare's hands, and that they alone have the power to choose how to handle the series' ending.

We all know where that ended, we all know what's coming this summer. A little DLC patch intended to clarify a few issues, and nothing else. That's it.

Also, I didn't exactly refer to "extremists". This was much more a case of people investing far too much time and effort into something that's ultimately trivial.

This isn't me trying to hijack the thread, this isn't me wanting to start a flame war. It's just my very personal and ultimately meaningless opinion. Seeing as this thread wasn't about Mass Effect 3, I'd appreciate it if any comments directed at me but unrelated to the video were limited to PMs.

chronobreak:
I don't believe Jim is corrupt. However, there are concerns that have been raised that people are not necessarily wrong for thinking corruption would be a possibility. Schmoozing with industry people, free swag/games, insulting viewers/readers, scores being far from the average, reviewed games not being played to completion, handling pretty much all the reviews on Destructoid when there are many talented writers on staff, articles written with blatant trolling attempts... And there is probably more.

Jim is a good writer. I genuinely enjoy most of his reviews. I just feel like there is a disconnect in there somewhere.

Scores being far from the average:

Wow, funny how opinions work. It's almost like sometimes, one person's opinion doesn't line up with others.

Free swag/games:

Journalists always get pissed at this because it implies that they can be bought with free fucking gift bags and a game. They have more integrity than that. That's why they're journalists.

Reviews editor:

He's the reviews editor. That's his job.

Trolling attempts:

Every time I read a "troll" article by Sterling, he's trolling dumbass, knee-jerk fanboys.

Schmoozing with industry people:

It's called interacting. It happens

Jimothy Sterling:
Better Does Not Mean Good

Things in the game industry could be worst. We could all be living in the 80s, or we could be in Australia, beset by high prices and restricted ratings. We could also have no arms. We could have porcelain eyes. We could be killed by a Terminator to stop our children leading a revolution against a genocidal artificial intelligence.

Things could always be worse, but saying that to counter an argument about the North American videogame industry doesn't really prove a bloody thing.

Watch Video

I'm actually curious about people's claims of corruption? What games did they say you seemed like you were advertising? because it seems completely unfounded to me.

Did love Jim's shout-out to the Jimquisition vs. Extra Credits thread, complete with his usual brand of 'seriousness'.

But, of course, he brings up a good point as usual, a point that actually reminded me of something I heard a long while back and I firmly believe in:

Comparing anything, ANYTHING to the past is absolutely and completely stupid, because, in the end, that stuff was in the PAST, and there's a better chance of you winning the lottery than there is of the stuff in the past ever, ever coming back. If we should be comparing what we have right now to anything, it's comparing what we have right now to alternatives that we could have instead, and I can think of a couple of things that would be far more preferable to the system we have now.

Is the system better than it was before in the past? Yes, probably. I don't care, though, because the system by which we're charged for (and receive content for) games is still not AS good as it could be, therefore I am still going to have a problem with it. We can stop caring and stop complaining and say that something is completely, utterly GOOD and say it can be worse when there is no way that that something can become better.

IamLEAM1983:

I was mostly referring to the FTC comaplaints and the whole cupcakes thing.

You mean a formal complaint is extremism? It's one of the most civil things you can do.

And you know what? I'm just gonna say it. Maybe more gamers should file complaints with the FTC and BBB. The gaming industry is really ridiculous sometimes, and it needs to be reigned in. But perhaps that's another discussion for another time. So let's just stick with what's going on here.

The gamers had every right to feel lied to, and the BBB (while non-government)has validated that. Based on what they felt was false marketing, they contacted a government outlet that specialises in just this sort of thing. So basically, you're saying going to the group that regulates and/or investigates exactly what was alleged is extremism?

I hate to see what else false into your view of extremism.

Right or wrong, if you feel wrong it is your right to approach the authorities to investigate.

And the cupcakes thing was pretty clever and definitely civil. It got the point across in an original but non-threatening way.

Trolling the devs or more or less counting on the opinion of a figure of authority who may or may not understand how game pitches are structured to prove that BioWare made false claims doesn't change the fact the property remains in EA and BioWare's hands, and that they alone have the power to choose how to handle the series' ending.

You have a very loose definition of "trolling."

The fact that the property remains in their hands does not give them the right to lie. Please don't try and distort the problem people are having. It's not that they can choose to do what they want with the property, it's that they deliberately misled people.

Also, I didn't exactly refer to "extremists". This was much more a case of people investing far too much time and effort into something that's ultimately trivial.

Right, you referred to people and contrasted them in terms of being "uncivil." That does of semantics aside, you're taking some of the most civil forms of protest and treating them AS extremists.

Call it trivial if you want. Consumer rights have been eroded by people saying that same thing over just this sort of thing.

You know what? I'm gonna amend this, too. A friend of mine had a good point. If you've been playing the series, you've probably spent 180 bucks on it, bare minimum. Some of the content that is "optional" is really vital, so you may have spent even more. But let's just go with the basics. 180 bucks. Each game tends to run into the 30 hour playtime range, according to just about everyone online.

Almost 100 hours. That's over four days of your life, stacked together.

A few minutes to order cupcakes compared to 100 hours and 180 bucks.

Yeah, this is really a disproportionate amount of effort.

I must be pregnant, I have the strange urge for shrimp with two scoops of raisins.

I think what Jim is overlooking is that for many gamers money just isn't an issue either because they or their parents have (always had) lots of money and don't really care how much is charged because it's always in their budget. And that's fine until someone comes along and says that they're being taken advantage of. So they need to defend their purchases so they can continue to buy whatever they like without feeling like they've been taken advantage of.
It's the same reason some consumers defend the obscene used game prices at gamestop.

The problem is that when people try too hard not to look like suckers, they end up really looking like big suckers.

Extra Credits became a total drag after a while... and I do not miss them at all.

They often became patronizing and just spoke a lot without saying much in the end -- stroking their own ego essentially.

Jimquisition has good ideas, and does it tongue in cheek.

Tel_Windzan:
I've had a lot of talks on this with my brother on the fact that I thought if Game Companies/Developers/Publishers (or just the Sellers of Games, I guess) just reduce the price for their games that they would get far more people to buy those games, because the "bar to entry" would be lower in terms of trying to get those games. Sure, you aren't getting something like $60 dollars per game, but for each person who would have bought the game for $60, you instead get something like 5 customers if the game was priced at $20, wouldn't that pay off in the end? It just seems to make some good business sense to me, at least from my perspective.

Unfortunately, it seems like the collective Sellers of Video Games seem to rather want as much money from people as they can and I get the feeling that a lot of people seem to be okay with it, which isn't a bad thing for them. There are probably people out there who could pay for the price of these games as they are no problem because they have jobs and are probably able to manage their money well to buy the games they want. It's very hard for me to find a reason to blame these people then as obviously, the price of the game isn't an issue with them.

However, as I was saying about the "bar to entry" as before, there are still a lot of people who probably would like to buy games but the price is just too high at the moment. While I guess a lot of people who pirate games are real people who just don't want to pay a dime for anything, I think it is equally possible that a lot of the pirates are people who would have bought the game if they could have. To me, it just seems like lower the price for games anywhere would help the Sellers of video games a lot more than it might hurt them.

It's because of this that I am curious as to the breakdown of what the $60 dollars might be for each video game, or perhaps a dynamic pie-graph of some kind that can be applied to all games. I'm just curious in where that money for that $60 dollar game or whatever that is just coming out and exactly where it might be going to pay for the game. I know some of it has to go into the production cost of the game, but I just wonder what else is to that price that might prevent the Sellers from reducing the price to games and make things nicer for all; besides just general greed.

Here's the thing - there's a point where the consumer's demand and the profits hit the rubber. They have determined based on sales, that $60 is the price point the US market will bear. And realize, while super games make a lot of money, a great deal of other games, while critically acclaimed and good ideas fail to sell. Not ever game makes money, so the bigger titles provide revenue for the publisher.

jovack22:
Extra Credits became a total drag after a while... and I do not miss them at all.

They often became patronizing and just spoke a lot without saying much in the end -- stroking their own ego essentially.

Jimquisition has good ideas, and does it tongue in cheek.

I think they're two different things. Extra Credits is a teacher at DigiPen offering stripped down, user-friendly versions of some topical lectures that entry level game programming students would receive for free. Of course it's sort of patronizing - it's a teacher lecturing students. It also takes the position of being knowledgeable about the industry. James Portnoy is trying to educate you. Some of the episodes are more informative then others, but that's the general goal, aside from occasional forays into some opinion based commentary, and mailbags.

Jim's a populist. He's snarky, self-effacing, and rarely diverts from the opinions of gamers who consult gaming media - what one would call in wrestling, a "smart mark". He presents opinions on hot-button topics, as well as his own personal things, but rarely presents a nuanced opinion, or even one buoyed by facts. It's a confident opinion based on mostly conjecture. He can be mostly right, and sometimes he mentions things you do not know, or may not have formed a complete opinion on, so the show can be educational, but that's not the point. It's basically snarking at the industry for it's perceived slights in a way that caters to the niche audience provided by the Escapist. Jim Sterling is offering commentary.

Great episode. Sometimes I have no idea what you're thinking, then you drop a bomb like this one, and make me glad I watch this series weekly.

Thanks.

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