Boomzies 10

In Issue #10 of Boomzies we’re starting things off talking about the hullabaloo surrounding Gamestop and the removal of OnLive coupons from PC copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Has Gamestop gone too far or is this just a case of stopping competition before it happens? Then in our main topic we’re hashing it out about video game prices. In light of the recession, is $60 too much for video games? Can this price be justified with the advent of digital downloads at a fraction of the price and what makes a video game worth $60?

If you’ve got any opinions or want to put your two cents in, leave us a message on the Boomzies phone at 316-778-0730!

As always, your comments and criticisms are welcome. We’re always looking for ways to make Boomzies more awesome.

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A mild mannered graphic designer by day, but by nights he's the co-creator of Substance TV, Extra Joy!, and Brik Creative. With his bass guitar in one hand and a bowl of Coco Pebbles in the other, he fights the good fight.

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  1. August 29, 2011 at 11:23pm
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    I don’t know much about the costs of actually making a game (plus the costs of the disc) but I can say that one of my major reasons for hesitating to buy a PS3 was the cost of not only the system but also the games. Maybe an average price of $60 is justified, maybe not. All I can say is that it’s a bit much for me.

  2. August 29, 2011 at 09:32am
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    First off, to me the question is two-fold: (1) what makes a video game worth the asking price, and (2) how much am I willing to pay for it?

    To answer the first, the real issue is quality and content. It depends on how much the designers put into the product, along with how rich a gaming experience it gives to us.

    So far, I have only played one game on the XBox that I felt would be worth full release-date asking price, and that would be Red Dead Redemption. This is a game that is already bursting with good content and side missions. And bear in mind, that every minute of gameplay meant that someone put in a corresponding amount of time designing and constructing. From voice actors doing the dialog, to graphics designers crafting the world itself, to writers putting together the plot and overarching themes: it’s just fairly clear that a lot of hard work and a lot of love went into this game, and I really wish other game companies put in this level of effort and thought.

    Of the upcoming games, I do think that Skyrim and Arkham City are two fine examples of games that very well would be worth the initial release price, just because of the work I know was put into them, and the sheer extent of what the gamer will be able to get from them.

    But to me, for a game company to put out games with limited content, mediocre creativity, and bland gameplay, such an effort is not worth my $60, and I wouldn’t pay it. In this category, I would place the run-of-the-mill military FPS, and just about any movie licensed game. To be honest, any game I could beat in less than one day of typical gameplay (not marathon), is not worth my money. The same if the gameplay is uninspired or dull. In other words, if the designers don’t care enough to put together a decent game for me to play, then why should I care enough to buy it?

    But as for the second part of the question, I am on a budget, and therefore, tend not to spend a whole lot on the games I buy if I can at all help it. A game like RDR or Oblivion may very well be worth the $60, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to have the spare $60 to spend when they first come out. I might have to wait a year so I can find it at a price more in the range of $30. It’s not that I don’t want to support great games, just that I have to prioritize my budget. And in that regard, I have to say that there will always be things more important to me than gaming that I need to spend my $60 on.

    That, and again, a good game that catches my attention, that’s fun to play and gives me hours of enjoyment – such a game would be worthy of my $60.

    Bottom line: a game is worthy of my $60 if the designers put a lot of effort into making it a great game, and it is fun and interesting to play. Whether the game gets my $60 depends on whether I can spare it.

  3. August 29, 2011 at 02:18am
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    David Tennant is the best doctor, I own all of the new series on DVD, what you need to do is watch it from beginning of season 2 to the end of season 4 (and movies), then and only then will I allow you to say you like Matt Smith more because you’ve seen David Tennants Doctor grow from what he was at the beginning to the end.

    • August 29, 2011 at 10:38am
      In response to The_Critic
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      My good sir, I have no stake in this Dr. Who argument as I have yet to watch a single episode of the show. Regardless, if it’s a viewpoint that disagrees with Landon, then I’m totally on the same boat. I’ll agree, David Tennant is the best Doctor ever. ^_^

  4. August 28, 2011 at 03:25am
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    I really enjoyed this episode, mostly because it reminded me of my time in California. It also reminded me of an old song from a simpler time. I think it would’ve been quite fitting for the episode, but since it’s already been recorded, just go here and set it to repeat somehow:

    Ready? Let’s move on…

    Much like how some Final Fantasy fans speak of Kefka Palazzo, I am fascinated by fans of the Dr. Who series. Channel Awesome has pretty much helped me understand the series a little more, but aside from what I’ve seen on AT4W and Nash’s Dr. Who Classics series, I’ve never seen a single episode in its entirety. Also, I haven’t played FF6 yet, but that’s not important right now.

    In this episode, you asked the audience, “Are Video Games too expensive?”
    I have a better question: “If money is tight for you, should you be buying video games?” Take that however you see fit. :p

    In all seriousness, though, this topic is a little sketchy right now, with a lot of shady dealings (locked content like RE5′s Versus Mode) that need to be considered. On the opposite end, we have games like Shadow of the Colossus and Red Dead Redemption that are hailed as classics. These are the games that might go for well over its original price in the long run. Case in point: Lunar Silver Star Story: Complete.
    Original Price: About $40-$60 (Can’t recall, really.)
    Price on Ebay: $300-$400

    I guess the “substance” of a game is critical to the true worth of a game, not the “content”. Wild Guns for the SNES, for example, is a pretty bare-bones arcade shooter, but I’m willing to pay $20-$30 for a physical copy right now; likewise, I always regret buying an EA sports game even if I bought them all as a gift for someone else.

    However, in an ideal world where such dealings never existed and DLC was more of a meaningful afterthought than a strategic tactic in a “creative” attempt to make more money (MvC3 DLC, anyone?), these problems wouldn’t be that big of a deal. With that scenario in mind, here’s a rather crude chart of how much I’m willing to pay for a game or game-related content:
    FREE: Very generic DLC (Character color palletes)
    $1-$3: Cosmetic DLC (Alternate Costumes, Character/Weapon skins, Mission Packs)
    $5-$7: Standard DLC (Downloadable characters, multiplayer maps)
    $10: Average console-exclusive game on an online service (PSN/WiiWare/XBL)
    $20: A really good used game (Super Street Fighter IV)
    $30: A new compilation/collection disc (Ultimate Sega Genesis Collection)
    $40: Average new game price (Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3)
    $50-$60: Special Edition package (Duke Nukem Forever Balls of Steel Set)
    $80: Game/Peripheral package, excluding Bemani games (A starter kit -game, guitar,drum set- for Rock Band or Guitar Hero)
    $100+: Collector’s/Limited/Premium Edition (Disgaea 5 Premium Package)

    Do I honestly believe that video games as a whole is too expensive? Not really, but $40 should be the average price range for new games, not the minimum. If you’re going to sell a new game for $60, it better be bringing something awesome to the table. I don’t care about how much of an impact it’ll make to the video game industry; whatever you’re bringing, you better go in strong. Red Dead Redemption brought it. Mortal Kombat brought it. Nier didn’t bring it, and neither did Call of Duty: Black Ops.
    (Try and tell me it was better than CoD: World at War with a straight face.)
    A lot can be said about how much money goes into the production process of a game, but if I may be so bold, allow me to end by saying this:
    You can’t put a price on “substance”. ;)

    Now, if you excuse me, I must take my leave. See you guys next week.

    *singing* Where everybody knows your name…! :D

    • August 30, 2011 at 12:55pm
      In response to J.K. Spencer
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      Yea I never got into the Dr. Who series myself. Don’t have anything against it, but as far as a show about a time traveling doctor, Dr. Sam Beckett and Quantum Leap own all. Now I got that song stuck in my head. Du dudu du dudududu du du dudu. ^_^

      As far as game prices go, it’s like you said, the price all depends on the perceived value for the buyer. There are folks who will pay thousands of dollars for a World Championship NES cart simply because it’s rare.

      I do feel like video games need to fall in line with other forms of media. $60 simply is too much for most games. Most of the time you wait a few weeks and some store will have it on sale. That or just buy it used. As we said, you have to vote with your gaming dollar. If people keep buying hollow games with very little content for $60, developers and publishers will keep charging that amount.

      Look at the 3DS. Nintendo stated they charged $250 because of consumer reaction. Once it came out and it sold poorly, they dropped the price to $170. That’s all thanks to consumers voting with their dollar and not buying the system at the bloated $250 price tag.

      Dang it, now I got the Cheers theme stuck in my head!

  5. August 27, 2011 at 11:15pm
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    $100 is too expensive, I’ll tell you that much.

    • August 29, 2011 at 10:22pm
      In response to Lowlander
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      Alright, I’ll bite: Who the hell is selling a “regular” video game for $100?!
      No, seriously, name 10 video games that fall into the $100 mark…:
      -That isn’t part of a system/game/controller bundle.
      -Wasn’t part of a special collector’s/limited edition/premium package.
      -That doesn’t factor in the price of DLC to reach the $100 mark.
      -That was actually $100 when it was originally released.
      If it’s possible, can you name five of these video games that were released within the last decade?

      • August 30, 2011 at 11:57am
        In response to J.K. Spencer
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        Here in Australia, new games frequently reach the $100 mark, and our dollar is worth more than yours at the moment. I therefore buy imported games for half the price online…

        • August 30, 2011 at 12:46pm
          In response to Natnie
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          I’ve heard about folks in Australia having to import games because of the high cost. I hadn’t thought about that during the cast, but that’s a good point. $60 isn’t so bad in light of how much you have to pay for a brand new game.

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