This article has been generated based on a discussion I had with someone recently. I say discussion… it was more a heavily expletive laden disagreement where I defended the honour of gamers as a whole.
I figured it was worth putting online and letting you, the reader, make a decision… expletive free.
The technological age is as fascinating as it gets but as a simple gamer who grew up with the simplest of games, I think an absolutely fair question to ask is whether or not the costs are justifiable for video games.
I’ll let it be said, the conversation I had was with a film buff. An avid DVD collector with a catalogue extending across multiple genres and a selection of movies in the four figures. He doesn’t think gaming is worthwhile and is a ‘waste of money’ because it’s so expensive.
Normally a comment such as that wouldn’t faze me but the lack of constructive argument resulted in me firing back.
Anyway, I agree. It is expensive; it’s a sign of the times that as more expensive hardware comes out, the software is inevitably going to be more expensive as well.
I could have smugly argued inflation and the like but I took his point – it IS expensive.
Think of it in terms of no longer being in the 16bit era where a game could probably be made over the course of a few weeks (presumably).
We are now in the age where gamers want fully immersive worlds with lifelike scenery and captivating story lines. That takes time, money, resources and more.
Let’s not forget the simple fact: developers need money to make games.
Just as much as a film director would need money to make a movie or a TV show… anything in the entertainment industry, gaming included, needs money.
I’ll touch base on massive blockbuster movies that require hundreds of millions of pounds/dollars to bring to life. An extremely expensive investment – particularly when you can never be sure if it will net the creator/s a return on their money.
We are getting down to the industry/business aspect now but some AAA movies are sure sells so hundreds of millions are thrown at it (take the Ironman movies as an example) which is all fine and well but everything is a calculated risk. Is the cost reasonable?
Similarly in the video game industry, games like FIFA, Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto… they are all big sellers so have stupid amounts of money thrown at them and sometimes just so they look better than ever before!
Getting back to my point… the nameless person I had an argument with couldn’t understand why I was defending games as being better value for money.
A two hour blockbuster film (I’ll use Ironman as an example) – You could pay up to £10/$10 a ticket to see it at the cinema or for the DVD/Blu-ray upon release.
A 30 hour masterpiece like The Last of Us can net you with fifteen times as much use of your time with an epic storyline with the aforementioned beautiful world and captivating story.
As a gamer, I don’t necessarily want a quick 2 hour ‘adrenaline rush’ where you vaguely appreciate the characters. I want a massive and immersive story where I FEEL for the characters or at the very least (on the opposite end of the scale) a game where I can happily throw hours of my time into it to de-stress after a hard day at work.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2…. I threw 28 days’ worth of gameplay into the multiplayer. That’s 672 hours of my time. I was damn good at it too… slightly for bragging rights, I’ll prove it… I’m the guy on top…
Forgive the poor quality photo – a friend took it and tagged me in it on Facebook ages ago when it happened – yes, I’m boasting a little so apologies. MW2 was one of those games I could play effortlessly and win. My ‘Strike Team (hence the S.Tm) had a win streak of about 582 in team tactical. There or thereabouts.
Again, apologies… I brag… but you don’t get that with a movie!
Let’s say that a two hour movie cost me £10… £5 an hour.
I paid £45 for MW2… that’s essentially 6 pence per hour of my time.
Whilst I don’t power game or get in quite as many hours/days into games now, surely the time and hours of enjoyment I received from that was far better value?
Not to mention, I don’t talk through movies… I can however, talk through my multiplayer games and have a pretty ‘social’ evening!
‘Nameless’ pondered my point and I think he just disagreed and called me an idiot because he realised I had a point.
Whilst I firmly agree that games are justifiably expensive for the base disc and what not; I’ll refrain from opening up a can of worms and asking whether DLC is of value to the consumer but I think that’s a different discussion.
To come full circle, personally, I do believe that games are good value for money.
As games get bigger, more immersive and in some cases more social – I don’t think you can really put a value on the long term experience.
So I put it to you reading…
What do you think?