I recently read an article here on gamespot about how marketing analysts are making statements predicting that nextgen games will cost $70. What follows is my reaction to the news.
I hate to sound like a radical, but I feel like I just have to say something. This guy's statement could be true, or it could be absolute nonsense perpetuated with little to no evidence, but remember - you are all in control of this market. Sony and Microsoft quickly forget that, and after observing and analyzing the modern mindset and behavior regarding technology, they have little reason from a business perspective to respect or concern themselves with the satisfaction of the consumer - us. We complain about their business models and ethics, we fall victim to their crappy half assed marketing campaigns and hollow promises, and we are continually left wanting more with zero satisfaction from the previous experience they provided. I'm talking about baiting and switching. Perverse ass grabs at total industry control. Shallow and unfulfilling games with multimillion dollar advertising campaigns. Ladies and gentlemen - this absolutely needs to stop. The sooner, the better. See, it's like this: these companies need to be held accountable.
They keep pushing down our throats the idea that "video games have matured" and "we want to focus on emotional and heart wrenching stories and experiences". It still hasn't happened, or at least not because of this newly embraced push of the industry, which translates (surprise) into "with an industry that is growing at such an explosive rate, we need to secure the finances of mature adult consumers." I know this sounds obvious, but people miss the marketing standpoint on this move by developers. The industry icons keep saying that "video games have matured", but they haven't. It is the consumers that have matured, or more so the consumer base has become saturated with more discerning buyers as it has inevitably grown, and with that comes new struggles for the industry to maintain its numbers. This means, in short, that the video game industry is not changing, but the people pumping money into it sure are - and that makes the industry wholly dependent on it's consumers, as it's always been, and whats scary to developers is that it's becoming increasingly difficult to tell us what the "now thing" is. They can't. The people with the money can only tell you where it's going. After all, it's their (your) money!
The sad thing is that people have largely lost touch with this power. We have the power to shape gaming into whatever we want it to be, because it's ALL FOR US. All we need to do is draw a line in the sand. We are watching the evolution of the industry, and right now, it's not being directed by us. The game developers are simply telling us what they think we want to hear based off some half baked theory by marketing analysts. We can explicitly tell them what we as consumers want, but the guys upstairs have been long spoiled by lack of boycotting or backlash from their precious consumers. As consumers, we get a bad rap for buying things (i.e. consumerism). But don't forget, in making these purchases we shape the culture and economy we live with. So in actuality, as consumers we're kind of like knights that have the heavy burden and obligation of buying or not buying in the face of adversity. Should you boycott a company (I know, when was the last time you heard someone mention boycotting? No wonder this business is way too comfortable taking our money) you are neglecting to purchase goods and services that further the influence of some corrupt or otherwise questionable producer. This is a responsibility that falls on adults in a world run by commercials. The best part is, this practice is easy as can be. You don't even have to leave your home to do this. No occupy BS, no life changing alterations, just a little restraint shown for the greater good: regaining our voice as consumers.
Again, hold these companies accountable. Praise them for the good, and give them your business. When they do wrong, take notice and make it known to them how we feel. If they listen, forgive them. If not, don't buy their product, and note the impact, good or bad, it has made. If we exercise common sense and come to expect decency from an industry that runs solely on our money, we will surely reap the rewards, as will companies who listen to their consumers to satisfy them. Regain control of your money and control of an industry you love. Quickly companies and developers will see what succeeds and what doesn't, and you better believe they'll want your business. Alternatively, we can become jaded and frustrated and watch the industry crash, which I believe it will. It wouldn't be the first time - that's right guys, it's happened before. Ever hear of the video game crash of 1983? Google it. We've fought this fight before and won, but with devastating consequences.
Bottom line, you can either be in control, or be in pushed around. Like all things, videogames is a business - but in no way does that have to be a bad thing. I simply wish that the consumers and the producers would take hold of this before the industry runs into irreparable damage and once again must resort to slash and burn tactics to rebuild itself. Put the heat on the developers. Either we get what we want, or they don't get our money. I'm not looking for a handout, just a fair trade run by it's lifeblood.