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Topic: Death of an industry

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Chrono_Cross

1. Posted:

This is not a doom and gloom topic. So don't treat it as one.

Nothing lasts forever. With this economy, there's no denying that paying hundreds of dollars on a toy with $60 games, $60 controllers, downloadable content and optional peripherals such as Wii Zappers, Kinect and PlayStation Eyes, that the industry is an expensive hobby and one many people don’t want to be apart of.

In an economy such as the United State’s, the appealing audience of 13-38 years olds is a crippling feat. If you’re not a teenager that wants the newest Mario or Call of Duty with no job or a healthy income from your parent(s)/guardian, you’re that parent with a stiff salary. Making even $50,000 a year, supporting kids, pets, bills, taxes, subscriptions, internet and the rest, gamers have to spend a huge amount of money to feed their habit while (possibly) sacrificing necessities for themselves and their loved ones.

Using a service such as GameFly can really minimize the overall cost, but you have to spend hundreds of dollars for the console, TV and controllers for you (or others such as friends and family), to even begin to play the next generation game(s).

When you pay for an old tennis racket, it’s cheaper than a new one. When it comes to video games, it’s almost the opposite. Paying for a new copy of say, Chrono Trigger, can run you up $30 to $100+ when it came out in 1995! So if your strategy of playing old games to have fun and to save money sounds genuinely bulletproof, prepare for the possibility of it flowing through the cracks.

Then you have the over abundance of systems to play on with thousands of games to purchase over several genres for different players and play styles. That’s good for variety but it’s hefty on the wallet. Since 2006, we’ve seen the Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi, iPhone, iPad, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Wii U, and PlayStation Vita, all of which is off the top of my head. That’s not including the attachments, upgraded systems such as the DS Lite and new upcoming systems that are due in the next two years such as the PlayStation 4, Xbox ? and Valve’s infamous Steam Box.

Added: Another point are used games and PC gaming

You almost always gain a fraction of the money you originally paid when you trade in games. Black Ops II was $60? Well here's $33 three weeks after its release date. And it'll soon decline as time passes. That in its entirety is another reason the average American cannot fully experience gaming.

PC gaming, while expensive in one go, can last you years beyond the traditional console and become well worth it. With Steam, you have dirt cheap bundles, discounted games every week and there's no physical shopping involved or full retail price tags to match. (This isn't always the case.)

So that leaves this question: How are we supposed to afford these gaming systems? With the economy going nowhere but down (in more countries than just America mind you), food costs, gas and clothes, skyrocketing, how are we going to do what we love, say, ten years from now? No one can drop $430 on the new PlayStation 4, which is a rumored price, but if was anymore than $400, no one is going to bite the tail when they have a perfectly fine PlayStation 3.

Or even appealing to a wider crowd is almost an impossible task. Games are in no way in the same league as Movies or TV dramas. I’d go as far as the music industry, that’s how far behind we are and this industry has been around for nearly three decades.

It’s not entirely our fault, but when we do get fantastic games that try to break from the norm (Spec Ops The Line, Heavy Rain, Metal Gear Solid, Journey, etc.), we’re too busy playing the latest Mario or Halo to care and the heart and soul of those games, sell maybe a million copies if that. This is contradictory, but we should be buying those games because those developers know where to direct our industry so we can be viewed as serious consumers rather than teenagers and survive the next few decades.

It’s contradictory because I just said it’s difficult to afford games but now I’m saying buy games you normally wouldn’t buy which would be tough on the wallet. But that’s the world around us. You cannot raise a family in this economy without difficulties and with a expensive hobby like video games, those difficulties are only multiplied.


For those that hate reading, the reasons why the industry could cave in again:

  • Poor economy
  • Poor alternatives
  • Audience is limited
  • Interesting games that rival cinematic programs sell poorly
  • Too many consoles and add ons
  • Downloadable content
  • Variety is overwhelming

The industry is a grenade in a closed space. The closed space compliments the damage the grenade would normally do if it was in an open space like a field or a stadium. That’s the industry when the economy is involved and if this is the route we’re going to continue going in, consider video games a niche hobby amongst a select few people that will fade in the years to come.

Edited on by Chrono_Cross

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Aviator

2. Posted:

When I'm not busy eating and doing uni stuff, I'll post with some points.

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shingi_70

3. Posted:

TLDR go play Alpha Protocol.

WAT!

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KingDunsparce

4. Posted:

That was a great read @Chrono_Cross. Sadly, I have to admit that the industry is going in this direction. One thing I have been counting on was the rise of indie games, such as some games on Steam, that are cheap but still very good. This way, people will still be willing to spend money and support creative ideas. I'm not saying that Nintendo/Sony/Microsoft ect... games shouldn't be full price but I feel the industry could grow more efficiently with more cheaper options for those who can't afford higher priced games.

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Chrono_Cross

5. Posted:

Sony_70 wrote:

TLDR go play Alpha Protocol.

I did and I wish there were more games like it.

Pikminsi wrote:

That was a great read @Chrono_Cross. Sadly, I have to admit that the industry is going in this direction. One thing I have been counting on was the rise of indie games, such as some games on Steam, that are cheap but still very good. This way, people will still be willing to spend money and support creative ideas. I'm not saying that Nintendo/Sony/Microsoft ect... games shouldn't be full price but I feel the industry could grow more efficiently with more cheaper options for those who can't afford higher priced games.

Indy developers are good for the industry but aren't exactly artistic or serious 90% of the time.

Also, games don't have to be sixty dollars a lick. That's one reason the industry is married to the inevitability of disappearing.

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IAmNotWill

6. Posted:

Great post, Chrono. An expensive hobby indeed. When I hear that these hardware makers want to block used games, it's even more frightening. I sure as hell can't buy everything new.

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HandheldGuru97

7. Posted:

That was a very excellent read. I agree with you on many parts partly because I am a teenager. I get about $20 from my parents a month, which makes it impossible for me to afford console games unless I space it out by three-four months so I play largely handhelds (3DS XL at the moment). With the new console generation starting game prices will rise. Thankfully handheld game prices have only jumped up by $5 (a bit more on the Vita side of things, but still). Thankfully I can buy new games, but I enjoy buying games preowned to save a few bucks. I don't know how much longer my parents will pay me an allowance, I fear that by the beginning of next year it may end, so my video gaming will have to take a backseat. I have also been able to buy many old handhelds, but now I am thinking of selling some so I can afford new games. @Chrono_Cross thank you for this very interesting look at this situation. If you all look back at the early 80's crash, overabundance of consoles and economy were major factors in the crash.

Edited on by HandheldGuru97

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Lan

8. Posted:

It's simple. Don't have kids. You'll have tons more disposable income to buy the new Monster Hunter game if you don't have kids.

Edit: and if you're not a jobless drug addict.

Edited on by Lan

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Retro_on_theGo

9. Posted:

You're right. Unfortunately I have nothing intelligent to add to the discussion so I'll just go sulk in a corner.

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IAmNotWill

10. Posted:

Also if anyone really wants to save money on games, use glyde.com. I've been catching up on some PS3 titles recently and I have basically paid about $10-$20 on current gen stuff. You will fall in love.

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TheKingOfTown

11. Posted:

I'd like to see anyone actually disagree with this. Great post Chrono

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Chrono_Cross

12. Posted:

Lan wrote:

It's simple. Don't have kids.

Tell that to the gamers that want children.

Though, I know you're joking, lol. Or at least I hope.

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Void

13. Posted:

Chrono_Cross wrote:

Lan wrote:

It's simple. Don't have kids.

Tell that to the gamers that want children.

Though, I know you're joking, lol. Or at least I hope.

Theres a good chance by the time I get married and have kids the econemy will be in better shape.
Or the zombie apocalypse will be upon us and we'll all be undead anyways.

No, I don't have anything interesting to say about the topic either, but it was a good read none the less.

Edited on by Void

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Dashtag

14. Posted:

I agree with some parts of your post. But I'd like to point out...

1. So you think the economy will just keep getting worse forever?
2. Chrono Trigger is a highly rated, much loved game. Of course it's $30-$100. If you want something like Mario, you need only pay $10-$30, at most.
3. The gaming industry isn't going to just blip out of existance. There will always be people that play video games. At the least, smartphone games will always be around, and consoles will continue to thrive for a very long time. People like me, no matter how much something cost, will find a way to buy consoles and games.

Also, the gaming industry is doing much better than it was 10 years ago. Just saying.

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Dashtag

15. Posted:

I agree the economy isn't great right now, and it's a bit tough to buy games, but this isn't going to last forever.

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Gioku

16. Posted:

That's probably why I've only ever gotten handhelds... You don't have to pay extra for controllers or anything, just for the games. And with the 3DS, there's lots of nice games you can download for less than the retail games.

Although, there'll probably only be one more generation of handhelds. Two more generations is pushing it.

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Chrono_Cross

17. Posted:

3Dash wrote:

I agree with some parts of your post. But I'd like to point out...

1. So you think the economy will just keep getting worse forever?
2. Chrono Trigger is a highly rated, much loved game. Of course it's $30-$100. If you want something like Mario, you need only pay $10-$30, at most.
3. The gaming industry isn't going to just blip out of existance. There will always be people that play video games. At the least, smartphone games will always be around, and consoles will continue to thrive for a very long time. People like me, no matter how much something cost, will find a way to buy consoles and games.

Also, the gaming industry is doing much better than it was 10 years ago. Just saying.

The economy won't heal itself in four years. That's not how it works. And with our President's track record thus far, I honestly can't see the economy changing for the better anytime soon.

Chrono Trigger was an example. If you browse eBay, you can find a lot of niche titles for, say, Nintendo 64 and Nintendo GameCube that cost all the same.

IOS and handheld gaming will remain the same for years to come. Home consoles, on the other hand, will not if this is the same route we're traveling ten years from now.

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Dinosaurs

18. Posted:

When you say death of an industry, how far reaching are we talking? A certain category within the computer and game industry, any device that plays games, the industry required to manufacture, etc? Parameters?

Dinosaurs

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Chrono_Cross

19. Posted:

Pixelroy wrote:

When you say death of an industry, how far reaching are we talking? A certain category within the computer and game industry, any device that plays games, the industry required to manufacture, etc? Parameters?

Everything outside of iOS, PC gaming and handheld gaming. Otherwise, you've hit the nail on the head.

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Dinosaurs

20. Posted:

Ah, ok. You have indeed stopped short of complete doom. I can stop ruminating as extensively on political and social systems with what limited amount I know, lol

Dinosaurs