Thursday, January 20, 2011

To: Gaming Industry

I've whined before about this brand new 59.99 price point for PC games that I've never paid and probably never will, but since a game I actually want first day has screwed the pooch on this issue I figure it's time I write about it.

Lets get some fact straight.

1) I'm not a tightwad. It's principle because PC games are at least 50% less expensive to make than console games. 

While 50% is an educated guess (anyone want to do my homework for me to support this let me know.) lets break down the additional expenses encountered when making a console game that deserve the additional $10 dollars.

  • Dev Kits. A dev kit is basically the engine, tools, and manual for making a game for a console. PS3's alone runs about 2k. Now, this is as of last year. It was at one point 10k. C++ is free to code with. Now, some other tools are available (ex Visual Studio) but costs significantly less per pop than dev kits, like the top of the line latest and greatest runs +$700.
  • Licenses Fees. Every game you sell on the PS3, you give Sony a cut. PC this is not an issue. You make a game for PC you don't have this expense. 
  • Programmers on PC are cheaper. PS3 and Xbox 360 all have there hang ups, and require a special set of skills from there programmers. And alot of patience. Programming for PC is probably equally difficult however PC progammers are easier to find, train and hire. 

With all this said, how the hell are we expected to pay this much extra? Do you think we're morons who don't understand this? Do you think we wouldn't notice?

 2) DRM/ Bugs

The major PC exclusive releases this year could be counted on one hand. In fact, truly, there was only 2. I say this because alot of PC games are simply ports that was ported out to some third rate studio and comes to us full of bugs. Or full of obtrusive horrible DRM (Ubisoft, the worst offender so far, just recently scaled back. Thank you) that prevents use of the game we paid 59.99 for. If you are going to charge $59.99 for a game, it better have not ONE SLIVER of DRM!

I understand that pirating is a big problem however, how come we are getting the hammer? Hey, guess what? I've stolen more Wii games than PC. It's a pain in the ass to steal for PC. So I don't. Because games are cheaper anyway, easier to simply grab it off Steam when it goes on sale.

That said, I would like to see some measures taken to prevent stealing of games on PS3 and Xbox. Not Wii.

Secondly, bugs. Deadspace, releases in 2009 is still full of bugs today. Bulletstorm is dropping for $59.99, by Epic studios who did Gears of War on PC, dropped us like a hat when Cliffy B couldn't buy another car with the profits thanks to releasing the game a year after its Xbox debut (Oh hey, I wonder why it didn't sell?) and was riddled with bugs (still is) and resulting in one of the most painful installations I've ever endured. Before you can play your game, you have to first Google all the problems, then install 2 different items in a certain order before firing up (which, if you fired it up BEFORE installing, you have to UNISTALL then REINSTALL) and pray. Alot.

 We are neglected and largely abandoned when it comes to PC ports, why should we pay the same as the consoles for worse treatment? Do they worry about fixing the bugs? Do they quickly sort things out? No. So, there are STILL bugs in Deadspace, and you expect me to pay $59.99 for Deadspace 2 and enjoy the same treatment?You must be kidding.

3) Delayed Releases

It drives me crazy when I want a game and the release for the PC version is weeks, YEARS behind the console release. I simply won't buy games that do that. I want that game NOW and how dare you give us PC gamers such treatment! The pirates aren't the ones suffering, it's your paying customers!

Gaming Industy. Don't mindlessly follow Bobby Kotick's example. You're not hurting for money I assure you. And I think that adding +10 to your PC games is not only hurting the PC gaming industry as a whole, I think it is going to backfire. In fact, I am tempted to pirate Deadspace 2 out of simple spite.

Treat your customers better and don't give us reason to steal your game. Also, consider PC games can't easily be traded. If you ween your PC gaming community off to the consoles, it's going to hurt you with more stuff on the second hand market being PC gamers are thrifty bastards. So your only hurting yourself and gaming industry as a whole and treating us like idiots while your at it. Which, we are NOT idiots.

Lastly, you already have plenty of problems with the second hand market on consoles. Destroying PC gaming as a whole isn't going to help that problem, only make it worse. Also, when the PC market finally crashes, all the guys hacking DRM are going to set there sights on your consoles. If you think they are safe, you are mistaken.

You aren't solving a damn problem. Simply moving some and making more.

So in short, screw you.

Love, FP.