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Burning Embers: Video Games are Just Like Movies

by on October 3, 2011
 

Video games are exactly like movies, except for the fact that you are controlling the lead role and other characters in some games. Movies generally cost around thirty to fourty dollars a pop whereas new video game releases have a price tag of sixty dollars. In essence you are paying twenty to thirty dollars extra just so you can control the action. Really video game industry? Really?

You also have the problem of not knowing if you’re going to really like a video game or not before you buy it. Sure you can play demos at gaming expos, but for those of us not priviledged enough to go to these expensive gaming expos we’re just S.O.L. then aren’t we? Movies on the other hand come out in movie theaters where we can watch them for 10 bucks or less and decide if we want to buy the movie or not when it comes out. No such option is available for the people who don’t get a chance to preview these games. There is a solution though: Let’s Play.

There are numerous youtubers who upload videos of themselves playing through old video games almost every day. While this is considered copyright infringement, it’s literally a gold mine for the gaming industry. Think, if you could hire these let’s players to do an hour or so demo of your game and charge a fraction of the cost of the actual game for gamers to watch it, then this solves what I think to be a major problem in the industry. The consumer would be able to judge a video game before they purchase it and only waste maybe eight or ten dollars rather than sixty dollars on a game they don’t like that will only fetch less than half of that at GameStop.

What do you think readers? Should the gaming industry look into Let’s Plays? Is the pricing for video games unfair?

Every Monday Ember crawls from his cave to come and deliver his opinion to you the readers. His grumpy Monday attitude fuels the fire that burns onto the screen to form the weekly article: Burning Embers.

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  • October 3, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    I was in the middle of writing the equivalent of an essay, but then I sort of stopped caring. So I’ll just comment on this two sentences:
    “You also have the problem of not knowing if you’re going to really like a video game or not before you buy it. … Movies on the other hand come out in movie theaters where we can watch them for 10 bucks or less and decide if we want to buy the movie or not when it comes out.”

    Watching a movie in theaters isn’t exactly “trying it out”, as the movie is rarely any different in your DVD player than it was in theaters (save for additional content in the form of extras, which don’t affect the actual movie). Often times, theaters offer the better experience. So you’re simply paying – again – to re-watch the same movie you saw months ago.

    As for trying out video games, what about demos and renting?
    Regarding the former: You say that we can play demos at game expos, but what about officially released ones that you can download on the internet or through XBLA/PSN?
    Regarding the latter: Yes, renting is less common than before (especially with the decrease in Blockbusters), but there are still the various varieties of Redbox-like kiosks that give out video games, GameFly, and now OnLive. OnLive doesn’t have every game ever, but they’re slowly making their way (they are finally getting some EA titles, with Bulletstorm coming in the near future) and they offer rentals and just about every title they have. And even if you don’t want to rent, there’s the 30 minute free trials of just about every title, of which you can try as many times as you want. EA is working with Gaikai to release trials for their games as well. And ALL XBLA and (I assume) PS3 arcade games come with trials.

    Honestly, for the amount of time we can put into video games, I don’t think that the price is unfair. You can equate that to the amount of time we put into TV series, but each season costs $50ish to own, in which case you’re on par with the price of video games. 😛

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