DLC and Digital Distribution is the end of console gaming

Times are tough and game development/publishing/distribution/etc... isn't easy and it's certainly not cheap. But that doesn't change anything in the eyes of consumers. As a matter of fact, I would argue that "times are tough" exacerbates the issue. Case(s) in point:

- Disposable income is down overall... consumers turn to the used game market to earn/save some coin... publishers get zero money in secondary market trading and respond with online passes to take some coin and discourage secondary markets... used game prices now test consumer demand for online content by not discounting the cost of an online pass, which keeps new game prices elevated for longer periods... but times are tough and people don't want to spend as much... so developers fire back with DLC, which eliminates secondary market trading... so your COD MW3, just cost you $120 instead of $60, if you're an early adopter that wants full content.

- DLC becomes standard because that's where the "real" money can be made. And now publishers turn their eyes to a digital distribution channel. Why would you ever sell your game when you can license it for the same price?

- Digital Distribution is economically disruptive because you no longer own the game, you're just renting it forever. There is no secondary market and as such, money is left on the table because people might have bought the game at $10 but not at $20.

Don't talk to me about Steam and PC digital distribution because there is a physical alternative... console gaming.

If we move to a full digital distribution model for consoles,it creates an oligopoly where Microsoft and Sony control distribution and pricing.

- Do you really think MSFT or SNE really give a shit if times are tough for you? You currently have to pay more for the digital copy than the physical... how is this economically acceptable to consumers? It costs far less for digital distribution, why do they charge more? Some days I'm too lazy to change the disc too, but that's no excuse.

The days of the coin-op arcade came and went. The days of the digital arcade are upon us, and the days of the licensed, digital console are within reach. I urge you... Do not go gentle into the age of digital distribution. Rage, rage, against the dying of the physical media!

4 Comments
5 Comments
Posted by Hawk456

Times are tough and game development/publishing/distribution/etc... isn't easy and it's certainly not cheap. But that doesn't change anything in the eyes of consumers. As a matter of fact, I would argue that "times are tough" exacerbates the issue. Case(s) in point:

- Disposable income is down overall... consumers turn to the used game market to earn/save some coin... publishers get zero money in secondary market trading and respond with online passes to take some coin and discourage secondary markets... used game prices now test consumer demand for online content by not discounting the cost of an online pass, which keeps new game prices elevated for longer periods... but times are tough and people don't want to spend as much... so developers fire back with DLC, which eliminates secondary market trading... so your COD MW3, just cost you $120 instead of $60, if you're an early adopter that wants full content.

- DLC becomes standard because that's where the "real" money can be made. And now publishers turn their eyes to a digital distribution channel. Why would you ever sell your game when you can license it for the same price?

- Digital Distribution is economically disruptive because you no longer own the game, you're just renting it forever. There is no secondary market and as such, money is left on the table because people might have bought the game at $10 but not at $20.

Don't talk to me about Steam and PC digital distribution because there is a physical alternative... console gaming.

If we move to a full digital distribution model for consoles,it creates an oligopoly where Microsoft and Sony control distribution and pricing.

- Do you really think MSFT or SNE really give a shit if times are tough for you? You currently have to pay more for the digital copy than the physical... how is this economically acceptable to consumers? It costs far less for digital distribution, why do they charge more? Some days I'm too lazy to change the disc too, but that's no excuse.

The days of the coin-op arcade came and went. The days of the digital arcade are upon us, and the days of the licensed, digital console are within reach. I urge you... Do not go gentle into the age of digital distribution. Rage, rage, against the dying of the physical media!

Posted by benjaebe

No.

Posted by Dagbiker

Soylant green is people!!!

Posted by Pr1mus

Just this month i have Arkham City to download on steam and i'm debating everyday if i should install Episodes from Liberty City that i just bought because of the retarded download limit i have and GTA is a 16 GB download and so seems Batman to be and we're only the 6th of the month.. yeah it's that bad. 2 big games and i might not have enough bandwidth to last me the rest of the month and all my other internet uses.

As for charging the same for digital than they do at retail its simple. Retail remains so far a bigger market and simply put, if a publisher says they'll cut the price by 20-30% for digital release you'll see all the gamestop, bestbuy and walmart of this world tell them to go fuck themselve and won't put the games on store shelves. They risk loosing a lot more by loosing the retail support than the gain they would make by selling a bit more digitally.

Posted by Hawk456

... and I feel sorry for anyone that has an internet connection that has a usage-based fee. That's another way that the consumer gets screwed.

As for the download limit, Sony is in the ballpark with their limit on active devices rather than lifetime downloads, but Microsoft has no cap to my knowledge but sticks it to you by tying everything to a single profile. I have two 360s (thanks RRoD) and I'd like to have side-by-side screens rather than split screen. Even though some people hate Apple's totalitarian state, they are closer to home with the concept of multiple devices sharing the same library and billing account - that is something SNE could easily do with Cloud saves (but they charge you for that too!).

The industry is so afraid of piracy and so focused on eliminating consumer surplus in economic terms, that they're going to alienate the paying customers.