Monday, March 17, 2008

XBLA Remake of Bionic Commando Dev: 2D Gaming Will Live or Die With Fan Support

A few months ago, I linked to this totally frickin' sweet preview video of the remake of the NES classic Bionic Commando for X-box Live Arcade titled Bionic Commando: Re-Armed. Capcom held a poll to determine the price it should sell for, and the gaming masses have spoken; the overwhelming choice to price the game at was $10.

Capcom's Ben Judd posted the official reasoning behind the pricing and faith in its fans thusly:

We first asked the question to our community about how much they would pay for Bionic Commando Rearmed here on the Bionic Commando community site.

Some people said it was stupid. Human nature dictates that people will choose the cheaper of two prices. Some people said we hated money. Well, while the results may suggest that $10 is the sweet spot for most people (in the US the final tally was 83% in favor of the $10 price point and 17% in favor of the $15 price point), there is another side of the story which wasn’t represented by the poll results – and that is the huge number of user comments that we received, where a majority were suggesting they would pay $15 or even $20 for the game.

When I first posed the question it wasn’t about whether people wanted something to be cheaper or more expensive. That answer is obvious. It was about whether people would be willing to pay more to support high-quality 2D gaming. 2D games are a bigger risk (no, they are not necessarily cheap to make. BCR has plenty of 3D models and uses much of the same tech and physics as the 3D version) because they are a harder sell. However, when we started the community site it was all about hearing from Bionic Commando fans and connecting with our community. The poll says $10 so that’s what it will be. Since the title will have to do quite well at that price point to break even (no, I’m not going to give you a specific number), I guess we have to roll the dice and see where they land.

Oh well, I’m tired of meta-emulated crap. These old 2D titles are where games were born. With some solid adjustments, new modes, and updated graphics they can still provide a hell of a lot of fun. Just updating the graphics isn’t paying them enough respect.

Besides, I’d rather fail having created the best game I could, even if the end result doesn’t justify 2D games like this in the future. So $10 it is for the XBLA and PSN versions (we haven’t decided on the PC version because it may have some additional content that can be downloaded later).

Let’s ride this train to the end of the line. Thanks for your feedback and your support.


(Hat tip to for the source)

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