Libr'ul commie puppy eating cartoonist and weblogger August Pollak is pretty hot under the collar about EA's recent plan to charge gamers for upgraded weaponry in what is supposed to be a complete game at purchase:
The short version: You have to buy a video game. Then you have to pay to play it against other people over the internet. You have to pay to download extra levels or maps for the game. And now, in this particular case, you have to pay again to buy additional weapons for your character. I am pretty sure only a few years ago this would mean someone was selling you an incomplete game. Now you're paying for "add-ons."While gamers are up in arms about this rather skewed spin on "pay as you go" gaming, August points out it's essentially an older problem in a newer wrapping:
Basically, it's a much older concept at work here, which you can call the "less ice cream theory." It's when a company decides that the consumer will be happier with paying the same price for less of a product rather than paying more for the same product at a higher price. In other words, why ice cream now comes in "1.75 quart" containers instead of "one-half gallon" containers. The only way this isn't allowed to happen is when the consumer wildly revolts- case in point, Coca-Cola tried a few years back to reduce 2-liter bottles of soda to 1.5 liters, under the guise of a "new, easier-to-handle bottle." No, seriously. I don't know the exact details of the consumer distaste for that, but needless to say that marketing idea lasted less than a year.
My point being, video games cost about as much now as they did ten years ago. The industry is terrified of, and stubborn to, raise the price, so they take away part of the game and sell it to you later. You're paying the same amount for less ice cream.