20
Dec
13

By the pound


Take a look at that screen capture above from my Steam client downloads tab.
Steam is in the middle of their Holiday sale and I decided to take advantage of a deal from BioWare on a 3 game bundle for their signature franchise, Bioshock.  For $15 I  got the original Bioshock game, Bioshock 2 and the latest Bioshock Infinite.
$15 is a quite a deal considering Bioshock Infinite alone was going to leave you $60 poorer.  Of course that feeds into my assertion that any game that can offer as much  as an 80% markdown less than a year after release wasn’t worth the original price.
Some would say that’s why Call of Duty titles never seem to drop in price, I think it’s just Activision’s greed.
Perhaps game publishers are selling by the pound these days.  Case in point, my little screen capture.
Back in 2007 when Bioshock was originally released you were going to pay around $40 and for that you ended up with a DVD or a few CD’s totaling up to just under 4GB of install files.  3 years later when BioShock 2 came out that number almost doubled to over 7.5 GB.  While the sequel was panned for being a pale copy of the  original the extra space was likely taken up by the new multiplayer component of the game.
It did cost more but I believe it had nothing to do with the quality of the game or development costs…
Fast forward to 2013 and the much hyped and much overpriced BioShock Infinite.  Critically acclaimed but almost  instantly discounted from its $60 price.  For that money we ended up with 15 GB of installation files.
So if the average game in 2007 was $30 to $40 and by 2013 it’s up to $60 then the only conclusion I can make is that games are now being sold by the pound.
As we all know bits are very heavy.  So it stands to reason that if a game has more of them you’ll have to pay more.
This is also how Steam can have such great sales.  They bundle more games (bits) together and thus can discount the price.  You know, just like those family size bags of Doritos are actually cheaper per chip than the smaller bags…
See, now I completely understand what publishers are thinking when they charge $60 for a crappy game!  They’re selling them by the pound!
…………No, I don’t actually believe that.
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