Sunday Soapbox: It’s Only $15, You Cheap Mother Fuckers

Hello website. Apparently you exist.

I’ve forgotten that most things exist. I’ve been working later than desired/expected this week and I’ve been doing fun, but time consuming things this weekend, so this is my first chance to sit down and write something when I’m not wiped from work or not somewhere else.

I heard a rumour that Lameish was going to post impressions of Fallout: New Vegas, but he’s caught onto one of the primary rules of the site quickly: Never follow-through on a promise. That’s our only unbreakable vow to you readers.

Anyway, I just played some Majora’s Mask music on the piano and it felt amazing but MAN is that music ever haunting and good at creating an atmosphere of loneliness. That’s usually the mood I like while playing the piano, but Majora’s Mask just took it to the next level. Song of Healing and the moody, slow version of Song of Storms are fucking beautiful and haunting as hell.

Anyway, I was going to write a Scatter Storming as you can probably tell from the rambles, but I have something specific to rant about.

Actual Editorial Starts Here

With the recent releases of DeathSpank, DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue, and Costume Quest, people have been complaining more and more that these games have the “hefty” price tag of $15.

Fuck the fuck off.

Obviously your money has value and you don’t want to throw it away, and the argument of games being overpriced as a whole might have merit somewhere, but complaining that “1200 Microsoft points is a little steep for a 6-15 hour game” blows my mind into pieces.

This is a good deal.

Considering the spectrum of pricing for video games, I – and many, many others – have no problem laying down full price for Uncharted 1 and 2. I beat both those games in a combined 3 sittings. I had a short, but very positive experience. I don’t even really want to replay the Uncharted games at all and I don’t have any interest in the multiplayer that was only available in the second one anyway.

Gears of War 2 is another example of a $60 game (more in Canada) that I beat in (essentially) one sitting, and it’s a game with broken multiplayer. That game has a bunch of fans and (too much) critical acclaim. And while you hear the issue of cost, “overpriced” is not the most common complaint issued against the game.

For some reason, when any game is released to the PSN or XBL at $15, the internet explodes with angered rants and comments that the price is practically robbery, and it’s almost the only comments heard about the title.

Perhaps it’s because the retail market pricing is a little more fixed, and because $15 was unheard of before Braid in the downloadable space. Still, paying a quarter of the price for a lot more than a quarter of a game isn’t “a little too steep” in my books.

$15 is a meal and a half at Wendy’s, it’s 3 round trips by public transit in Toronto, it’s the price of 3 cups of coffee if you go to Starbucks. It is not a whole lot of money compared to what most people spend on a routine basis.

Obviously games like Fallout 3, Dragon Age, and Mass Effect (to name only a few) can give 40-100+ hours of gameplay. But good games of such massive size aren’t common and are of incredible value. And that’s assuming I put hundreds of hours into these games. I often don’t have the time anymore.

Even if Costume Quest – which I’m playing right now and enjoying – does only end up being 6 hours if played once, that’s $2.50 an hour for a fun game. Even a 20 hour retail game ends up being 3 bucks an hour. And 20 hours is often considered to be a solid length for non-shooters.

And don’t give me the “I can trade in for retail games” argument. Not only can you trade in for points cards (at least in North America), that argument also doesn’t diminish nor change the value of the title itself. Sure, perhaps you can’t afford $15 if you’re unable to trade in for a points card, but that doesn’t mean that the game is too pricey.

Seriously, I’m over $15 downloadable games getting shit on for being a great deal.

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6 Responses to “Sunday Soapbox: It’s Only $15, You Cheap Mother Fuckers”

  1. SiliconNooB says:

    You get what you pay for I always say (unless you steel it), if people only want access to HD iPhone apps then they’re going the right way about it!

  2. Andogo says:

    Hah! Meal and a half at Wendy’s? I thought I was the only person who’d order a Triple Bacon Mushroom Melt (yes, they make it) with large coke and fries. Dude, $15 gets you 10.3 Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers. That’s a meal for two, possibly three Pogos.

  3. Ethos says:

    Who the hell wants a Junior Bacon Cheeseburger? It has the word “junior” in it. And I’m talking with tax, ditcher.

  4. DarthGibblet says:

    $15 only gets you 3 cups of coffee at Starbucks?!? I think we know what the REAL ripoff is here!

    On the whole, I agree with you, though. If a game’s got $15 worth of content, I’ve got no problem paying $15 for it (same way I feel about a $60 game). I’d honestly rather have Castle Crashers for $15 than 3 of the arcade remakes that have come out for $5 on XBL.

  5. SiliconNooB says:

    I have no qualms with spending $16 on Chaos Rings, the game’s worth twice that (as opposed to every other overpriced SE game on the app store).

  6. Ethos says:

    Exactly. $30 for two DeathSpank games is a steal, yet most of the comments I’ve read are about how it’s ridiculously overpriced. Seriously makes no sense to me.

    And I finished Costume Quest. Worth the money.

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