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Tag Archives: Video Games

Okay, so for full disclosure, yes I work in the video game development industry. But many of these thoughts of mine that will be presented in the next few posts predate such employment. They’ve just been closer to the surface as of late. These next few posts, which will be a mish-mash of several topics, may involve some inconsistency between rants. Try to think of inconsistencies as me looking at multiple sides of complex issues…

The first rant will be on used video games sales. I used to think this was a great idea. After all, games can be expensive, so it was great that I could just buy, play, and sell it back to the retailer. They can then resell it to someone else at a reduced price. Everybody wins, right? Wrong. There is a big loser in all this, hidden because I started that money chain too late in the process. The real process goes like this: First is the fuzzy bit that involves a game developer, and likely a publisher, spending lots of money over several years in making a video game. They then spend a good amount of money in promoting said game to the public so people will want to buy it. The physical copies of the games get passed to the retailer at a price point that will allow them to recover their development and marketing costs (us programmers don’t work for free for those years, so a lot of money was already spent) plus profit, and the the retailer sells it to you at an increased price so they can run their store and make a profit. Okay, so that was incredibly simplified, but let’s go with it. Now you can sell that game back to the retailer because you’re done with it, and they sell it to someone else. Then that person sells it back to the retailer, who again sells it to someone else. Then that person sells it back to the retailer, who again sells it to someone else. Wait a minute, did the retailer just sell the same physical product to four different people, making profit on it each and every time? Yes. And did the developers and publishers just make money off that copy of the game four times?

No. No they did not.

And therein lies a part of a very big problem. Why are games as expensive as they are? There are many many factors, but a part is because the publishers need to recoup the cost of production, and developers need to recoup the cost of development, through just a fraction of the “legitimate” sales that occur at the retail outlets. And how bad is that problem? I just visited a local store location of a major retailer of video games. I will not mention which store it is, but they only sell games, have stores in at least Canada and the USA, and have an online store as well. All of these outlets also sell used games. While I was just browsing through the store it dawned on me that over half of the games on the main displays were used games!

That’s right. There were more second/third/etc hand games in main displays than new games. And on top of that there were bins of used games that can only be loosely classified as displays. Many of these used games on display were recent releases!

Am I completely against used video game sales? No. I believe they have a purpose. When I’m looking for out of print and difficult to find games, I will turn to used games as the sole source for those games. These are found in those bins I mentioned. But please – used copies of new-release games on sale for just a few dollars less that the new copies? The retail stores are raking in their customer’s cash while the publishers and developers are wondering why their highly regarded work that everyone is playing is suffering poorer than expected sales.

Now for icing on the cake, this particular retail chain will sell you a yearly subscription that gives you a discount on used games. Yes, they will charge you for a program that allows you to give them money to buy products they have already sold to someone else, possible to several other people, further discouraging you from supporting the people who are actually making the products! You (not necessarily YOU you, but the general public you) are thrilled because you can save 5-10 dollars per game (less the price of the subscription), and the video game makers are forced to incrementally raise their prices because not enough new copies are being sold. This allows the retailer to also incrementally increase their used game prices, which are ALL profit.

Now for the badly frosted flowers on the icing on the cake, more and more of the large consumer electronics chains are noticing this cash cow and starting their own used game departments.

The more I think about it, the worse it looks. I’m going to stop now. Thank you for reading.

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It looks like in order to actually get some content on this blog, I need a little push. In this case, the push was some free swag from one of my addictions – and all I would need to do is answer Crazy Kinux’s call to find a way to bring more ladies into Eve Online.

It seems pretty obvious that the usual pulls are not here – and never will be. There will be no dancing spacecraft, no vanity drones, and no fashion. There is an inordinate amount of math and a lot of waiting. So what are us guys to do to get more women in here? And no, alts don’t count. I mean real, live, estrogenated women on the other side of the keyboards. What on earth can be done?

Putting ads in O magazine is not going to do it. The game is not going to pull them in all on its own. There is only one way to bring ’em, boys!

Log out, unplug, and go find them.

That’s right. As difficult as it may be, this may require talking with girls. That fantasy of having girls come to EO on their own, meeting in a chance encounter mining in null-sec, and after initiating a private chat… Nope, it’s not going to happen.

Okay, now let’s say you find one. A real one. And she doesn’t run from you. How can you bring her into our world? Are you familiar with the phrase “tit for tat?” This might hurt.

If you want her to show any interest in New Eden (assuming she doesn’t already, which is kind of the point of this post) you’re going to have to show interest in something she enjoys. They can smell it when you’re faking it. You’re going to have to give it a real chance if you want the same in return. You’re going to see some movies you wouldn’t have chosen to see, and you might be spending some time outside.

You should also pay a decent amount for a good meal together at least once.

Now maybe you can convince her to take that 21 day trial into Eve Online. This is where the balancing act is going to happen. She will not be sucked in right away. She just won’t be. This game has a brutal learning curve. You know that. Help ease her into the necessary bits and get comfortable. Fly with her. Talk with her. This works best if you can be physically in the same room with her. This is not to be done in a chat window. Repeat that point. This is not to be done in a chat window. Not yet.

Now here comes the cruel irony with this whole process – now that you have got her with one foot in New Eden, you may never be able to jump back in fully. Trust me. This is a good thing. You may have lost the 12 hour marathons, but if you keep the balance just right, maybe you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Hopefully you have learned to enjoy some of the things she has shown you, and hopefully she has enjoyed some of the things you have shown her.

And most of all, remember – she needs to be more important than Eve. IF this did not work, IF she does not enjoy it as much as you do, that is NOT a reason to cut her off and try again. But if we all try this, maybe we will get some more Sisters of Eve. Maybe not equilibrium, but better.

Just keep them off the CSM. I do not want vanity drones.

Some other random thoughts from blogs I liked the titles of:

Hmm… maybe I’ll read them…