The fast-food, throw-away nature of the game market

Oh I see, I misunderstood.

It’s a good think you’ve at least tried them. Maybe you have found some nice games and remember those and especially the developers.
Next time such developer releases a new game you may take a close looker at this new game and maybe even pay full price.
I would certainly do this for games e.g. from Terrible Toybox or Wadjet Eye Games etc.

Well, I don’t think it does.

Yes, I use those options to decide to whom my money has to go and I understand that the unwanted games might be considered gifts, but I still perceive some kind of devaluing process.

For example, those games that I’m not interested in could have been appreciated by fans of those game genres, so a first problem seems to me that these games reach people who don’t care for them.

Furthermore, even when the “right” people would receive those games, they would receive them for free, reinforcing my image of a super-productions of games, so high that they are even given for free and people accumulate duplicate copies of them. It’s like deflation.

In my opinion it’s fair to compare how games were purchased back then with how we purchase them now. For the same reason, we should compare what piracy allowed us to do when we were kids with what piracy allows us to do today.

If you make this kind of comparisons, I’m sure that you’ll conclude that modern technology has removed friction and that the cost of games (either purchased of pirated) has decreased.

To acquire a pirated copy of a game I had to physically search for it among friends, ask for the game, physically go somewhere to get it, providing a blank or recycled floppy disk, etc. The entire process costed time and a few bucks, but today I can just download a copy of Thimbleweed Park from Torrent in a few minutes: the quantity of time and money required to get a pirated game has undoubtedly decreased.

In the same way, the super-production of games that we observe today and the fact that some new ways of getting games include the chance of acquiring goods that we didn’t even ask for, shows that the way we buy game today is profoundly different from how we bought them decades ago.

And even if we want to compare the games acquired today through a lawful method with the games that we acquired decades ago with piracy, I still have to conclude that in no way the result of my piracy activity in the nineties would have created a pile of multiple copies of games that I never wanted to have. This phenomenon is happening only now and it could contribute to the devaluation of games even more.

Personally, I don’t have this impression. It’s true that today there are a lot more games produced but I think that it’s also true that we have new tools to help us to find games that could be interesting to us; for example the recommendation systems in marketplaces like Steam.

It’s very rare for me to miss a new adventure game being released on Steam, because Steam tells me about new games that could match with my preferences.

It’s still sad to know that movies are not sold in large pay-what-you-want bundles just like games and ebooks are.

You mean to give a look at the movie industry?

I didn’t know that, thanks for mentioning it. This could be a game changer for me: I would immediately deselect the games that I don’t want and I wouldn’t feel sad for seeing games treated as cheap superfluous stuff.

The charity element in Humble Bundle is still a good reason to give money to them and I have also given more money than it was necessary to get the games I was interested in. I really would like to have a way to tell them which games of a bundle I don’t want.

(I played that a bit. I liked its atmosphere)

I accept sales. Maybe the current status of the market “forces” a bit the developers to put their games periodically on sale, and this is an aspect of game development that I find very grim but getting a discount is OK for me. Sometimes I pay full price, sometimes I pay more than full price, sometimes I pay less.

What is not OK for me is being aware of the fact that games that I never wanted have reached my library and will never be appreciated by me. It forces me to treat those games like unwanted garbage and I feel guilty and disrespectful for that.

Even if they are games belonging to a genre that you don’t like?

Exactly the same is true for legal copies of games.

I wasn’t picky back then and just got every release, no matter what type of game. So I did get a lot of games I didn’t really care about.

You know you can give money to charities directly…

Yes, for instance I’ve bought DeathSpank (action RPG) in a heartbeat. Or I’ve supported Massive Chalice from Double Fine on Kickstarter (X-COM like).

Yes, as I wrote in other paragraphs, it’s a phenomenon happened to both pirated games and legally acquired games.

You are depicting a scenario in which giving money to charity directly should exclude giving money to them also indirectly. I disagree with your implicit suggestion that I should stop buying games from organizations that give part of the money to charity only because I already give money to them in other ways. If I want to buy a game and I can choose between a method that sends the money also to charities and a method that doesn’t, the first one gives to me an additional reason to buy the game in that way.

I wouldn’t do that, personally. I have contributed only to projects or people (even without asking for something in exchange) that were doing something interesting to me.

But isn’t this a good thing? Maybe these people try one of those free games and like them? And then they will buy more games from that developer or of that genre?

Beside that, the fans of the other games can buy the bundle too. :slight_smile:

Hm… I’m not sure if I got you right here, but thanks to the digital distribution there is not a “super-production of games”. If Alice is interested in game ABC she will buy the bundle. So the developer gets the money. If Bob buys the bundle because of game DEF, he gets ABC for free. He wouldn’t buy ABC anyway, so there is no deflation. It’s the opposite: The free giveaway is like an advertisement for the developer of ABC. So maybe Bob buys another game from that company after trying this fancy ABC.

And people don’t accumulate duplicate copies: In my Humble library I have each game only once and on Gog you aren’t able to buy a game that you already have: If you buy a bundle, you pay only for the games you haven’t bought already. I don’t know how this is handled by Steam.

The prices are at least here in Germany mostly the same: For TWP I have to pay in Germany 20 Euros. That are round about 40 DM. This is the price I had to pay as a child for a typical game for my C64. Deadalic sells “Ken Follet: Pillars of the Ears” for 30 Euros = 60 DM. This was exactly the price I had to pay for Loom.

Really? Well, in my childhood all my friends copied all games they could get. :wink:

A lot of (indie) games aren’t on Steam and/or Gog. Just have a look at the games mentioned in this forum: A lot of users found very interesting games that at least I wouldn’t have recognized without their help - for example several text adventures.

This is called “monthly subscription” or “streaming”. Ok, Ok, this is not “sold”. :wink: But the store in my hometown sells sometimes bundles of different DVDs. And only some weeks ago I bought two different old Lucasfilm movies on one BluRay just to get one of them.

Yes. Aren’t they super-producing movies too?

Have you bought compilations in your childhood? If yes: what have you done with these games?

That’s not what I meant. But just because they give money to a charity is not reason for me to choose them over another distributor because I can support those specific charities directly.
I’d actually prefer when I buy games that the developers get most of the money.

That’s similar to what I do. I’m just assuming a game designed by Ron or Tim will be interesting to me.
Sure it may not always be true, but in majority of those cases it was/is and hopefully will be.