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Kevin Murphy谈游戏未来盈利(付费)模式的预测

发布时间:2017-06-28 09:34:24 Tags:,

本文原作者:Kevin Murphy 译者:游戏邦ciel chen

聊聊我们游戏未来的盈利模式会是什么模样。首先我们概括一下我之前说过内容好了,我之前对游戏打折时段越来越提前表示了忧虑(比如《战地》、《使命召唤》以及《泰坦陨落》在上个圣诞就开始打折了),以及担心这会影响玩家对游戏的认知价值。

对于Spotify和Netflix成功的盈利模式应用于其他行业这件事我表示很担心,我们实际已经感觉到事态正在往这个方面发展,像Humble Bundles、EA Access以及其他类似平台都有这个趋势。

在游戏产业里,如果我们一不小心就有可能步入没钱可赚的境地——只有那些最老套、通俗、较低成本和具备较广吸引力的游戏(比如《使命召唤》和《FIFA》系列)才有可能赚到钱。如果这样的趋势在未来的十年或者更久的时间里扎根发芽,那作为玩家我们会失去很多游戏的乐趣。

我看到的问题是,传统的游戏价格模型正在从根本上发生变化,然而包括我自己在内的很多人依旧愿意为那款我们想要的游戏买单来拥有一份它的copy——而这类游戏的利润正在缩减,未来我们可能将失去很多可供选择的游戏,因为游戏开发者将再也无法支付不起运营一个工作室的资金,即使是那些较大型的工作室也将不再怎么愿意(甚至比现在更不愿意)对他们的游戏进行变革性的创新了。

the future of game monetization(from gamasutra.com)

the future of game monetization(from gamasutra.com)

我想来看看游戏的盈利模式正在经历着怎样的变化,我们又能对此做些什么?

今天的游戏盈利模式发生了什么?

正如我上文提到的,我们正看到游戏盈利模式向订阅付费类型走向发展,即支付一定费用便可下载给定范围内的所有游戏。这在前面那条博客我已经具体说明了我为什么不想看到这种盈利模式取得成功,所以这里我就不赘述了。

我们也看到了——《星战前夜(EVE)》和《魔兽世界(WOW)》已经愿意让自己的游戏以F2P的形式给玩家玩到一定等级,不过等玩家玩到较高等级时,他们依旧保留了他们订阅式的付费模式,但这里值得注意的是——这些游戏巨作诉诸于F2P模式来试图扩增稳固自己的玩家数量。未来我们还会在新游戏中看到订阅式的付费模式吗?这是个值得探讨的话题。

DLC现在也在一定程度上发生着变化。EA开始发行对附加的多玩家竞技地图收费的DLC,不过只有屈指可数的玩家为此买单,所以他们基本全部服务器都在空转没人用。虽然还没有太确切消息,不过《星球大战:前线2》今年似乎已经声明了他们将不再发行DLC,或者说至少不会再有那种会阻碍他们的玩家粉丝团战的DLC了。

很不幸地,开宝箱正在变成一种相当流行的游戏盈利模式。《守望先锋(Overwatch)》、《反恐精英(Conter-Strike)》、《战地(Battlefield)》以及其他数不清的游戏都在踏入这个利用人类投机心理的阴暗面的坑中。好吧,这终究是必不可免要发生的,因为这个模式真的很有效,我们确实无法抗拒它。这实际上就是变相的道具收费,但这种形式相当不健康,而就目前看来这将成为未来几个主要的盈利策略之一。

F2P的运营模式目前为止进行的还是相当顺利稳当的,尤其是在手游领域和东部地区,但是就像你在Youtube上所看到的的那样,广告商已经越来越不愿意在视频里放置可跳过的广告了,他们现在都选择直接赞助视频内容然后让视频主播帮他们推销。那么当他们厌烦了帮手游上的疯狂派对买单的时候,这种模式还会持续多久?又或者说什么时候会消亡呢?

当然还有很多的例子和更多的混合的付费(盈利)模式,不过我们该进入到下一个话题了。

初级经济学课程

我在文章一开始曾提到过游戏价值似乎走在走低的缘由。从传统经济学上来看,价格的定位取决于供求关系。而我们在现代所面临的的问题是数字产品(对所有目的与意图)的无限供应(忽略潜在的服务器成本);而市场对游戏的需求却是有限的,因为这中需求是基于人类而言的——由于我们有无限量的游戏供我们选择,于是一个额外的游戏代码在很多人眼里就失去了其固有价值,特别是当我们考虑到市面上还有那么多的游戏,这种固有价值的更加微不足道了。

基于市场上游戏数量之多,人们开始致力于打击盗版和作品剽窃,然而依旧有些人是不怎么接受新游戏数字版要价的,因为他们觉得数字版的成本没有在Gamestop商城上购买的实体版来的多(这是一个值得探讨的内容,不过不属于我们该文章讨论的范围)。

不论问题能延伸到什么程度(值得讨论),我怀疑你会不同意这个看法:玩家接受游戏的定价越来越低,但是却愿意为新的苹果手机花个1000美金(对那些有支付能力的人来说)。实体货品能保住它们的固有价值是因为其供给是有限的——这也是为什么一些经典唱片与任天堂SNES越来越值钱,却没人对盗版数字版的《The Doors’ Greatest Hits》(唱片)或者《Zelda》(游戏)有什么想法的。

所以要如何为我们的产品保值来避免无限量供应所带来的市场崩溃?就凭自己一片赤诚的理想主义精神,依仗玩家的慷慨大方可不是个办法。“你想付多少就付多少”的付费模式能成功的案例是少之又少——我们已经可以看到CryTeck的游戏在这条道路上已经走到了几乎要退出游戏业的绝境了。

那么,纯属处于好玩,让我抛出几个我的想法,我们可以看看有没有可以拿来说道说道的内容。

对于这样的市场现状我们能做些什么?

我要重申下我绝对没有想让我所说的这些被付诸实践的愿望,并且我知道目前没有几个玩家会支持我的这些说法,不过反正我想说的只是游戏销售方式变化之大,所以我就按照我自己想说的来说了。对于每个人都应该有能力买得起一款游戏以及每款游戏之间成本都应该差不多的这个想法是存在根本性缺陷的(不过这对很多其他比如跑车、手表、公寓、食物、研讨会、网络教程的享受型商品并不适用),不过我觉得这种想法很有可能在未来依旧存在。(说说而已)

无论如何都得对产品供应进行限制

你觉得如果说你只发售1万份的游戏copy,但每份售价要100美元,会发生什么?你能卖得出去给你真正的游戏粉们吗?也许能。因为他们不会想错过你游戏的限量版。好吧实际上这还是取决于这款游戏内容和制作者的名声够不够响,反正我觉得这招行得通。毕竟这在经济理论上是很合理的。

再想想,如果你构建了一个网络实时开放型游戏世界,这款游戏是玩家从未见过的赏金狩猎型游戏,不过你只允许每次只能有100名玩家通过得到通行码进行游戏。而这个通行资格的售价定在2000美元,当用户购得通行代码所有权后就可以对玩游戏的权利进行拍卖(所以这个通行码会升值)。其中开发者要求得到一半所得利润——会发生什么呢?这些数字是我随便编的,不过我觉得这里的理论是站得住脚的。我觉的想在Youtubers中找出100个有钱人让他们多花点钱来对这个具有历史意义的新游戏进行直播还是不难的。他们可以在Stream平台上把这个钱赚回来的,而且之后他们还可以倒卖他们的通行码来赚更多钱。

虚拟房地产

我们来说说《侠盗猎车5》online版本吧(对其他hub world游戏也适用)。你通过支付游戏内货币来购买一间好看的(或者不那么好看的)安全屋来藏你的车以防被抢;郊区房子价格相当便宜、顶级公寓则贵上好多——你用的是游戏内货币来进行购买,所以这个过程更倾向是作为奖励而不是一个盈利机制——不过鉴于你可以用现实的货币购买游戏内货币,那么这个界限就不再那么明确了。
这里的重点是,游戏只是根据你的情况给你了一间顶级公寓。这应该是城市里最高端的藏身之所了,不过只要玩的时间够久,基本所有人都能得到这所公寓。所以没有了特殊性和稀有度,它的价值也就降低很多。那么,如果游戏规定每种安全房只能有一名玩家拥有呢?好了,现在由于你可以购买游戏内货币了,每个人就都有机会成为唯一拥有这套安全房的人了——很多玩家可能对买安全房没什么兴趣,不过这里我只是给出一些横向思考的观点让大家知道——游戏开发者是可以通过虚拟财产来赚到现实财产的。现实财产之所以能保值的原因是因为它们的有限,而虚拟财产并没法提供现实的庇护而被忽略,不过当我们在数量上加以限制,这种虚拟财产就会突然被赋予价值。所以如果虚拟资产只能在游戏里周转,但开发者这时对其数量加以限制,虽然游戏依旧是个MMO游戏,但其收费机制此时却出现了同现实房地产经济相似的规律。

无论你怎么评价《星际公民(Star Citizen)》这个游戏,至少它证明了传统的付费模式不是唯一出路。当他们把迷你版护卫舰Idris售价1000欧元并说只限量发售12只的时候,这些模型倒是没多久就会被疯抢一空,毕竟物以稀为贵。

为子弹买单

我朋友Colm Larkin(迷宫指导)曾经开玩笑有一天晚上开玩笑地提过一个建议——你可以让子弹收费。尽管他是开玩笑的,不过我要认真地就这个提议好好讲讲。一场死亡竞赛和漆弹游戏之间的区别是什么?绝对是汗水和有限的弹药!

生存游戏是一项爱好娱乐,在这里对那些有支付能力的人他们会买下最好的装备、武器、手榴弹等等,而另外一些人则租用场地提供的普通枪支,一整天下来结果都在努力地节省弹药。没什么人会真的抱怨这个游戏“要付钱才能赢”的,事实上还就是这么回事。你想想,如果你有一款F2P射击游戏,你被要求支付登录服务器的一天权限、或者给你一点折扣买个包月权限、再或者跟你收额外弹药的钱(真实货币),你觉得怎么样?

没有人会玩这个游戏的,因为射击游戏现在多得是,而从根本上来说你选择什么方式度过你的周天下午并不存在太多娱乐价值上的差异。我想问:为什么这种收费方式行不通呢?毕竟,在家用网络流行起来之前,我和朋友经常花钱约去网咖在局域网上玩《Delta Force》、《Unreal Tournament》或者《Half-Life》。如果你觉得这么做很老土,那你看看人家韩国人现在可流行跟朋友开黑一起去咖啡厅打《英雄联盟》了。

出租设备

说到网咖之类的地方,我想起最近听说的VR在中国和日本市场的逐渐兴起。人们喜欢VR,不过鉴于中国日本平均家居空间有限,VR一整套系统设备对他们来说太大了,所以他们会去商场之类有设立高端VR PCs租用的地方按小时(或其他计时长度)去体验。

我们这里只有有限的场地和可租用设备,所以该案例就不是数字化游戏的固定价值问题了。从根本上来看,要是说我们探讨的有什么区别的话,那就是它证明了我的观点:当供给有限时才能创造出价值,而无限的供给将会对未来电子游戏定价造成影响。

现在“云游戏”也正在发展起来。目前我们可以让游戏运行在高配置PC“云端”上,然后直接用你比较小比较便宜的设备(这些设备本身根本跑不动这些游戏)来玩这些游戏。你可以根据自己的需求租用某人的游戏PC,然后把运行结果投映到你家的电视或者平板上。那么再强调一遍我们说的是作用硬件设备,不过你可以想象成这样:某个类型的游戏或者游戏主机只能由一家持股公司提供,而这些游戏或主机之后收授权费。此处的供应是有限的,当供应满足需求时,合理的价格会出现。想想滑翔式VR设备或者Virtuix Omni设备——这些设备对大部分人的家来说都太大了。为硬件设备来量身定制一款游戏的难度可比游戏开发来的困难得多,不过这在游戏的指定供给单位内给予了其价值保障。

竞赛报名费

这里是另外一个很简单的选择。你在你的游戏里办比赛——对战赛、体育比赛、或者死亡竞赛这种多人竞赛的都可以考虑,不过其实单人游戏也可以行得通,因为可以根据最高分或者完成比赛时间最快来决定谁是赢家。

比如说50个玩家的比赛,每人付5美元参加比赛。这样就有250美元了。冠军奖励100美金、第二第三分别拿35、15美金。开发者每场比赛再给自己留100美金来付竞赛成本、员工费以及回收开发成本用。

这能行得通吗?怎么不能!现在游戏的社交向越来越明显,所以我觉得这跟宾果游戏和周期表没什么太多的区别,尤其是当这些钱用来做慈善的时候更是如此。

当个大明星

你知道为什么大部分演员都在跑龙套,没能从演戏中赚到几个钱,但同样作为演员的布莱德.皮特(Brad Pitt)却能有上百万的收入?并不是说他比别人出色几百万倍,而是因为他不受演员市场中的供需规律的束缚——他的事业已经超出了演戏的范畴到达了更高的层次——他做的是属于“布莱德皮特”独特的事业。所以他可以卖手表可以卖香水卖车——对他来说没有区别。

如果大部分游戏都卖99美分的情况下,Hideo Kojima做出了一款新游戏,你觉得他也会只卖99美分吗?当然不会。他会卖到50-100美元(只要游戏评价好或者只要游戏一完成)而且人们还能够欣然接受——这是因为人家名声够大够分量。毕竟,在这个连我这种傻瓜都能一年内自学学会编程游戏的世界里,当个名人是很值得的。

Jonathan Blow之所以能通过《The Witness》赚到前所未有的高额收入(作为独立游戏来说)——是因为他是做《Braid》的开发者,而这跟《The Witness》比下一款要发行的独立游戏出色上两倍毫无关系。

那不是有点……呃?

“不!是有很多!”——企鹅人在《蝙蝠侠归来》(1992)里用伞枪杀死一个有问题的亲信时这样说。

阴暗吗?有点吧?某种程度上吧至少。我想说的是,当我花了一个定价(低于60美元)向GOG(好玩的老游戏)购买了一款游戏的DRM-free copy版,那真的是我最高兴的时候,因为我可以在我想玩的任何时候来各种重复地玩这个游戏。所以如果这种付费方式消失我会很难过的,不过我知道世事始终会变迁的。我最讨厌的是Season Passes、大部分的DLC(特别是付费的)还有开宝箱,不过我也不想看到我自己开发的游戏会落到跟Spotify-For-Games一样——整个游戏生命周期只给我赚了100美元的这种境地,这样的话我以后就再也不做游戏了。我只想向“钱”看。

我们要记住的是,想在游戏这个行业生存始终还是极其困难的,你随时都有可能被击杀出局,所以你得马不停蹄地把一个个零散的组件整合成一个完整的游戏机制……不过这是我们最爱的过程!这就是现代游戏产业的诞生,但是同时你也会看到这个诞生方式可以是非常邪恶的。事实上,我们希望一切都可以免费,因为这可以让我们用较低的成本(记住不是“零成本”)来开发每个附加单位内容,这已经成为一种非常有权威的观点了——而我则认为这个观点会让游戏产业以跟音乐产业一样的方式走向灭亡。

总结

这个主题还是很开放式的,值得各种讨论和解读,不过这当中能让我引发思考的是 “当供应无限时,供需模式会发生怎样的变化”这个核心概念。价格会因此不得不走低,二当价格低到不行的时候,就不会再有人开发游戏了。这个核心逻辑是没有可以辩驳的地方的,但是接下来十年里会发生什么依旧非常有开放性,让人难以预料。

本文由游戏邦编译,转载请注明来源,或咨询微信zhengjintiao

To briefly sum up what I’ve said before, I’m concerned by an increasing trend towards heavily discounting games earlier and earlier (Battlefield, Call of Duty, and Titanfall last Christmas, for example) and the effect that this has on the perceived value of games.

The success of Spotify and Netflix’s models in other industries worries me and we see a bit of a move in that direction with things like Humble Bundles, EA Access, and the console equivalents.

If we’re not careful, we’ll get to where there’s no money to be made in games and only the most trite, generic, relatively low cost and mass-appealing titles (the Call of Duties and FIFAs) will be financially viable. We stand to lose so much as gamers if certain trends take root over the next decade or so.

The problem as I see it is that there’s a race to the bottom happening with the traditional pricing models, and while many, including myself, still prefer to pay for and own a copy of the exact game we’re looking for, the margins are shrinking all the time and in the future we may have far fewer games to choose from as smaller developers may no longer be able to afford to run studios, and even larger ones will be far less willing (even less than they are now) to innovate with their games.

I want to look at what is being done, and what might be done about this.

What’s Happening Today?

As I mentioned above, we’re seeing some movement towards library subscriptions, where you pay a fixed fee to access all games in a given library. The previous blog detailed why I wouldn’t like to see this succeed so I won’t go into it again.

We’re also seeing Eve and WOW allow Free To Play access to their games up to certain levels. They retain their subscription payment models for higher levels, but it’s worth noting that these titans are resorting to F2P to try and shore up their player numbers. Will we ever see subscription models in new games again? It’s debatable.

DLC is also changing, partly. EA are beginning to realise that charging for extra multiplayer maps, and having only some players migrate over leaves all of their map servers underpopulated. We don’t have details yet, but Battlefront 2 this year seems to be saying that they won’t have DLC, or at least none that prevents all of their fans from playing together.

Loot crates are unfortunately becoming pretty prevalent. Overwatch, Counter-Strike, Battlefield and countless others are tapping into the dark side of human psychology by charging players to maybe win something they want. Well, it had to happen eventually, and because it works, we seem to be stuck with it. It’s just a variation on a microtransaction, but it’s a pretty unhealthy one and currently looks like it might be one of the leading monetisation strategies in the future.

F2P is also still going fairly strong, especially in mobile and especially in the East, but as we see on YouTube, advertisers are less and less happy to place skippable ads on videos, and are now opting to directly sponsor content and let the broadcaster deliver their message for them. How much longer will it be before they decide that they’re sick of paying for the party on mobile and this payment model changes, or dies off?

There are of course more examples and more combinations, but let’s move on.

Economics 101

I mentioned at the start how the value of games seems to keep falling. In traditional economics, the price is set where supply meets demand. The problem we face in the modern age is that with digital goods supply is infinite (for all intents and purposes. Ignoring potential server costs). Demand for games is still a finite number because it’s based on people, but since we’re not tied to a limited print of 1 million physical cartridges (or whatever), one extra game code has no inherent value in the eyes of many. It has even less when you consider the sheer volume of games on offer nowadays.

People attempt to justify piracy and theft on this basis, but others are also less willing to pay the asking price for their digital copy of a new game because it doesn’t cost as much to produce as the physical copy on the GameStop shelf (they’ve got a point, but that’s another topic).

Whatever the extent of the problem today (we could argue on that) I doubt you’ll disagree that gamers seem willing to pay less and less for games, but are still willing to pay the guts of $1,000 (those who can afford to) for a new iPhone. Physical goods hold value because their supply is limited. Classic vinyls or SNES cartridges are more valuable now than when they first sold, but people think nothing of pirating The Doors’ Greatest Hits or emulating Zelda digitally.

So how do we shore up the value of our wares to prevent a crash when supply is unlimited? Appealing to consumers’ generosity and sense of idealism isn’t the answer. Pay What You Want models are rarely successful and we’ve seen CryTek almost go out of business attempting it with their game engine.

Well, just for fun, let me throw out a few ideas and we’ll see if there’s anything to be said for them.

What Might Be Done?

Let me disclaim that I’m not necessarily hoping to see many of these in practice, and currently gamers would never stand for many of them, but since I’m talking about radical changes to how games are sold anyway, let’s just go with it. The idea that everyone should be able to afford a game and that all games should cost around the same as their peers is fundamentally flawed, doesn’t apply to many other luxury goods anyway (like sports cars, watches, hotels, food, seminars, online training courses) and, I think, will likely be something we leave behind in the future. Just saying.

Limit the Supply anyway

What if you announced that you would only sell 10,000 copies of your game, but that it would cost $100? Could you sell it to your true fans? Probably. They wouldn’t want to miss out. Okay it would depend on what the game is and the reputation of the creator(s), but I do think it would work. The economic theory is sound, anyway.

What if you built an online, living, open world like nobody had ever seen and made a bounty hunting game, but you only allow 100 access codes to the game at any one time? Access costs $2,000 and when you’re done with ownership you can auction off your right to play (so its value may rise) and the developer gets 50% of the resale? I’m only throwing around numbers, but the theory holds, I think. Could I find 100 rich YouTubers who would pay a premium to be one of the few broadcasting this historical new game? I think so. They’d make their money back on the stream, then resell their access and make more.

Virtual Real Estate

Let’s talk about the apartments in GTA V Online, but this could apply to any hub world. You pay in-game currency to buy swanky (or not-so-swanky) safe houses to store your cars in and launch heists from. The suburban bungalows come in pretty cheap but the penthouse apartments cost a lot more. You buy them with in-game cash so it’s more of a progression reward than a monetization, but since you can also buy game currency with real money the lines are blurry.

The thing is, the game just puts you into your own instance of the penthouse apartment. It might be the most exclusive high-end safehouse in the city, but pretty much everyone has it after a bit of play time or direct payment. What’s the value of that? There’s no exclusivity/scarcity. So what if they only allowed one instance of each safe house? Now, okay, since you can buy in-game cash with real world money then we would probably just have some entitled little troll lording it over everyone, and that’s not much fun for players, but I’m just trying to point out some lateral thinking. The game’s developers would be selling virtual property for real money. Real property holds value pretty well because it’s limited. Virtual property doesn’t offer real shelter, granted, but when limited in quantity it would suddenly be something that creates value. If it could only be transferred within the game, and the developers took a cut, then suddenly MMOs are still games, but now monetised by rules similar to real estate economics.

Say what you want about Star Citizen, but it’s proving that traditional payment models aren’t the only way to go. When they sell an Idris mini-carrier for €1,000 and say that they’re only selling a dozen of them, they’re snapped up in moments because the goods are (or will be when released – whatever) unique.

Pay for bullets

My friend Colm Larkin (Guild of Dungeoneering) suggested jokingly the other night that you could charge for bullets. Although he was joking, I’m going to address it earnestly. What’s the difference between a round of deathmatch and a round of paintball? Sweat and limited ammunition. That’s basically it!

Airsoft is a hobby where those who can afford it buy all the best gear, sidearms, grenades, etc, and the others just rent the site’s bog standard gun and try to conserve ammunition over the day. Nobody really complains that it’s “pay to win”, yet it kind of is. What if you had an F2P shooter where you charge admission to the servers for a day, or a reduced rate for a month’s membership? Or if extra ammo cost real money?

Nobody would go for this because shooters are a dime a dozen, but fundamentally there’s not a whole lot of difference to the entertainment value of how you spend your Sunday afternoon. I pose the question: why couldn’t it work? After all, before home internet was much of a thing, my friends and I would often pay to hang out in the local internet cafe and play Delta Force, Unreal Tournament or Half-Life on a LAN. If you think that that’s a thing of the past, just take a look at South Korea, where going to a café with friends to play League of Legends all night is very much a common past time.

Rent the hardware

Speaking of internet cafés and the like, I’ve recently heard how VR is really taking off in China and Japan. They love it, but the size of the average home or apartment is way too small to house a VR system, so they go to shopping malls and arcades that have set up high-end VR PCs that can be rented by the hour (or so).

Here we have a limited amount of real estate and hardware being rented, so it’s not the case that digital games are providing fixed value here, but we’re still fundamentally talking about games and, if anything, this just proves my point that limited supply is how value can be created, and infinite supply is a problem for the future of video game pricing.

Cloud Gaming is becoming a thing, too. It’s now possible to have your games running on high end PCs “in the cloud” and streamed directly to your smaller, cheaper device that could never ordinarily run them. You can essentially rent someone else’s gaming PC as desired, and stream the results to your TV or tablet. Again, we’re talking about renting hardware, but you can imagine how certain specific games or controllers could only be provided by one proprietary company, and they then charge for access. Here, supply is limited, and price well be set where that supply meets demand. Think of the hang-gliding VR tech or the Virtuix Omni which most people couldn’t fit in their home. Tying your game to custom hardware may be more difficult to produce, but it does ensure that you retain value in the units that you do supply.

Competition Entry Fees

Here’s another quite simple option. You run tournaments in your game. Fighting games, sports games, or deathmatch games seem likely candidates for this, but it could even work with single player games where victory is determined by the highest score or fastest completion time.

Let’s say 50 people pay $5 to play. There’s $250 in the pot. The winner takes $100 and the next two runners up take $35 and $15 each. The developer then has the remaining $100 per tournament to pay server costs, staff, and recoup development costs.

Would that work? Why not? Games are pretty social now, so I don’t see a whole lot of difference between this and going to bingo or a table quiz, especially if some of the money went to charity.

Be a Superstar

You know how most actors wait tables and earn very little from acting but Brad Pitt earns millions for the exact same job? It’s not because he’s a million times better than the next guy, it’s just because he’s not subject to the market forces of supply and demand for actors. He’s not in the acting business. He’s risen above that. He’s in the Brad Pitt business. He can sell watches or fragrances or cars. It doesn’t matter.

If the vast majority of games were being sold for 99c, and Hideo Kojima made a new game, do you think he’d also sell for 99c? No. He’d charge $50-$100 and (as long as the game reviewed well/was finished/etc) people would pay it. Gladly. Because his name carries weight. In a world where any simpleton like myself can teach themselves how to make games in less than a year, it pays to be a celebrity.

Jonathan Blow managed to charge over the odds (for an indie game) for The Witness because he’s the guy who made Braid. It didn’t have anything to do with The Witness being twice as good as the next indie game out there.

Isn’t that a little uh….?

“No! It’s a lot!” – The Penguin, Batman Returns (1992), as he murders a questioning henchman with an umbrella gun.

Shady? Some of it? Sort of. I mean, I’m happiest when I pay GOG a fixed fee (under $60) for a DRM-free copy of a game that I want to play and replay whenever I want. I’ll be very sad if this goes away, but things are shifting too. I hate Season Passes, most DLC, and especially fee to pay or loot crates, but I also don’t want to see my own developed games on a service like Spotify-For-Games earning me $100 in their entire lifetime, because then I won’t be making games. I’m just trying to look ahead here.

We have to remember that games used to be extremely difficult and try to kill you off quickly so that you’d keep pumping quarters into the machines… and we loved it!! It was the birth of the modern games industry, but you could see that approach as being pretty nefarious, too. The fact that we want everything free now because it costs less (not ‘nothing’, remember) to produce each additional unit is a fairly entitled view and, I suggest, it would lead to the destruction of the games industry in the same way that it’s gutted the music industry.

In Conclusion

This topic is wide open to debate and interpretation, but the core idea that got me thinking was “what happens to the Supply and Demand model when Supply is infinite”? Price has to drop. When the price drops too low, games will cease being made. There’s no arguing with that core logic, but what happens over the next decade is fairly wide open and hard to predict.(source:gamasutra.com  )


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