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December 25th, 2013, 11:00

But here’s what it has really done to me, marketing gurus of the video game industry: It has really, REALLY encouraged me to not be an early adopter of games. When I know (or strongly suspect) that the cost of the DLC will add up to be far more than the original game, it encourages me to wait for a lower-cost, “gold” or “platinum” or whatever release, where I can buy what feels like a “complete” package at a discount. I rarely buy a (mainstream) game new anymore.
It works as planned by the marketing gurus. This is what they expect.

The first thing is that, contrary to the myth broadcasted over the last few centuries, firms do not try to cater to all potential customers. If so, these days, every potential customer of shoes would have shoes on their feet.

Firms try to elaborate schemes to optimize their streams of revenues and optimize their profits. Part of this process is to turn down any stream of revenue that ruin the scheme on a larger scale. Firms do not chase every dollar around, they chase every dollar that consolidates their schemes.
Big difference.

The current business plan (scheme) of mainstream video compagnies is:

-break even with productions costs through preorder and first week after release sales.
-use the hype momentum to saturate the main target audience over the next few weeks after release
-once saturation is reached, bring down the prices to appeal to some other target audiences (like players who buy games not because they want to play them but because buying a $60 dollar game for only $15 is such a deal! etc)

The postponer is included in the larger picture as set by marketing gurus. By postponing, they act the way gurus expect them to act. Gurus do not want their $60 as the postponer's various demands ruins the scheme on a large scheme. Gurus want those $15 or $10 to consolidate their scheme.

Marketing is about hype and to build up hype, you need an echo chamber.

More and more, games are designed to respond to that requirement. More and more, games are designed to be experiences to be shared with a larger communauty which is going to act as an echo chamber.

Distribution platforms like Steam, which make readily available social features, help the process as it makes it so easy to include features that will help to build up hype and convey it through a communauty.

For example, it can be that strictly sp gameplay game that includes Steam features to compare players one with another ("will you be the fastest thief in the world?") etc

As a consequence, it means that games are more and more designed to be social experiences to be shared.
It means that these experiences work better when the communauty is large and aroused.

It gives these games a life expectancy of three months to be fully experienced. After that, playing the game means a reduced experience.

Postponers do not want to accept the requirements of the main offer? Fine. They will be provided with a lesser version that comes for a deflated price as it fits.
They will be given the opportunity to experience the game in a period when the game has lost most of its gaming value.

Postponers' demands would ruin the billion dollars scheme. Firms do not want those $60 that mean sacrifying millions of dollars on the other hand.
Especially when they know how to get those $15 from postponers to consolidate their scheme.

So yes, marketing gurus produce the postponer. And that is exactly what they want.
ChienAboyeur is offline




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