Friday, April 16, 2010

Waiting for the Right Date

Back in my alter boy days, the priest told me good things would come to those that wait.  At the time, I thought he was referring to premarital sex, but now I realize he must have been referring to today's videogame market.

There seems to be a large amount pressure put on developers to sell their product in just one month, the month it releases.  The game is considered a failure if it doesn't yield a high amount of sales in the first 3 months.  This I find mind boggling, as its generally the worst time to by a game.  Its much better to wait out the storm, or the feeling that you have to get the game now, because some review site over hyped the game.  Here are some reasons to wait...

Mass Effect was a great example why you should wait.  Hurray! You finish the game...but wait, a DLC came out, so you load a game that was saved before the "point of no return" part of the game (you have an old save game right). The "point of no return" in the gaming world, is that event horizon that triggers the end of the game, not giving you ability to go back to the mundane side quests which are referred to as DLC.  So you finish the DLC, good for you.  But damn it, now ME2 is out, and they say you can import your character (you did save your games after uninstalling right).  But, the sequel won't know I played the DLC until I finish the game again, to import the character that played the DLC too.  Arrrgh.  Just get all that teaspoon sized DLC crap out of the way.  It seems "Game of the year edition", or "gold edition" is the publishers way of telling you, hey, this is the completed product, this is how the game was ment to be played.

Hot fixing the patched patches
This is another case of what happens when a publication of a game is forced out too soon and not ready for prime time.  How many great games have we seen at least 2 deductions off their score from a review site, simply because it was buggy.  The absolute best case was a game called: "The Witcher".  A year after launch, the developers put out a 2Gb patch called enhanced edition...and it fixed and improved EVERYTHING!  The game was fantastic, thank god I waited.  This also shows the dedication the devs had for their product. 

Price cutting
Don't let that pre-order price bait you in...there's a good chance you'll see a sale for the same price a month after the release.  Or even better, a year from release it'll be half the price.  Better yet $15, 2 years later.

Weed out the kiddies
Its extremely frustrating jumping online and being called every racial slur in the book.  I'm not a gay black Jew from Canada already.  Sure, the online community will be a smaller number, but you can rest assured, it'll be composed of players that love the game.

Distribution - Have it your way
Some people are old school collectors and like it physical, some people just don't trust digital downloads, some people just don't trust Steam but love other digital distribution sites.  Whatever your tastes may be, if you wait long enough there will probably be plenty of choices, including eBay.  Here's a tip, if its a Ubisoft game, it'll most likely show up on Gametap as part of the premium service...eventually.

But will it run Crysis?  How many times did this question get asked about any given hardware on the market.  Seems like a silly question today right?  Assuming you've bought a decent $1000 desktop in the past 3 years, you'll not only be able to run Crysis, you can crank it up to the max settings.  Again, your playing a game, the way it was meant to be played.  Do yourself a favor, and don't play a game of the medium setting, just for the mere fact of saying you played the darn thing.  Side note: you'll also get better versioning of the video drivers too.

Past the Hype
Its simply amazing to see how well a game can get hyped up before launch.  Its so over the top, I've created a "Past the Hype" section in the blog, just to keep track of some of the games that failed to deliver on their promises. Another example is to keep an eye on the support a product gets.  Its happened far too often, game gets hyped by publisher; released to the public; public buys based on hype; publisher closes developers studio; product gets crap support; consumer gets stuck with unfinished, buggy game with no closure.

[All images from other sites on the internet-tubes]

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