The Economics of Video Games, Part I: Exclusivity

Russell Michaels

Russell is inside his own mind, a comfortable yet silly place. He is also on Twitter.

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4 Responses

  1. Damon says:

    I don’t play console or phone games. I’m old school and use a PC. I really don’t care about how much games get shaved to sit on a platform, and I suspect that most gamers don’t either….They care about quality, replayability, and enjoyment. As best I know, there are game develop companies and game publishers, sometimes they are both. I assume that a company that can’t publish it’s on game, because of marketing strength or resources, pays the publisher as well. Is it as much as Apple charges?Report

  2. Jaybird says:

    Microsoft’s screw-up was Epic in scale.

    They did the Windows Phone at the exact same time as Windows 8 at the exact same time as the XBox 360 interface revamp at the same time as the Windows Tablet.

    You may remember Windows 8 as the crappy one that didn’t have a start button the way that Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows 98, and Windows 95 did.

    “Hey, let’s put a button there that *LOOKS* like a start button but takes you to another interface entirely!”, they eventually said. And people all over started talking about switching to Linux. Like, businesses. Like, the Military. Like, EVERYBODY said “this is bullshit”. And that’s just Windows 8! The XBox people went from having an interface that they very much enjoyed to some weird tablet interface. It’s one thing to have a tablet interface if you have a tablet. I guess it makes sense. Quite another if you have an XBox controller.

    Hell, I remember that I got the Fallout 3 game and beat it. And beat it again. And the *SECOND* the first DLC came out, I got that and beat the game again. And the second DLC came out and I admit to using a saved game to beat that. Then the third DLC came out and it allowed you to survive the ending of the game and go up an additional 10 levels!!! TIME TO BEAT IT AGAIN! And then I got the other two DLCs and beat them!

    And since I got all five DLCs, they gave me a Fallout-themed XBox Wallpaper. So when I wandered around my XBox interface, it had lovely little Wasteland items and icons everywhere. It was fun.

    Welp, the Xbox image update came out and got rid of my wallpaper.

    “We want all of our stuff to have the same interface!”, they said.

    Remember the E3 Xbox disaster in 2013? Use our Kinect Accessory to watch sports! Watch movies! You can use the console for internet access and use Facebook! Twitter! MySpace! And, yes, the Kinect will be listening to you even when the device is “off” but we have strong privacy protections in place! Watch football on your Xbox! Oh, and we’re getting rid of physical media but you can still let your little brother “borrow” your games with this complicated set of rules! Did we mention that you can watch Superhero movies on your Xbox?

    And the PS4 came out and said “You can play games on it?” and got a standing ovation.

    I didn’t buy an XBox One. Hell no. I bought a PS4.

    And Windows 10 came out and, wouldn’t you know it? It had a start button. And they had dumped Nokia because nobody wanted the damn hassle of the damn interface on the windows phone.

    Microsoft failed because they didn’t give a crap about what their customers wanted to use the products for. Had they done a better job of listening, they might have succeeded. As it was, they had a grand vision and everybody was on board except the people with money to spend… and those people spent it elsewhere in numbers that even Microsoft couldn’t ignore.

    Frigging Microsoft.

    I’m still pissed off about my wallpaper.Report

    • jason in reply to Jaybird says:

      Yeah, the classic interface on the 360 was great. And then (you already said all their screw ups). It’s still clunky as hell. The only reason I got the Xbox One was I like the controller better. You can still set custom wallpapers but you can’t really see them because everything else is in the way. Same thing with avatars, which were cool, but you can’t see them anymore. Now they’re killing xbox live for their subscription service. With the exception of the red rings of death, there was so much promise in the early days of the 360, and they killed it all.
      Frigging Microsoft, indeed.Report

  1. August 5, 2021

    […] Marketing is a tool. A tool that is neither evil nor good. It is ethically neutral. Is it used for bad aims? Certainly. Politicians buy ads, don’t they? It is also used for good, even if that good is just alerting you to a new movie that seems cool. Escapism is good! As I may not have driven into y’all’s heads previously, I really hate politics. I mostly keep up with modern current events as a means of retaining some idea as to what’s happening in the world. Policy is what I love. And politics brutally bastardizes policy every time. Name propaganda is such a stupid form of marketing that works so damn well in politics. Calling it the Affordable Care Act doesn’t make the care provided affordable for anyone. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rarely protects consumers from anything illegal. Such uses of marketing is paternalistic nonsense. And so many people fall for it! […]Report