Video Game Prices Are Going Up
The standard price for video games is increasing to $70 for the PlayStation 5 and next-gen Xbox consoles, ending 15 years of $60 games.
I assume this will also be for PC games, but it’s also misleading. When the industry shifted to digital delivery, saving maybe 25% of the cost of delivering a game (at the time), the game companies took all of the cost savings as profits instead of sharing the cost savings as reduced prices for games.
They started the slow death of the resale market at the same time. So in totality, I would call that a price increase. You no longer ‘own’ copies of your games. In any case, let’s look now at the world’s new #1 greediest video game, according to elves everywhere.
Hearthstone Darkmoon Faire: Now Quad-Wielding Pure Greed
Blizzard rolls out a new expansion with a new card set, plus a new mode, plus a long-awaited achievement system. Great! Wrong.
New system for questing and gold: The whole progression game is now a scheme to sell Tavern Passes. Pay $20 to lessen the pain from your arm being twisted for months. The total possible gain is meant to be the same, but the rewards are end-loaded to punish casuals and push the paid XP bonus.
This is on top of the usual $50 to $70 to buy each thrice-annual expansion, which doesn’t even come close to giving you most of the cards, and that’s already more than an annual MMO sub.
But Wait: New Mini-Sets: Hearthstone is getting mini-expansions in between main $60 expansions. Per this article breaking down Hearthstone costs, a full mini-set costs around $60 or 5000 gold. That in itself doubles the costs of Hearthstone, beyond the Tavern Pass and the card collection arm-twisting in the new game mode and in the achievements system.
New achievement system: We’ve waited for this for years. But there are no real rewards for your loyalty and efforts except a point total! No titles! No pets! No perks! No skins! And you have card collection achievements thrown up in your face constantly, reminding you to collect x cards of y class for z expansion. And on and on. What a joke.
New game mode: you need to complete card collections in order to unlock powers in the new Duel mode. Since you can’t possibly do this F2P anymore, you are paying to win.
This isn’t an avalanche of greed. This is a cataclysmic volcano of dollar sucking parasitic vacuum cleaner monsters raining down on players of all ages and financial means. (“During a pandemic”? Sure! Let’s tack that on.)
The eye-opening power creep this year can also be mentioned. We can’t forget either the insane power of the Demon Hunter class as it was released last spring, pushing everyone and their uncle into crafting all of those cards, only to have them rolled back all summer until they were eventually reasonable. The aggressive mini-sets will just accelerate the power creep.
All of this is not fixable except by rolling all of this back. This is a legitimate clown fiesta, except the clowns are you. You should not play Hearthstone unless you are a whale, not a clown.
LotRO put up a “huge” list of question answers from the devs this week. The list was entirely unsurprising in its disappointing-ness. It was a lot of non-answers and vague promises that will never be fulfilled.
I’m surprised Justin Olivetti seemed to eat it up, but he was very harsh in his previous critical articles on LotRO. At some point you have to stop stabbing a dead horse.
This comes after the recent scam of releasing a quest pack as a full expansion. This looks a lot like barebones studio just milking players to stay alive. At what point do you draw the line and preserve your ethics and integrity?
Coming soon on Dec. 10th, from one of the few studios still making great games with integrity. The ongoing super mega hype is a bit concerning, but we’ll have to see.
Note that multiplayer is not being released with the main game, for example. “Projekt Red have revealed that the multiplayer component of Cyberpunk 2077 is its own AAA release.” So it’s time to pay for two games to get one? Here we go, boys. Let the games for your credit card begin.
A battle royale game is being made in the Vampire setting. This game has been almost univerally criticized. It’s a game that no one wants. Meanwhile, a new overpriced mini-RPG has been released on Steam to further profit off of Vampire fans. I bought the first one and played it a bit. I’m over it.
This cheese has been evolving for a long time, and it’s invading even the most sacred, die-hard fan spaces in video games. No sacred stone will be left un-despoiled in the quest for the most and cheapest profit.
I continue to be interested in a long-term investment in WoW Classic, or more precisely a proper trip through the world of WoW spanning my years until retirement.
I quit and never kept up with WoW over the last 15 years, so I would be somewhat psyched to go back to this less spoiled, pure land of old. Leave the current greed and insanity behind. No cash shop. No arm twisting to pay cash money to win.
The problem right now is Blizzard’s lack of public plans and communication.
I would be leveling a Priest right now if I knew the current servers would become progression servers, for example. I just don’t know what they are doing, so I don’t know what I’m doing. I know I haven’t given them any money for months after hitting level 60 with my mage. I haven’t finished leveling my crafts.
I’m currently level 60ish in SWTOR with my Sith Inquisitor. It’s a goal for the holidays to hit 70 and finish a lot more of the main story. I finally got a companion that is romanceable. The talk-kill-collect is getting very repetitive as I near the end of the original vanilla content, however.
I’d also like to cap out the Champ levels in Elder Scrolls Online. I think I’m like 150-200. The max is now 810. This would require weeks of grinding, if not months. Probably not going to happen, but who knows. The last time I installed ESO, it was a huge download and I had some kind of unfixable errors with my 2060 video card. Maybe that is patched out.
I’m still working on the second dungeon for Elven Academy – “The Geomancer’s Deathtrap.” I’m trying to wind up the free content in the coming months, so I can work on a paid expansion module, so I can at least offer a download and a way to get money.
The game also needs to have a sense of gaining in power as a mage, and also of security in your save code. This is a big issue.
I’ve been greatly distracted by oil painting. I’ve sunk a few hundred hours into my painting lately instead of gaming or developing game content. The oil painting is going very well, or I would have dropped it again already. I dream of putting a few paintings in a gallery at some point.
I’m also still wanting to practice my violin, but the violin I purchased is too loud for my apartment. I made a mistake not buying an electric violin.
I wanted an acoustic violin to make game music at some point, but it’s silly trying to learn as a total novice in my apartment with neighbors. My best idea is to take the violin and practice in my car or in some forlorn parking lot somewhere.
If I can attain a basic level of competency, that’s good enough to make MP3’s for my game scenes and modules – dungeon music, romantic music, etc., and that’s a lot of motivation. I absolutely loved the violin music in Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura.
I’ve been watching a lot of Spanish movies and series to improve my Spanish listening comprehension. I’m making some progress on this, enough to feel some reward for the effort. I’ve also been playing chess as a sort of cracker box game experience, since I don’t have a current MMO.
I’ve also been streaming some art and video game development on Twitch, but the novelty of that has sort of worn off. That’s about it for now. I’ll probably think of revisions to this post over the weekend. Happy Friday and happy gaming!