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Economy of computer games from past to present

 
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Economy of computer games from past to present - 10/25/2008 7:27:14 PM   
Kuokkanen

 

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Let's talk about computer game economy. Consoles shall stay out, becouse at first they were much more expensive becouse of memory cards they were shared, and now there are (still) licensing fees, making them more expensive compared to computer games (just compare prices of multi-platform games).

I've seen here much complaining about reduced box sizes, reduced size or complete lack of printed game manuals, and then some. Let me tell you reason for this: currencies inflate, but computer games still cost about as much amount of money today as they did 20+ years ago (and console games cost whole lot more). So even though we pay more for food, rent, gas, and rest, we don't pay anything more for computer games than we did in the past. Many of us take advantage of this by buying more games. In the meantime costs of game development, advertising and publishing have increased, even up to SEVERAL MILLIONS of $! Do you understand what this means? Even though cost of game development has increased BIG time, income from customer hasn't. Explanations: there are more customers buying 1 particular game (particularly the ones with multi-million $ budgets), and game publishing policies have been stripped by reducing number and size of by-products (game box, manuals). Why? Manuals need ink, paper, and machinery, and they all cost money. We all knew that, right?

Many people, particuarly long time gamers of game magazine columnists, complain about how games of this millennia are too easy, lack challenge, and underestimate players. I have answer for this too: 20 years ago digital games (computer & console) were niche, and those who played them, were called nerds and even freaks. That we certainly were: some of us played Carrier Force, which required memorization of thick manual and notebook when playing the game. Some others played Star Control 2 with with help of english-to-finnish dictionary (that's me). Getting the game to work might have required fine-tuning of C-cassette drive. Now ask yourselves this: would most gamers of today play like that?

Of course not! Newest gamers we have now haven't even seen 5,25 diskette and C-cassette! They didn't type commands, tune cassette drive, memorize sound card configurations, create boot diskettes... face it: this is hacker/nerd stuff, and most of new gamers don't qualify that high. WE are 1337, THEY are n00bs! Get it? That's why games of multi-million $ budgets are dumbed down to level of the n00bs, and those n00bs are needed to finance the multi-million $ budgets. But don't worry about it, there are still people making the more demanding games for us. And... I guess audience of those games hasn't increased much. Let's make some comparison with games of Gary Grigsby from different times: what are production costs, total sale income, and # sold of Carrier Force, Pacific War, and War in the Pacific? If there is increase in numbers over time, I bet it's much lesser in relation to all the computer game players in given times.

Conclusion: most of the new players (n00bs) play simple games that work out-of-the-box. Without those games total increase of gamers would have been much less. Increase within our group (1337) has been much less. Therefore dev teams, who make games for us, have much smaller income, and therefore smaller budgets, which forces them to sell games with lesser auxiliaries than before: 2by3 Games don't have even single-million $ budget for any given game.

Sometimes n00bs wander in to this forum and ask for recommendations. Some 1337s here don't realize they're dealing with n00b, and so their answer is: "Buy WITP" WAKE UP THERE!

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You know what they say, don't you? About how us MechWarriors are the modern knights, how warfare has become civilized now that we have to abide by conventions and rules of war. Don't believe it.

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RE: Economy of computer games from past to present - 10/25/2008 8:24:51 PM   
06 Maestro


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I purchased my 1st PC game just over 10 years ago. After spending about 2 hours analyzing every military game in the store, I walked out with TOAW 1-big box. The cost was 39 bucks, not including tax. In the following years, I purchased 2 more incarnations of the game online. After Take 2 got control of the title, just a jewel case version was available IIRC. The cost drooped down to 29.00. I purchased the Matrix TOAW for $39.00 download about a year ago, and the price is still the same. A box version is 49, which is about a 25% increase from the original game. There are many other titles at about the same price. Compared to the average inflation rate, 25% is very low.

It seems to me that PC games have actually gotten cheaper through the years. Even most of the pricier titles are still generally a bargain in comparison to the costs of 10 years ago. No one likes to pay more for anything, however, PC game developers have been very good at keeping costs down. It's good thing that the various developers have not formed an OPEC like consortium.

(in reply to Kuokkanen)
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RE: Economy of computer games from past to present - 10/25/2008 9:57:54 PM   
Perturabo


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Economy?
Here is my economy:
I won't buy a computer game or music CD over 20$ until minimal hourly wage will rise over 5$ per hour. Now it's 1.8$ per hour.


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RE: Economy of computer games from past to present - 10/25/2008 10:38:14 PM   
06 Maestro


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Perturabo

Economy?
Here is my economy:
I won't buy a computer game or music CD over 20$ until minimal hourly wage will rise over 5$ per hour. Now it's 1.8$ per hour.




I see you point. That is not a good situation. Have you considered emigrating?

(in reply to Perturabo)
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RE: Economy of computer games from past to present - 10/25/2008 11:53:38 PM   
Perturabo


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Yeah, I tried that, but I didn't get any job so I had to go back.
I'm planning going to London (I have an uncle there) when I'll finish my school and gather some work experience and references.

< Message edited by Perturabo -- 10/25/2008 11:56:40 PM >


_____________________________

People shouldn't ask themselves why schools get shoot up.
They should ask themselves why people who finish schools burned out due to mobbing aren't receiving high enough compensations to not seek vengeance.

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RE: Economy of computer games from past to present - 10/26/2008 6:57:23 AM   
ilovestrategy


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I still play Civilization II! 

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RE: Economy of computer games from past to present - 10/26/2008 1:15:37 PM   
Perturabo


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I still play Syndicate!

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People shouldn't ask themselves why schools get shoot up.
They should ask themselves why people who finish schools burned out due to mobbing aren't receiving high enough compensations to not seek vengeance.

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RE: Economy of computer games from past to present - 10/27/2008 11:36:25 PM   
reg113


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So do I!

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RE: Economy of computer games from past to present - 10/27/2008 11:53:31 PM   
Perturabo


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I killed over 800 civilians today!


< Message edited by Perturabo -- 10/28/2008 12:47:21 AM >


_____________________________

People shouldn't ask themselves why schools get shoot up.
They should ask themselves why people who finish schools burned out due to mobbing aren't receiving high enough compensations to not seek vengeance.

(in reply to reg113)
Post #: 9
RE: Economy of computer games from past to present - 10/28/2008 7:40:53 PM   
andym


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The first i got was a Jet pack/Lunar lander game for the Commodore Vic 20 waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the early 80's and it had a WHOLE 8k memory!!!!

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RE: Economy of computer games from past to present - 10/28/2008 8:16:12 PM   
Lützow


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First I got was some television game system from my parents, back in mid 70's.

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RE: Economy of computer games from past to present - 10/28/2008 8:27:14 PM   
noxious


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From: Montreal, Qc, Canuckistan
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First computer I got was a TRS-80 Coco2 (on my lap right now while I check the numbers...) : serial number# 0000064, model 26-3026 or 28-3028, can't tell if they're sixes or eights...
Dad didn't want to buy me Dungeons of Dagorath, but rather that I should program all the games I wanted to play !! :(
A friend of mine got a second copy of the game at his b-day or xmas, and gave it to me.
Should be somewhere in my boxes, with the original manual (cartridge game)
Still have to tape deck as storage peripheral :)
Haven't set it up in years, I really should try it out and see if it still works, hehe


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RE: Economy of computer games from past to present - 10/28/2008 8:53:53 PM   
Perturabo


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My first computer that I got was Commodore C=64. I remember that there were almost no orginal C=64 games in stores, so the only way to get most of the titles was to buy pirate compilations on market. IIRC a compilation costed 3,5 Polish Gold Pieces and originals costed 6 Polish Gold Pieces. Horrible times.


_____________________________

People shouldn't ask themselves why schools get shoot up.
They should ask themselves why people who finish schools burned out due to mobbing aren't receiving high enough compensations to not seek vengeance.

(in reply to noxious)
Post #: 13
RE: Economy of computer games from past to present - 10/29/2008 3:07:56 AM   
sabre1


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Apple IIe, NCR PC8i (I think that was the model, it was an all in one monitor,hd 10mb,and 5 and 1/4 floppy drive.) I had just as much fun with those old games, as I do now with all the wizbang stuff we have today.  I also learned a heck of a lot more about computers than I know today.  Dang computers today are just to complicated.

Games - Cosmic Balance, Ambush, Knights of the Desert, Bismarck, B1 (simulation bombing Russia, loved that game).  Most of these were on tape.  There were more, but I'm getting old and forgetful...

(in reply to Perturabo)
Post #: 14
RE: Economy of computer games from past to present - 11/2/2008 8:43:51 AM   
Kuokkanen

 

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I seem to remember some prices from 1990's. In that time, 299 finnish marks (5,94573 €) was about as common for new PC game as 50 €uros is now. I think I payed that much for Steel Panthers and GTA. So 299/5,94573=50,29 €uros. Not much change in 15+ years. In mid 1990's my mother bought me box with two MicroProse games on it: F-14 Fleet Defender and SubWar. That cost about 3 and ½ hundred marks, could had been 349 marks. 58,70 €uros, not a bad deal, eh?

So really, currency inflates, but game prices stay about the same. Except new console games, which used to cost ½ thousand marks! Memory cards were EXPENSIVE! (but had 0 loading times)

_____________________________

You know what they say, don't you? About how us MechWarriors are the modern knights, how warfare has become civilized now that we have to abide by conventions and rules of war. Don't believe it.

MekWars

(in reply to sabre1)
Post #: 15
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