When Buying Games Becomes A Pleasure
I only really buy games for three reasons. When I truly feel the developer deserves it, if it’s a game I’m pretty damn in love with, or in the case of Assassin’s Creed III where I really want to play it now and I know it can be sold off easily if I won’t end up playing it again. Oh get off your moral high horse, I treasure the used games market and I’m not ashamed to admit that I use it continuously. I sell games and other things almost often enough in order to afford new games and repeat the process.
I rarely keep games. Borderlands 2 I purchased on Steam sometime back using money I got from selling something I don’t even remember, and naturally I’m inclined to keep that. Quite recently I sold my PS3 copy of Assassin’s Creed III after being massively disappointed by it and knowing I don’t want to play it again, and that gave me good money to use on what I wanted next.
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Turns out, what I wanted next wasn’t that far away.
In an industry plagued by games being released in damaged or even broken states, important content being unashamedly shipped off as DLC, online passes, talk of the used games market being Satan’s work, horrid DRM and barriers that make you feel punished for buying a game while pirates hold up a middle finger, and gamers so willing to eat shit they actually defend some of these practices – case in point being Diablo III’s horrific launch issues and some gamers telling others to stop whining – you can get why I’m very hesitant to part with my money, and it takes a lot of thinking on my part before I do.
Don’t get me wrong, I love supporting developers whom I feel deserving, I mean, I buy indie games fairly often. But the second I feel like I’m given the short end of the stick despite buying a game, or I’m sitting with problems while some pirate is off having the most comfortable experience of their lives, then you’ve got me pretty damn upset. It’s not too much to ask to feel rewarded for giving over your loyalty and money. I’m a strong believer that loyalty trumps piracy. Don’t agree? Have a chat with Valve.
Or CD Projekt RED, Epic Games, Naughty Dog, Volition, recently Namco Bandai and indie developers.
Making consumers want to buy your product and feel good about supporting it creates a better world for everyone. I’ve always said it’s a two-way street. If a developer treats its community well, I’ll support them easily. We make their games popular and profitable, they provide us with quality entertainment.
That’s the relationship here.
Now, I’ve given this a lot of back-story, but what is my actual point, and why is there a Hitman: Absolution picture up above? Well, dear
potato human, let me tell you.
I went onto Steam yesterday after Alessandro’s constant boasting about being in the process of pre-loading Hitman: Absolution on PC since he bought it a while ago. And what I saw on Steam made my jaw drop to the ground, and honestly made my entire freaking day. Pre-purchasing Hitman: Absolution would give me the Hitman Collection absolutely free. Let me give you some perspective on that.
No special edition. Just the standard purchase of the PC game would give me:
- Hitman: Codename 47
- Hitman 2: Silent Assassin
- Hitman: Blood Money
- Hitman: Absolution
- Hitman: Sniper Challenge
Holy. Potato. On. A. Throne. Of. Spaz.
I bought it that second, using the money I had lying around after selling Assassin’s Creed III. Before the eye-patch wearing smart asses among you shrug and tell me I could have just pirated all of those games, you’re missing the point so hard you should just throw yourself in front of a fast-moving train.
Buying Hitman: Absolution was easy. I wanted to support the developer. I felt immense respect for them. Not only that, but I felt completely rewarded and pretty damn good about my purchase.
IO Interactive has my increased loyalty, respect and love.
Now, I’m not saying every developer needs to throw in R350 worth of free content. That’s not realistic or feasible. I’m praising the underlying principle of it. I hear a lot of bitching and moaning about gamers being hard to please, but really, I can give you many easy examples of how gamers have thrown their money, respect and love at developers who have taken just a few steps to earn all of it.
Namco Bandai Games simply announced that Tekken Tag Tournament 2 would have extra characters, stages and costumes released as free DLC, and fans went crazy. Imran wrote a column in favour of supporting the game. Volition openly admitted that the PC version of Saints Row 2 wasn’t up to scratch, and promised that Saints Row 3 would do a lot better, and wouldn’t be a simple port. They also said they don’t mind about PC piracy, as they first and foremost want to create a game that people actually want to pirate. Gamers loved Volition for it. CD Projekt RED publicly spoke against DRM after The Witcher 2 PC version’s security was cracked, and proceeded to remove it completely with a patch a few weeks after release, as well as add tons of new content to the game in a series of completely free updates. They earned themselves loyalty and plenty of love, The Witcher 2 sold fantastically well, and there’s no doubt in my mind that if The Witcher 3 comes along, fans will flock to buy it and support it because of that earned loyalty. Then you even get the people at NetherRealm Studios, who earned a lot of love and attention when they worked closely with fans to return Mortal Kombat to greatness with its 2011 reboot. This definitely proves that listening to fans within reason goes a long way.
That’s essentially what I wanted to say today. Hitman: Absolution reminded me of when buying games becomes a pleasure, and I couldn’t be happier right now that I bought it and that I’m supporting the developers. Even if Absolution doesn’t trump Blood Money, one of my favourite games in history, I will still be glad I made this purchase, and IO Interactive will still have my loyalty and respect.
Unless they completely butcher the series and I start up the game to find obese dinosaurs, on-rails shooting, a cheesy suave 47 and the words “directed by Michael Bay” during the introduction.
Then I’ll be eating these words.