Another week and another new post about games, although thanks to the release of Portal 2, this update very nearly did not happen.
For the last several days, I have been glued to my computer enjoying Valve’s masterpiece. When I had my fill of Portal, I then decided to try to write a blog post. Sadly, I bought and played Left4Dead 2 instead.
It was quick work to find a copy of the game through Valve’s digital distribution service, Steam, but suffice it to say I quickly became enthralled by what I found on the Steam Network while my download finished.
What I found…amazed me, so much so that it made me rethink how I played games.
It was not the fact that via this program called Steam I could download games at the touch of a button, nor how I could play these games as soon as my connection permitted. No, it was the fact that many games there … were on sale.
This concept amazed me. I had previously heard of the famous Steam Summer and Winter Sales, but this was my first time actually seeing the potential offers on hand.
My credit card rumbled in my pocket as I viewed the list of discounted titles. Suffice it to say it took all of my gaming might to resist purchasing.
After what felt like a titanic struggle I mused about the changes to gaming retail, how it had changed so much since I had begun my humble gaming experience on the Atari ST.
Growing up through the differing generations of consoles/personal computers, there has always been the games store.
Consoles changed, games evolved, and the industry got bigger. All through this retailers have always been there in some shape or form. Be it a small in-store department or large corporate chain, retail outlets dominated.
Sadly, coupled with the ever present games retailers was the ever present expense.
If you have been playing games for as long as I have, you know that retailers usually ask for $60 for each title. Back then, the only way to get a better deal was to wait until the price dropped with time.
Sadly this is no longer the case, as most retailers seem to think that they can offer a significant mark up on titles, even if they are second hand or from a previous generation of console. In short, retailers have stopped the average gamer from being able to get discounted titles.
These retail chains seem to have grown accustomed to their monopoly, and, trying to take advantage of the rapid growth of the games industry, they decided to squeeze as much as they could from their customers through excessive mark-ups.
As someone who had to pay these prices, it is with great pleasure that I see that the online retailers such as Steam and the X-box 360 Market have been very successful.
Looking at the market, it makes so much sense why these online retailers can offer such sales in the first place.
Many in business know that one of the best ways to expand a business is to try to reduce the costs of production.
A perfect example of how to do this is by cutting out the middle man, which apparently came as a natural step for companies like Valve and Microsoft.
These companies both saw the obvious fact presented to them, that technological advances had made the games retail chains obsolete.
As nostalgic as a person can be, I must admit that neither my wallet or I will not miss these retailers.
So if gaming stores are to go, what are the benefits of online markets ?
Well firstly, the reduction in physical packaging, storage devices, and the retail agent’s commissio,n now allows developers and online retailers to provide a product at half the cost.
The games industry has always and is currently growing and evolving as a medium, so much so that it comes as no surprise that the old method of retail is starting to fade away.
For more information on some of these new deals, check out the link below:
You will be happy with what you find.