The e3 Tradition

With e3 right around the corner myself, and several other avid and casual gamers pretty much have their pitchforks ready.

We live in an age, particularly with movies and video games where fan criticism (whether it’s on social media or direct messages to the development team) pale in comparison to financial gain.

What I mean is, the input is considered, but the profit number is considered much more substantially. This is just good business in industries bordering monopoly. There’s no competition to force EA Games, for instance, to recall their over-reaching micro-transactions. Plus the micro-transactions themselves assure profit.

Movies are still a bit of a gamble. We hear all the time about “box-office bombs,” but the video game mega-corporations found a way to assure profit even when sales aren’t to par.

“Just don’t but Star Wars: Battlefront 2!” many people proclaimed after their micro-transaction controversy. EA fell short of their $10 million target, but still made $9 million.

Amid the controversy they pulled any and all micro-transactions from the game. A few months later they rolled out “cosmetic” micro-transactions. An appropriate argument being made that players shouldn’t be able to buy their way to victory.

Back in 2010, at the height of “Facebook games” it was estimated that “FarmVille,” and ‘freemium’ game, was bringing in around $150 million a year.

The point being micro-transactions assure profit.

This is, of course, and extreme exampled with “Battlefront 2.” Not many games were as controversial as it was during its rollout.

At e3 this year we will hear words like “innovation” and “next big thing” to describe franchises like “Call of Duty” (Activision) and “Battlefield” (EA) only to inevitably be disappointed by the few additions to gameplay.

It’s almost become a tradition.

Fortunately, like the movie industry, we still have the independent developers. Not looking to bring in $100 million place, but a more modest amount.

Not all these games won’t receive an auditorium-level presentation, but they’ll be there. “Cuphead” was one of the most talked about games from e3 2016, for example.

The gist, with both industries, is that it has now become more difficult to seek out the quality products.

But they’ll be there…

 

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