Simplicity is bliss

By Glenn Battishill

There’s lots of rumbling and grumbling going on in the gaming world and oddly enough the complaining isn’t from the smaller companies barely scraping by, it’s from the giant corporations.

EA and several other companies have begun adding single use “online passcodes” to all of their new releases because they believe they’ve been losing significant profit to Gamestop and used games. So now, whenever you crack open an EA or Ubisoft game you have to input a code to access features already on the disc. If you happen to buy the game used, rent it or borrow it you’ll have to pay up to ten dollars just to access the standard game features, like multiplayer.

It’s amazing how this is catching on since video games are literally the only medium to ever do this. You wouldn’t pay an extra ten bucks to watch a DVD you borrowed from a friend or pay money to read a book from a library.

They have been claiming that it is the next step in the gaming industry and it’s the only way make a profit on a modern game.

Which simply isn’t true.

The fact is that people are cheap and why on Earth would anyone buy a new sixty-dollar game they don’t know about when I could just borrow it from someone.

The other thing big companies, most recently Nintendo, has claimed is cutting their profits is the recent uprising of mobile phone games and Facebook games being played more than traditional handheld games.

Many suspect that this increase in phone gaming has lead to the poor sales of the Nintendo 3DS. Which makes sense because why would someone buy a multi-hundred-dollar handheld with games retailing for 40+ dollars when they could just buy a cheap iPod touch and playing hundreds of free or 99-cent games?

Giant game companies have apparently forgot that people will buy games that are fun, rewarding and hassle free.

For example, a game like “Battlefield 3” launched with, literally, a boat load of problems and bugs. They informed their buyers that in addition to an online pass the game would come with an HD texture pack on the disc that gamers would have to install in order to get the “true” experience. The texture pack was 1.5 GB. They also recommend you install the actual game to your hard drive which is another 7.3 GB. Thank God I have a 60 GB Xbox.

Hassle-free? I think not. Compare this experience to my experience with a game like “Skyrim.” I bought the game, I put it in, and I played it. The “Battlefield 3” downloads took over and hour and a half to download and another 20 minutes to install the disc.

And guess what? People still have their copies of “Skyrim” because the game offers a multitude of things to do without the game becoming stale. “Battlefield 3” is still plagued with random bugs, glitches and exploits that go unchecked until EA decided to put out another massive patch.

Used games and app stores aren’t killing the gaming industry, they’re forcing companies to get their act together.