Monday, April 23, 2012

In Defense of the Game of the Year Editions

Today I just saw a internet writer complaining how the Game of the Year edition of games seems like a rip-off and a unfair practice to anyone who bought games at launch. It makes sense if you think about it in the perspective of the buyer. You pay a lot of money for a game and one year after you have a version of the game who come with all the DLC and sometimes even by a cheaper price than a normal launch title.

The problem with this perspective is the fact that this writer forgot about something about game business. All games gets cheaper with time. In fact, with all other forms of media, everything gets cheaper as time pass from launch. Movies costs an X in theaters, than something in disc, than digital services and paid TV services and finally it can come to open TV for free. You can watch pretty much any movie for free if you wait enough for it.

What you are paying for at launch is not just the game, but the time. You are paying to play the game as sooner as possible and to not have to wait for its price to drop. This is what you are paying for. Even if you say that certain games don't have a GotY edition, their prices tend to drop over time, and most platforms have a Greatest Hits series of popular games reprinted at half of the price, sometimes less.

In no moment the buyer is promised that the prices will never drop. So, there is no ill will of publishers against the gamer. It is just the nature of the business. Damn, how many times you just bought something just to find it cheaper at the next store you enter? You can feel robbed all you want, but nothing wrong, morally or legally, was done against you.

Also, this!
Or what about deals made by retailers? Many happen in the following week after launch. Again, what you are paying is to not have to wait to play. If you want to save money, it is never a good idea to buy it at launch.

And of course, there is the fact that this editions may compel the people who decided to skip a title because of other titles or money restrictions and now have the opportunity to do it. While early buyers can feel cheated, later buyers can feel rewarded for their patience, and while the early buyers had their blast sooner, the later ones can have theirs in a budget.

And nobody is making you buy games at launch. Probably.
I think those cheaper editions are great, not only for gamers on a budget, but to people who bought a console later at his life cycle, as they have a way to buy backlog games at a discount and with the DLC cheaper. It is great for those people that they don't need to buy an used copy or run around trying to find new copies of the game.

So, you just need to remember that all games got cheaper with time, even without those reprints. What you are paying when a game launch is for the earlier access. You can either be patient and wait for the price drop or pay to play as soon as possible, but no, you are not being cheated. Remember that.

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