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Nickel and diming fans for graphics and images for their favorites
Published on November 26, 2006 By terpfan1980 In XBOX

Standard disclaimer about this post being made to proper areas within Stardock's suite of message areas -- if you are seeing this article/post in a PC gaming area, please understand that Stardock publishes the articles in their forums in multiple sites.  This is by design.  The article below was originally posted into the Gaming/ Console Gaming/ Xbox area within the JoeUser.com site, but it may be (intentionally by Stardock) replicated through other Stardock sites that are not directly related to console gaming.  Please keep this in mind before complaining about finding console gaming related discussion showing up on PC gaming related forums.  Thanks.


Sort of following up this article: Idiotic publicity/media departments at gaming companies, I may as well offer up a few words about the stupidity of charging customers for images from the games they want to play.

Several games come to mind, or should I say several developers. For example, how about Activision/Treyarch - developers of Call of Duty 3. Want some nice themes or gamer-pics to use on Xbox Live that would show other folks you are a fan of the game Call of Duty 3? Congratulations, now pay up. Not a ton of money, actually not money at all really, but Microsoft Points (which translate back into money, so we're back to nickels and dimes).

How about Electronic Arts and their partners the NCAA or NFL? Want a nice image from your favorite team's logo, mascot or other images? Again, pay up. $1.25, $2.50, or something in that range will be payable upon downloading.

2KSports also joins the fun, again partnering with major sports partner (Major League Baseball) is just as guilty.

The greed of these developers and their partners never seems to end. I could go off a little bit about product placement and blatant in-game advertising which most of these companies have started using for additional revenue, but that's a rant for another day. I'll try to stick to the main point here for now: that these companies and their partners need to ease up on the nickel and diming and give away more of the small things that encourage gamers to make a positive connection with the companies products. Let gamers have these themes and images for free and make it easier to show some esprit de corp for the games.


Comments
on Nov 26, 2006
Brother can you spare 80 Microsoft Points for the next article I write?
on Nov 26, 2006
Don't buy it then.
on Nov 26, 2006

Don't buy it then.

Thanks Mr. Obvious for the simple suggestion and a reminder of what I already do (or should I say don't do, as in I don't typically buy the nickel and dime add-ons).  Unfortunately it seems that enough people are buying this stuff that the business model isn't failing, and instead more and more of this stuff shows up along the way.

It gets worse in some ways because companies like EA have figured out that they can offer up what would normally be "unlockables" from their games and sell those unlockables so that gamers that are too lazy or too time constrained can have the same unlockables on their system thanks to spending a few dollars to buy them with.

Again, if the public buys it and doesn't object loudly enough, or long enough, this will be the future for all of us and the video games we buy will wind up being nothing more than shells which require purchases of every little item that really make the games playable.  For example, how about Lumines Live on Xbox Live Arcade.  Start playing that game and then see how far you get before you are asked to buy additional levels, puzzles, backgrounds, skins, whatever you want to call them.  By the time you are done the $10 game becomes a $30 game.  While the game isn't unreasonably priced when all of the pieces are put together, why is the entire thing not sold as a complete package?!?!

on Nov 26, 2006
Terpfan1980, what RoyBoy is trying to say is.. WHO CARES?! Your not going to change anyone's mind because of your OPINION like we're not going to be able to change your mind with ours.

Like RoyBoy said, don't buy it.

While on the subject of gaming stupidity-XBOX Live stupidity


But now, While on the subject of gaming stupidity - Let's discuss why we don't care.

on Nov 26, 2006
Actually, I see nothing wrong with charging a buck or two for the themes and gamer pics. They give you plenty for free, and there are lots that not everyone is going to want. So why not charge for a bit?

I agree that the payment for unlockables is BS. But for themes and gamer pics, I have no problem with that.
on Nov 26, 2006
Why I don't care:

Corporations exist not to make you happy, not to be your friend, thier single reason for existance is to MAKE MONEY. Thats just the way it is today not just in the gaming industry, but all industries, welcome to the real world, here's your yoke of corporate oppression. They wouldn't continue to do things like this if it wasnt profitable. You can vote with your wallet, dont like it - dont buy it.

Your not enlightening anyone by bitching about it on forums. As if someone was gonna read that post and say: oh gee I didnt realize I was being nickled and dimed, corporations are evil, thx tempfan your the man you've opened my eyes!
on Nov 26, 2006
Tempfan your the Boss, ignore these guys. You have every right to complain about anything you want to complain about, thats our right and if people don't agree, well they can not read listen to us.
Like Simon and Garfunkle said

" And the people bow'd and prayed to a neon god they made"

This is still true and will be for all of human history, but it does not mean we should shut up and accept it.
Public oppinion does matter, and people care far to little today.
on Nov 26, 2006
You have every right to complain about anything you want to complain about, thats our right and if people don't agree, well they can not read listen to us.


And on a public forum we have every right to disagree and state what we think of his 'complaints'.
on Nov 26, 2006
Joy, we agree.
on Nov 26, 2006

VermiciousKnid said:

Why I don't care:

Corporations exist not to make you happy, not to be your friend, thier single reason for existance is to MAKE MONEY. Thats just the way it is today not just in the gaming industry, but all industries, welcome to the real world, here's your yoke of corporate oppression. They wouldn't continue to do things like this if it wasnt profitable. You can vote with your wallet, dont like it - dont buy it.

Corporations exist to make money but they won't make money long if they continue to piss off their customers.

To be fair, and give credit where due, StarDock has done a great job of noting this fact and using this fact to their advantage.  Their consumer friendly stance about copy protection (and the wasted effort it normally is) is one such example.  The generous pricing structure for their software is another such example.  Their providing these forums is yet another.

Some companies offer forums like these but then censor the crap out of everything that is said.  One negative comment winds up with an entire thread deleted because someone said something not complimentary towards the companies product.  (Think 2KSports here as an example).

Anyway, to get back on track - charging for all of these little items may seem fine to some, but the more idiots that pay for them, the more likely that the companies will decide that it's a workable business model and the more likely that we'll see more, rather than less, content that is sold piecemeal.

Again, we're headed into a time when we are going to be getting only the bare minimums in our games and we're going to be expected to pay for every little thing we do.  You'll get a game that will let you play through one level and then get a pop-up that says congratulations, want to see more, pay for it.  That has already happened (again, see Lumines Live for Xbox Live), and it will likely get worse and not better unless people that don't seem to give a crap start complaining long and loud about the practice.

Sit back and kiss the hindquarters of the corporate monsters if you want but don't complain when those companies have run their competitors out of business thanks to bogus intellectual property protections that they've lobbied for (basically bought and paid for from their friends in the congress) and thanks to lack of income for the little guys.  Once that happens don't come back crying to me for support against the behemoths as my time is now and I'll be out of energy and patience by the time you've decided that I was actually right here.

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