Saturday, July 31, 2010

How much is too much?

Since the announcement in Korea, I had been looking forward to Blizzard's launch of StarCraft 2. I was even lucky enough to participate, if only for a short period of time in the multiplayer Beta. I had been sensing the hyped buzz and knew the time was approaching for the product release. Now I hadn't bothered to preorder or even check out what the suggested retail price of the game was, so, when I picked up last weekend's Sunday newspaper, I was shocked to discover that SC2 would not only be out this week, but would carry the hefty price tag of $60.00!!

Now, I'm not a cheap person and as recent as last month I purchased a console game with a similar price tag and didn't think twice about it. This time, I paused. I'm not sure if it was shock or just being confused. When did PC games move up in price? One of the great reasoning behind PC gaming staying relevant in this age of console gaming was the lower cost of games. Affordability was what appealed to me. Apparently, thanks to the money grubbing whores at Blizzard, not anymore. I can't be shelling out $60.00 every time I want to play a new game. My general philosphy when it comes to console games is to wait a few months, or in some cases less and pick the game up either used or low down cheap. Course, with PC games they don't come used nor do you see any significant price drop until a year after the release, especially on a game that sells millions as I'm sure SC2 will do its first week alone.

I've not been living under a rock mind you. I know that recent game releases like Modern Warfare 2 and Battlefield Bad Company 2 for the PC had started to inch up in price to equal their console versions, but some where in my psyche I thought Blizzard was the one of those rare companies that wanted to support the PC gaming industry. To help it survive under the current flood of consoles. Course, if your heart is set on playing StarCraft 2 the only way you can play is on a PC. There will be no console version to the best of my knowledge and the same will go for Diablo 3. Blizzard just has no shame. We are the god of all PC gaming. We own the most popular MMO in history with over 10 million users. We can do what we want. If people want our product they have to pay our price.

Here is the added issue that others are upset about. "StarCraft 2: The Wings of Liberty" is only 1/3 of the complete single player story. Blizzard will be releasing in the not so far future, 2 more games that cover the Zerg and the Protoss sides. This doesn't bother me since it has been explained on the intertubes that this release includes well over 20 or so missions. The original game only came with 30 or so and included missions for all three races. All the races are available for online play so if mulitplayer competition is your thang, then you are good to go with "Wings of Liberty" and don't need the other "Expansions" to unlock races. There is no Lan support, so the days of playing with friends at giant lan parties is pretty much over unless there is an internet connection to accommodate your crew. But for my part I would only play online through there Battlenet service, so even that change from the original doesn't bother me.

I'm not sure if its Blizzard that is being the source of all evil or if its Activision. Either way, they pretty much have the fans by the short hairs as my mom use to say. I can choose not to stick it to the man and missing out on what reviewers are saying is one of the best RTS game in years or join the masses of zombie Blizzard fanboys and buy StarCraft 2.

I will leave it to the readers. Should I protest the increase in price by waiting till it comes down or should I just hitch my wagon up and drink from the Blizzard kool aid?


  1. My advice would be to decide how much you really want to play the game and if it's worth it to you. Blizzard can charge whatever they want for their game.
    I just checked Amazon to see if the price would be cheaper if you ordered it (it's not)...Apparently there are a LOT of people upset about the game not being as good as they expected. But there are just as many 5/5's as 1/5' it seems mixed.
    But my opinion is, if you really want to play it and you have that much money, get it. Otherwise, don't!
    I was never much of a StarCraft fan, and I've already spent plenty on games this year, so I haven't even considered buying it.

  2. I'm a huge RTS fan. I own several, but that's my problem. I have a lot of them that I've never finished and to spend 60.00 on a game that I'll play on half of is crazy to me. True, the same can be said of the console games I buy, but if I don't play them, I can always trade them or sell them and get some of my money back. You can't do that with a PC game.

    PC games need to be more flexible like Console games especially if they plan to charge the same and offer no extra benefits.

  3. "especially if they plan to charge the same and offer no extra benefits"

    It's precisely that reason why I wait for deeply discounted Steam sales. The "convenience" of requiring a login for a single player offline game is something I'm not going to pay for, and I want resale options. Quite simply, the game isn't worth much to me if I don't have control over it.

    I figure SC2 is worth maybe $15 to me, tops. I'll just wait until I can get it at that price or not at all.

  4. I read a tweet today about one person who tried to play but apparently couldn't because he was unable to log into the servers and this was just to play the single player. Not sure this is the game for me currently. I'll pick it up when the second expansion comes out and they drop the price of the vanilla version. Whoa, that almost sounded like me talking about World of Warcraft instead of StarCraft 2. Hmmm... I don't think its coincidence, course they aren't calling the 2nd and 3nd boxes expansions... yet.

    I think I'll save half my money and pick up Dragon Quest 9 for the DS. I'm away from home on business a lot so having a decent DS game maybe the trick.

  5. Also with the introduction of the Ipod touch, Iphone and Ipad eventually people will pull away from the PC and move towards more portable interactive devices. If I can play games on something like the Ipad, do e-mail, twitter, facebook and small power point shows, then why would I need a PC or laptop? To play games? I can get a console if I want to be a hardcore gamer. If I'm the more casual gamer then I'm sure I can find something on Itunes store to satisfy my gaming tastes.

    To charge that much for a PC game is just crazy especially at the end of the life cycle. Just about every game out there is available on PC and Consoles. Well with the exception of StarCraft 2 and MMOs. But once they can successful port any kind of MMO to a console, its pretty much over. If DCUO works on the PS3, then I can see a bunch more coming to consoles and MMO's for PC's being the next dinasaur.