@CMWhittington That is a *Badass* name, only cool people are named Alex 😀 I dunno what happens with the Vita, but I am starting to think that launch is never indicative of the final quality of the product, going to be a while before we have a good sense of the system, I think waiting is a pretty smart move all told.

Well, I guess considering how civil the tone remained on here I can’t really complain that we’ve all sorta decided to move on, so I guess I’ll drop my last post on the topic too

*TL:DR at the bottom, probably good to use, I gotta break myself of this Wall Habit >_>*

@sinfony I think in the end we’re talking about the same thing and agreeing on the same points just from different directions. Perception does matter only because it’s part of the bottom line, how the consumer feels about your product is a huge huge element of selling a thing to that same consumer. Nintendo is an excellent example considering they decided to actually apologize for dropping the price on their handheld That’s complete madness unless they needed/wanted to manage the perceptions and feelings of people who already bought consoles, and were perfectly willing to give free stuff away just to keep them feeling positive about the choices they made in relation to that company.

As for the budgets thing, that’s just a miscommunication, I ment budgets for producing a game rather then the budget of a consumer. Comparing budgets in the 2010s compared to the 2000s and the 2000s compared with the 1990s, There’s no way Majora’s mask cost as much to develop for Nintendo as Mass Effect 2 did for Bioware, and there’s no way Majora’s mask cost less to develop then Link to the Past. It’s just the nature of technology. I never intended to bring exact numbers into the conversation, just the note that it didn’t cost 20 million to develop psychonauts, but Tim claims that’s what it’d take to do Psychonauts 2, why is that? Nothing’s changed except the console and the expectations. It’s a trend that I think becomes dangerous down the road, what’s the budgets for PS4 or PS5 games going to be? What sort of game has to be made that we’d become willing to pay $80-$110+ for? If we’re comfortable paying that, how many games do we buy a year? Will studios need to hit the million sold mark or close?

I think there needs to be some more fundamental reexamining of the models. I don’t want to see that excruciating hammering of dev studios like the early PS3 days when the system wasn’t doing so hot and many places bet the farm to dev on a console that just didn’t have the market penetration to satisfy the super-budgets developing for high def entailed. I don’t think that every single game has to be made in the mold of “Bigger, Better, More Badasser” and conversely, I also don’t see anything wrong with some games that do want to go that way. For example, Mass Effect 3? Should totally go Bigger Better More Badasser, that is reasonable for a game with a pedigree like that, and chances are the resulting product will be worth the extra monetization of the content to a great majority of it’s fans. But that can’t be everyone, and when it’s so much of the mentality of the marketplace, I think we miss other models that work, free to play is hugely profitable, steam 75% sales are hugely profitable and rumor is, often trump day 1 sales at the full price. Iphone is hugely profitable. Devs have said ‘we’d love to sell our game for 40$ but we’ve found people believe there’s something wrong with the game then.’ Heck, there’s MMOs that took 20+ million type budgets, released, and then tripled their profits when they *stopped charging for the client and removed all subscriptions* That’s madness, and scientifically, it’s repeatable, happened multiple times now.

Then the last point is again something I agree on, EA isn’t ‘bad’ for trying to monitize extra stuff, they’re just trying to find what works. I still believe their primary objective is to make a profit, and the rest of their decisions are framed by that, but it’s not ‘evil.’ for trying to do so, it’s just a company. All other things being equal they’ll take the higher profit option, but a powerful influence on that is consumer perception so that’s fine, few companies will do horrible things because backlash would be tremendous. Consumers similarly aren’t bad or evil for being uncomfortable at trends, or specific bits about how this or that element of how the game is presented. They’re the one with the pocketbook after all, and what they feel comfortable shelling out for isn’t on the hook to any authority but their own. Just like you say, the consumer’s decision has to be in it’s own land of ‘Is this worth it to me?’ For one, it isn’t, for someone else it is, and they’re both totally right and justified in thinking so. We’re really on the same page with each point, just taking a general vs a specific view. Heck I also agree about Apple, I’ve never understood why with generic MP3 players clocking in around $20-30 dollars people are grabbing 200$ machines from apple, but still, if it’s worth it to them and I’ve never tried them, maybe they’re great. More power to them.

In retrospect I really am not bugged by the reddit dude’s ME3 argument itself (I agree with some of it) as much as I was irritated in how he/she argued it, by setting up a strawman argument ‘this is what the opposition thinks, how stupid is that?’ and not breaching any of the wider discussion. It’s a dishonest way to argue, which in fairness to him/her, could have been entirely accidental. It just tweaked my nose pretty hard when I saw it as a more sinister manipulation. Besides, it’s been One of Those Weeks >_>

Super grateful to the squad for being big hearted and minded enough that these sort of discussions are not personal. So often in so many places if you disagree with someone’s point/game/console/choice they feel like you’ve personally attacked them and things devolve into sad places. Don’t see any of that here and that’s a real nice change of pace.

much ❤ to everyone here. If nothing else, it's helped me make my peace with ME3 specifically, I still don't like any type of gate being in front of narrative content, but I think that for a game as big, capable and polished as ME3 with the finishing of a trilogy, I'd say that it has earned itself the leeway to make a decision like that, and they aren't really raking the consumer over the coals or anything. As Pete pointed out, there's far worse out there.

*Ties a bow around the discussion, files it under 'Squadron of Shame is a pretty cool guy'*

TL:DR: Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, companies aren’t evil, neither are people. Decide for yourself what’s worth it to you, talk about it civily, and wow, I’m always impressed by the level of maturity every member of the squad brings to even contentious discussions, top marks to all participants =)