Where do you see the business side of video games going in the next 5 or 10 years?
The news of Activision making an optional subscription fee for Call of Duty got me thinking about how gaming has changed so much over the past decade or so.
DLC, preorder bonuses, and 10 dollar fees for playing used games online have become a boon for gaming companies and you best believe they will do everything they can to maximize profits. It's what they do, they are businesses after all.
So, how far will it go in the future? Will Activision's subscription plan set a nasty precedent for games in the future? If it takes off, will other companies follow suit? How long before we're paying monthly fees for EVERY multiplayer game, not just MMOs?
What about DLC? You know that the prospect of having mandatory DLC has been discussed in boardrooms before. Not allowing you to finish a game unless you fork out more money for a key item to progress would be a godsend to companies, but as of right now, the backlash from such an idea would be too much. Some would argue that this is going on already in the form of episodic gaming or DLC that adds more missions to games, but in some instances, I don't really agree.
Preorder bonuses are getting ridiculous. As of right now, it's hard to choose who to preorder from because a lot of the times, you can't get something in a game unless you do preorder. Granted, usually, it's just a cosmetic thing, but what if it got worse? What if you have to preorder a game in order to finish it and if you don't, you have to pay an extra fee? It sounds ludicrous now, but the idea of paying for map packs sounded ludicrous back in the early part of this decade. Those USED to be free and still are in some cases, namely Valve's games. In fact, the main reason Team Fortress 2 for the 360 doesn't get updates is because Microsoft requires companies to charge for updates and as much as Valve updates their games, it'd be impossible to ask for people to pay for that.
A lot of it depends on the knowledge of the masses. Nowadays, paying for map packs seems like a revolution for most people playing Halo and CoD. They have no knowledge at all that these things used to exist even back in the early 90's and were always free. They have no idea they're getting ripped off, especially in the case of CoD because a lot of the maps in those packs are from previous games. Their ignorance, in part, fuels companies to keep trying these things. That exists in a lot of mediums, however, not just in games.
So, will it get worse? Will it get better? Will there be another video game crash at some point due to companies trying to milk shit as much as they can?
Btw, I'll offer my opinion about how the industry is now so people won't think I'm pushing a bunch of FUD their way. I'm having as much fun with games as I did back in my "Golden Age" which was in the early to mid 90's. There are some things about the current state of the industry I do not like, but there's a lot I do like. There's so many games out that I want and more coming out later that I want as well, so I'm not necessarily a subscriber to this "the sky is falling, games are dying" mentality a lot of people have. I do have my criticisms, though. Some of them I detailed earlier, however in a more hyperbolic sense for the sake of argument.