Video game shopping is stressful

IUS Horizon

I think the video game industry hates me.

Seriously, they must. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t make it so absurdly difficult for me to purchase the games I enjoy and want. How am I supposed to buy all the video games I want, buy holiday presents, and live all at the same time? I’ll tell you. I can’t. And that’s why I think the video game industry hates me.

Here’s the barrel of the gun I’ve been staring down since most of the release dates for anticipated titles were announced in September: Dead Space. Saints Row 2. Sam and Max: Season One. Fable II. FarCry 2. Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia. Fallout 3. Little Big Planet. Gears of War 2. Resistance 2. Mirror’s Edge. Left 4 Dead. The Last Remnant. Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. Tomb Raider Underworld. Chrono Trigger DS. Prince of Persia. Persona 4. Rise of the Argonauts.

That’s 19 games. Most of them are $60 a pop, too. If I added the price of each of these games together, I’d get $1069.81. That’s not including sales tax.

How in the hell am I supposed to afford that? I have to buy presents for my entire family. I have a large family. Each one of them gets a present.

What I’m getting at is this: Video game publishers don’t think with the consumer in mind. This crap happens every single holiday season, and somehow the game sell like madness, but the hardcore gamer who wants to actually play more than Madden and Halo 3 gets the shaft.

We can’t afford all that crap. Just release things earlier in the year. Last year, 2K released Bioshock in August, and it sold more than a million copies.

Release a big title earlier in the year. It doesn’t matter if it’s released later; if it’s a big title, people have their eye on it. I know people expect Call of Duty games to be released every year around November, but if Call of Duty 5 decided to come out in April of next year, it’d blow up the spot. That’s what Grand Theft Auto IV did. It was huge regardless, but it sold more than 2 million copies over the weekend of its release because it wasn’t released alongside a crap ton of other games that were just as good. Call of Duty 4, a game almost as hotly anticipated as GTA IV, came out in November and took until the end of the year to make 2 million.

People like me need the games industry to start spacing out their releases. Our livelihood depends on it. With games like Gears of War 2 and Left 4 Dead, online play becomes non-existent after a month or two. People move on to the next big thing and leave me in the dust. If I don’t get the game within a week or two of its release, I’m done for.

I know these things may not sound important to you, the reader. I realize that I, along with other concentrated gamers, make up a small percent of the gamer population, even though ten years ago we were the only gamers. And honestly, in the grand scope of life, video game purchasing isn’t really all that important. I just take it very seriously. I love video games, and I think everyone should be able to get what they want.

The frantic, crazed pace of holiday shopping shouldn’t interfere with the magic that comes along with chainsawing a bad dude in half, especially when the chainsaw is attached to the gun your guy is holding. Let me tell you, that’s awesome. Everyone should get to half fun with video games.

By IAN HOOPES
Editor
ihoopes@ius.edu