Selling Unfinished Games: Is This The Future of the Industry?
It’s no question that at $60 a copy video games can be a bit expensive for most. It appears that some in the gaming industry is aware of this fact and want to alleviate that problem the only way they know how- by selling you half a game at half the price.
Namco Bandai’s CEO Shukuo Ishikawa recently stated that: “Selling a game only once for $70-$80 [typical Japanese prices] is no good at all. If you sell it for $25, or even give it away free, then you can sell episodes and items online. They’ll soon be dropping $10 or $20 on these, and you can also do monthly charges.”
This strategy is also being considered by Codemasters whose CEO Rod Cousens claims that selling unfinished games will help defeat piracy.
“The video games industry has to learn to operate in a different way. My answer is for us as publishers is to actually sell unfinished games – and to offer the consumer multiple micro-payments to buy elements of the full experience. That would create an offering that is affordable at retail – but over a period of time may also generate more revenue for the publishers to reinvest in our games. If these games are pirated, those who get their hands on them won’t be able to complete the experience.”
Selling half a game and then offering the rest as DLC has one downside. Not everyone in the world has access to high speed Internet. I think such a move could hurt video game sales instead of help because of that fact.