Cliff Bleszinski’s tweets about Microsoft’s policy change on used games have made the news. Notwithstanding that I think it’s somewhat ridiculous that we pay attention to what someone says on Twitter (and Cliffy B. says a lot), I want to take the opportunity to point out what his dialogue symbolizes: developers vs. gamers.
That’s right, what we want is not what a developer necessarily wants us to want, even if it’s fair game in the free market. Of course, Cliffy B. directs his ire toward both us, those clueless gamers, and GameStop: “I want *developers* who worked their asses off to see money on every copy of their game that is sold instead of Gamestop. Fuck me, right?”
Well yeah, if you want to be a condescending jackass, fuck you. But honestly, the dialogue doesn’t have to be like this. Cliffy B. and developers like him need a dose of reality. They should recognize that gamers aren’t as stupid as what Cliffy B.’s tweets suggest. After all, it was Microsoft’s lack of respect toward the gaming community at large that created this hostility in the first place. Remember, dude, we buy your games.
Well actually, I don’t buy Cliffy B.’s games, but that’s beside the point, or is it? Remember Nintendo’s recent take on used games? In an interview with IGN, Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata gave us this gem: “The best possible countermeasure against people buying used product is making the kind of product that people never want to sell.” Or in my case, making the kind of product that I would want to buy in the first place.
I’ve noticed something in GameStop over the years: some of the used first-party Nintendo games are pretty damn expensive in comparison to other used games. Take Mario Party 9, for example. Regardless of whether you like the game, you have to admit it’s impressive that it still retails for $45 used after a year of being on the market. That means supplies for the game are low; people don’t want to sell it back.
So Cliffy B., maybe you need to make a game that is as good as Mario Party 9. Something that people don’t want to let go. This goes for all developers complaining about the free market. No one forces you to make games, but if you’re gonna do it, do it right.
Check out what Ubisoft has been doing. The company has recently released two $15 games for download (Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and Call of Juarez: Gunslinger), and I bet people, on average, are more satisfied with those games than they have been with a $60 Gears of War game. And thus far, neither of these games have downloadable content; honestly, they don’t need any. Gunslinger, for example, is packed with content and solid design.
Console gamers have spoken. Without us, no one would have ever given a shit about Cliffy B.’s pointed tweets. I wish all publishers and developers would respect this simple fact.