As fellow UE writer Jason Jones and I were on our way to the Escape Velocity 2016 event, we started discussing the outstanding game Inside from the developer Playdead (Check our review of Inside here). Our conversation centered around the story line and ended up in a realm of game value. Even though Inside is a three and a half hour long game, its design, flow and makeup makes the $20 price tag for the game feel like a steal. We then started discussing the value of other games on the market and how we don’t have many games today that live up to their price tag. We then proposed an idea that could possibly turn the tide in the video game consumer industry. Our idea is as follows:

This would only work with games that have multiplayer AND single player aspects such as first Person Shooters, action adventure games etc. These games would be segmented and sold in three formats:

  • Single Player Experience – $30: The campaign / single player portion of a particular game.
  • Multiplayer Experience – $30: The multiplayer modes of the game.
  • Full Experience: – $60: The Single and Multiplayer aspects of the game in a single package.

Now this proposal will take some finessing because there are some games that blend these aspects such as MMO’s and sports games, so we will leave those out of this equation for now. This idea would also have to be for digital purchases only, it would be silly to have separate disks for each experience. The dividing of games into 3 segments will bring various benefits to gamers and developers alike and we are going to go over them individually:

Cost Benefit

This is the most obvious choice, by doing this the game could be potentially cheaper based on your interests. If you are looking to buy a game in the busy holiday season where AAA games are hitting frequently, you could budget to purchase a portion of the game to get you started and purchase the rest as your funds are available.

Customer Choice

By having the game sold in this manner it allows gamers to purchase the game their way, with the cost of the game reflecting that choice. If you are a person that loves Call of Duty multiplayer and rarely if at all play the campaign, then save the extra $30 you would pay buying the full game and only purchase the multiplayer mode. That point can also be made vise versa, if you are a person that loves the lore of Halo and are only invested in the story arc and don’t have time to fool with corpse humping kids online, buy the campaign only experience. Then of course if you want it all then the standard $60 price tag is what you can pay. These options give gamers the choice to game their way, only buying the modes they are interested in playing.

Expands Customer Base

Due to the lower price of the game modes individually, this could potentially open the doors to customers trying out games more often. We have all seen a game that looks interesting but are unsure of so we may wait for it to go on sale. With the $30 price tag for either the single or multiplayer modes, you can choose a respective portion of the game to see if it is something you want to fully invest in. You will see more potential customers turn into full customers as they buy into the game as they see fit.

Developer Accountability

Having this format setup would put pressure on developers to ensure each of the segments are developed fully. Developers would want to make sure that whichever experience is purchased, that you would be moved enough to purchase the other portion of the game to gain that experience as well. Far too often do we see games focus only on one aspect and leave the other experience with something left to desire. Developers and Publishers want sales, doing this will ensure they beef up both experiences so that customers will invest in both.

This proposal doesn’t make games cheaper, with the full game experience purchased it will still equate to the wallet thumping $60. We do think that this would give gamers more options to customize how and what they experience. Being available only for digital purchasers, this proposal would help drive customers towards that area of purchase. There could be mutual benefit to both developers and customers and it would open up the possibilities to other cost effective gaming options. What do you think, is something like this possible? Is it truly beneficial? Would you purchase a separate experience?

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