Gamers Need to Realize Something

Earlier yesterday, the price that Nintendo will charge for the online component of the Switch was revealed, or at least in Japanese currency. The rough number for the US Dollar is presumed to be between $17-$26, depending on the exchange rate and whatever fluff Nintendo adds on top. This has been met with rejoice, anger, and the obligatory “but it’s free on PC!”

Let’s all take a step back for one moment, because this has been bothering me lately.

I’ve had a lot of discussions recently pertaining to the pros and cons of modern gaming. There are plenty of things about it that I wish I could change, and things are far from perfect and how they were in “the good ol’ days.” Charging for online connectivity and services is a gray area where I generally shake my head and say, “yeah, no thanks.” But we all collectively need to realize something: it’s there because you voted for it.

Anything that any company does that you don’t like is only there because the majority voted for it.

The vast majority voted with their wallet, and said “yes, it is okay to charge me for online play.” This dates way back to Xbox Live, and in fact I recall thinking “why would anyone pay $50 to play games online? I do that on my computer for free.” And that’s back when I was a kid and $50 may as well have been a million. Ya voted for it, guys. Maybe not you personally, dear reader, but let me try to get to my main point here.

If you were to draw a Venn diagram with one side representing gamers who complain about the modern trends of gaming, and the other side with gamers who pay for those same trends, I have a creeping suspicion that there would be a massive overlap between gamers who are vehemently against something, yet pay for it anyway.

In other words, whether we’re talking about day-one DLC, pre-order bonuses, pay to win games, or paid online services, it was communicated to the video game powers that be that we are okay with paying more for the same, because gamers treat games like something we need, and not the hobby that it is. I cannot think of another industry whose consumers are as outspoken and angry and entitled and opinionated as the gaming industry. And yet, we’re perpetually getting shafted by companies because of our own doing. Countless times I see comments raging about having to pay for something, how it’s criminal, yet they spend their hard-earned money on it.

Now, the purpose of this article isn’t to point fingers and say “you did this to yourselves,” no, the point here is to say you still have that power to cast a vote. And that’s what we need to collectively realize. You’re the consumer – you don’t need that game or service to survive. Cast your vote and stop complaining about paying for non-essential things that you volunteered your money for.

The other day I saw a friend online ranting about how expensive concert tickets were. There were dozens of replies of people nodding in support, “that’s ridiculous!” “what a scam!” I advised him to not go to the concert if he thinks they’re too expensive. He responded rather angrily at me, almost insulted that he had to explain how he’d rather pay too much than not go at all. As if the world was going to implode if he didn’t go to the concert. Well, in my opinion, that guy had no right to complain, because his actions acted in direct opposition to his words. If it was truly too expensive, he wouldn’t have bought them. We’re not talking about food, shelter, or clothing here. They were concert tickets. This is what happens when we all act the way we assume everyone else is going to act.

Don’t like having to pay $100 for a new game to “unlock” features that already exist on the disc? Don’t buy it. Don’t want to pay for online multiplayer? Don’t pay for it. Every dollar you spend in contrary to your own judgement is throwing away your right to voice your opinion, and making the industry $17-26 dollars worse. If you want to do it, then do it, but stop acting like it’s mandatory for your survival and pick a damn side. You can just say “no.” I do it all the damn time.

You don’t actually need to play that hot new game. You don’t need an online subscription. You can wait a year and pay probably less than half price. Before you go against your better judgement, we all need to realize: I am voting right now – is it actually worth it? If you determine that it is, great! But stop complaining about things that you are financially supporting.

Personally, I think the price for the Switch online is fair, but only because users will have access to monthly “rentals” of classic games, and that seems like a cool little feature. I don’t generally play online games and I have enough single player games as it is, so I will run out my free trial and decide in the Fall whether or not I still want the feature.

And that’s all folks! Hope that didn’t come across as too repetitive – like many of you who are older gamers, I’m sure you get frustrated seeing the same younger people complaining about $26 who voluntarily sign up for Xbox Live. Wanna vent about it? Leave it in the comments!

10 thoughts on “Gamers Need to Realize Something

  1. “I think the price for the Switch online is fair, but only because users will have access to monthly “rentals” of classic games, and that seems like a cool little feature.”

    I don’t mind paying for online as long as we get a much more improved service then Miiverse. Nintendo has been dragging their feet with online since the Wii and has been stuck in the stone ages. Nintendo probably needed more incentive and fuel to motivate them to improve online services and this Is how they ask. And they’re not asking much, Xbox Live is 60 – 120 dollars a year and this is a steal. There’s too many people thinking that everything should be free, while they benefit off others hard work. People need to realize that many games take years to develop and we need to support the developers by doing this.The value of the dollar has dropped significantly since the past and games have much more content then the past. We now have better graphics, more music, and lots more developers that need to be paid.

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  2. I very much agree with your Venn diagram point, and not just because I love Venn diagrams (I’m teaching them to my class this week). Far too many people complain about a practice but support it financially. Words are easy, following through is not.

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  3. “If you were to draw a Venn diagram with one side representing gamers who complain about the modern trends of gaming, and the other side with gamers who pay for those same trends, I have a creeping suspicion that there would be a massive overlap between gamers who are vehemently against something, yet pay for it anyway.”

    If I could like this ten times, I would!

    We’re all guilty of it. And you’re right – you get what you pay for.

    You are spot-on to identify that the same gamers who will complain about hiked game prices, downloadable content, pre-ordering for additional “stuff”, are most likely the same group that feeds the beast by buying all this in the first place.

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    1. Glad this hit home for someone! Upon re-reading my own late-night ramblings (I tend to write really late at night), I hoped I didn’t babble on too much and actually got my point across.

      It’s so strange to me how gamers can act like victims yet buy things because they truly believe they have no other choice. Like, you could wait a few months and it’ll go on sale. There are probably millions of games out they that are a fraction of the cost. You can buy like 10 awesome indie games for the price of one of these mega-editions. Plus, we’re perpetually in a 5 month window of a Steam sale that’ll knock at least 30% off the purchase price, obstencibly giving you the DLC for free.

      Rage!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I do have an Xbox Live Gold membership (that I haven’t paid full price for in years), but I do see an inherent value associated with it. Same went for PlayStation Plus with me, at least until I realized that I wasn’t playing online at all on my PS4. There are a number of features that I get to take advantage of, all of which are part of the online membership.

    For what amounts to me paying $40 a year (about $3.33 a month), I get access to an integrated multiplayer and social network that offers complimentary games as part of the service. The PC market takes the cake in terms of cost effectiveness, but it is compartmentalized and fragmented. Xbox Live and PlayStation Network are relatively expensive services, but they do make a case for themselves for gamers that would prefer a more unified experience. It’s a cost versus convenience balance.

    I think the disconnect with the Nintendo Switch’s online service price is it’s still rather unproven. Nintendo’s online service is threadbare in comparison to other services at the moment. So far they’ve offered some NES and SNES games for temporary availability to subscribers, but that’s more or less it. Considering that previously the online service was free, and now they’re asking money for it, it would feasibly mean that it should be an improved experience. They need to prove that it’s worth the cost of admission.

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    1. Hey, if online services work for you, than by all means. I almost bought PS+ to use with my Vita because the sales are good and the free 2 games each month (that don’t expire until you stop the subscription) is a great deal in my opinion.

      However, my backlog is already too big – I don’t need more free games added to the list!

      I’m hoping Nintendo does this right at least, I’m not a multiplayer guy but I might consider this if we’d get a good retro experience.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh gosh, I couldn’t agree more. And mind you, I’ve been guilty of not putting my money where my mouth is myself, and maybe we’ve all been. Like, I’ve been complaining profusely about how retrograde and unpractical the 3DS region-lock was; yet guess who purchased two North-American 3DS and a Japanese one on top of a couple of European ones? Yeah, exactly.

    So now, I’ve decided to get my act together and stop pouring my money into ventures that I don’t fully support. Hence my decision not to purchase a Switch day one, because I think Nintendo didn’t put enough effort into assembling a solid launch line-up.

    As for paying for online play on consoles, I never saw the point of it myself. I’m a lone gamer that has not interest in multiplayer whatsoever; but if I did, there’s no doubt I would do it on PC. Why pay full price for something when you can get it for free on another machine?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’ve all been guilty of it, I’m sure!

      As for waiting on the Switch, I totally feel you on that. And this is a perfect opportunity for you and everyone else unimpressed to say that you’re not happy with the offerings, so you won’t buy it. Of course, there will be plenty who will buy it and complain all the time anyway, and those wonderful people are who this article is targeted towards!

      As for the multiplayer on consoles.. with ya there. Never understood the concept of paying for that. It blew my mind when I first heard that playing Halo required $50 a year. Then again, I was never a console guy and I play multiplayer games basically never, so I was never the target market.

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