Happy Friday everyone! I apologize for the lack of posts over the past few days. It was certainly a little busier this week, especially for Nintendo fans, but it still hasn’t picked up like I thought it would. Hopefully soon though!
For this week, I would like about Destiny 2, and the difficultly in pricing video games today. It is something that I have talked about before, but I wanted to go into a little bit more detail. Welcome to Lgndary Thoughts!
For those that don’t know, Destiny 2 has been under a tremendous amount of heat since it launched last year. One of the biggest changes over the first game that has fans in uproar is Bungie’s new approach to micro transactions. When the first Destiny launched, it didn’t feature MTX at all. This changed with the Eververse store, which got a lot of hate in the beginning, but most fans cooled off when they learned the store would be cosmetic only.
But all of this changed with Destiny 2, and we recently found out it was no accident. According to Jason Schreier over at Kotaku, Bungie made a clear and deliberate decision to move away from releasing expansion packs as often as they used to, and try to make up the money from micro transactions.
And as someone who enjoyed the first Destiny a lot, I hate that this is what they did with the sequel. And while Destiny 2 suffers from more than a micro transaction problem, they are perhaps the most significant stain on what should be the top of its genre.
But having said all that, I have to admit that I understand the difficulty in making decisions like these. $60 was worth about $20 more 15 years ago than it is today. That may not sound like much, but essentially developers are making 25% less for each game sold than they were in 2003. Meanwhile, the cost of video game development has only gone up. In 2003, we were playing games on the Playstation 2. Think of all the improvements that have been made in graphical fidelity in that amount of time. And on top of it all, Destiny, like many other games, take place solely in an online environment. Adding yet another cost.
So where does a developer make up that money? Not just so that they can keep pushing profits higher and higher, but so that they can just make what they would have in years past. There are, of course, several options (a monthly fee, micro transactions, etc), but I don’t think fans would be very happy no matter what they did. I almost think that they best solution is to simply raise the base price of a game by a small amount. But like I said, I’m sure a lot of people would disagree with that approach.
At the end of the day however, a line of thinking like this is mostly only true for smaller developers. Yes, Destiny 2 was an incredibly expensive game to make, and I’m sure it costs a lot of money to run the servers that customers play on. But it also made an insane amount of money, and I honestly think that even more people would buy it, and the expansion packs if it didn’t target players with horrible micro transactions at every turn. Just look at Splatoon 2. A game where Nintendo is constantly adding new maps, weapons, and clothing items every single month, for free.
I understand that it is a business, and that developers and publishers should work to make as much money as they can. But the route that many of those developers are going will only serve to destroy the industry, instead of growing it.