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Retailers Are Ruining Video Games

Posted by on September 7, 2011 at 11:05 pm

So tonight, Kelly informed me that he was interested in the new open world, zombie-a-thon game Dead Island, but only if he had someone to play co-op with. I offered, right there and then, to pick the game up if we dropped by Best Buy. We talked about how janky the game had been revealed to be in recent reviews and with a 74% GameRankings score, we figured we could probably overlook a lot of the game’s flaws if it had a decent cooperative mode. So we arrived.

And they were sold out.

And so was everyone else.

For many people it seems like matter-of-fact truth, but let’s lay this out simply:

We drove to a physical location, a few miles out of our way.

For a shiny disc.

With zeroes and ones on it.

And found none.

It’s pretty obvious that the company probably sent six or seven copies to each store, forecast in some draconian fashion by people removed from the store front by several thousand miles. Immediately after the debacle, we discussed how much better it would be when the next generation of consoles roll around and Microsoft and Sony (and maybe even Nintendo!) ditch the physical middle man and allow us to download new releases on day one, much like Steam allows us to. Obviously, next generation is going to be when the platform holders will have the leverage to do this kind of thing (much like Sony is doing with its PSVita handheld early next year) and not get completely screwed. Sony encounter this issue with Gamestop a few years ago when they were offering Warhawk online for similar rates to their physical brethren and they flipped a lid.

Well, I’m tired of the middle man.

And for those who still cling to those physical releases, please. I’ve been there. Right as the Xbox 360 released, I even traded in most of my Xbox collection, which amounted to 85 (mostly awful) games. See?

It is fruitfully stupid to acquire that many physical games when: A) you don’t play them and B) they take up so much space. You think it’s a trophy case? It’s a damn tomb and you’re the decaying corpse inside. I have no idea why people insist that they absolutely have to dedicate themselves to binary code that has been primitively duplicated onto silicon surfaces.

Seriously, discs, go away. You are no longer needed. Retailers, even if you hold the monopoly on distribution for these new titles, it doesn’t mean you have to make acquiring them such a crappy experience.

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  • Jdzero

    80% of m games come from Steam because, like with my Deus Ex Human Revolution Experience, buying the physical copy forced me to drive 3 hours away to pick it up, and then end up with the GameStop raping every PC copy for a worthless 50 dollar coupon. I am quite done with dealing with GameStop.