Friday, 11 July 2014

Gamestop wants to invest in active game development for a price......

So during my usual website lurking yesterday I read a story on about Gamestop wanting to become financially invested in games development in exchange for exclusive content only available from them.

I find it to be a worrying concept really.  Allowing retailers to put money into a popular titles development means they essentially have a say in what is in the game and what they get as part of their arrangement.  The spokesperson from Gamestop said they wouldn't dictate what the developer or publisher created for their store, but let's be honest here.  If anyone invests a significant amount of money into a game then they will want a say in what happens before release.  It's basically what being an investor is all about, you don't invest to sit back and hope the project is a hit.  Gamestop will no doubt have some kind of agreement that would allow them to dictate what they get exclusively.

If this was to come to fruition, imagine the new round of bidding wars and exclusivity deals that pop up.  We as gamers already have to suffer console exclusivity for games along with pre-order content exclusivity, add this on top and things get a lot more frustrating for the gamer who wants a complete experience.  It's already annoying that as a customer if I want to buy Evolve on PC with the Goliath skin pack and extra monster along with the bonus hunter pack, I have to buy it from GAME.  Amazon doesn't have the extra hunters on offer so I have to buy from GAME if I want the extra hunters.  Now imagine if GAME also had an exclusive map that was funded by them for their stores only, or extra hunters or both.  It would be a real pain to have to pay more cash for a version of the game that had more content.

Obviously this is all theory and conjecture but isn't unrealistic.  Brick and mortar stores have been suffering for a while now with the rise of digital distribution becoming more prominent.  Convenience always wins out for the consumer and digital is the best way to play on the day of release since there are no stock issues, wait times or travel involved.  In this regard I can understand stores wanting to increase foot traffic by offering items unique to their company or at least increase online sales.  But it's a worrying idea that our games could become fragmented by retailers investing in the development process.


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