There's this new thing in the world of casual gaming sites that I really wish hadn't caught on... "Collector's Edition" casual games. While the normal prices of these games are $2.99 to $6.99, a "collector's edition" will cost a whopping $19.99. What do you get with this extra content? About the same level of extras as you would get with a collector's edition of a DVD... crap, and more of it. A strategy guide (which I'd never use, cause what's the point?), comics, fluff, etc.
Now, if these weren't casual games, or if the price were something more reasonable, like say $12, then maybe it would be acceptable. But $13 to $17 extra for that crap? Forget it. This ranks right up there with the independant game developer that made it impossible to complete their game unless you had the update patch, but they ONLY patched it for people who bought it directly through their site. Nice. Way to show the love.
Speaking of bonehead game publisher moves, have you heard about the new digital rights management scheme Ubisoft is pulling? Fellow blogger Bill Harris over at Dubious Quality did a two-part article about it yesterday... give it a read. Basically, new Ubisoft games have to be connected to the internet at ALL TIMES, otherwise you are booted out of the game.
This may not sound too bad to some of you, if you are permanently connected to the internet anyway through Broadband Cable. It was not so long ago, however, that I lived in upstate Minnesota where the only connection to the internet was long-distance DIALUP. Period. The population simply isn't dense enough up there to support having a local number, and the distances too far for cable. I've been away from my home town for ten years, but when I visited last summer, I know DSL was an expensive alternative. And still no cable.
I'm sure this is an isolated set of circumstances, but I don't like the idea of a game publisher telling me when and how often I need to use my internet service.
When the economy is bad, and you're not making enough money, it's easy to blame an outside force for your woes... games piracy is not why you're losing money, Ubisoft. Things suck all over. But for you it particularly sucks because you keep treating your paying customers like thieves, and we're not happy about it.
You know, Joss Whedon gave away all three parts of his indie effort, Doctor Horrible, for FREE over the internet, and he STILL made enough money to pay everything off and then some? You know why? People love him. They love him, they love his work, and they loved that show in particular. They felt that his efforts deserved compensation, and more than that, they felt this kind of work needed to be supported and encouraged. What does that have to do with you, Ubisoft? Hmm. You tell me.