Are game console makers exploiting children, and their parents?
It seems game console manufacturers are working the psychology of children, making them want and want and want. Apparently, they are finding every angle to bleed parents of their hard earned money.
Game makers have created games that now have separately purchased figures that are transported into the action of the game itself. The list of figures does not end. Other games have the ability to purchase "power-ups" right from the game. Others use AR Codes read from special cards that pull characters into games, again with no end to the number of characters.
I wouldn't call it exploitation, but it seems to me to be a bad way to make a profit. Well ... good for them and bad for anyone wanting the systems and the games. Here's my way of handling it - the children can want whatever is all they want, but they're going to be told they can't have everything. If they can't be satisfied with the basics, then they may as well stop playing and find something more creative to do with their time.
I know what you're referring to and what the problems are, but the thing is it's not so much exploitation as just a well designed marketting plan. It's exploitation of a weakness, where the game is so lacklustre without more characters which you have to purchase seperately, but this is the same as any other marketing scheme - they exploit your weakness of needing or wanting something, and they sell it for a price of their choosing. It's really no different to any other industry.
Although I find it gimmicky and overpriced I can see the appeal, but it's nothing new in the gaming industry of today where new characters, skins, vehicles, maps and weapons are sold digitally in video games - the only difference is that you have the physical figure and can choose to place it on a Portal of Power instead of download it from the internet and then choose characters from a menu.
£8.99 is a huge price for these figures especially when there's loads of them and don't ever see discounts unless they're pre-owned. For that much I can get 30 days of any subscription MMORPG of my choice, and I'd probably get more out of a day of that than a single Skylanders figure. £8.99 for a few minutes of 'extra content' is hardly worth it in my opinion.
So yes this could be regarded as exploitation, but it's just like any other brainwashing advertisement for children because they're so impressionable. The counter to this is just to not buy the game at all and explain why it's not good. Read some reviews and decide for yourself if these models are worth your money.
Parents are finding it impossible to keep up, not that it was easy before. I think they should not try to keep up as it is an impossible endeavor. It seems that once they have the latest, it is just a week or two later something newer is available.
With the advent of scanning codes, cards, characters, and figures into games, it is an endless mission. The basic game works, I don't see a need for a purchased "power-up", which not by coincidence, can be purchased right from the game consoles.
Completely agreed, although in fairness consoles themselves last around 8 or so years; it's the games that change every fortnight or so.
Consoles and phones. Candy Crush makers are expecting to raise $500 million for their IPO - just from a producing a game app. Only several years ago they were worth about $600 thousand.
What you're describing is capitalism. If there is a place where money can be made, you can be sure some company will fill it. They wouldn't keep making downloadable content if people weren't buying it. It's not really any different from McDonalds hammering your children with ads.
However, I will say this about modern video games. They are much bigger productions than they were in the past. What could once be done by a small team of developers, now takes massive buildings filled with people working around the clock. This means that it takes longer to make a game than it did before. DLC is a way for them to get games out faster, while delivering the 'rest' of the game after it launched. It's also opened up the opportunity for free-to-play games, which was not an option on consoles of the past.
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