Video game publishers never fail to amaze me with their business decisions. For example, Activision announced their pricing for bringing Angry Birds Trilogy to consoles and the Nintendo 3DS… $40 on consoles and $30 on the 3DS. That’s a 1000% plus markup, depending on the platform you are buying it on.
Why would they do this? Because people will probably buy it. And let’s face it, it costs a lot of money to submit a game to the console maker, get the game printed on the proprietary discs, and then shipped out into stores, so why wouldn’t Activision try to make a profit?
I guess I don’t understand why they didn’t just make it a digital download.
Which got me to thinking… wouldn’t everyone save money if games were just always digital downloads? Steam does crazy sales all the time, and gamers can get a ton of games a extraordinarily cheap prices sometimes even 75%-90% off. Companies would save on shipping and printing costs… and the console makers could still control the flow of content onto the device.
I must not be the only one thinking this, since this week the Ouya Kickstarter launched. Ouya (pronounced OO-YA, like boo-ya) is an open-source console designed to play mobile games on your TV. A bunch of Indy developers (like those behind Minecraft, Canabalt, and Wasteland 2) have all showed interest in what this little device can do.
Gamers should love it since all the games on Ouya are required to have some kind of free-to-play element (like a demo), so they can try before they buy. They should also love the console’s price– $99.
Hackers and Modders should love it since it’s already rooted. Taking it apart won’t void the warranty. Anyone can make it their own. This is pretty awesome. Hopefully developers and gamers are excited about getting onboard with this… and if their Kickstarter success is any indication ($4 million dollars in 3 days) this will hopefully help break the stranglehold that the big 3 and the big publishers will have on the market. Time will tell.