Dear game companies (Blizzard in particular)
May 25, 2006 at 01:54 PM
I don't blame you. I know it's hard to look away from the freight liners full of cash that keep arriving at your door. I know it's even probably fun for you to make MMORPGs. But honestly, there's a large swath of us out here that have a life and simply can't patronize you. Yes you've got a killer business model. Yes you're making truckloads of cash. Yes you're putting out some amazing stuff.
But I beg of you. Please. Please stop.
Or at the very least, take some of those zillions of dollars and humor us with something like Starcraft 2 in the tradition of Warcraft 3. Humor us with good single player and multilayer action that isn't a MMO game which is designed only to work for fanboys with 13hrs/day to dedicate to it. You know how to do it, you've mastered the art.
What I'm really asking is for you to return to your roots. Today's technology and ideas and lessons, but yesterday's appreciation for the single-box sale with near limitless playability for your customers. I know, I know. $50 and I'm gone till you release the expansion pack, compared with $14/mo. Millions as opposed to billions. I know it's hard. But I'm begging you.
And in fact, tell you what: raise the price. I know it costs more now to make games than ever before, and I know that in spite of more sales than ever before, it just doesn't pay as much. So I'll meet you half way (or 1/7th the way), go ahead, raise the price.
And here's why: If you don't do it, really lousy companies are going to fill the void. And then we'll have a universe where those without responsibilities will be fantastically served by you and your insane license-to-print-money-business-model games. All the best brains, the best tech, the best of everything will go where all the biggest money is. And the rest of us poor slobs will be stuck with John Romero caliber offerings that aren't worth the precious time they'll take to play or get excited about.
Yes, I miss the good old days. But I'm begging you, please. Don't abandon us.
A big fan with a life.