Consumer rights and the stagnating price of video games

Photo Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

Photo Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

Matthew Tamez, Reporter

Gamers are  disgruntled over the state of the video game industry and the games that have been appearing on the market,  issues including microtransactions in “Star Wars Battlefront 2” (or literally anything EA does these days), the announcement of “Diablo Immortal” for Android and IOS, and recently the PC edition of the upcoming “Metro Exodus” only being sold through the Epic Games Store instead of Steam.

Gamers were outraged, angry, left bad reviews and threatened boycotts before these games were even  published. However, at what point can a consumer dictate what a producer creates?? In the case of Blizzard’s “Diablo Immortal” they are attempting to enter into an untapped market using mobile devices.

No matter how loyal a company is to its consumers, at the end of the day it is a company out to make money. Profit is the only way to make the shareholders happy. In an industry where the price of games has remained stagnant for decades, but the cost of producing games has steadily grown in price, companies need a new tactic to turn a profit.

With this growing price in the industry, there are very few ways for a company to make a profit off of a high cost video game without either marketing to a new demographic, instituting microtransactions or releasing more pricey, deluxe editions of new games.

EA has pretty much been turned into the devil of the video game industry, cancelling games that aren’t expected to turn a profit and closing studios. EA itself has made many design choices that have hurt its reputation in the video game industry, yet something is working in its design. EA began to target an adult demographic with a stable income, ones who are capable of playing games for only hours a week, people who don’t mind dropping some of that income to skip potential hours of grinding to unlock certain features.

A company can remain loyal to the fans they have at present, but they can also break into new demographics without betraying their fanbase. “Diablo Immortal,” while not what the fanbase expected, will certainly hit a market that is very likely to turn a profit for the company.

Although consumers certainly have a right to expect certain things from the companies they follow, they should not become so irate with a game that they review bomb it before its release just because something did not go their way. Companies need to make money, and in the current video game market, there a very few ways in which they can do so.