Having been temporarily incapacitated, TSA Talks is back and we’re fast approaching double digits. It’s a small panel this week but that’s where you, the lovely, somewhat sunlight-deprived denizens of TSA come in. Remember, if there’s an issue in gaming that’s really giving you the pip send me a rant at jim[at]thesixthaxis[dot]com and we’ll work you into next week’s edition.
It may have launched back in March, but EA Sports’ Fight Night Champion caught our attention again this week when it hit the PSN Store. As well as selling the game in its entirety, EA also portioned it into separate components which can be purchased and downloaded individually. Are you an absolute sucker for Champion’s meaty singleplayer career mode but not so much when it comes to multiplayer or instant action? Well, now you can just pay for part(s) you want. It’s a fresh approach to video game distribution and one that has been clattering around in people’s heads for a while now.
Aran: This is an interesting approach. Personally liked the whole package of Fight Night Champion but I can see this model gaining pace, especially in the FPS genre where most aren’t too bothered about the campaign mode. It may even lead to more time spent on campaigns to maximize sales or could lead to the likes of CoD and Battlefield ditching singleplayer altogether. I think I’m actually going to be positive & give my blessings to EA on this.
Kris: This is quite an interesting concept, and realistically something that we’re probably start to see more and more, although I doubt it will be how games are initially released for quite some time. However, putting the game out this way sometimes after its original retail release makes perfect sense, and would be a good way to give a title a little kick when its retail sales have tailed off.
Jim: Though I can certainly see the benefits, I doubt publishers will subscribe to this method of distribution for some years to come. As consumers, the majority of us are always shopping around for the best prices; even after its re-launch on the PSN Store, you can still pick up the retail version of Fight Night Champion for less, and that’s including the over-priced online pass.
It may promote choice but could also put some publishers in a bit of a dilemma. Selling a game in portions and allowing the user to throw away any offcuts is less profitable than having that same consumer buy the full retail copy and simply ignore the modes they don’t like instead. On the flipside, consumers may claim that the only way that publisher will get them to play their game is by allowing this added layer of choice.
We know Activision won’t be employing this method of distribution; despite millions having not even touched the franchise’s singleplayer component they’re more than willing to shell out £40 on launch day.
Dan: It certainly is an interesting approach, and one that I’m sure many will take advantage of. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve paid £40 for a game, yet totally ignored the online portion purely because there are only so many times I can hear the word “fag” without wanting to tut ferociously. I can actually see this new “pick and mix” method becoming the norm a few years down the line.