How Dare You Charge Money?

I’m back from a vacation, hence the radio silence and I wanted to wait until I had more content to post, but i am just so disgusted by this that I had to post. I don’t think you should ever talk down to or insult your customers. You shouldn’t take a “if you don’t like it, don’t buy it” attitude because you are just burning bridges. So Valve is being nice. I hope that being a disinterested third party will allow me to say what I believe Valve would love to say.

You signors and complainers are a bunch of spoiled kids.

Do you know how much it takes to run a game studio? The payroll costs alone are mind-boggling. Let’s say they spend a million dollars a month on development. Those costs alone mean that selling a sequel for $40 plus any blood money they have to pay to publishers, retailers and MS/Sony requires 300,000 copies to be moved to break even. This is a low estimate. Should they drain the eight figures just to avoid some kids complaining about how much they are getting?

The fact that Valve updates Team Fortress 2 for nothing makes no sense. They hope that the increased publicity will move copies and that the accumulated good will is worth something. I won’t tell if you don’t.

I bought L4D on Steam for $40. I played it for fifteen-twenty hours or so. That’s a pretty good value. I imagine most of the complainers put in even more hours. That value is independent of when the sequel comes out. It doesn’t affect my enjoyment of playing the original.

So what is the lesson here? Give away something for free and you will receive scorn when you want to charge for something? I wonder how many new companies will take the freebie approach that Valve has taken in the past now? You spoiled brats are ruining it for everyone.

Posts coming in the next few days: more iPhone game reviews, updated Mafia Wars tables to include the Cuba expansion.

1 Comment

  1. Doesn’t apply in this case, but the pubs and devs also have started on a dirty trick. Release a game and then in the name of DLC keep releasing new stuff with a fee. e.g. MS: PR comes with x tracks and a few weeks later, another three for $x and another three for another $x.

    what happened? the $60 I spent wasn’t good enough.

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