Amy Hennig is a video game director and script writer. She is famous for her work at Naughty Dog and writing the story for Legacy of Kain and the Uncharted series. A veteran in the gaming industry, she spoke up about the price of creating video games and how video playthroughs of games ruin sales for the creators and justify microtransactions.
Video games need to contain enough content to warrant consumers to pay the $60 price tag. Now more than ever, micro payments such as loot boxes and DLC are customary with every game purchase. Consumers often complain that the inclusion of microtransactions are ruining the gaming industry and that video games have become more of a service. To experience the full content of a game or play online, you’re often forced to pay for additional content that many believe should already be included. Hennig states the reasons games as a service have become the standard is because the price of creating video games have risen. She defended the popularity of loot boxes because creation cost have increased but the price of games have not. The budget continues to grow to create bigger and better games but it comes with the price of trying to earn a profit via game sales. The demand for better games have increased as amazing and beautiful games such as Horizon Zero Dawn, Assassin’s Creed Origin, The Last of Us, and Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild have shown single player focused games can still be amazing. However, Single player games have an even difficult time because the replay value isn’t as strong to more audiences in comparison to games with multiplayer aspects. This has led to more video games to come with DLC, season passes, multiplayer, and micro-transactions.
Hennig also stated that the popularity of Let’s plays and video game playthroughs have ruined the sales of Single Player games. People can watch entire games stories or gameplay on YouTube or Twitch through other players. She believes the rising popularity of online media will continue to drop games sales and force companies to find alternative forms on sales such as loot boxes.
Let’s Plays have become a major form of media. Popular online personalities have started gaming channels and play through the entire series. This can introduce potential consumers to buy the game. Now, YouTube and Twitch link to stores where you can buy the games when watching online playthroughs. Videos are seen as indirect marketing and one of the biggest platform that can reach an audience without heavy cost. Some introduce a game that people would never have bought until they saw content creators make playthroughs. However, there can be an argument on whether it is worth to pay $60 for a single player only game. Video games have become a luxury for some and lack of side content in a story or additional modes of gameplay leads to lower sales. This justifies the addition of microtransaction to make up for the profit lost when games eventually price drop. It really depends on the individual.
What do you think about what Amy Hennig said? Do you agree or do you disagree?