The Scummiest Ways Game Developers Make More Money

Video games. They used to be innocent. Honestly, grey haired people like me will remember the innocence of the 80s (and the creative boom at that time). Game developers made games that were fun and pure hearted, free from obscenity.

And then it happened.

Whole world changed, bro. Did you see it? Few decades passed and bang! You’ve not got Pacman anymore, you’ve got some gangster ripping a prostitute’s head off.

Of course, there’s isn’t anything inherently wrong with violence in games. The movies have been doing it for years, so why shouldn’t gaming?

Nope, nothing wrong with it. Except when it comes at the expense of genuine creativity in game design.

Let’s be completely honest about this. More and more game developers are using cheap tactics to influence sales. Big boobs, bigger guns, and sequels plus infinity.

Here’s a finger wagging with distain at all those game developers who use the cheap tactics to sell games, rather than using innovation and ingenuity.

The scummiest Ways Game Developers Make Money

Treating women like objects

We’re not talking about Lara Croft here, either. At least Lara Croft is a fairly respectable female protagonist.

No, we’re talking about those game developers who create a female character and then hit the “Inflate boobies” button a billion times. If you look back over the evolution of female games characters, the number one trend you’ll see is the steady rise in boob size. It started with Mrs Pacman. She had no boobs (well, either that or her entire body was one big yellow boob. . . it’s hard to say). And then the boobs just kept getting bigger.


It’s The Same Game. . . Again. . . 

Eh this one needs absolutely zero explaining, right? Theoretically, if we lived in a perfect world, a game series would actually change with each iteration. Theoretically, the idea behind a sequel is to allow for new things. But that’s just not business! Business is a simple equation:

Money + More Money = Success

You sell one game, you make it again and release it again as practically the exact same game. And then you keep going.

If you’re lucky your name’s Nintendo. In that case, you’ll have tons of lovable characters that were made at least 20 years ago. Then you can just keep on pumping out the same shit over and over again, making money without ever really doing anything. That’s pure business. Don’t innovate, imitate, over and over again. Free money.

This demo is really a full game, honest

Games are expensive. They’re more expensive than music and movies. That’s fine. Provided we end up getting a long and high quality experience then there’s nothing wrong with paying for it. But then you get the case of those companies who sell games that are either incomplete or far too short. Now what I’m about to say is going to have half the readers nodding their head in enthusiastic agreement, and the other half smashing their keyboards in anger. But the best example of a game that should never have been sold as it was is Metal Gear Solid Ground Zeroes. Sorry. But let’s be completely honest about this, at its woefully short length Metal Gear Solid Ground Zeroes should never have been sold at the price it was sold at. It was daylight robbery and the unashamed cashing-in on a killer franchise. It left many fans with a sour taste in their mouths.


We’re millionaires but we need YOUR money to make this game

Kickstarter changed things in gaming. It seemed like a really cool idea when it first hit. Independent game developers who didn’t have the money or resources to make a game finally got the opportunity to make their dreams come true. They needed money, and many of them got it. Great.

Then things turned a little sour. Game developers who alright had tons of money started to ask for funds to make their next game.

It’s charity for the wealthy.

Charity once upon was about giving money to the poor and downtrodden. Hard to imagine, isn’t it? People who were starving took charitable donations to keep them alive.

And then somehow things got mixed up. Game developers, who already have tons of money, started asking for donations to make a game.

That’s a killer business strategy by the way. Fund this game so we can make money. Amazing. It’s so ass backwards it defies belief. Usually, most business owners take risks. They pay their money to create a product because they believe it’s going to make money. The risk is part of what ensures that they do a good job. But then the risk is gone because, for some unknown and completely insane reason, gamers fund people who have more money than them, so that that rich person can potentially get richer.

What the hell?

Making this even worse is the fact that developers do a worse job when their games are funded. They don’t need to guarantee profit because they haven’t taken so much of a risk. And so oftentimes they don’t bother to push, to force themselves to put in the countless hours required to make a genuinely amazing game.

Charity should be for the needy. It shouldn’t be for making games. Unless (and this is an important ‘unless’) the developer genuinely doesn’t have enough money to make their game and are making a game that matters.

DLC—Trust Us, You Need This

DLC seemed cool once upon a time. It was an opportunity for developers to expand upon their products in inventive ways. Some of the time DLC has genuinely been exceptional. Take Grand Theft Auto IV’s Tales from Liberty City. Now there’s an amazing DLC. It expands upon the original game with new stories and gives gamers excellent new content. It’s awesome. But then you come to those DLCs that are so minimal or simply so bad that they’re insulting. Take Ultra Street Fighter 4’s alternative costume packs. Or how about the XBox Market Place charging you for Snooki’s hair on your avatar? That’s just. . . insulting. And the fact that people actually bought it is disturbing. I mean, it’s not even good hair.

DLC isn’t going away either. It’s only going to get more and more popular. Why? Because some gamers apparently really really want Snooki hair on their avatars. . . true story.



Paul Harrison

Paul M Harrison is an entertainment journalist, novelist, and blogger, and a specialist in the theory of storytelling. Paul Harrison can be contacted via his personal website or on Twitter or Facebook.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *