We all like instant gratification in videogames, whether it’s a game with tons of easy achievements and unlockables or an instantly empowering multiplayer component, but sometimes a few minor hitches can really ruin a whole experience.
Downloadable titles aren’t necessarily a new form of media, (Steam for example has been around for about nine years now) but they’re becoming more prevalent in mainstream gaming. With the advent of full games being allowed for download, what could be a possible downside to this glorious lack of leaving the couch?
Let’s take a look at some pro’s to this situation:
-A gamer can install and play a title within ten to fifteen minutes at a relatively cheap(er) cost than typical retail titles are sold for
-There are often sales that reduce the prices of each content package by a huge percentage
-Games often include micro-transactions to bolster sales (Usually in free to play games like LoL)
-Titles are often bundled together (with other dlc) ready to go at reduced prices
-Unknown and Indie developers can display their games to a larger audience
Now all that sounds really great but there are definitely cons to the issue as well:
-You must be online to access some of these titles/dlc (Xbox Live has this particular problem with certain games)
-If you regret a purchase, you’re stuck with the game. There are NO returns or refunds.
-Many games are overpriced and stay that way for long periods of time
-The dollar per hour value of many downloadable titles is significantly lower than expected
-Replay value is also lowered by the lack of content in some games
More recently I’ve found myself downloading titles simply because they’re fun and easy to get. However, I’m usually dissuaded by the lack of a return or trade policy concerning them. If an online content provider could include some kind of “credit” system, I think there would be a greater shift towards downloads.