Recently in-between Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning sessions I have been playing quite a bit of Gotham City Imposters and Shank 2. These are two "budget titles" that I have enjoyed quite a bit and it made me start to wonder the place in our gaming for specialized titles.
(You can view my Shank 2 impressions Here)
Gaming is expensive. 60 bucks is the standard price for a base game, not including collectors editions, add-ons, expansions, episodic DLC, Cosmetic DLC, in game perks/bonus's, and subscriptions based games.
So change that, Gaming is REALLY EXPENSIVE from a consumer point of view. With that cost, gaming publishers have felt the need to show value for the 60 dollars. Its one of the reason's top quality single player titles have incorporated multi-player such as the Uncharted series and now Mass Effect 3.
Having spent the 5 hours drudging through the Battlefield 3 single player campaign. I can say this isn't always a benefit, when a generally multiplayer game (an excellent one) decides they need to make a single player campaign to show value and compete with other titles. While playing the campaign I was activity thinking of all the money and time that was wasted that could have been into the amazing multiplayer development, or better yet. Save the single player campaign and knock 15 bucks off the price. For 60 bucks, the consumer expects a full entertainment package, but the truth very very few games deliver quality products in all aspects.
Back to my point about budget titles, or as I like to call them "Value titles". As big budget titles feel the need expand and stretch their resources beyond what they are capable. I feel this is a great opportunity for value titles to come in and be specialized in doing what they do, and doing it very well. If a game like Gotham City Imposters, which a lot of people compare to a zany MW3, can give me 80% of what MW3 multiplayer is, for 25% of the cost. Doesn't that automatically mean their is value in the product? Especially if I had no interest in the single player portion of MW3. Couldn't titles like these put pressure on developers to give the consumers a choice in what they want?
Gaming is expensive as previously stated. Why do we have to buy parts of a 60 dollar video game that we don't need or want. Everything is gaming is itemized now. Why can't I pick up my Modern Warfare 3 or Battlefield 3 multiplayer Pack for 34.99? with an option for the Co-Op play for 9.99?
If consumer Money is in play. Perhaps we are better off looking at "Value Games" as a legitimate alternative, until larger AAA titles start giving us the option to purchase what we are are looking for.