Christmas is the most magical time of the year, without a doubt, it is also the one time of the year where tradition rules.
We are all a slave to it. The one Christmas tradition I couldn’t live without is waking up to a delicious Ulster Fry. It feels a little bit special and gives me the energy required to get through an exciting, but long and tiring day.
The games industry is no different to me; over the past few years I have noticed a number of things that happens without fail. Here are the key traditions they stick to.
Part of the Christmas Games Rush is the release of huge DLCs and updates to titles. This year alone we have seen Wild Run, The Old Hunters, Lego Dimension The Force Awakens and (admittedly early) The Taken King. These are all substantial updates to their games and there is not enough time in the world to play them all to completion.
On top of the time constraints we all have in our day-to-day lives, these things are also bloody expensive. The Wild Run expansion for example was £25 – which is steep no matter how you look at it.
If only games companies would release a retail version of the vanilla game with the update for a more reasonable price…
Game of the Year Editions
Just not until a week or two after the expansion has been on the digital distribution services – sometimes they even give retailers an exclusive deal to sell these physical versions! TIS THE SEASON!
If only you and friends could’ve waited a week – you’d have saved a fortune! A good example of this happening comes from Bloodborne (a great, great game btw) the Old Hunters expansion was available from midnight Novemer 24th, but the digital version of the complete edition wasn’t on PSN until the 26th. This meant that people who wanted to buy it, couldn’t – they could however buy the vanilla digital and the DLC for more money though (ask MrJohnSherry about this).
The Pre-Christmas Sale
That’s right; the best tradition is that of the sale! What better way to celebrate advent than pissing off your loyal customers and making them feel ripped off and taken advantage of?
Y’know those games you been buying for £50 during the months of October/November? Yeah well now they are AT LEAST 25% throughout the month of December!
While sales are great for those of us who have a little will-power (or a backlog) there is a decided backlash when console developers choose to run this type of promotion – for example WWE 2K16 is down 33% today on PSN and I remember last year PES 2K16 dropped to half price before Christmas. Being a bargain hunter has never been so good…
The Post-Christmas Sale
…until now! The majority of games, DLC, season passes and special editions that you couldn’t live without over the holidays are now even further reduced!
We all knew this was coming and yet every single one of us allowed ourselves to be done out of a significant amount of money! Even the games on sale throughout December receive discounts between 5 and 10% on top of what was cut in the first sale! Last year AC:Unity was sold for £29.99 between January 1-14th – that was 50% off! Crazy!
I must admit though, I love these sales as I am not allowed to purchase anything between October and December, so these sales always work out well for me!
I await my discounted goods with bated breath!
Imagine the scene, you work for Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo, throughout the last 4-6 months you’ve worked your arse off to hammer out deals with retailers in an effort to get as many of your consoles in homes over the Christmas period. The big day comes and you realise you forgot to beef up your servers and/or your security – the digital side of your business is now gone, no-one can log on to update their new consoles and games. You’ve got a problem.
Realistically this is no-ones fault (well except maybe lizard squad!) but it is the worst time of year to experience network difficulties/have security lapses.
Last year was undoubtedly the worst in recent memory, but I am struggling to think of a holiday period that doesn’t have some sort of “can not connect” message on the big day!
Sort it out!
Have a forgotten an industry tradition?
What is your favourite/least favourite tradition?
How would you celebrate Christmas with your supporters if you were in the games industry?