I have to admit, I’m a bit surprised by many PS3 game developers’ lack of business acumen.
For instance, I play Resistance 2 co-op. A lot. They are making no money on me for monthly fees, but they must be incurring significant server costs to host an ever-expanding (hopefully) player base. So sure, they are making money off new sales (though not secondary sales), but they could be making more.
So why aren’t they selling the advanced weapons/upgrades in the Playstation Store? You could still let others earn them through experience, but gamers w/ disposable income and limited time like myself aren’t that impressed with “earning” things. I’m too old for that shit. I like to buy things I want and have them now. That’s why I went to law school
Dead Space took advantage of this by allowing you to purchase, for a nominal fee, some great suits of armor and upgraded weapons. It was a win-win-win. 1st, purists could choose not to buy this stuff and earn similar weapons/armor through their superior gameplay (and their superiour time-commitment). 2nd, people like me could get their rocks off by paying for it and fast-tracking ourselves through gameplay, thus maximizing our gameplay efficiency while concurrently keeping our wives happy by minimizing playing time (a joyous paradox).
Little Big Planet has made an art form of these minor add-on costs with their ever-growing catalog of outfits. And you know what? People buy them. In droves.
If I were an investor at Insomniac (Resistance 2), I’d actually be pretty pissed. Why aren’t they offering (and charging for) additional co-op player uniforms/clothing (or allowing you to buy the numerous physical/clothing character upgrades that you can earn through competitive)?
Why aren’t they selling specialized weapons, even if the alteration is merely cosmetic (e.g. a cooler looking Wraith, Marksman)? These are simple to program and offer.
I’m sure they are busy building new maps that will be for sale (I can’t wait), but still, why aren’t they making even MORE money in the meantime?
There will be a lot of gamers out there who will think I’m an a-hole for suggesting this, but the more these companies make on these games, the more money they have to make more updates/levels for a specific game and more games in general (at least that’s what I’d hope). Not to mention, it’s just bad business to not be creatively thinking about ways to maximize profits.