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Namco Bandai CEO: "Selling Full Games is No Good"


Posted by: Jason Young

There's something brewing in the water over at Namco Bandai that's got to be worrisome for gamers everywhere. After the head of sales, Oliver Comte, announced that $60.00 for a game is too much for a consumer at the Level Up Conference in Spain, it now seems that it all stems from the thoughts of their current CEO Shukuo Ishikawa.

"Selling a game only once for $70-$80 [typical Japanese prices] is no good at all. If you sell it for $25, or even give it away free, then you can sell episodes and items online. They'll soon be dropping $10 or $20 on these, and you can also do monthly charges." Tales of Vesperia or Idolm@ster anyone?

Not to rub it in, but it appears that even this strategy has failed to some extent when you consider that the company has just slashed ten percent of their company's jobs after reporting a $350 million loss.

Despite everything though, it appears that Namco Bandai isn't the only company who shares this thought. The CEO of Codemasters, most recently responsible for Formula One, shares the exact same vision. "I'm not necessarily a fan of DRM measures. I think sometimes they're almost counter-productive. I can still be persuaded on them, and I completely understand why they exist. But my initial thought is that DRM is not the answer to the piracy issue."

He continued with his advice to his colleagues, "The video games industry has to learn to operate in a different way. My answer is for us as publishers is to actually sell unfinished games - and to offer the consumer multiple micro-payments to buy elements of the full experience."

With companies slashing jobs left and right, and companies like TellTale Games succeeding with episodic content, maybe these CEOs are onto something after all. How about passing some of that grape-flavored kool-aid over here?

[translation: Sankaku Complex]

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