4 Hours for 40 Dollars ...

Russ Pitts

The Boss of You
May 1, 2006
Tangentially tying-in to this week's theme, "Snow Day," Gamasutra has unearthed a nice report from Susquehanna Financial Group [http://www.susq.com/] about the state of the video game market, and a potential shift in the way video games are made and marketed.

The report on the report only briefly mentions World of Warcraft, but cites the game's business model as a potential target for console game manufacturers. In other words, if Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo could each produce one title alone that would each not only sell as many copies as WoW, but also guarantee as large a continued investment of timeshare and revenue, they would.

The downside to longer games is potentially a lower attach rate. However, the push for longer games, which yields a lower attach rate, is driving publishers to the endgame ? digital distribution of (portions of) video games. While a decrease in attach rates of next-gen games could hurt near term, it may be a necessary transformation to make the business of video games more attractive longer term.

Oblivion may not be that killer app, but it's a good illustration of the potential of the model, and a clear indicator that Microsoft at least is exploring the possibilities. The analysts call this "extending" the game. Expect more such extensions in the next-gen.

Imagine a world in which four hours of gameplay cost $40 ?