Heh! Don’t let me guilt you into buying it!
See, the problem we have is sooort of industry-side, right? Consumers have been educated by, unfortunately, publishers and channel-controllers (I hesitate to say vendors or retailers - it’s a little different) - especially when video games follow the Hollywood model so closely - the bulk of sales happen early in the life-cycle, more or less at launch and within a narrow window, and often don’t have a long tail, hence early discounting. You just have to monitor the price of a title over a few months, even on platforms with licensing fees (read: Xbox and Playstation - Nintendo attempt to hold pricing for longer which does or doesn’t help developers in the long-run, hard to tell - it certainly works in their favour as far as first-party games go).
But the problem is the industry labour-side is still hugely unregulated. Here I am extolling the artistic merits of Giant Sparrow, but I can’t even say for sure that they have paid all overtime due to their staff. I’d like to think they have, but we know better than to assume that just because a developer is indie, that the grass is greener. Even if the narrative is nicer and all staff were passionate and dedicated, and were happy to invest large amounts of unpaid overtime… the end result is we’re still seeing the product of huge chunks of unpaid work and ultimately that’s terrible.
So what do we do? I don’t know. For all I know, Edith Finch might run out of steam on its second level, even I might be critical of it. What if it’s crap? What did we all just drop our money on? So as consumers, we’re wary - after all, most of us have dropped RRP$79 (or even RRP$99) on AAA titles that have been terrible at some point in our lives, even if it hasn’t been for years, but we remember that.
So yea, it’s OK, I understand - I mean, I’m being overly optimistic about this game in particular, trying to sell it, but the counterpoint is absolutely valid. The truth is, I don’t really know what we can do about it. The industry needs a massive standards overhaul. It needs regulation and an oversight commitee with executive penalisation powers, empowered by State in each country developers operate in. The industry needs to follow corporate and ethical standards of other industries and even then we know some of those aren’t perfect, but at least it’d be a half step.
XD sorry folks to kind of rain on the parade a bit, but I tell you what, as a responsible adult, I don’t buy a single game without going through this entire thought process. After completing what was for me the wonderful Horizon, can you imagine how heartbroken I’d be if it came out that Guerrilla didn’t pay a whole bunch of its staff? That means all that technical brilliance, all that wonderful art, it was made at a sacrifice, and we are horribly undervaluing it.
Does that mean we can sustainably make games under the current model? Can we afford to make games at all? What are we, as consumers, willing to do about it, especially when our position is both immensely empowered - the ultimate financial backing… yet simultaneously dis-empowered being right at the back-end of the process - being completely ignorant for the most part of the ethical process until it’s far too late?