Angry Birds: love them or loathe them, the Al Qaeda of the Avian World sure know how to keep people entertained. In case you hadn’t heard, over one billion copies of the piggy genocide creator have landed on smartphones and laptops across the world since launch making the Birds the word in the mobile gaming world.
As a result, Rovio have decided now is the time to move the series across to console so we can shred the anointed porky baddies into bacon on 3DS, Xbox 360 and PS3. And the Finnish based funsters have decided that it’d only be fair to let people grab the original game, Angry Birds Seasons and Angry Birds Rio in one big HD package.
And the price of it good sirs and madams? Why, £25 of course. Yes, I do mean £25. I mean the same amount of money that’ll buy you a perfectly average three course meal at Strada. I mean the same amount of money that Amazon are charging for the entire first series of Game of Thrones, packed with duplicitous dwarves and sordid shagging. I even mean the same amount of money I spent on Batman: Arkham Asylum, Just Cause 2 and Fallout 3 on a Play.com splurge recently.
And what’s the justification for it? Ooh, you get HD graphics that are suitable to be on a wide screen television. Aah, you can use Kinect or Playstation Move to fling our feathered fiends physically across the room. And waaah, it’s got more animated movie scenes in between to flesh out the story. Who wouldn’t want that?
And the price of it good sirs and madams? Why, £25 of course. Yes, I do mean £25.
Answer: me. Now, I’m not one to jump on my high horse here about the gameplay on show. I have played Angry Birds, downloaded a couple of versions and appreciate that it’s a great five, or fifty minute, throwaway activity that’ll keep you entertained while a fat man’s arse cheek presses against your leg on the 6:24 out of Cambridge train station.
But it was great because it cost me a fiver. At that amount of money, it’s a worthwhile investment. Yes, the levels aren’t that different. Yes, the variety of birds doesn’t really shake up gameplay. And, yes, if Rovio gave us a level maker we could do their fairly simple work for them. But for hours of easy gameplay, I’m willing to say a fiver is fair.
£25 isn’t. Claiming improvements to graphics and the non-existent plot does not mean the series deserves a price tag that puts it over half the price of Mass Effect 3, a game that is both significantly fuller and more involving than this is.
And it certainly doesn’t put it at the same price of something like Advance Wars 2 from the annals of history, a game which pissed all over Rovio’s concept of value for money with it’s packed campaign mode, superb multiplayer and map builder.
But it was great because it cost me a fiver. At that amount of money, it’s a worthwhile investment.
What Rovio is saying is simple: console gamers are gullible fools who will snap any old shit up for a stupid amount of money. Years of console loyalty and a lack of exposure to the dirt cheap worlds of Steam and App Stores have made them fat little piggy’s, ready to be punctured by the oppressive beaks of greedy business.
And to them I say: pssst and poop. When I see Minecraft, Sid Meier’s Pirates! and Broken Sword on IOS for a fiver, I say to myself that’s the right way that pricing should be going. Not up towards the heights of £40 or higher, an amount suitable really only for games with AAA practically stamped on the boxes, but towards an amount that encourages more buyers while still keeping the industry going.
Rovio know exactly what they’re doing with this move. While they’ve made a fairly impressive hundred and eight million bucks from Angry Birds they’ve been outgunned by console based Modern Warfare 3, which racked up one billion smackaroos in the length of time between Champion’s League first and second leg fixtures.
And they want a piece of that pie to cash in on that. So, if you see someone you know thinking about buying the Birds on console for whatever reason, smack them round the chops and tell them that if they do that they’re supporting the destruction of the console industry and perpetuating greed.
Because if you don’t, we’ll be the piggy’s falling to our deaths as the throwaway app game birds destroy our console industry structure. And I’ll keep torturing metaphors until you do.
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