‘My money’s on PC, mobile, tablets’ – Bleszinski on Xbox One u-turn

Friday, 21 June 2013 09:16 GMT By Dave Cook

Cliff Bleszinski has penned a sizeable blog to expand on some of his recent Twitter statements regarding Xbox One’s anti-used policies. The former Epic Games designer believes that Microsoft’s preowned fee was a positive step for the industry, which regularly loses sales to retail chains such as GameStop and its ‘revolving door’ trade-in policy.

In the blog, Bleszinski slammed the knee-jerk reactions of what he called the, “the internet pitchfork mob who can only see 6 inches in front of their face without thoughtfully analyzing a situation,” and suggested that quick-to-ridicule gamers aren’t seeing the bigger picture of why Microsoft wanted to curb used games sales to begin with.

The designer then went on to share his own experience with the Gears of War 3 launch party, following years of development and effort, only to see a GameStop leaflet asking people to trade it back in almost instantly.

“Cut to flying home [after the event] and people start sending me pictures of the extremely well put together finely printed leaflets at the Gears 3 launch that said “Trade in this game by November 6th and get more than you normally would on your trade in!”

“Motherfucker. We had done a lot of work to keep the disc in tray, but those retail practices are deliberately set up to create a revolving door of game trade in. Folks say “Yeah, but Gamestop helps out a lot of games by pushing them!” to which I quote Chris Rock “Yeah, they’re like the uncle who paid for your college…but molested you.”

“Capitalism? Sure. It’s a free market and they’ve got every right to do this. I accept that. However when I see studio after studio closing and the aforementioned alluded titles failing I know something’s got to change. But Cars and Movies and Books haven’t had this problem, why are games different?”

He admitted that simply blaming used games for problems in the industry comes across as ‘whiney’, but he spelled out what he believes to be the future of the console market now that Xbox One will not charge its users to play used discs.

“So here’s what’s going to happen now that Microsoft has largely matched Sony’s (well played) move at E3. The shift to digital is still going to happen (FOR BOTH) but it’s going to be slow and subtle. Suddenly more DLC will be made available.

“More microstransactions will appear. And Day One Digital will (hopefully) be cheaper and will have so many added bells and whistles that consumers (with reliable enough bandwidth) will have a hard time refusing the tasty downloadable edition over the disc based one.”

He added, “I’ve said before if I worked at Microsoft I would not only POSITIVELY motivate users to go digital but also offer their own trading system in which they give you MORE money for your game than Gamestop and sell the used games for LESS than Gamestop. Include a Netflix style mailing system and move along your merry way by engaging the customer as opposed to treating them like criminals.

On Microsoft’s rocky ride over the Xbox One reveal, Blesinzki continued, “Years from now college courses are going to be taught in proper messaging and they’re going to use Microsoft’s E3 delivery as a worst case scenario,” and added, “I’ll admit, the once every 24 hour check was pretty silly.

“Customers can smell from a mile away when you’re treating them like children, peeking your head into their bedroom on a regular basis in an attempt to catch them doing something. Here’s the thing about Steam. It doesn’t FORCE you to be online. The ecosystem of Steam is so brilliant, from the community, to the summer sales, to the indie games, that you WANT to get online.

“My money is on the PC, mobile and tablets for the near future. I wandered around E3 looking at (too many) fantastic games shaking my head and worrying about how many are going to be deemed a failure due to the fact that yes, it may have sold 4 million copies, but it cost too much to make and market, so it was a wash.”

What do you make of the above? Is GameStop’s aggressive trade-in strategy denting the income of studios, are PC, mobile and tablets the way forward? Let us know below.

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