If the prices were not uniform, 3rd parties who know they don't have a hit everyone will want to download will have even less incentive to put a game on the platform. |
The prices, as they are now, are an attempt to keep some level of reasonable value for old games. Its better in the long run that this happens, then in the short run you save a bit of money and nobody ever has any incentive to work on putting classic games on these services because the rate of return is so low. By keeping a reasonable level of expectation, the market for classic games is preserved.
"Emulated ROMs are free/they should be iOS prices" are not arguments. iOS prices are not healthy in way, shape or form for the industry. No matter how you try to argue away, real releases take quite a bit more Q&A (contrary to popular belief you cannot just move a file from Wii to 3DS to Wii U and get them to work the same extent, especially the 3DS; a few games must be reprogrammed slightly so that things do not tits up when you try multiplayer options that do not work/are programmed differently than the original machine handled them; copyright violations and licenses must be changed or removed many times, or kept in for a price and bugs introduced by emulation must be test and squashed).
On top of that, it can be quite a bugger to even procure the rights to publish a Virtual Console game in the first place. Nintendo for instance cannot simply publish Earthbound overseas unless Shigesato Itoi agrees to it as well. Companies that no longer exist need to relinquish their copyrights to other companies, or have them bought. In Japan, Hamster, Konami and Arc System Works release a lot of Virtual Console games for other companies.
When you have the uphill battle of getting people to care about the rerelease of an ancient title in the first place, getting these companies, especially since it is no longer a fresh new idea as it was when the Wii released, setting a price higher than some of you expect is a given for any publisher who wants to make any kind of money. The prices are more than reasonable when you look at comparable markets in other entertainment industries. The only real argument you have is that Nintendo should stop pretending like one dollar equals 100 yen equals one pound or euro and do a more proper currency conversion.
As for selection, I keep thinking now that the idea of a PlayStation Archives or Virtual Console is around, they should build it into the copyright licensing of new games, so eventually its kind of like karaoke, if anyone is familiar with that model. That is, if you want to offer karakoke, you can effectively license a pack of songs to offer on your machine for a price. The person who is offering the karaoke then decides on how to profit from the service while still paying royalties. If there was some way Nintendo could offer a huge swath of games under this kind of contract and do that, I think that would be ideal, but they first need to get them into "karaoke pack" as it were and the only way they are going to be able to do that is to make it worthwhile to publishers to pursue it.
#9533264, By JinTypeNoir Wii U eShop
JinTypeNoir 4,365 posts
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