Saturday, January 16, 2010

Mass Effect 2: Digital or Physical?

With all of the games that I have stuffed inside my game room, I really don't look forward to the day when I have to move some of them out because of newer games coming in. I really am enjoying the idea of having everything easily accessible within the confines of a room and that is why I see a bright future in digital download distribution in the video gaming industry. But will the distributors of such contents, like Direct2Drive, ever learn that there is a real difference between the digital space and the physical world?

Mass Effect 2 Collector's Edition in its physical form on = $59.96

Mass Effect 2 Digital Deluxe Edition on Direct2Drive.
All the contents from the physical version of the game = $59.95

Looking at the feature similarities between the physical copy and the digital version of the game above, it is nice to see that you get the digital recreation of physical things that you normally get from a purchase of the physical copy of the game but what is the justification behind the similarity in the pricing module? To be frank, I rather have the digital copy of the game's artbook and documentary video. Just think about it - you will never fear losing your digital contents because everything is stored electronically and you are granted access to download them again without limits. You can easily damage the physical artbook in a clumsy coffee accident and you can lose your game in say, galaxy forbid, a house fire. The benefits of owning the digital download version of a game are enormous but since the actual physical manufacturing and distribution of the game are thrown out of equations - not to mention there are less hands in the pot now when it comes to the profit margin - there is no reason why digital download games are still being sold at retail prices.

This atrocity must be discontinued. I am going to buy Mass Effect 2 in its physical form and I urge other Personal Computer gamers to do the same. We have to stop sending the message to digital download distributors that it is okay for them to price the games up so high as they are laughing their way to the bank. Of course the fault doesn't necessarily lie with the distributors since the developer/publisher themselves don't seem to have a problem raking in the dough from the overpricing as well:

Mass Effect 2 Digital Deluxe Edition on Electronic Arts' online store.

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