Thursday, October 19, 2006

Lumines Live

There's a problem with Lumines Live's microtransaction design. It's not the idea of microtransactions, it's that the idea is being applied to Lumines.

Here's the thing: the idea of splitting a game into separate purchasable pieces is a good idea for both the consumer and the game publisher. On the consumer side, if I'm a casual gamer and don't want to pay $50 for all levels of the game, I shouldn't have to. On the publisher side, the game maker can make $10 from the base version from people who wouldn't pay for the full version. That $10 is money they wouldn't have seen before. Makes sense and everyone can be happy. And maybe someday the person will pay more to upgrade a little, or more levels can be released. Great.

The problem with Lumines taking this tack is that its.... hello... Lumines?! It was overpriced when we all paid $40 for it on PSP and, in my opinion, it's overpriced at $12.00 on Xbox Live Arcade. The game has been overhyped since day one. It's Tetris Advanced with a downtempo soundtrack. Why would I pay $35 to get all of that game on XBLA? At most, I'd pay $10 for the whole thing, which is what games like Zuma and Geometry Wars cost. Lumines is not a disc-shippable game on a console. No one would pay full price for it... in retrospect, I'm surprised people did on the PSP (including myself, but I bought into the hype from my neighbor at work)

Let's see a game like Splinter Cell DA on XBLA, with microtransactions that end up costing $60 for the full thing. Then casual gamers can buy a part of the game and, like I said, that's $10 or $20 the game publisher wouldn't have seen before since they wouldn't have spent $60 on the game up front.

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