With the increased volume of free games from programs such as Xbox’s Games with Gold and PlayStation’s PS+, I wonder if it makes it harder for people to truly perceive the value of the games that become available. With some such as Guacamelee STCE even débuting as a free title, albeit temporarily, can we really gauge the game fairly in comparison to those we had to pay for?
I suppose I’m thinking about this a lot more recently due to a great number of the games becoming available are ones that I didn’t have an opportunity to play when they were first released. At a time when there was a lack of games on Xbox One that I was compelled to buy, it was a great way to keep playing whilst enjoying the best of both Xbox platforms.
Hard to believe I had never played Assassins Creed II or more recently Saints Row: The Third but when you consider the stellar (and huge) library the 360 has earned over the course of its lifetime I don’t know a whole lot of people who have played every big game out there. So an opportunity to get a couple of these games as part of a subscription is a huge bonus.
With the pricing of mobile games calling into question the long term viability of premium priced console games, offers of free titles by platform holders or the services such as EA Access may further erode gamers willingness to part with their cash.
So in those instances when gamers are willing to spend money, there may suddenly be this psychological need to either justify the expense beyond usual reasoning or be more critical because a three year old game you get for free offers a similar experience.
It throws a spanner in the works for reviews too; ranking games that are similar in style but differ in pricing introduces a whole new area of analysis in terms of value that I certainly don’t think I will figure out straight away. All anyone can do is try to call out those games that might abuse it and hope we can make our points valid.