Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Future

Sometimes you're walking across the street and the future hits you in the crosswalk:
EA SPORTS will for the first time offer a downloadable official NCAA® Tournament edition of its college basketball videogame. Fans will be able to replicate the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship bracket and play with all the schools in NCAA March Madness®. Called NCAA® Basketball 09: March Madness® Edition and available exclusively for the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system for 1200 Microsoft points ($15.00), it will be available to download just in time for the start of the NCAA tournament.

Forget that the $60 game isn't very good, because that has nothing to do with the future. What matters here is that EA has carved out a portion of a $60 game and is selling it for $15.

That portion, by the way, can't be resold.

Does EA make more money selling something for $15 that can't be resold than they do selling something for $60 that can? I don't know, but I do know that this is a very shrewd move on their part, because they both cut off the used game market at the knees and expose many more people to their game at a "try it" price. Sure, it's just part of the game, but it's the part that most people will want to play at this time of year.

If you've already purchased the game, then the DLC will be free. So it looks like a no-lose situation for everyone, seemingly.

Except Gamestop, of course.

The problem, of course, is that this game isn't very good, and hasn't been good for as long as I can remember. I have hope for the future, because EA Vancouver develops this game, and sometimes EA Vancouver is terrific. With basketball games, though, not so much.

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