RB & the inconvenience of physical goods

· by Steve · Read in about 3 min · (498 Words)

Physical goods are a pain. They take too much time and money (and oil / carbon emissions) to move around, they require high-street retailers to stock them who skim ridiculously fat margins off the top (or rather from the middle upwards), meaning the creators don’t get anywhere near as much as they should for their product, and worst of all, you have to wait for them to arrive instead of being able to get them right now.

Yeah, I’m petulant because Rock Band hasn’t arrived yet (and yes, I know since it needs instruments the rant against physical goods is tangental, but I don’t care). It was dispatched a couple of days ago, but it’s most likely sitting in some warehouse right now waiting for someone to get off their arse and move it somewhere else. It’s a bank holiday on Monday too, so I won’t get it now until at least Tuesday, if I’m lucky. Sucks. I haven’t looked forward to a game this much in quite a while, so I just want it to arrive already so the fun can begin. I’m not quite desperate enough to go down to the high street and pick it up at the outrageous price HMV are asking for it though. Ok, more outrageous.

I see GAME reported problems fulfilling preorders so I guess I should just be glad I have a copy heading my way. I also saw a number of people responding to that story with disappointment - they wanted Rock Band to fail in Europe to send a message about inflated pricing. To be honest, I knew that was never going to happen - if you want Rock Band, you want it; you’re not going to sit around moping about the price while other people have a ton of fun. It was always going to be pricey, and with the Play discounted price (now almost matched by Amazon I see), it’s really not any more expensive than was originally envisaged. Sure, it’s still damn expensive, but we always get ripped off here in Europe, just look at how a $60 game in the USA becomes a £50 game in the UK when exchange rates are almost $2:£1. In that context Rock Band being $150 at Amazon.com and £140 at Amazon.co.uk (I got it a little cheaper from Play on discount) doesn’t seem quite so unusual, even if it does stretch the already tenuous argument. But Harmonix are right about one thing - you can’t get anything like this anywhere else right now (and personally I don’t think you will for a good while, unless GHWT really surprises me), and that’s why they can get away with it. Personally, if I have to be a little poorer to have a whale of a time with my friends & family then I’m happy to do it - I love social gaming. If that means I’m caving to corporate greed, so be it - I’d rather be happy than right 😀