I buy a lot of luxury items. Anyone who reads my blog here, or who has taken a look at my work in progress, Shop N Tell, knows this. I'm not afraid to spend a little cash. But don't let that confuse you -- I am not a fool who is soon parted from my money. The reason I can buy the stuff I do, have fun, and not stress out? Its simple: I have confidence that what I am buying is worth what I am paying for it.
So when Aksys Games decided to release their strategy RPG Record of Agarest War on the Xbox 360 with a full color booklet (these are becoming far too uncommon to take for granted), a really pretty anime pillowcase, a soundtrack and (this last part I didn't need personally, but I will still) an 8 x 10 mousepad of a character from the game -- complete with gel filled boobs. Yes, I realize that is very cheesy. And yes, I am a girl who is definately *not* a lesbian!
The thing that I found so impressive about this special edition was just that -- that all of these extra goodies -- which it could easily be argued are unnecessary -- are included in the game price. At $60 Canadian it was a true effort of fan service, and something that I would like to see more companies do far more often. So I was all ready to click buy and add it to my credit card. The trouble is, I was not ready quite fast enough. I am on a pension, as some people know. I don't drive. So I did not get to choose exactly when I would cash my check or add funds to my online accounts. And as of Thursday the game is all gone on Amazon.ca ... All gone, that is, unless you want to pay the rediculous prices that are being demanded by online sellers.
So just how bad is it? I have been following it the last two days and in less then 48 hours the price of Record of Agarest War on Amazon.ca has gone from $59.99 (which was the MRSP) to $89.99, and then from that to anywhere from $90.15 through 107.99. Then you have people who bought extra copies so that they could separate all of the extras and sell each piece separately on sites like eBay. Research indicates that the complete game will run you $74.99 over there, whereas the game can be had for approximately $35, whereas the mousepad and pillowcase seem to be worth about $15 each.
But really, that is all above and beyond the point that I am attempting to make. If you glance at the picture that I chose for this article, it reads "This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things". If this is how we, as a society, behave when something like this comes out, then should things like this be presented to us? This seems like a complete slap in the face to the company who chose to design and destribute their game in the manner in which they did. Sure... The overall marketing scheme for Record of Agarest War was over the top. It sold itself on sex, which is totally classless, and also very much false if you research the actual game. (C'mon, it is rated T, people.) Is it going to reach the upper levels of SRPG greatness that games like Fire Emblem, Disgaea and Final Fantasy Tactics achieve? It would seem questionable, considering all of the bells and whistles being used outside of the actual game as selling points.
But did I still want to give it a whirl? Yeah. Sure. For $60 with all of the extra goodies, I did not feel like I had a lot to lose. For going on $100+ because some idiot on the internet got greedy? No way. Its not that I couldn't afford it -- I'm actually sitting here with $200 ready to go on a shopping spree at all my favorite online stores. Its not the money that is stopping me. Its the principle of the thing. Someone else, who had nothing to do with the production of a product whatsoever, feels that I should pay them an aditional $40 in order to buy it. And I won't fall for that.
Interestingly enough, Amazon.com still has copies of Agarest War. They are even selling them for $4 less then the company suggests. Too bad it would cost me about $12 in shipping. But if I were to have to decide between giving some asshole reseller extra money, or paying for shipping to avoid them, I would choose the shipping. Because at least there is a legitimate reason for it beyond a company or individual's greed. Beyond the twisted practice of resellers wiping out unique products like jackells to lazy to make their own kills. When I pay money, I make sure that I know what I am paying for. And if I am paying to not only assauge, but also encourage someone else's greed, then I don't need what they are selling. (I also don't need the game companes thinking I am willing to pay $100 per Xbox 360 game, thanks muchly!)
So it looks like I might not be getting Record of Agarest War after all. Too bad. I was really looking forward to it. But its only a game, and there are far more important things that are at stake by not buying it then there are by going ahead. I can live in a world without one more aditional SRPG. Trading in an exuberant amount of money as well as a few grains of my self worth to get it, though? Nope, sorry. That's just a little above and beyond my budget for any purchase. If this is what adding cool bonuses does to a game the developers can shove them up their collective asses.