Versus Mode: Used Game Sales, DLC, Random Capitalization, and More

Mean Hamster Software's John Swiderski and Himalaya Studios's Britney Brimhall discuss used videogame sales, DLC, random capitalization in videogame titles, and more.

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usedIn which GameCola writers and the videogame world at large talk about what’s up in gaming.

This month in Versus Mode we’ve got:

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JOHN SWIDERSKI VS. BRITNEY BRIMHALL

John Swiderski is the President of Mean Hamster Software, a company that develops games for a variety of platforms, including the Pocket PC, Smart Phones, PDAs, Sony PSP, and Windows PC, as well as retro games for Amiga and Atari. Recent projects include casual PC title Pet Shop Hop, in which you take control of your family’s pet store and try to save it from being taken over by a big-time company. This is John’s second appearance in Versus Mode, having written previously with Brian Vanek.

Britney Brimhall is the Chairman and CEO of Himalaya Studios, which developed and published PC point-and-click adventure game  Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchman’s Mine. She’s also recently worked on AGD Interactive’s remake of Quest for Glory II, which was released a few months ago. This is Britney’s second appearance in Versus Mode, having written previously with Christian Porter.


1. Videogame companies should profit from used game sales.

JohnThis makes no sense to me. I think some players are thinking, what if you install the game, then sell it used, but continue to use it. This is usually not the usedcase. Most games require the CDs to be in the drive, and any effort to circumvent that is piracy. Other than that, buying a used game means it was SOLD once already and the publisher and developer have already been paid for that game. Typically used games sell well after the game has been through its popular stage, anyway.

Britney: Although I would personally enjoy profiting from used game sales, I believe expecting it is wishful thinking. Once money exchanges hands, I feel ANY item sold belongs to the purchaser. They have the right to do whatever they’d like to do with their purchase. If they want to sell it, I feel it is their right to keep all the profits. If they want to donate it to me, I will certainly allow that, too.

2. Six Guitar Heros in one year would be way too many.

John: Developers and publishers are always trying to find ways to get extra money out of an IP before it becomes “not cool,” so, on one side of the token, I say this is way too many and will cause a burnout earlier than they could expect. On the other side of the token, it helps everyone maximize the profits now, but I don’t think it helps them in the long run.

Britney: I like having options. If you don’t like ’em, don’t buy ’em.

3. Politicians should not admit to videogame obsessions.

John: True. Plain and simple. Playing games or admitting you like to play games once in a while is OK, even for politicians. Anything that’s an obsession or addiction is another story. If the person was addicted to “hard work” or “being ethical,” I’d would say those were good obsessions. Now in the news clipping above, the politician in this case says he plays every night. Night would be his free time; if he wants to play WoW or Halo in his free time, that’s his business. I don’t think it was anything he should be proud to admit in his candidacy unless he was going for the average videogame player as his voting market.

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BritneyNonsense. My mom admitted that she got a sporting injury playing the Wii. I gained respect for her and was finally proud to call her mom. Any politician who openly admits to playing videogames will earn, at the very least, my respect…and possibly even my vote.

Interestingly enough, after researching said politician, I have come to find out that he is running for Board of Supervisors in none other than my county. He is also an alma matter of my university.

Researching his views, I like that he’s ready to tackle the traffic congestion problem in the Valley; and having worked in private security, I especially like that he’s going to work on cutting down on 911 response times. There’s nothing like waiting patiently for the police to arrive when you’re in the process of nearly getting killed.

So, due to his open admission of loving videogames, which prompted my research of his views and character (which I do approve of), he’s getting another vote! My name’s Britney Brimhall, and I approve this game addict.

4. DLC should never be released the same day a game is released; it should just be included in the game.

JohnDLC SHOULD be released the same day a game is released. At least one or two pieces so the players are not disappointed. It gives them something to look forward to or buy right away if they are a big fan. It’s better than wondering when the content will arrive, if ever.

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Britney: I don’t see a problem with this. If people are looking forward to the game, it’s nice to be able to find additional goodies while the excitement is at its highest. For instance, if I want a puppy, and ask for one for Christmas, I do not expect to receive a collar, leash, dog dishes and food with the puppy. Part of the fun is going out and getting those items later that day.

5. Random capitalization in videogame names is annoying.

John: If it’s a marketing ploy naming convention, gimmicks like that have been used for years. It is a little annoying, yes. I suppose if the E or whatever letter they picked was really important to gameplay or to the story, it would be more acceptable. Just to make the logo look cool or for marketing is silly.

Britney: Annoying—perhaps. But it’s pure marketing genius, too. By annoying us, we are now talking about it. By talking about it, we’ll remember it. Hopefully for the publishers, we won’t remember that it was annoying.

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