A few years from now, to play a game online I may have to:
- Pay the usual box price for the game.
- Pay my ISP an extra fee for the “gamer” tier package, allowing access to games on top of my regular ISP billing for web content.
- Pay extra for the upgraded “gamer” cablemodem and router as the only authorized setup for my ISP package.
- Pay for overbilling when a 2gig patch pushes me over my monthly bandwidth cap.
- Pay a subscription fee to have access to multiplayer in the game.
- Pay an additional fee if I want to host games (joining existing sessions will be ironically labeled as “free” by the publisher).
- Pay for access to the game publisher’s social network, for friends, guilds and clan groups.
- Pay for entry in tournaments where unique / uber weapons (that everyone else seems to have) are given out as prizes.
- Pay for gated DLC content.
- Pay for bloody fucking mana potions in RPG games.
- Pay an Internet tax and an entertainment “gaming” tax.
I’m sure I’m missing a few.
This is probably a worst case scenario, but some of these fees already exist and the rest have been proposed by various corporate entities. I fear that the general attitudes count this stuff as no-big-deal, since it’s normal and natural for corporations to make a buck wherever they can, right?
My issue with this kind of milking of the games market is how few of these fees are connected to the actual creation of the game. They’re simply the gatekeepers holding the keys.