When Playstation first announced their Vote to Play system for PS+ members last month I got really excited about the prospect of having my say in the choice of game we will be getting each month as part of our subscriptions.
This excitement was further piqued when I saw the marketing punts on Youtube for each of the three games, Grow Home, Armello and Zombie Vikings. It was great to research each game and ultimately make my decision to go for Zombie Vikings based largely on their developer pedigree with Stick It To The Man which was one of my favourite games on the PS4 thus far.
The trailer from Zoink was also pretty well done and delivered the same humour I would expect from the game itself. Check it out below…
Grow Home just seemed like a garage/basement game developed by amateurs. Everything just seemed a little wonky and the premise of the game wasn’t particularly exciting. Their trailer was also pretty terrible with two really damn awkward guys on camera and their main character coming across a little bit retarded.
Armello had a nice enough trailer but the game just seemed overly complex to me with the trading cards and board games and strategy all rolled into one concept.
So off I went and voted for Zombie Vikings and then checked in on the polls every so often to watch Grow Home take the lead by a run away mile eventually. Which is about the same time I started questioning this democracy thing.
I’ve always enjoyed the “lucky packet” factor involved with PS+ and prefer getting brand new games I would never have played or bought otherwise. It has shown me a whole new world of games and unlike other people who rant and rave about not getting AAA games (that term is relative too, since I considering many PS+ titles AAA quality) I like the variety.
Obviously not every game has been to my tastes, but I’ve at least taken each and every one for a spin, which doesn’t seem to be the case for many other users who just outright ignore games and never even bother downloading them…instead choosing to moan on forums and social media about games they haven’t even played.
Then PS+ Tuesday finally arrived this week and I remotely downloaded Grow Home to see if my original assumptions about the game were wrong, like so many other PS+ games before it that I ended up loving when expecting to hate them.
Sadly I was spot on. The game feels very unpolished and although more engaging that I had expected it’s a chore to play. Not because it’s boring but rather because you end up failing/falling for no good reason at all other than bad collision detection or purposeful design that makes the game more difficult than it should be. The climbing mechanism is also much too rigid and should have allowed for faster or larger movements so that when you fall because it doesn’t take an age to get back where you bliksemed off from. Yes there are teleporters, but even so it feels like harder work than it should be. BUD feels permanently drunk and unresponsive which is a deeper part to the problem.
So I find myself with a “bad” game which could have been avoided had the majority choice been different. And therefore I ask myself if the majority really know what’s good for them? Much like our own government elections, just because it’s democratic doesn’t really mean it works towards the greater good.
Did even 10% of the voting base do any research at all into these games? Or did they simply click the one with the prettiest picture as I suspect happened in most cases. Are people happy with their choice after the fact? Maybe Playstation should have a secondary poll to determine if people feel robbed of their vote…but then again that’s what ratings are for.
Unlike our elections though, Sony have offered us a better deal by means of making the other games cheaper by means of a discount. Ignoring the fact that we are still considered an island off the coast of the UK and therefore have stupid pricing across the board…R209 for a PSN game AFTER discount is just crazy money.
It used to be that Xbox Live Arcade and PSN Games were a choice between a great game or a few less McDonalds meals in a month. Now you ask yourself if it’s not better to hold onto your wallet and use the money for a blockbuster game instead. Especially when you compare it to similar class games on mobile for at most $10 but generally $2-$5 it becomes a very difficult thing to convince and audience of.
So I find myself wanting Zombie Vikings, but not being willing to pay for it (yet) because the price simply isn’t right.
Now I don’t claim to know what happens behind the scenes with these PS+ deals, but I can only guess that plenty of money changes hands from Sony to the developers that win the Vote to Play poll and the others probably also get some cash to make the not so great discount happen. A much better option would be to change the entire Vote to Play system to a Choose to Purchase one instead.
Instead of leaving your choice to the majority, when PS+ Tuesday comes you get to choose one of the three games for free and the other two are available at a discount. That way everyone gets what they really want and the developers get money in their pockets based on total sales. Those few people who want the other two games can still do that and the developers get even more money in their pocket.
Nobody feels ripped off, everyone is a winner. Unlike the disaster which is our own democrazy where 2% bring in the money and the other 98% get the majority vote, on PS+ everyone is equal and everyone pays to be a part of it…so why not give everyone equal choice?
I might sound socialist or something, but I honestly don’t think the majority knows what’s good for them. Let the people in the know do the decision making and just trust that they know what they are on about, because if you leave it up to the populace at large you can only expect a disaster.
Democracy seems to only work when things go right, rest of the time it’s a bit of a joke.
I know nothing about politics and don’t pretend to do so either. Yes, it might be a bit of sour grapes because I didn’t get the game that I wanted, but even people who did vote for Grow Home have been disappointed.