I’ll admit that I’m not as big of a gamer as I use to be. Due to a busy schedule, I’m more selective with the games I purchase and invest time in to. So moving on to the 8th generation of video game consoles isn’t a priority for me at the moment. Especially considering the fact that the systems were rushed out without any truly interesting exclusive content. So a lot of gamers like myself are not in a hurry to purchase an 8th Gen until actual content is released later next year. But while most titles are still being released on both 7th and 8th Gen consoles, WWE 2k15 plans on releasing a stripped down version of the same game on the PS3 and XBOX 360 for the same price as the the PS4 and XBOX One. And although it seems as if no one cares at the moment, what if this experiment by 2K games turns in to a common practice for other companies?
WWE 2K15 will have every mode for all systems except for the career mode. Unlike the jump from the original XBOX and the PS2 to their 7th Gen counterparts, the advantages of the switch to 8th Gen has been limited to unnecessary bells and whistles and improved graphics. Long gone are the days of upgrading a system and experiencing what the new generation of gaming had to offer. So the idea of a company removing major content in their own product in order to push sales of their 8th Gen versions of the same product not only shows how unnecessary an upgrade is, but how very little 2K thinks of its fan base. There are a lot of companies releasing titles for both generations, and there are some who are only developing for 8th Gen and trying to see how far they can push the new hardware. I can’t help but feel a little insulted that 2K would not only release a stripped version to the PS3 and XBOX 360, but also release it earlier than the XBOX One and PS4 versions in order to maximize sales. And while a lot of gamers are categorizing it as a one off incident for a sports related video game, imagine if this trend began to spread?
We’re already at a point in which video game companies are actually removing sections of video games and selling it as downloadable content instead of actually producing new content for their product. So this is just my opinion, but I feel we are not that far off from other companies with bigger and more mainstream titles adopting the same idea as WWE 2K15. The life span of the 7th generation of consoles is still strong. I can imagine this becoming a way to milk money out of both generations while still putting a lot of pressure on consumers to upgrade. So I’ll leave you with two questions to consider. Are we looking at the a new way to market the PS4 and XBOX One? And if these tactics continue, what kind of effect will it have on the gaming industry as a whole?