Vinyl and Games Ruminations

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VideoGameCritic
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Vinyl and Games Ruminations

Postby VideoGameCritic » July 6th, 2020, 12:18 pm

I was just thinking about the reinvigorated vinyl market and how it relates to video games.

I think it all started around 2008 or so. Just as digital downloads were beginning to take off publishers hastened the demise of physical media (intentionally?) by cheapening their product. Sturdy game cases were replaced by flimsy disposable cases and manuals were phased out.

This was all done under the guise of being "green", which of course is nonsense. EA doesn't care about the environment, but they do care about cutting costs to boost profits. And they do that anything you claim to do for the "environment" makes you immune to criticism.

At around the same time the CD packaging changed too. Instead of the heavy plastic cases you started to see thin cardboard sleeves which persist to this day. A CD I recently bought was packaged in a cheap square envelope. If consumers don't think they are getting a quality product, they are going to stop buying those items, as we've seen.

Of course, there is a certain category of customers who are die-hards willing to pay extra for high quality, and publishers weren't about to leave that money on the table. So we got the "special edition" video games sold in special cases with extra items included. Normally these are at least $20 more, but at least you feel like you're getting something for your money.

It dawned on me that vinyl is the "special edition" for music. Most young people I know wouldn't even consider paying money for digital music, but when you buy a record it feels like an investment. The newer records are quite heavy and many include fancy artwork and booklets. In this disposable society. It something that will last.

Thoughts?

TheEagleXIII
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Joined: December 22nd, 2019, 9:33 am

Re: Vinyl and Games Ruminations

Postby TheEagleXIII » July 7th, 2020, 2:56 am

I remember the transition from EA Sports phasing out manuals. It was clear they intentionally put less and less effort in them each year, until it just basically became a double-sided one page leaflet, and I wasn't surprised the first year I saw no manual at all. It was obvious BS when they claimed it was to be 'green' and help the environment - it was purely about saving money. It just made them seem even greedier when you consider it was around the rise of Ultimate teams and DLC - they'd literally just found a way to make tons of extra revenue and they really needed to find ways to save money?

I don't buy physical media for music anymore. Aside from a couple presents for relatives, I don't remember the last time I bought a CD. It's gotta be around 2011.

I used to buy tons of albums, though. Albums packaged in cardboard were always special editions and branded as 'digipacks' and usually contained bonus content; extra songs, maybe a 2nd disc of extra songs or a DVD, 'enhanced' CD's that had extra content if you put them in your PC. The packaging was usually elaborate too - unfolding at least 2-3 extra times with extra/alternative artwork.

I think it was about 5 years ago my wife bought her dad a CD on Amazon and when it arrived I was really confused why it was in cardboard packaging instead of a jewel case. It wasn't a special edition, it was the regular release, it only unfolded once. It was odd. Harmless, though.

Unless they don't glue on the standard plastic CD holder. Protecting the actually piece of physical media should be paramount - screw that noise if the CD is slid into a 'sleeve' within the cardboard and you gotta put your fingers over the disc to pull it out cos it's too tight, or loosen it by bending the cardboard and risking the disc falling out all the time.


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