We’ve been over Ubisoft’s neon-tinted tribute to macho 80s action flicks a few times already. The game’s a lot of fun, and it’s got a style unlike any other game on the market right now. Rehashing Blood Dragon’s entertainment value isn’t the order of this day, though. Let’s talk business.
It seems like you can’t cruise reddit for cat pictures these days without stumbling upon an article or two slamming a video game developer or publisher for some sort of anti-consumer chicanery. Games get released broken, then the patch released a day or two later makes things worse. Mandatory always-on internet connections for ostensibly single-player games never work as well as they did during the testing phase, if they were ever load tested at all. Companies that spend far too much money making their snow textures just right try to nickel and dime gamers with micro transactions included in games for which they already shelled out $59.99 of their hard-earned dough. Demo versions and videos are built using superior technology completely different than that deployed in the shitty final products. If a gamer didn’t know better, he or she might swear the whole industry is out to piss us all off.
Blood Dragon proves that someone out there still loves us. Fifteen smackers gets you eight to twelve hours of hilariously well-written shooty-sneaky goodness. Products that provide more than an hour of entertainment for every buck fifty or so at full price are few and far between, especially when you take bouncy balls and one-legged meth head hookers out of the occasion. Say what you will about Ubisoft and their insidious DRM; Blood Dragon’s a bargain. It’s an olive branch extended lovingly to the gaming populace, a peace offering designed to bring developer and gamer together in sweet harmony.
Of course, Blood Dragon is also designed to try to interest gamers in the main Far Cry series. There’s nothing wrong with that. Giving customers a great deal in the hopes that they’ll spend more money on your other products is a tried-and-true method of inducing future sales. Although I realize that Far Cry 3 is lamentably devoid of Michael Biehn, I unashamedly count myself among the converted after playing Blood Dragon. I’m a cheapskate, you see, so Far Cry 3 was just another title mired in the depths of my Gamefly Q somewhere among the likes of Kameo and Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. It sounded good enough for a rental, but nothing I read about it sold me on opening up my wallet for it. Now, in this new post-Blood Dragon world in which we all must find our new lots in life, Far Cry 3 hasn’t just found its way onto my radar, it’s worked its way into my budget planning. And I want to pay full price for it.
So I’m a sucker. I’m a grateful sucker.
I hope the nickel-and-dimers and phony-demo-makers are paying attention. The best way to legally take people’s money is by making people want to give them your money. Give them a solid taste of what you can do for a discount rate to drive sales to your full priced offerings. In today’s world of digital distribution, this is easier and cheaper than ever: developers and publishers don’t even have to worry about pressing discs or printing cheesy cover art. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon was a shrewd business move on the part of Ubisoft. I hope we see others emulate it.
For more Blood Dragon served with a side of Lollipop Chainsaw and a bit of League of Legends for dessert, check out Episode 139 of the D Pad D Bags Podcast.