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X-Planations #4: Run-Away Military Spending?
Written By: Nick Arvites

Sure. Laugh at the title. Then take a look at the estimated price for this game at EB or Babbages. Not laughing anymore, are we? $250 US for one game and a custom controller is outrageous. The Xbox costs $250 US. One game that costs as much as the system? Come on. Who exactly is asleep at the wheel of Capcomís Marketing and Sales division? I know what theyíre thinking (if you can call it thinking). The die-hard mech simulator fans will eat this game up and gladly and proudly lay the money on the table. Too bad it will not work. I for one am a die-hard mech fan. Look in my box-o-PC games under my bed and you will find every Mechwarrior game made, every Mechcommander game made, and almost every knockoff made. Hell, I even played tabletop Mech RPGís. I should be (by their train of idiotic thought) drooling for a custom controller and Steel Battalion while ignoring the cost. I am sorry if I live on a budget and try to balance many an expense with video games. If Iím going to spend $250 on something video game related, I could BUY ANOTHER SYSTEM.

Sure, I might be able to see myself spending $250 if I received something more than a game and a controller I canít use on anything else. Maybe Iíd bite if they bundled the game with Microsoftís upcoming Xbox installment of the Mechwarrior series. Sadly, they expect people to be stupid enough to throw money at this. I donít care how great the game looked at E3 and how critically acclaimed it was at E3, the price will drive away EVERYONE. Do you think some college kid will spend that much money on one game? No. How about some high school kid? No. Or how about some 20-something person? No. The entire age group that video games sell to the most all have better things to spend $250 bucks on than one game and a custom controller. I canít be the only person that realizes this! People in the company are supposed to realize this and know this. There are other methods of pushing a custom part or controller without jacking the price up. If there were more than one game included, it would not be so bad. If there were more than one game that USED the controller, it would not be so bad. However, the mech genre of games has always been in a niche corner of the gaming world at best. I do not see many mech games released over a generation to begin with and seriously doubt more than two games will use this controller. Capcom should know better than to try pushing this. It will not work. People are not willing to part with the amount of money they paid for the system for one game. They need to make the controller optional, make it cheaper, bundle in a few more games or watch as their great product collects dust on the retailer shelves. It is a sad state when a critically acclaimed game of E3 like Steel Battalion threatens to fall into obscurity before it is released due to the hefty price tag.

What do you think about Steel Battalion's hefty price tag?  Worth it, or worthless?  Send your thoughts in to the XGF Mailbag and we'll print the best ones.

Posted: 9-10-02

 


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