Bend over and take your pricing

EDITOR’S NOTE: I’d like to remind our readers that Tarquin’s opinions do not necessarily coincide with those of anybody else at Critical Gamer. Tarquin’s views are only guaranteed to represent the views of Tarquin.

So, Microsoft will soon be increasing the prices of Xbox Live Gold subscriptions. Isn’t that terrible? Doesn’t it make you angry? I bet if you’re a Gold subscriber you’re going to do something about it, aren’t you? E mail Microsoft and detail exactly why you think the price rise is unjustified. Or perhaps you’ll ring Xbox customer support, and demand to speak to somebody with some authority so they can explain it to you directly over the phone. No, no, I know; you and a group of friends will start an internet campaign to boycott Xbox Live until the price rises are cancelled. Perhaps you’ll go a stage further and hold out for prices more reasonable than the current ones.

Or perhaps you’ll just whinge and whine on internet forums and in the comment boxes of articles. Perhaps you’ll complain loudly without hesitating to pull your trousers down as Bill Gates approaches, a smile on his face and a sharpened vibrator in his hand.

You PS3 fanboys can stop smirking, too. How many of you bought your console on the day of release, while it was carrying that preposterous price tag? Here in the UK, thousands of morons flocked to the shops to pay £425 for a console with one controller and no games. Idiots.

Oh yes, people moaned and people cried. People roared in disgust at such an outrageous RRP. Most of the same people were fighting to be first in line on day one, however. This is because, generally speaking, people are stupid. As individuals, human beings are far more shrewd and complex than marketing executives (a whole other species) give them credit for. Put people in some sort of large group, however – ‘gamers’, for example – and their IQs will tend to plummet to Big Brother contestant levels.

I bet you’ve forgotten about the Modern Warfare 2 debacle already, haven’t you? Allow me to kickstart your fickle little brains. It was announced, with plenty of notice, that the RRP would be significantly more than most gamers tend to pay for their new releases (£15 more in the UK and before anybody says, yes I know the RRP was technically only £5 more than normal, so fuck off). Within seconds of the announcement, forum crawlers and other internerds were inexpertly bashing their keyboards with rage, telling each other how angry they were and completely failing to use correct spelling and grammar whilst doing so. Very few people informed the game’s publisher, Activision, of their displeasure.

The game managed to break various sale records even before release, and still more a few short weeks after.

To recap: if you complained about Modern Warfare 2’s pricing and paid so much as a single penny more than you usually would upon release, you’re stupid. If you complained about the PS3’s release price but still paid it, you’re stupid. If you’re complaining about the Xbox Live Gold price hikes but have already resigned yourself to paying them, you’re stupid. If none of this applies to you, don’t worry. I do not doubt for a second that I could find several examples in your purchase history that would emphatically prove to my satisfaction that you are stupid.

With me so far?

Xbox Live Gold subscription fees to increase. Xbox 360 owners impotently mumbling amongst themselves about it. PS3 online features remain free, with an optional subscription service that offers certain extra benefits. What’s missing from this picture?

Please, stop your slack – jaw dribbling whilst scratching yourselves. I’ll tell you what’s missing. Sony taking advantage of this discontent, that’s what’s missing. I only know a little about the world of marketing and PR (thank god) but surely this is a golden opportunity for Sony to scream from the proverbial rooftops about their free online play, chat, and messaging? Why is this not happening? I’ve had a bit of a think about the situation, and these seem to be the three most likely explanations:

  1. Everybody who works for Sony in every country in the world is unaware of the confirmed Xbox Live price rises.
  2. All of the Sony PR and marketing employees are having a holiday on the Isle of Wight, listening to old Eddie Cochran records and enjoying a range of interesting cheeses.
  3. Sony are waiting to see how easily Microsoft get away with the price increases for future reference.

In one of his interviews with Critical Gamer, Michael Pachter gives a bit of a wake up call. He points out that maintaining an online service is a lot of work with a lot of money involved, and Sony “isn’t so profitable that it can afford to be magnanimous forever”. This was shortly before the official announcement of PlayStation Plus; but with a seemingly small proportion of PSN users opting in to the service, and with so many paying so much for Xbox Live Gold, do you honestly believe that Sony would never consider making the subscription fee compulsory?

If that ever happened, the overwhelming majority of PSN users would pay it. I know it, Sony know it, and you know it whether you’re prepared to admit it or not. There would be a hurricane of criticism and protest to begin with, oh yes. There would be a veritable army of friendless geeks with nothing more important in their worthless, empty lives that would spend every day for a month telling everybody who’ll listen (and many who won’t) that they’ll boycott PSN if the fee becomes compulsory. Sony will apologise profusely yet stand firm; the day will come when the fee becomes compulsory; and those who complained the loudest will pay at the last minute, realising that without their online interactions they will have no way of pretending they’re worth something to the world and would therefore be morally obligated to commit suicide.

I suppose that deep down, such people liken these financial shaftings to being raped by an elderly relative whilst visiting them on holiday. It’s a nasty, traumatic experience; but one that they manage to resign themselves to by suppressing the memory until the next year.

What do I suggest to remedy the situation? Nothing. I can’t do anything. You’re all fucking idiots.

Thanks for reading!

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Written by Tarquin X

He hates you and everything you stand for.


  1. KrazyFace /

    Wow, Tarquin (or andy, steve, whatever your name is) I’d maybe have sided with you on your article, but the ammount of times you’ve told me to fuck off and called me an idiot, I just feel like punching you in the face mate. The price rise of XBL is unfortunate, and you’re probably right about PSN eventually chrging for it’s service and depending on the charge I might stay with them or not.

    And when I say I might leave PSN if I’m charged for it, I mean it. I don’t deal with being online that much anyway. I use Home now and then sure, but won’t miss it. I like browsing the PSN store for demos and the like but still, won’t miss them either. The last time I tried to play with a friend online, it was such a mess we just gave up (though that was the game’s fault) and other than that, I don’t feel the need to take my games online, I’m very happy with single player.

    My worry, is when games that NEED an online connection in a single player mode become the norm, THEN I’ll be worried about having to pay for PSN. I’ve been gaming for a looong time, and always knew it was an expencive past time, but lately things are just getting silly. In truth, I don’t get nearly as much time with my games as I’d like anymore and if things get to the point where I’m paying a lot of money for a few hours of gaming a week (if that), I’m just gonna give the whole damn thing up I think.

    Sad, but true.

  2. A voice of reason. You’ve got to remember though, Tarquin, that the majority of users aren’t like this. Believe it or not, most people don’t bother posting online or even visiting forums. The majority of posters are either 15 or immature assholes. The minority.

    I wish more people would come out and say what you have instead of just posting “10 reasons I’m still getting XBL” or “5 reasons you should be happy with MW2’s price”

    • Thank you Jack, you are the first person not related to me by blood to have earned my respect.

      The majority of people who comment on sites are “either 15 or immature assholes”? Let’s see if the following comments bear this out…

  3. Michael Pachter is the biggest dummy that writes or talks about games. If he is ever right ,which I don’t care if he ever is,he still an ass. Thsts my comment. I have psn plus and xbox gold. I will not renew the worthless psn plus. If all systems go to pay to play I’ll stay with Xbox. What you failed to mention is that 360 had a paid service from the start. you can’t compare sony to microsoft online. Game cost more to buy and yet average about 5 hours of gameplay now. your stupid too.

  4. WOOOAAH sounds like someones going through their period. Your style of journalism makes me think that your a “news reporter” for fox news. Your article makes it sound like complaining about something but then giving in anyway is such a huge isolated & wretched occurrence in life. Luckily there are no ads on this page because the only other views you’d get for this article would be the small amount of people linking to this page saying “hey check this fucking douche out, it’s like his girlfriend RROD with him in bed” or N4G. If your annoyed by people venting their frustrations about pricing, then just ignore articles, threads, whatever unless your such a complete dumbass to click an X or press Alt+4. Obviously your not a real writer “Tarquin X” so your credibility in mocking or attempted satirisation of anyone plagued with even seeing this “article” if a complete and utter failure.
    Such is life, like yours which will forever be writing meaningless articles & alienating anyone that comes in contact with you so all you be left with are dogs with no legs that you kick around to feel some emotional contact.

    Please stay alive, we wouldnt wanna burden the people in hell with your presence. OKTHXBYE

  5. You’re in the UK? What are you wasting people’s time for then? The price increase for gold is only for monthly membership in the UK, Canada and Mexico ( If you pay on an annual basis, the price is the SAME… The price increase (for a year of gold) is only in the US… But hey, I guess it gave you an opportunity to moan… even though it was not justified…

  6. KrazyFace /

    Umm, I heard that the price of XBL is to increase EACH YEAR too. Might just be a rotten grapevine I heard that on though…

  7. Dixon Francois Jr. /

    I’m letting my Live subscription end, which is in 4 days, and buying a PS3. If PSN starts charging, then I’ll stick to console exclusive games for PS3 and 360 and play multiplayer games on the PC I’m building 🙂

    • Jmonster /

      Ok wait a second here and let me get this straight. You’d rather spend another 300$ for a console and roughly 40-60 dollars per game that you would like for said console instead of renewing an online service which you could get right now at $39.99. Hmm, I think I’d rather renew the service. I’m sure I can afford $5 a month, (new pricing), instead of wasting 500+ dollars.

  8. half_empty80 /

    What the hell is this awful article doing on here. I thought this was critical gamer?

  9. TriggerBuster /

    Is this a joke?…

    No really, is this article a joke?

    You talk about assholes and immature 15 year olds posting on the internet. The only thing this article tells me is that you must be one of the two Tarquin. There seems to be no professionalism in your article whatsoever which just further discounts any credibility you might have as a writer for this website. I wasn’t aware that swearing was allowed on this website, especially directed at anybody else. But seeing as it seems to be, Tarquin, YOU are the fucking idiot.

    Does that make you feel nice? No? Funny that, doesn’t seem to make anybody else feel nice either. If this is what Critical Gamer has been degraded to, I don’t think I’ll bother even coming back here.

  10. Did I just read the same article as the people above? because what I read was, people bitch and cry about stuff saying they will boycott then they end up buying whatever anyway WHICH IS FUCKING SPINELESS AND STUPID. I guess a few of the commenter’s here fall in to one of your examples and got a bit hurt by that.

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