Featured Blog

Split-Sale: Why can't we buy parts of games?

There are a ton of multi-player diversions out there. Games like Bioshock 2 and Killzone 2 have those components, but I'm not interested. If the single-player was offered as a discounted download, maybe that would get me in the door.

The Big Sister Doesn't Want to Play Killzone 2 Online. Source: here and here

2K Marin's Bioshock 2 and Guerrilla Games' Killzone 2 are titles I'm extremely excited to eventually pick up. But, honestly, I have enough multiplayer diversions (like, for instance, the Medal of Honor beta) already. So why can't I just buy the part of the game I want to play?

This is especially the case with Bioshock 2. My wife and I loved the original game and want to eventually play the sequel. But, though the multiplayer design was innovative-sounding, I really could care less. The game currently lists at your local Gamestop for $40 new. Why not let me buy just the single player for $25 or $30? This would keep me away from the used shelves ($32 complete game) and, if the game is *just* that good, I could always purchase an online code to unlock the full game.

Killzone 2 emphasizes its multiplayer and I've heard great things about it. But, though the local Gamestop lists it for $30, that was an awfully recent price drop. As recent as one or two months ago, it was still up around $40-50--which kept me from buying the game. At that price point, I would have been willing to spend $25-30 just to experience the single-player and forget the online play. Maybe now that the price has dropped. . . .

But Guerilla could have gotten me in the door a lot sooner.

EA recently adopted a strategy of requiring a one-time code to access DLC and online play for their games. This has been taken a lot of different ways, but it's clearly a way to combat used sales--and I think a lot of gamers have reacted negatively. They feel like something is being taken away.

This "split-sale" strategy is the reverse. It's giving us something: a lower price of entry for the single player. The task becomes: convince me that the game is good, and I'll plug for the multi-player. Pricing models might even allow for the combined price of the separate purchases to be slightly higher than the complete purchase intitially.

The logistics of physical disks means this is probably best served as a digital download, and probably best done after the game is out for a year or so (because early adopters will ALWAYS pay full price). Arcade games already do this all the time, so the coding involved can't be that hard.

The message is: give us something we want, don't take something away!

What are your thoughts?

Latest Jobs

Xbox Game Studios

Redmond, Washington
Technical Lighting Artist


Hamburg, Germany
Game Designer - Elvenar

Six Foot

Houston, TX
Six Foot Director, Player Relations

Hometopia Inc.

Lead Engineer
More Jobs   


Explore the
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Job Board

Game Developer Newsletter


Explore the

Game Developer Job Board

Browse open positions across the game industry or recruit new talent for your studio

Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Follow us


Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more