Davis Freeberg (over at Thomas Hawk.com?) complains over the terrible experience that comes with a purchase of Final Fantasy XI for the Xbox 360. What do you get?
- $59.99 for the box
- 45 minute installation of SquareEnix PlayOnline
- 90 minute installation of Final Fantasy XI
- $12.95 monthly fee
- $1 per character monthly fee
Not only that, but you have to register, and once that’s done, your copy of the game is tied to your Xbox Live account, and can never be played on another person’s console or resold.
So, you have to install, which is something that should never happen on a console. You have to pay $228 for the first year (assuming you only want one character), as well as give up a huge chunk of hard drive space other games could be using.
While a person should know going in that there is a monthly fee, it is conceivable they don’t, and retail purchases don’t do a good job warning of that. Additionally, when it costs a minimum of $168 a year, there’s no stupid reason to charge sixty bucks for the box. Lets be honest: at that monthly price, the box should be free, especially since its short 90 minutes of downloaded content.
Also, there’s no warning that you can’t resell the game. If publishers are going to put resell protection on the disk, then they should have to warn you. Still, I’m really worried that the used game market is going to dry up because of locks like these, and that is only going to make people buy less games.
When my Xbox 360 finally arrives (the shortage never ends!), I’d like to try out FF XI. However, I’d rather have a Nintendo DS. And since the DS is cheaper than this one freakin’ game, I know what I’m doing.
The installation process for the game is, by all accounts, clunky and unfriendly. You might be able to get away with that on the PS2, which doesn’t have a unified, easy-to-use online service, but it’s shameful to allow the same to happen on the 360 which has won kudos for being user friendly.
Requiring consumers to complete an hours-long installation process before fees are spelled out is shady and manipulative. Researchers have demonstrated that large sunk costs (of time or of money) increase the likelihood that individuals will continue to pay for small incremental charges that occur later.