Brand Loyalty

Brand loyalty.

It’s everywhere these days and I’m the first to admit that I myself am partial to it, and I suppose in this day and age it pays to as everything can connect with each other in one way or another.

Take for example when I was a Microsoft fanatic, everything just had to be Microsoft, my computer Windows, consoles (Xbox 360 and Xbox One) had to be Microsoft, hell I even had two Windows Phones, because I just had to be able to earn Gamer score when I was away from my TV.  Everything was just so much more simple, One Drive really did make life wonderful, I could sync all my photos and videos up, even my documents. This is all incredible of course until I started to notice Microsoft lacked in one spot, the Xbox.

Why do I believe the Xbox was lacking? Well it’s not the actual Xbox itself (although I was a little disappointed with the Xbox One) but rather the Windows Phone and Xbox integration which really annoyed me. I bought my Windows Phone after converting from IPhone 4 and being informed that Windows Phone will be the only one to feature any sort of Xbox integration. What a load of shit.

Sure you can play Xbox live arcade games on the phone, but that is the only thing that sets it apart from Android and iOS. In fact, the same Xbox live App on my IPad and IPhone 6 actually work better than what they did on the Windows Phones (yes plural, I had a Lumia 820 and the 1520). The app is better laid out on iOS, loads quicker, crashes less, and has more updates. I don’t understand why Microsoft does this to their loyal Windows Phone users, whom might I add are a dying breed.

I understand that they have other customers as well but seriously? Why sell the phone as this integration device when you support other devices over your own?

It’s safe to say I won’t be going Microsoft for a while, I renewed my phone contract and went with the iPhone 6, which is incredible, it made me think as to why I left Apple in the first place. The first time I saw the iPhone 4 it was the sexiest phone I had ever seen, and everything just seemed to work flawlessly. So now I’ve decided to jump the Windows Wagon and spread my Brand loyalty elsewhere, to Apple.

I sold my custom gaming PC, my Xbox One and soon my Xbox 360, and will be purchasing a Mac Book of some description.

But hang on, what about gaming wise? Back to Nintendo for me, the only Company I can think of who has never screwed the pooch. I regretfully admit that while I loved my WiiU I thought I would love an Xbox One more and traded it in towards one. I kick myself everyday over that decision, and I’ve missed some great title launches because of it. Not to worry though as soon I will be the owner of one again and will buy the titles I missed out on, and will enjoy them all until the next Nintendo product is launched.

Brand Loyalty

The replay value of games

The early years of gaming in my childhood consisted of countless completions of Donkey Kong 64, Konker’s Bad Fur Day, Legend of Zelda: OoT and Golden Eye. I didn’t have many games but back then it didn’t seem to matter, I just remember the games had so much to do, exploring every nook and cranny to find something you and your friends hadn’t discovered yet. These days it just feels as if games have a max of 2-3 play throughs, if that.

I’ll admit when I still had my Xbox One account I was a bit of an “ achievement whore”, tallying up over 100,000 on the accounts I had accumulated over the years, and once I finished a game 100% I wouldn’t give it a second look, why would I need too? I had collected all the points I could earn, I had collected every point of intel, every poster had been burned, all outposts captured etc etc. In saying this that is just single player, the addition of multiplayer to almost every game these days really changes the dynamic to video games and what constitutes completing a game. I know people online who say you haven’t finished a game until you finish the multiplayer aspect also.

This multiplayer aspect is what could be the difference between the content offered between games of old and today, there seems to be more emphasis on the multiplayer which is fine for a majority of games but there are some single player games that I think should cut out any form of multiplayer as they don’t really need it, which would allow for the team/ developers to focus on the story, hidden secrets and bonus missions for example.

Sure if you haven’t played a great game for a lengthy period you may want to pick it up and give it a run, but a majority of the time I’ll find myself straight down to the local electronics dealer buying the newest game. Now this is where this discussion could be seen as the pivotal point between my childhood and adulthood, the ability to spend money.

I would be lucky to get 2 games a year as a 10 year old, whereas being an adult I can comfortably afford to spend $100 a week on a new game, hell I can even complete it, return it within 7 days and exchange it for another if I desire.

People will say that expansion and DLC keep a game fresh, but today with expansions announced before a game is even released (EA I’m looking at you) I feel robbed, include that content in the game. I love DLC that is released months or years after a game was initially released as I will load the game back up and be happy to purchase it if it promises a good amount of gameplay. Dead Rising 3 was good for this, adding numerous side stories of different characters which kept the game fresh after finishing.

Companies have a habit of releasing a game yearly now, shooting games in general will do this regularly, where others will deposit large amounts of money to produce a polished game, with content that’ll keep even the most avid players interested for years.

When all has been said and done though if you love a game you will play it again, and who knows, you might just find a new secret on top of that mountain in the distance.

The replay value of games

Sorry I’m what?

32 years of age is the average age for Gamers apparently.

I’m sorry but I can’t believe this statistic, purely because 26% of Gamers are over the age of 50. How many 50 year olds do you know playing round after round of Battlefield, headset on, yelling profanities about who slept with whose Mother. Where do they find these people? I’ve never come across them in all my years of gaming online or online forums, “so where are they?” I asked myself.

And then it hit me, mobile gaming.

Looking further into it various articles counted app games and the people who play them regularly as gamers. How do we decide whom to classify as a gamer? Is there a Government body who creates these parameters? What is classified as a game these days?

This is where the line is blurred. The guy who plays WoW for 16 hours a day is considered the same as a 42 year old woman who loads up Candy Crush once a day, or is it the bloke who works at McDonalds, loading up Clash of Clans when he’s on the toilet.

Is it the people on Facebook sending me continuous invitations to play the newest craze game, or the woman still farming on Farmville religiously after all these years?

It’s like calling a man who walks his dog once a day an athlete, it’s just not the same, and frankly it needs to stop.It appears that only the proper gamers (if I can say that, but who are the “proper”?) refer to themselves as the “Gamers” and I guess that’s as good as we’ll get for now.

Thanks for the read guys

Sorry I’m what?