Why is I Am Alive NOT On A Retail Disc?*

*Or: Hey, Ubisoft, Here’s How To Market A Game To EVERYONE Who Wants To Play It…

Sure, I Am Alive looks amazing and yes, the idea of a realistic survival adventure set in a destroyed city has garnered tons of praise everywhere anyone has seen or played it. But Ubisoft is doing themselves no favors by only releasing this on Xbox Live Arcade in March and perhaps later on PSN,… oops SEN (sorry, Sony! Give me another week or so to get used to that change). Memo from the front: despite your current successful digital business model, there are STILL a large amount of gamers who can’t get that content dying for something different that’s NOT another FPS, zombie game, franchise update or yes, I’ll say it, ANOTHER damn digital-ONLY release that should have been disc-based.

Sure, I know it’s a “niche” game along the lines of Disaster Report, as well as a new IP with no big boobs, body parts flying in all directions, boss battles or mindless tea-baggy multiplayer modes galore. But so what? In denying those of us who want to play this on physical media the chance to spend our money on an otherwise fine AAA product, Ubisoft (like too many other publishers these days using enforced evolution over a more gradual slide into digital that doesn’t include some awful DRM or anti-used game scheme) keeps denying some otherwise dedicated core users without the ability to download large files the chance to enjoy some of their prime content…

Since the game’s survival element is the main theme, why not create a limited disc-based console release with no manual (although from what I understand, SCEA requires at least a token “manual” in their disc games), but an art insert that makes the pack look like something you’d come across while stumbling through a wrecked cityscape? Yes, we’d pay more for a physical release and NO, we don’t need another art book or silly action figure to stick on a bookshelf. However, you CAN stick the soundtrack, an art gallery, video help diaries AND a “making of” feature on that game disc, right? I’m not sure what you plan to sell the game for over XBLA, but as you know, some of us KNOW that it costs more to get a physical game made and shipped out. In other words, nope, we don’t mind paying full retail for a game that’s worth the “trouble” to make a trip to a store for. Hell, I bet that some of us would even buy that physical disc DIRECTLY from a Ubisoft-run online store…

Another reason this game NEEDS a physical release actually makes sense for purely serio-comic value as well. If you think about it, in the destroyed city presented in the game, there WOULD BE NO RELIABLE INTERNET SERVICE AT ALL. But… I bet if someone got a gas generator going and some juice running to a TV, someone at SOME point would bust out a game console and want to play something. I know I would, so what better game to have than one that’s a story of someone’s survival in the exact same situation? I’d tune into that show even after I reached the end of the story and hope to see reruns, that’s for sure.

Anyway, think about it, guys. Make the effort to sell the game to ALL of us, produce a small retail run, market it properly so word of mouth helps it move and it WILL sell. Continually screwing over folks who want to buy your games but can’t while trumpeting how successful digital is is only misleading yourselves (and keeping industry analysts and speculators who should be sweeping beaches) employed. At the end of the day, until you allow more people to get to games like this, you’re only losing consumers to other games they CAN purchase.

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6 thoughts on “Why is I Am Alive NOT On A Retail Disc?*

  1. Absolutely agree. I hate digital only downloads for games. Yes by all means offer that option, but please give the consumer the choice. As you point out, I’d happily pay more for physical media. It gives me much more peace of mind having a DVD I can lay hands to than something stored on my console that’s liable to keel over (on my 3rd Xbox and 2nd PS3 now, and no, they were not abused in any way). Ubisoft etc need not worry, as I am a true gamer and hold on to my games after purchasing them and don’t re-sell or trade them, so they wouldn’t lose a penny in potential sales. How about a petition to Ubisoft?

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  2. I refuse to buy any game that I don’t have a hard copy of. What happens if/when my 360 goes down? I don’t sell my games either, but have friends and we swap games to try out. We’ve bought some real turkeys in the past 10 years, but with only 1 of us buying the game, we’ve all saved money. Think this down load only bs ranks right up there with the companies thinking of selling games that can only be used on 1 platform. I.E., I buy the game, play it….but my friends can’t play it on their system(s).

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  3. took the words right out of my mouth. I’m an old fashioned gamer with an x-box360 slim, and PS3, but I dont play online and I strictly only buy games (case and all) as well as DVDs. I buy games for good stories, trophies, and achievements… thats it! I Am Alive is a game that I am dying to play. I’ve watched online gameplay on youtube, and everything about it is what I look for in a game… and ubisoft took whatever chance I could’ve had to own it away. I’m not even gonna capitalize ubisoft because thats how much I hate them for this. you’d think they would actually make more money on it if they sold it in retail…
    gaming industries need to get their heads out of their asses, and realize that gamers who play online aren’t the only gamers in the world

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  4. I totally agree. I love to see how many games i have. Besides. If you are a true gamer, you’d have more than one game. They al need the required space. Also you might wanna have the app things like VidZone or Youtube etc. Photo Galery… It al takes memory space. To download the game requires even more space (even without updates). So, you need this game stored, but also might wanna play other games from time to time. Where is the logic in this? Either way you need an external drive, more GB, less games or no download.

    I say, rewind to the fase you thought people might enjoy this solution of new and easy software. Just let us take the long ride to the store, let us buy the game on a disc (in wich you’d probably make more profit) and just let us be happy with the old way it has always been!

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