Top 4 Video Game Companies that Fear Money
Chrometophobia is the fear of monetary gain. The mere thought of Scrooge McDuck’s swimming pool vault would send such victims into anaphylactic shock. There are four notable video game companies that suffer from this affliction; please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as you read this list.
In the time between the release of Half-Life 2: Episode Two and the moment of this writing, five years have passed, Valve has released seven games, and a fan-updated remake of the original Half-Life has been finished.
Yet, the world has only heard whispers of the apparitional third iteration of Half-Life. Were it to be even just announced, sales of all the Half-Life games on Steam would spike. If, heaven forbid, the game were to actually release, it would undoubtedly be considered the biggest release of whichever year it inhabits. There is not a single game in existence that could ignite as much excitement from fans as an announcement of Half-Life 3, not even the game contained in the No. 1 entry on this list.
Even though rampant piracy spoiled sales for the second game, it still went on to sell more than 12 million copies. Now, with the ubiquity of Steam and the pent-up energy felt by fans, no explanation can be offered for Valve’s refusal to announce Half-Life 3 other than the developer having an acute fear of wealth.
It’s very rare to see a chrometophobia victim so publicly and loudly voice their opposition to being drowned in heaping piles of cash, but in the first half of 2008, Take-Two Interactive, the publisher behind the Grand Theft Auto series, as well as the 2K line of sports games, and their stockholders were offered $2 billion, or $26 per share, for the company by EA.
Before the EA offer, Take-Two stock was $15.83 per share. That means shareholders would have stood to make an over 60% profit on their investment, a nightmare-scenario for the true chrometophobe.
With quick and brave action, Take-Two allowed the offer to expire, and the company’s stock prices, which had been inflated to $27 per share because of the deal, were saved by the Great Recession and banking collapse! Coming into 2009 with stock prices of nearly $8 per share, the publisher had triumphed over the tremendous stacks of money, leaving them squarely on the table where they belonged.
This Japanese publisher and developer sits high on this list for avoiding two courses of action that would likely result in a fire hose of cash being shot in their faces.
First, untold amounts of success await Nintendo if they were to create a massively multiplayer online version of their already wildly popular Pokémon franchise. The market wants this game so badly that Capcom has seized the opportunity and released what is ostensibly a Pokémon MMO in the form of Monster Hunter.
Add in free-to-play elements, such as being able to buy your own custom-designed poke balls or accessories for your Pokémon, and Nintendo executives would have enough capital to purchase a fleet of solid-gold gundams.
Second, such a plan, much to Nintendo’s dismay, would become exponentially more profitable if the company would give up on its hardware ambitions and, instead, focus solely on becoming a third-party publisher.
This fall when the Wii U launches, Nintendo will quickly realize that no one is going to buy their system because of its merits. They’re going to buy the Wii U because it’s the machine that plays Mario and Zelda.
Nintendo got incredibly lucky in 2006, when they were able to capture the casual market, but now they are facing a Dreamcast moment with their hardware, and like Sega before them, they should abandon their hardware plans and sell their feverishly popular software titles on all platforms.
Why should Nintendo bother creating an HD console or an online infrastructure, when they could simply let Microsoft and Sony do all the legwork for them? This doesn’t even touch on the portable market domination that could be enacted if Nintendo were to release games for iOS and Android platforms.
But alas, Nintendo would not be able to bear the record-setting fiscal years that would be incurred. The extreme, Wii-fueled profits of the late 2000’s were already too much to endure, and the company can ill-afford a repeat.
1. Square Enix
If one were to compare the zealotry of Final Fantasy VII fans to the fans of any other game, one would believe that FFVII contains the secrets of life and happiness, while the other contains a quilting simulator.
At this point, a Ritz cracker labeled “Final Fantasy VII HD” priced at $100 would sell millions of copies. The only missing piece to its release is the willingness Square Enix to cash massive paychecks.
Square claims that they will release an HD remake of the game only after they exceed its sales and status with a new game. The company just announced the third Final Fantasy XIII sequel, so unless Final Fantasy: Skyrim: Commander Shepard’s Return is announced next, that moment may never happen.
They even released a tech demo for an HD FFVII, as if to say, “Look how easy and possible this is!”
If the game were to be announced, it would undoubtedly be Gaia-shattering news for the Final Fantasy faithful, and there are only a handful of other games that could muster a bigger or more excited launch. However, Square Enix is the company that is the most petrified of mullah, so they will continue to put their faith in Hope and Lightning before they ever return to the golden geese of Cloud and Sephiroth.