More Gears of War Strategy Videos?

In the grand tradition of Horse Armor and Guitar Hero songs comes videos showing the location of the Cog Tags for Gears of War. As the proud author of the Official Strategy Guide for Gears of War, let me just say that I only learned of the Cog Tag videos via Major Nelson's blog which you can read here.

Although I tend to agree with the rabid masses that the price structure (and moreso the timing) of these video releases are a bit off, I also have the knowledge of what it takes to make these videos available. And it isn't cheap. You see, shortly before Gears of War released at retail, I was flown back to Epic for a third visit for the sole purpose of recording my boss-beating skills in action. I worked side-by-side with Epic's audio-visual expert at his HD capturing workstation and put my l33t skills on display for him to record. Then, after I left, the game's infamous lead designer, Cliffy B, sat down with my videos and recorded the voice-over you heard if you downloaded them. From there, the videos went to post-production then through what I imagine was a rather circuitous approval process, before finally being made available on Xbox Live Marketplace. And the production quality of the videos was incredible.

I don't know anything about the Cog Tag videos, as it's been months since I played Gears of War, but I imagine the videos were created in a similar process to the one I went through, albeit probably more streamlined at this point. Yes, the Cog Tags are indeed very easy to find (save for two or three tricky ones) and there have been countless guides available free online for months detailing where each and every one of them is located.

Right now everyone who has bothered to post an opinion about this release on Major Nelson's blog has done so with a hefty dose of rancor and sarcasm. If one was to judge by the people who posted their comments, then nobody is going to buy a single one of these videos. Just as nobody would theoreticaly buy any of the Guitar Hero song-packs or the cheat codes for any of the EA games. Yet these items do sell. The pricing for downloadable content is still in its infancy. Game publishers, strategy guide publishers, movie houses and television networks, etc.; they are all finding their way right now through the pricing maze and a lot of learning is going on. Content providers have to figure out exactly what we perceive as a ripoff and we the gamers have to understand that all of this stuff costs money to produce. If we don't like it, we don't have to buy it. And the less we buy, the more the prices of future releases will come into line with our expectations.

One need only look at the shift in pricing for the Oblivion downloads to see that companies are indeed listening to the complaints and reacting accordingly.

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