Video games are priceless. With all the man-hours that go into creating the technical game features that you all enjoy, it is easy to understand why some games are so pricey. But even for the hardcore gamers, it is difficult to get them to pay let’s say $100 for just one episode of a game. Well, that is the case with the game Minecraft: Story Mode that requires its users to pay $100 to play just one episode of the game. Yes, you heard that right, $100 will only allow you to enjoy one episode and if you want to play the entire series that has 8 episodes, you will have to pay a whopping $700. They are giving one episode for free, so that’s your chance to make some cost savings as you enjoy your favorite game.
So, how did it get to this? Well, Telltale Games, the company that created the game, is closing down and the episodes of Minecraft: Story Mode are being removed from sale.
Telltale Games closing down
Telltale Games is preparing to close down and at the moment it is in the process of liquidating the assets it owns. Having failed to pay its creditors, the company is going through a process called assignment proceedings. This process is similar to a bankruptcy proceeding only that it is more amicable. With the assets of the company being sold to pay creditors, Telltale Games will not be able to continue with its operations and that is why it is closing down.
The closure also affected the company staff who suddenly found themselves out of a job. Telltale had a talented team of about 274 people and its sudden closure meant they had to find suitable employment elsewhere. The company had hoped that they would be able to continue with a skeleton crew of just 25 workers but financial constraints made it impossible for them to continue. They eventually had to let every member of their staff go as the company closed down completely. Fortunately, the employees were able to get absorbed by the companies in the gaming industry and this helped avert a crisis since they had bills to pay, families to feed, and school going kids to educate.
The games developed by the company are, therefore, being pulled down from Steam and other digital game platforms and with Minecraft: Story Mode being one of them, the fans of this game will not be able to access it anymore.
The Xbox 360 conundrum
With Telltale Games going through the process of removing the game series from sale as they plan for the permanent re-listing as from June 25, the game’s operators accidentally disabled past owners from being able to re-download the series. They, therefore, came up with the high price listing as a way to solve this mess.
As you all know, the Xbox 360 is old and outdated. The console’s backend was not designed with modern video games in mind and that is why the stewards came across this problem when trying to de-list the series from being downloaded. The only solution was, therefore, to re-list the series for purchase and to set a high price point so as to discourage users from downloading it. A post on their official Facebook page reads, “So, to assist existing customers, all the downloadable Episodes for the two Minecraft: Story Mode titles are temporarily re-listed but, to deter new purchases, they will be re-listed at a very high price!”
The Facebook announcement goes on explicitly warn users not to buy the episodes and that the full amount will be charged on one’s credit card should they go ahead and make a purchase, “The price shown is a real list price, please do not buy the content, if you do, you will be charged the amount shown. This is simply the only mechanism available to facilitate players being able to download their remaining episodes prior to servers shutting down.”
The high price is unique to Minecraft: Story Mode only
Apparently, the high price per episode is only unique to the Minecraft: Story Mode series. Polygon reports that other game titles created by Telltale Games on Xbox 360 are not experiencing this issue with Batman, another popular series by the company available for a modest fee of just $4.99. This was also its retail price before the company collapsed. Another title, “Tales from the Borderlands” was completely removed from the platform.
All things considered, the situation is really absurd with Telltale series vanishing from gaming platforms as a result of the company’s ugly collapse. Hopefully, gamers will be able to buy the Minecraft: Story Mode series later on for less than $100 an episode or even without having to pay anything at all.