Fallout 3 or How To Annoy The Customer

Math anyone? It’s simple. Bethesda sold 4.7 million copies of Fallout 3. They made $300 million from that. Not bad for a game. Someone got rich. vgchartz.com estimates 1.24m sales for the PS3 version, 2.02m for the XBox. Since there are no figures for the PC version, I assume that this was somewhere between the two. Amazon’s sales rank (111 XBox 360, 157 Vista and 188 PS3) support this.

For a simple minded person like me, this means that Bethesda made between $50 and $80 million dollars with the PS3 version. Obviously not enough to supply the game with more patches and downloadable content (DLC). A pity. I liked the game. I didn’t like the gore; too much blood for my tastes and no way to switch it off. Distracts me from the good parts. I like the immersion, though. Touch decisions. Who to save and who to sacrifice. Seeing the results of your “help”. Going for your own good or the common good. I find myself spending more time in the dialogs than in the fights, trying to find my way in the options, wondering what evil twists the designers might have hidden behind each.

Since Bethesda treats a third of their customers second class citizen, I guess when Fallout 4 comes out, they won’t need to bother for one of the three supported platforms at all. I’m sure that the decision makers have thought long and hard about this, probably watching a big heap of money piled up in their front lawn by Microsoft. And rightly so; why should Microsoft care whether they ruin other peoples lives? They never did, and, since it’s such a successful strategy, they never will.

If you find that legal document hard to read, try this one. Microsoft has made a total revenue of $16.37 billion of which $6.48 billion are operating income. To drive the point home: For every buck Microsoft charges you for anything, they make 39% profit. Not bad for a company in a business area where a 6% margin is “a lot” (Dell, the world largest computer distributor has a meager 6.48% profit margin). Someone with a conscience would say, hey, we make enough dough, we can reduce our prices. My point exactly. Someone with a conscience.

Yeah, I’m in a foul mood. Microsoft is responsible for most of the pain and misery in my life and now, they are telling me which games I can buy. Or which console. Great. That will really make me reconsider. Guys, I don’t buy from Microsoft because other products are better, I don’t buy from Microsoft because I hate them. I’d rather buy a broken PS3 for $500 than a working XBOX 360 with a lifetime warranty for $1.

Or well, yeah, I’d buy the 360 for $1 … to smash it to bits when I’m angry. Can someone recommend a paint shop who can put Bill’s face on it? If the warranty would cover that, we’d have a winner. Or when one of the plastic pieces scratches my skin, I could sue Microsoft for 1% of their profit. Whow! I’d be insanely rich. I could buy a small country. Gibraltar is probably too expensive. Liberia doesn’t look like a nice place. How about British Virgin Islands? Heck, why not? I’d even have some small change left.

So if you’re pissed like me and would like to do something about it, sign here.

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