We need more Ways Out

We need more Ways Out

We have gotten pretty far into the weeds with bad industry practices. From the now-tame DLC practices to the absurd loot box practices by the likes of Warner Bros. and EA. That is why it is so refreshing to see some actually consumer-pro practices from the belly of the beast: EA. Their new title “A Way Out” is a Co-op prison escape game that is built around unique split-screen mechanics. The game has another unique mechanic that is truly similar to old Nintendo DS titles, the friend pass. The optimistic side of me thinks this can be a new tone from EA, but the realistic side of me knows otherwise.

 

A Way out Portrait

Game-Share allows you to play with your friend with only one of you owning the game. Basically, you invite someone and then they download it and are able to play it with you. While you may think it would cut sales in half, the effect can actually be the opposite.

 

The general psychology is that it can work as an extended demo for a potential player and play with their friend can increase their enjoyment. If I was interested in trying out the game and had a way to go for as long as I want with a friend without stipulations, I am much more inclined to buy this game. And as a cynical jaded journalist who monitors the industry, this makes me even more inclined to buy the game. Demo’s on their own are rare enough from AAA or Indie game, let alone unblocked and unlimited ones like in-game share.

A Way Out Screenshot

This business decision makes a lot of sense in the game both intended playstyle and lore. You play a duo of prisoners trying to escape, and the developers intend this game to be played couch co-op. This allows both the lore in the game to reflect the gameplay, and then the developers get to make sure people play the way they desire. These decisions are monumental coming from a studio within EA’s clutches, and it might be a subtle apology from them. I don’t want to assume too much, but EA seems to be pretty taken aback by the backlash they received for this. The shareholders also noticed and EA quickly assured them this wouldn’t affect their profits. So I don’t think it is too much of a stretch to think that EA might put their studios on a bit of a looser leash for now.

A Way Out Screenshot

No matter what the reasoning is, support it. Support business practices you like, and show it with your wallets. If this game surpasses the expectations of EA, other studios will also take notice. It is much more than optimistic for me to think that the industry will shift its practices and morals off of one game, but it is a step in the right direction.