Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New Business Idea

While I was writing my rant/musings on RPGs yesterday, I had a revelation.  I breath, eat and sleep gaming, and I can turn this into a business.

This has all been underlying, and it's most likely been inspired by my Dad doing the exact same thing - started a business from his greatest passion.

So, why not a restaurant for me?  I know nothing about the restaurant business.  As a cook, I'm a diamond in the rough; I have ideas but no real technique.  Sometimes these ideas turn out great (like my macaroni and cheese), sometimes they blow up in my face - or at least boil so hard they get stuck on my ceiling (like an overcooked meat sauce I made a couple years ago).  A restaurant is also one of the biggest financial risks one could take.  It's the equivalent to playing eeny-meeny-minee-moe with the stock market and your entire savings.  And then some.  The estimated average start-up cost of a restaurant is over $451,000.  That's more than a little daunting.  While my Dad's neighbour Malcolm might have the chutzpah to say "The Lord hates a coward", I'm more inclined to respond with "Chance favours the prepared mind".

My goal will be two-fold - to create a haven for enthusiast gamers by providing the products and services they need at a reasonble price and to turn a profit.  These services include but aren't limited to procuring rare and/or discontinued games, repairing classic consoles and setting up multimedia servers for newer consoles to stream movies or music. 

I also have an IT background, and I intend on applying that to my services.  Not so much because it allows me to diversify, but that modern gaming benefits from that knowledge.  Okay, and it lets me diversify, too.

So far, I have four pages of ideas and needs.  The "needs" part will grow substantially as I figure out costs for the things I want and the things I need.  I'm probably going to need about year's time or more to get this off of the ground, but that will also be enough time to figure out exactly how I want to do things.

One of the ideas that I'm wrestling with is selling used games.  I want to do it, but I doubt that it's going to be realistic from the get-go.  One, the prices I'll be offering will only be a little better than The Hock Shop  - or worse - although the price's I'll be selling at will blow them away.  This is because I'm going to use a real appraisal list as opposed to what the competition uses, such as estimated market value (pawn shops) or greed (EB/Gamestop).

I'll post more as I figure it all out.

Now, to end this post, I want to present a piece of news.  It's about a week old, but casual gamers may have missed it.  Activision has killed the Guitar Hero brand and closed the studio that makes the games.  To some, this is good news, to others, it's kind of meh.  I personally rather enjoyed it, despite the lack of innovation in the last game; what it lacked in the alleged innovation of the fifth incarnation of the game it more than made up for with its track list.

Now, what is/was Guitar Hero?  Think of it as an air-guitar simulator where you rocked out along to some mostly good music.  Guitar Hero focused mostly on hard rock, but also dabbled in country, progressive rock and heavy metal.  There are six core games in the series and four add-on games - Smash Hits, Aerosmith, Metallica and Van Halen.  The games supported multiple players and are all awesome party titles.

So, why the studio closure?  Well, Activision got pretty greedy with the brand, as they have with other brands under their umbrella, specifically Call of Duty.  They were releasing a title every year or less, and people just got sick of buying 40-song track packs for the price of a full game.  I can't blame them.  It's a shame because Rock Band 3's track list is actually inferior to Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, at least in my opinion.  But then again, I have no love for pop and nu-metal, which was the focus of Rock Band 3's track list, as opposed to Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock which was geared more towards different genres of rock in general.  This included punk, metal, grunge, emo (not one of my favourites), hard rock, classic rock and progressive rock in mostly equal proportion.

So, no new Guitar Hero games will be released nor will any new downloadable content.  That's a shame because I was hoping they'd actually get some music that I care about.

The moral of the story is:  No one likes a spammer.  Too much too soon leads to "big whoop?"

Oh well, there may still be a Rock Band brand, and their available song downloads are more numerous and eclectic than Guitar Hero's.

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