You know all of those Steam deals you can get every year? Full, major releases games for around $1, if not less? Yeah, those are awesome. These deals from Microsoft to kick off 2011? Not so much.
From a market perspective, as people enjoy their newly downloaded digital goods, offering a Spring Bunny Outfit for 120 MS Points (240 normally!) is not the bargain gamers are looking for… or getting used to. It’s one thing to try and draw in that new casual crowd via some “adorable” items for their “cute” characters, but don’t you want them buying games? Don’t you want them signing up for Netflix, ESPN, and more? How about deals on Live? How about some of those early Live Arcade games that new owners never played like Cloning Clyde dropping in price? The digital download market has changed because of Steam, and regardless of your thoughts on digital materials, there’s no question that bargains drive sales.
Avatar items are not, and never will be, a bargain.