Page 1 of 7 12345 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 140

Thread: Do Video Games Cost Too Much? [Slashdot]

  1. #1
    ServBot (Level 11) DP ServBot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Cyberspace
    Posts
    3,592
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Post Do Video Games Cost Too Much? [Slashdot]

    Valve's Gabe Newell gave the keynote address at this year's Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain (DICE) Summit about the cost of games, the effect of piracy, and how to reach new players. Valve undertook an experiment recently to test how price affected the sales of their popular survival-horror FPS, Left 4 Dead. They Reduced the price by 50% on Steam, which "resulted in a 3000% increase in sales of the game, posting overall sales that beat the title's original launch performance." They also tested various other price drops over the holidays, seeing spikes in sales that corresponded well to the size of the discount. This will undoubtedly add to the speculation that game prices have risen too high for the current economic climate. G4TV ran a live blog of Newell's presentation, providing a few more details.
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.
    </img>


    More...
    I am not a real person. I am the Digital Press ServBot, in active duty, assigned to fetching various RSS feeds and posting them here. If you can suggest a better feed source please PM a moderator or admin.

  2. #2
    Ryu Hayabusa (Level 16) Custom rank graphic
    Oobgarm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Milford. Ohio.
    Posts
    8,084
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts
    Xbox LIVE
    Oobgarm
    PSN
    Oobgarm
    Steam
    Oobgarm

    Default

    Given the current 'economic climate', I think they are, but that's just because money goes elsewhere and not so much to entertainment.

    I do honestly think that companies should release new IPs at $40. If EA had done that with both Dead Space and Mirror's Edge, they'd have sold a ton more copies than they did. You gotta figure that the difference will be made up in the fact that they're going to sell more copies. I mean, you're going to have those who are always going to wait for the drop to $20, but a lower initial cost might spur on some of those fence-sitters. Only reason I personally got either of those games is because I got them for $40 each.

    All things considered, scale things back by even just $10 for a while and I think companies will see higher sales. It's amazing what a difference a small amount makes.
    RIP bargora, you will be greatly missed.That is how we do things on Giedion Prime.

  3. #3
    Strawberry (Level 2) JunkTheMagicDragon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Irwinville, GA
    Posts
    562
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts
    Xbox LIVE
    shaftinator84

    Default

    this is why gamestop does gangbusters on their used game sales. price, price price.

    i can buy a new 360 game for $60, or i can buy two or three used ones for the same price. not a hard decision to make, unless you're talking about an absolute must-have new release.

    i would def buy more new games if the initial cost was lower. i remember some cd stores around here used to sell new release cds for cheap (around 10 or 15 bucks) for the first couple of days to drive sales, then after that the price would go back to retail. if i was on the verge with an album, the cheap price would usually make me go for it. for aaa titles, the publishers would be shooting themselves in the foot, but like oobgarm said, something similar for new ips or niche titles would be a good sales booster.

    on second thought though, i wonder how well this kind of thing would work in a brick-n-mortar. valve has so little overhead on steam, they can afford to do a drastic sale. cutting the price on physical releases (whose price includes distribution costs and the retailer's cut) would drive margins down for everyone. sales would increase, but would it be enough to offset those losses?

  4. #4
    Red (Level 21) Jorpho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    We're all mad here
    Posts
    13,537
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    With so many unplayed games sitting around, the thought of spending more than $20 on a single new game these days makes me downright queasy.
    Quote Originally Posted by DP ServBot View Post
    They also tested various other price drops over the holidays, seeing spikes in sales that corresponded well to the size of the discount.
    Heh. Who wouldn't buy Bioshock for five freaking bucks?
    Quote Originally Posted by JunkTheMagicDragon View Post
    this is why gamestop does gangbusters on their used game sales. price, price price.
    Except Gamestop's (or at least EB's) used game prices aren't much of deal compared to retail, or even other sources of used games.
    "There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." --Bertrand Russel (attributed)

  5. #5
    Pretzel (Level 4) Clownzilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Springfield, MO
    Posts
    958
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts
    Xbox LIVE
    Clownzilla

    Default

    My price point for a game is $20 and $200 for a system($100 for a handheld). I don't care if it's new, used, clearance as long as I pay no more than $20 for all of those 1's and 0's on a disc. I understand the advanced technology in games and game systems but in the end it's just a form of entertainment. Games are fighting with TV, dining out, movies, board games, books, etc. and in my world $50 to $70 is a complete ripoff for a video game. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE games but I will only pay a reasonable amount for them.
    Wherever politics tries to be redemptive, it is promising too much. Where it wishes to do the work of God, it becomes not divine, but demonic.

    Pope Benedict XVI

  6. #6
    Key (Level 9) chrisbid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,819
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    publishers can basically charge whatever they want. the physical cost of production is very low. all of the costs of a game are in development and (for third parties) licensing. Sony and Microsoft have to keep the licensing fees high to make up for the losses sustained with hardware sales.

    i agree that game prices are too high, but the bigger problem is expensive hardware.

  7. #7
    Kirby (Level 13) j_factor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Oakland, CA (representin')
    Posts
    5,231
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Games do cost too much. I remember paying $40 for new games in the Playstation days. There is no reason a game should be $60 by itself. It's not like we've gone back to cartridges.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheShawn
    Please highlight what a douche I am.

  8. #8
    Cherry (Level 1) eugenek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    387
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Yeah, you'd think they'd be smart enough to figure that halving your profit margin but selling three times as many copies = more revenue. Does anyone remember when the 2K franchise went to $19.99 for newly released games? I hope that made money for them, it's the only time I've bought all of a single year's sports games. Too bad EA had to screw them over on the NFL license. Fuck EA.

  9. #9
    Strawberry (Level 2)
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    573
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    The thing with lowering the release price on a game is that you don't want to get lumped into the euphemistic category of a "value title". Lots of consumers equate quality with price and they may view a $40 dollar new release as worse than a $60 game just based on the pricetag. Stupid yes, but it is normal consumer behavior.

  10. #10
    Pretzel (Level 4) Clownzilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Springfield, MO
    Posts
    958
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts
    Xbox LIVE
    Clownzilla

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisbid View Post
    publishers can basically charge whatever they want. the physical cost of production is very low. all of the costs of a game are in development and (for third parties) licensing. Sony and Microsoft have to keep the licensing fees high to make up for the losses sustained with hardware sales.

    i agree that game prices are too high, but the bigger problem is expensive hardware.
    No matter how it's sliced, the market can't sustain these prices. The consumer does not think about the licensing, development costs, royalties, etc. when they look for games. All the consumer thinks about is "I can't afford this so I won't buy it". It's funny how companies like Sony keep hammering home that $500 is a good deal because it will play Blue Ray movies and games when most consumers will not buy a $500 game system no matter what it does. Sure, I also would love to deck my house out with solar panels and geothermal heating because it just makes sense.............except for my pocketbook.
    Wherever politics tries to be redemptive, it is promising too much. Where it wishes to do the work of God, it becomes not divine, but demonic.

    Pope Benedict XVI

  11. #11
    Great Puma (Level 12) bangtango's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    4,345
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Games appear to be less expensive now than they were in the cartridge days. Plus I remember there being far fewer price drops back in the 8-bit and 16-bit era compared to today.

    There were a lot of 8-bit and 16-bit games which seemed to be priced at the $40-60 mark long (years) after they had been released and this is something you don't see today. Now a game might be out less than 6 months and get a price drop or two.

    Never in the cartridge days did you see new releases come out at $10-20, which is far more common now (and has been since the days of the PS1). Granted that is because you couldn't really do that type of thing in the cartridge days. However, the point I am making is things are better now than they used to be.

  12. #12
    Strawberry (Level 2) Wolfrider31's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    549
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bangtango View Post
    Games appear to be less expensive now than they were in the cartridge days. Plus I remember there being far fewer price drops back in the 8-bit and 16-bit era compared to today.

    There were a lot of 8-bit and 16-bit games which seemed to be priced at the $40-60 mark long (years) after they had been released and this is something you don't see today. Now a game might be out less than 6 months and get a price drop or two.

    Never in the cartridge days did you see new releases come out at $10-20, which is far more common now (and has been since the days of the PS1). Granted that is because you couldn't really do that type of thing in the cartridge days. However, the point I am making is things are better now than they used to be.
    THANK YOU.

    I DESPISE the "Games are too expensive" comment. It's filled with ignorance about the basic economics of game development. When you're talking about a large studio like EA or Ubisoft or SquareEnix the cost of a game comes from all sorts of places and few of it are actual development costs. Yes you have license or create game engines, and yes you have to pay for the right to release your game on a particular console (the fees of which usually make up about 10 dollars out of the game price). THEN you have to pay to have the game rated by ESRB (which is highway robbery frankly) otherwise your game won't be allowed on the console you just paid to have your game on. Then once the game is finished you have to pay to submit it to first party (which checks your game for compliance bugs). If you fail the submission you need to pay AGAIN to resubmit.

    Oh by the way, you also have to PAY your employees which on a large scale AAA project can number in the hundreds. Most of your employees with technical jobs (programming/networking) are making between 60-80k a year (and won't work for less). Your artists, designers and writers are hitting the 50-60k a year. And lots not forgot your 30-40 member strong QA team (which make about 30 grand a year).

    But we're not done yet folks! You have marketing and business managers to pay, production costs if your games a physical release, and lets not forget server and maintenance costs for the game once its released if it has an online mode (which gamers seem to DEMAND).

    And factoring all that in, you better hope you break the one million mark because otherwise you're knee-deep in the red and that's where most companies find most of their products. Less than 20% of video games passed through to retailers produce a profit and those games are left to hold the slack of the games that didn't do well.

    And I hear you say, "Well just make good games and then we'll buy them." But see, gamers don't. Ever. Zack and Wiki? Ico? On the one hand companies are attacked for releasing tried and true franchises but those are the only ones that sell well. Need For Speed? You know the last one (the one everyone HATED) sold over four million copies? No, game companies can't release new IP at 40 dollars because new IP is a sure fire failure and knocking 20 dollars off the price will kill most companies.

    Gamers have a choice: Either buy good games at 60 dollars and encourage new IP by making it successful (and quit buying used or waiting for the game to drop in price) or stop whining about the economics of industry. If you can't afford to buy a game for more than 50 dollars then, well too bad, game companies can't afford to make them.
    Order Pier Solar at www.piersolar.com

  13. #13
    Apple (Level 5) hellfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Underwater
    Posts
    1,037
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    some games are waaaay overpriced some are underpriced

  14. #14
    Banana (Level 7) kaedesdisciple's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    in ur haus, eatin ur d0rit0z
    Posts
    1,418
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts
    Xbox LIVE
    JOEY BLACKOUTS
    PSN
    JOEY_BLACKOUTS

    Default

    Even in terms of dollars, $50 for a video game 20 years ago while the NES was still king of the hill is a hell of a lot more than even $60 for one PS3/360 game now. Yet, people still found the money then as they do now. If anything, games are cheaper now just looking at the CPI over the last 20 years.

  15. #15
    Kirby (Level 13) j_factor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Oakland, CA (representin')
    Posts
    5,231
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bangtango View Post
    Games appear to be less expensive now than they were in the cartridge days. Plus I remember there being far fewer price drops back in the 8-bit and 16-bit era compared to today.

    There were a lot of 8-bit and 16-bit games which seemed to be priced at the $40-60 mark long (years) after they had been released and this is something you don't see today. Now a game might be out less than 6 months and get a price drop or two.

    Never in the cartridge days did you see new releases come out at $10-20, which is far more common now (and has been since the days of the PS1). Granted that is because you couldn't really do that type of thing in the cartridge days. However, the point I am making is things are better now than they used to be.
    Games now are less expensive compared to the cartridge days, but you're skipping a large period of time for comparison. Ten years ago, games were cheaper. Hell, games were cheaper in the "cartridge days" too when they weren't on cartridges. Sega CD and Amiga games were cheaper than today's games. Why are we paying cartridge prices for games on disc? And I almost never see anything under $30 anymore (and that price point is generally reserved for the Wii), unless you're talking about downloads? At one point we regularly had $20 budget games on disc, and even some $10 releases came out on Playstation (The Italian Job, for example).

    Inflation isn't a good comparison because the price of media is usually outpaced by inflation. Movies, music, and so on don't cost much more than they did 15-20 years ago.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheShawn
    Please highlight what a douche I am.

  16. #16
    Strawberry (Level 2) Diatribal Deity's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Northeast Universe
    Posts
    443
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    1
    Thanked in
    1 Post

    Default

    Expensive relative to what?

    Meaning if you go out to see a movie = $4-7 /hour
    Buy a $50-60 game and say conservatively get at least 10 hours min playtime = $5-6 /hour
    (not even factoring in the ability to resell/trade and so on to recoup some cost)

    This is a very simple comparison coming from someone who does not buy new games often anymore at $50-60 but can justify the cost from a little bit different angle.

    Yeah I'm leaving out the social aspect and such of going and getting out of the house, going on a date, escaping the kids, etc... but I think this point is a valid one.

  17. #17
    Strawberry (Level 2) MeTmKnice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Hell, CA
    Posts
    436
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    IMO, Video Games and Movies (theater and discs) are both over priced. I rarely go to the theater, as I see it as a waste of money.. aside from that all of the god-aweful horrible and stupid movies/sequels they come out with. All because a majority of the world goes to see the damn movie. Most movie makers do not even seem to care about the quality of their movies, but how much money they make. Thus, continuing a vicous cycle of BS.
    Now it is the beginning of
    a fantastic story! Let us
    make a Journey to
    the cave of Monters!
    Good luck!

  18. #18
    Cherry (Level 1) Astrocade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    206
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    What people that like to compare movies and video games are seemingly missing is that they're two different mediums. Same with CDs and music.

    The average movie costs upwards of thirty-forty million to make (studio movie). This initial budget is usually recouped at the box office- DVD and post theatrical sales are usually pure profit. The studios rely on DVD and Blu-Ray sales to achieve profit.

    Videogames cost an average of 4.5 million to make. This is usually recouped the first week of sales. All sales after release week tend to be pure profit.

    Videogames don't have the equivalent of the box office to break even, it's purely a sales driven market. Thereby- the more a game costs to make the more it has to sell in order to not bomb.

    The problem is- what about all the majority of games that cost around three or four million to make? The 60.00 price tag tends to make them exorbitant profit makers. The twenty million dollar games are in the minority (for now) but the 60.00 price tag is neccesary in order for that title to be profitable.

    What hurts us as buyers of the games is that most moderately budgeted titles are not worth the 60.00 asking price. That's not to speak of the quality of the games, it's just that nagging feeling you get after finishing a game in two or three days that makes you wonder if the game was worthy of the cash you just shelled out.

    The "fair" thing would be to price the games accordingly. We have "budget" games that get released cheaper than average, but "budget" tends to equal "crap" in the eyes of consumers. The thing is, the average price of games is too high. We can, as an industry, drop the asking price down to forty dollars (or even thirty) and still turn a good profit. But you- as the consumer- will still shell out 60.00 for the hot new title, so we probably won't do that. What hurts is the budget games and unknown properties that won't get purchased because the price is too high. Some are indeed very good- but the consumer is much less likely to take a chance on that mystery title while they have Final Fantasy or Halo sitting next to it.

    Games could stand to be cheaper, but if you look at the big picture, games are MUCH cheaper now than they ever were. The average Atari title in 1979 was fifty dollars new. Adjusted for inflation, games today should cost around 150.00.

  19. #19
    Banned

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,248
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    The thing is, if the market for $60 games falls out, development costs aren't going to fall. A lot of developers will no longer be able to afforde to make games and there will be less games on the market.

    At $60 a game, a lot of titles still never break even. It's impossible to predict sales at various price points. It works great for steam, but steam gets to hammer all of their users to show the drop. In the retail market what are they going to do, pay more in marketing to show that they've lowered the price on their game? Good luck balencing a cheaper game with higher marketing and trying to get the right balance before you go out of business.

  20. #20
    Lightgunner Custom rank graphic
    Cryomancer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Southern Central WI
    Posts
    3,748
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts
    Xbox LIVE
    Cryomancer

    Default

    I think games cost too much to make. The should maybe start thinking about making games that aren't all supercomplex "theatrical experiences" and start giving us fun again.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-20-2013, 02:50 AM
  2. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-19-2012, 10:20 PM
  3. Digging Into the Electrical Cost of PC Gaming [Slashdot]
    By DP ServBot in forum Classic Gaming
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 05-31-2012, 03:22 PM
  4. Is Onlive Pirating Windows and Will It Cost Them? [Slashdot]
    By DP ServBot in forum Classic Gaming
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-08-2012, 11:10 PM
  5. Should new video games cost $49.99?
    By Anthony1 in forum Classic Gaming
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 09-17-2003, 12:06 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •