View Poll Results: The reason that we have high prices, is because of all the dirty low down theives out there

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  • The reason us po folks have to steal this stuff, is because the prices are way too high

    0 0%
  • The reason we pay $49.99 doesn't have anything to do with Piracy

    7 29.17%
  • The companies are losing tons of money, we should pay $59.99 for games!

    0 0%
  • Since the begining of time, people will find ways to get things without paying

    11 45.83%
  • If new games started out at $29.99 and $24.99 and $19.99, we wouldn't have these problems!

    6 25.00%
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Thread: Piracy & Game Prices - The Chicken and Egg Theory

  1. #1
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    Default Piracy & Game Prices - The Chicken and Egg Theory

    Was it the Chicken? Or was it the Egg? Is it the High Game Prices? Or is it the Lost Revenue to Pirates?


    When it comes to the prices of video games, I think most would agree that the old standard price of $49.99 for new games is a little bit of a stretch. The price of $49.99 is left over from the old cartridge days when there was actually a "real" physical cost to the item. They simply have kept that $49.99 price, because people are used to paying $49.99 for games, and they continue to do so. Just like it was with music CD's. When CD's first appeared, to get a new CD was going to cost you $19.99 or $18.99 or $17.99 or more. People gladly payed the money, because they thought that CD's were this technological wonder, and that they must cost more to produce than a Vinyl record. Little did they know that Cd's only cost pennies to stamp.

    So just because somebody charges something, and get's that price, doesn't necessarily mean that the item is actually worth that much.


    Then you get to the Pirates. Most will say that prices of games are simply out of control, and that so much crap is released, and say that if games were priced the way they should be, that they would have no need to steal the intelectual property.

    The pirates say that because of the high prices, they have been forced to pirate the material that they love. The Publishers say that because of all the lost revenue to the piracy that they have to charge a price that is higher than it needs to be. But because of this rampant piracy and these loss of revenues, they are forced to price their games higher then they would prefer to.

    So, it's kind of like this chicken and egg scenario. Which came first? The High Prices, or the Piracy?

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    I think it has to do alot with fees for the company, publisher, programmer. Stuff like that.

    I also think though that if tehy charged 20 bucks a title nobody would go to piracy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarioAllStar2600

    I also think though that if tehy charged 20 bucks a title nobody would go to piracy.

    I wish you were right about them only charging 20 bucks and there wouldn't be any piracy. But we all know that people will even pirate a game they could buy for like 4 bucks. So they would still pirate games if they cost $20.

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    I vote for:

    The reason us po folks have to steal this stuff, is because the prices are way too high

    The reason we pay $49.99 doesn't have nothing to do with Piracy

    Since the begining of time, people will find ways to get things without paying

    If new games started out at $29.99 and $24.99 and $19.99, we wouldn't have these problems!

    ---

    Just this weekend, I bought Rob Zombie's Greatest Hits for $9.99. Along with a CD of several songs, it also comes with a DVD which includes 10 music videos. This is called "getting your money's worth". If CDs were $10 (especially $10 including tax) I would buy CDs all day long.

    Gamecube games, for all intents and purposes, can not be copied (at least not copied and enjoyed like the originals). So why are their games $49? Not because of piracy ... it's because that's what people keep paying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony1
    When CD's first appeared, to get a new CD was going to cost you $19.99 or $18.99 or $17.99 or more. People gladly payed the money, because they thought that CD's were this technological wonder, and that they must cost more to produce than a Vinyl record. Little did they know that Cd's only cost pennies to stamp.
    You forgot to account for the costs of the band, the technicians in the booth who mixed and recorded the stuff, the techs that digitally mastered the audio for CD (not sure if they recorded digitally right off the bat back in the day like they do now), promotion, etc. and so forth. Then there is the overall quality of a CD compared to an audio tape or an LP. Music with high clarity and devoid of hisses and pops along with a virtual long life due to the disc not being able to wear out are the benefits of the compact disc. People pay more for quality as long as they feel that they are getting value for their dollar. Back then and up to more recent times that held true. Now I didn't see CDs until 1989/1990 and the price difference between a CD and a tap was around $3 to $5 (with gusts up to $7 at the mall stores). For the obvious quality difference and longevity of the CD even with a limited income, as a teenager I thought CDs were a good deal. Especially when I got good results making mix tapes.

    Companies will always charge what the market will bear. I'll continue on this later as I'm off to go home.

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    The price of console gaming has hardly changed in 10 years, hey I'd even say it was cheaper now than it was back then. So much for inflation and market demands. The market has grown bigger, hence more revenue though.

    Back in the days of the C64, piracy was rife and people would copy even the 2 ($3) budget games that were available, so pricing isn't always the factor. If someone can get something for nothing, regardless of the original cost, then some people still do that.

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    The basic premise here is wrong - games *have* gone down in price, both in real and nominal terms.

    Look at the old ads: There were SNES and Genny games selling for 60-70 bucks on a regular basis. I remember paying 60 bucks on occasion for an N64 game. When you factor in inflation over the last 10 years (using US CPI data), 60 bucks in 1993 is $79 in 2003, 70 bucks in 93 is $92 in 2003.

    There would be riots in the streets if games today ran 92 dollars. System prices have stayed relatively stable since the Atari (though we've always had outliers like NeoGeo and CD-i) but game prices have certainly went way, way down.

    As for the piracy question, though, I've seen economic studies suggesting that IP companies like Sony deliberately give a blind eye to piracy in second and third world countries. Since Sony can make a profit on the system itself within a couple years of release, they're happy to take the profit on the system and the few games they sell in the poorer parts of the world in exchange for bigger market share and name recognition as places like China become richer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kevincure
    Look at the old ads: There were SNES and Genny games selling for 60-70 bucks on a regular basis. I remember paying 60 bucks on occasion for an N64 game. When you factor in inflation over the last 10 years (using US CPI data), 60 bucks in 1993 is $79 in 2003, 70 bucks in 93 is $92 in 2003.
    While I agree with you that prices have stayed the same or have gone down, I still think they are way too high. CDs and DVDs cost almost nothing to make. The case is just cheap plastic and the books are only paper. I buy very few games at the $49.99 price unless I really want them. I would definitely buy a lot more games if they were all priced more reasonably.
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    Used game sales hurt more then piracy.. Game prices start at 49.99 because they want to see if the game will sale... after a month or so, based on sales it will drop to 39 or 19.99 to try and undermine the used market.


    Piracy in the world of gaming isn't a problem in the US.. not with the Ps2 anyway.. people don't know how to use a soldering iron.. let alone tin a wire.
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    The reason game prices are at $49.99 is because that is what the market can stand right now.
    It has nothing to do with piracy, paying people, cost of making games, etc.
    It's simple economics. Studies are done and it is determined what people will pay. And it has been determined that with the economy the way it is right now and the #of games available , people will pay around $49.99 for a game.
    If the economy gets worse game prices will drop, if it gets better they will creep back up.

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    i think raedon is on the right track here, its not like everybody is modding and burning, nor are a lot of people buying bootleg software. its not comparable the music industry where you had dummy friendly tools like napster to fuel the fire. some people mod their consoles, some buy GB flash carts etc but those folks are but a tiny fraction of consumers.

    the industry's real problem is getting the average consumer (not hardcore types like us) to buy more than a handful of games a year. ever since the genesis era, when franchises first dominated the market, the average console owner has less than 10 games when he goes to trade up (yeah i just assumed that from ancedotal evidence). my cousin is a good example, he's an upper middle class 9th grader into skating. 2 years ago at christmas i hooked up his ps2 for him, when i went back this year he had 5 games, 3 tony hawk type things, a snowboarding game and 007nightfire. he'll probably dump the whole lot at gamestop for xbox, since his friend has one. thats my theory on higher game prices, when you cant get a teenage boy with ample disposable income to buy more of your product you have to charge more to cover the production costs.
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    Here's the other things with game prices - they exhibit some of what economists informally call "chivas regal effect". What this means is that consumers view prices lower than 50$ at launch as a sign that the game is worse than the competition. Therefore lowering the price doesn't necessarily mean much better sales unless all games were lowered to the new price point.

    Look at Sony. They release first-party at 39.99, which is a pretty massive cut on profits, but I don't think many people are convinced to get Gameday instead of Madden.

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