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EA Slashing Current-Gen Pricetags 84

Posted by Zonk
from the cheap-games-are-fine-by-me dept.
kukyfrope writes "In order to help push current-gen sales, EA is slashing prices on some of its upcoming titles. For instance, two of EA's most anticipated titles, The Godfather (March 14) and Black (February 28), will retail for $39.95." From the article: "It'll be interesting to see how the market reacts to these price cuts. We would guess that several other publishers could soon follow EA's lead and drop the prices on their upcoming current-gen software also. It could be just the strategy the industry needs to boost overall sales. $39.95 looks like a bargain when it's sitting on the shelf next to a next-generation game priced at $59.95."
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EA Slashing Current-Gen Pricetags

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  • Lower prices mean more sales. Umm, what else is there to say?
    • Re:Good stuff. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by creimer (824291)
      Better games equal better sales?
    • Re:Good stuff. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by fishybell (516991) <fishybell@hotmaP ... om minus painter> on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @06:08PM (#14771660) Homepage Journal
      They don't want more sales, they want more profit.

      Since they are trying to maximize profit, they will (correctly) charge as much as the market is willing to bear. Unless they difference in the number of sales more than offsets the loss in profit-per-unit, other publishers won't follow suit. Given that they are experimenting with lower prices it seems to be that they think they can indeed get a larger return from more sales.

      However, since not all games are created equal, it seems silly to try to sell them all at the same price. Each product will have a specific price point that maximizes its profit. Perhaps this is the conclusion they are coming too.

      • Re:Good stuff. (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Since they are trying to maximize profit, they will (correctly) charge as much as the market is willing to bear.

        Not quite. The demand curve determines how many units you will sell at a given price. The market might "bear" $100 a unit, but you'll only sell 10, but at $60 you'll sell 100,000. Drop it to $40 and you might sell 300,000. What you want to find is the point at which profits are maximized, considering that you don't know what the competition will do (If they drop to $40 too you'll lose canibalize

        • You're assuming that they receive less with a lower suggested retail price.

          We don't know the wholesale costs, nor do we know what in-game-revenue deals for product placement, or pricing of game supplement materials (books, add-ons, t-shirts, sports cars paint jobs, etc) are.

          It's possible that they could drop the pricing from $59.99 SRP to $39.99 SRP per unit, sell five times as many units but only drop production/marketing/delivery costs by a fraction - more volume discounts on shipping, easier channel cost
        • Congratulations on not reading the line following the quoted one. You reiterated my point exactly, but with numbers you pulled out of your ass.

          Go back to watching Sesame Street.

          • Your reasoning was correct, but your statement that a seller will charge "as much as the market is willing to bear" is the pet peeve of every economist because, as the GP explained, it's so very widespread and so very wrong. Suppliers charge the price that maximizes their profit, which is almost never the highest price that people would actually pay.
            • Offtopic but,

              Suppliers charge the price that maximizes their profit, which is almost never the highest price that people would actually pay.

              Unless you have a virtual (or real) monopoly then you charge as much as the market will bear then throw a few bones when too many people start complaining about it. Look at the gas/oil companies. there are only about 5 companies that control all the oil and gas in the US, everything else is conected to those 5 in some way unless it is some independent producer (very f

              • Well, technically the gas companies are an oligopoly, not a monopoly. They do compete on price (otherwise prices would have never gone down after Katrina), but they can get away with moderate price hikes because gas is a relatively inelastic commodity - people are gonna need it no matter how much it costs. Monopolists dealing in products with more elastic demand (AT&T in its pre-split years, for example) still have to price their products to sell, or else they'll make no money.
                • "oligopoly" That is an interesting term. This is the first i have heard about it but it does fit the description quite well.

                  I'm kind of thinking that this type of system might actualy lend to abuse more redily then a clear monopoly because of the apearance of it being an open market. Either way, it has some of the apearances of a monopoly. I'm going to have to look inot it some more. Thanks for the correction.
                  • 'm kind of thinking that this type of system might actualy lend to abuse more redily then a clear monopoly because of the apearance of it being an open market.

                    See also "Cartel". My admittedly possibly incorrect understanding is that a cartel is essentially an oligopoly where the few players are *actively* colluding.
    • I think the price drop is an amazing strategy. Not only do brand new games like Black seem like a steal at $40, but lower rent games like Arena Football seem like highway robbery at a brand new price of only $30. I for one am much more inclined to buy, and have done so, at these lower prices. Additionally, with the "throw a dart at the calendar" release date of the PS3, which will cost between $5-$10,000, people will still feel like they're saving money for the PS3 while still building their PS2 libraries.
    • New religious discussion site. No registration.

      I dearly hope for your own sake that all your servers, cables, racks, and heck, your whole data center are made out of asbestos ;-)
  • EA pricing? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Quasar1999 (520073) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @06:00PM (#14771580) Journal
    I'm an avid Need for Speed fan... every recent release comes out at $70 (Canadian) and then a week later it's down to $60, then a month later it's $50... then about 2 months after that it's in the bargain bin for $20.

    If they started pricing games more reasonably, based on length, quality, and quantity of game play, then maybe they'd make money, and a much better return on investment... but instead, I just sit around waiting for a month before buying the game.

    Then again, if you can sell a crap game for 4 times as much as the reasonable market value, why not!?
    • I seriously hope they never start pricing based on length or 'quantity of game play' or else studious will start stuffing their games with mindless repetition in order to boost both of those stats. It's bad enough with the current crop of RPGs which either feature mind-numbing repetitios features (maybe it's to prepare you for the level grind of MMORPGs) or endless cut scenes interspersed with 10 minutes of actual game play.
    • It isn't a stupid idea if the hard-core fans are willing to pay $70 in order to have the game right when it comes out. The fact that you are willing to hold off buying the game until the price comes down just means it isn't worth $70 to you.

      You can't price games based on "quality", which is totally subjective (I, for one, wouldn't pay $5 for a Need for Speed game), and a long game isn't better than a short one (unless all you are looking for is a way to kill time). You price the game at what you think peop

    • I will not pay more than $29.99 for any game.

      It takes a lot to get me to pay more than $20.00 for a game. When a game is particularly interesting or good I will, but I'm not going to buy a game at launch if the price is $69.99. It simply isn't going to happen. Also, I don't own a console, so any games I get are PC games. I don't see the draw in paying so GD much for a console or the games for it.

      LK
      • I will not pay more than $29.99 for any game.

        I'm in a similar situation, but it's not a particular price point that's my cutoff.
        I just don't play that many games. This means that when I feel like getting a new one, there are a lot I've never played that I can easily know whether they're generally considered "good" or "bad" and they're at about that price or less.

        I just got a brand new computer, so I picked up a few games recently, all a bit older. I can play all of them at max settings totally smoothly.

        May
    • every recent release comes out at $70 (Canadian) and then a week later it's down to $60, then a month later it's $50... then about 2 months after that it's in the bargain bin for $20.

      It's the free market in action. The longer after the release date, the more used copies are going to enter the market, competing with the new copies for sales, so the publisher has to lower prices in order to keep selling more games. There also may be new games out competing with the old game, so although the new game has a
    • I think this is the best form of price descrimination. Everyone wins, in the mentioned scenario.

      1) Users who obviously get the most out of the product get taxed for their impatience.
      2) Users who would not normally buy the game will get a chance to in only a few months.
      3) Publishers/Developers get the most money out of the game because of #1 and #2
      4) Publishers can build a better game because of #3
      5) Users enjoy the game more than otherwise because of #4
      6) See #1 for sequal/new title

      This is capitalism worki
  • There are very few games I'm willing to pay full price for these days. Especially when you can wait a few months to get the "collector's edition" for the same price as the regular. Otherwise, I'll wait for a significant discount on Amazon or the $20 USD or under bargin bin.
  • I seriously doubt this, but maybe some of the big ind.'s are starting to listen... Get rid of the bloat and you'll make for a happier customer!
  • by Exsam (768226) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @06:03PM (#14771614)
    ...If the game doesnt suck. Neither of those games looks particularly promising IMHO.
    • I've seen the ads for "Black".
      You know, the 30-second ad with the first-person view of a gun blazing constantly.

      Yeah, cuz the big problem with games these days is not enough rounds-per-second.

      Duh.

      I've been having a lot of fun recently in a game that is totally free, and has some strategy involved.
      http://www.enemy-territory.com/ [enemy-territory.com]
      Somewhat realistic WW2 FPS.
    • Actually, I've played the demo for Black (it's available at stores for free), and it's a lot of fun. It sets out to do what it wants to do, and it does it well, from what I've seen. Just destroy lots of stuff with badass guns. If that's not your cup of tea, then that's ok, but the game itself is actually pretty quality from what I've played of the demos. I would buy it for $50, but $40 is just icing on the cake. :) Criterion makes Black, and they usually churn out some fun games...
      • I'm waiting for someone with the full version to comment on the game (I've seen it in stores for sale so I assume someone will have it). Does a game goal of "detroy everything" mean you are pretty much a walking tank (as in Serious Sam) that can take a rocket in the face without flinching or do they still expect you to take cover and not get hit?
        • It releases Feb 28th, so no one should have it yet. In the demo, you still have to take cover... quite a bit, actually. I couldn't get through it without dying the first time, despite all the health packs around. I'd relate the experience somewhat to Half Life 2 in the sense that everything is destructable/you can interact with everything. The ad in my EGM says "If you can't get a target in your line of sight, blast the ceiling and bring it down on top of him" and another quote "catch an enemy in the sh
          • I'm in Europe, it was released here today. The price drop turned out to be 6 Euros out of 60, couldn't they have dropped it down to 50 Euros? 54 isn't much less than 60 and I don't think anyone will be more likely to buy it at that price.
  • Ever since the fiasco that was "Formula 1 - 2000" that will not run in Windows 2000/XP, and has been largely unsupported with any patches to make it happen.

    Not that they've had anything remotely interesting lately anyway...

    smash.

    • Oh, and just before anyone jumps on the "linux hippy won't buy games anyway....

      I've got well over 100 legally purchased games in my collection, 0 pirate games installed (shock!) and end up buying about 1 game per month (not much, but I only spend 10 days per month at home so....)

      smash.

    • Sony have had the F1 license for many years now, so there aren't even any EA F1 games for you to buy if you were prepared to do so.

      They're made by Sony Liverpool (they guys behind the WipEout series and ex-Psygnosis), so if you can get a cheap PS2 I'd recommend giving them a look; they're good fun with a force-feedback wheel.
  • I guess the workweek will have to go to 120 hours to make up for the lost revenue.
  • EA (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jarlsberg (643324) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @06:34PM (#14771894) Journal
    Every time an article about EA is posted to Slashdot, every EA hating slashdotter immediately registers his disgust with EA, usually complaining about lack of support for x game x years back, or the simplisitude of their recent 200x sports game.

    Give it a break, will 'ya. EA cutting prices on anticipated games such as Black and The Godfather is a good thing for anyone who's been waiting to sample these, and for those who think they will suck, well, let's wait for the reviews, shall we?

    Sure, EA has published a fair number of crap games, but they have a long legacy of producing good stuff as well.

    • Ya, lowering prices is good, but why no next-gen love? Not everyone that has a next-gen system is rich (since they blew all their money on the hardware).

      Fight Night Round 3 is $20 cheaper on the current-gen systems than the 360, which is just unfair, All that's different is graphics, I think I'll pass.
      • Well, I'll certainly agree to that, but are the games even scheduled for the 360? The online shops I use doesn't give any info about a 360 release for Black (which is the only one I'll consider, really), and no info about the Godfather whatsoever.
      • by CMiYC (6473)
        Not to defend EA, but I understand why. The current-gen consoles have an enormous amount of software on the shelf; either in New, Used, or "Best Sellers."

        There are what, 10 Xbox360 games?
  • 39.95 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mmalove (919245) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @06:35PM (#14771904)
    "In order to help push current-gen sales, EA is slashing prices on some of its upcoming titles. For instance, two of EA's most anticipated titles, The Godfather (March 14) and Black (February 28), will retail for $39.95."

    That's what we call spin. What they really wanted to say is:
    "Having reviewed testers' opinion on our upcoming games, we realise they stand no chance of being successful. Subsequently we will attempt to sell off as many copies at $40 as possible before the public wisens up to this."

    Take Hacker:Elite - released a couple years back at 30 dollars to start. Box looked great, concept sounded great, game itself was short and ultimately pretty dull. Fortunately these days anyone with google, 4th grade reading comprehension, and enough patience to wait a day, can tell if a game sucks or not without blowing 30-50 dollars on it.
    • Re:39.95 (Score:2, Interesting)

      Actually, everything I've heard about Black is that it looks compellingly attractive for a FPS. Environment detail and the fact that say, shooting a ceiling will cause it to come crashing down on your enemies in a realistic way, or that hiding behind a wooden door is no longer a way to avoid bullets of a high caliber, are two ways that I've already seen in their (playable) demos that demonstrate a desire to create a fun and inventive game that mimics reality.

      Also, anyone who has actually shot the guns u
    • Actually, just about every review I've seen so far of Black has been positive. Far more positive than they are about most EA games, certainly.

      So there's more to it than this, I'd suggest.
      • It may be reviewing well, but I won't be buying another EA game after the shitfight that was BF2.
        • You're quite welcome to boycott it if that's your choice.

          Personally, I don't think the problems that affected Dice's inability to write stable, crack-proof network code are particularly relevant to Criterion's single-player game. On the other hand, I'm not desperate for yet another FPS game (even if it's supposedly very good), so I'm not buying it for that reason.
    • Don't know about the Godfather (and I have low expectations) but Black got a very positive review from Edge this month (the only source whose reviews I trust) and I'm planning to get it when released in the UK on Friday. Unfortunately the price cut doesn't seem to apply to Europe as web sites are still quoting the MRP as £39.95.
  • Remember when EA said that all their sports games for the next (now current) gen systems were going to be $30 from then on 2-3 years ago? The focus being on Madden, so it could compete with the superior 2k series. Then remember the next two rounds of EA sports games debuted mostly at $50? Yeah. More EA doublespeak.
  • $39.95 looks like a bargain when it's sitting on the shelf next to a next-generation game priced at $59.95.

    How does it look sitting next to the used game for $15? Especially if the new game is "Getting Up" sitting next to a copy of, oh, the first "Prince of Persia" or "GTA: San Andreas" or whatever older game you think was awesome.

    Don't get me wrong, though: I'm all for cheaper video games. And frankly, I'm sure it's just a matter of the game-buying public being unwilling to shell out $50 for a "last-

    • How does it look sitting next to the used game for $15?

      $15? I guess you haven't been to GameStop recently. They'll sell a $39.95 game used for $37.95 and have the sales droids push that $2 "discount" on anyone interested in the game.

      Melissa
  • After firing thousands, why not reduce prices? Sounds great. On to the salad course.
  • I won't even look at buying a game until it's dropped below $30, and most I wait until it's below $20. A few exceptions are things like Psychonauts or Doom 3.

    It might take a while, but by the time I get a game, it'll have most of it's patches out, the game guides will be up, and I'll have seen enough reviews to know if it is even worth buying in the first place.

    MMORPGS are left until the client is released for free. I'm not spending money to buy a game that requires a monthly subscription.
    • I'll pay $40 for a REALLY good game. The rest have to wait till they approach $30. If I see anything above $45 then it gets to sit on the shelf and there's no way in hell I'll touch it no matter how good it is. It's going to get cheaper in time anyway so there's no point in rushing. A few months of not playing a game will not kill me. It's rediculous that some games refuse to go below $50 even months after it's been out.
  • They're just playing games with their customers.

    (sorry: I just had to say that).

  • ...and I personally think the Winning Eleven series is a more solid series than FIFA is. Maybe they're learning that people aren't all to concerned about Madden 05, Madden 06, etc, when the only major difference is the roster, while more important aspects (like physics, which Konomi constantly improves in it's WE/Pro Evolution Soccer games) remain fundamentally unchanged for years at a time?
    • especially when you can download roster updates for PC ports of EA sports games.

      I wish more Americans would dive into the winning eleven series. I'm one behind the current one, and it's head and shoulders above FIFA. Reminds me of the fun I used to have playing FIFA '96 against my brother on Sega Genesis.
  • Our current economic system is built around charging an optimal amount for a given product. Basically prices are set at the sweet spot where the most people will pay the most money for a given product. Charge more and some people will still pay, but you'll make less money from all the people who opt not to buy the product. Charge less and more people might buy the product, but the greater sales don't make up the difference in profit you would get were you to charge more for the product.
    While it's certai
    • Katamari Damacy sold for $20 because they figured you were going to spend the other $30 on acid and mushrooms to really enjoy the game.

      Then everyone got addicted to Katamari as a mind-altering substance so they raised the price 50% on the sequel. Bastards.
  • EA Cuts Current-Gen Prices [slashdot.org]

    Let's at least mix the subjects around when we're going to get a month-late dupe ;)
  • Didn't they also slash the price on a handful of other games after less than spectacular holiday sales?

    I know Need For Speed Most Wanted dropped to $40 from $50

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