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The Almighty Buck Entertainment Games

EA Boss Says Games Too Expensive 139

Posted by Zonk
from the nice-of-you-to-notice dept.
EA's John Riccitiello has been shaking things up at EA lately, with everything from layoffs to the purchase of BioWare. Now he's suggesting the company take some really drastic measures: make their games less expensive. "Riccitiello says the $31 billion gaming industry will suffer if it doesn't start to reevaluate its business model. Game executives at Sony, Microsoft and Activision must answer some tough questions in the coming years, like how long they can expect consumers to pay $59 for a video game. Riccitiello predicts the model will be obsolete in the next decade. 'In the next five years, we're all going to have to deal with this. In China, they're giving games away for free,' he says. 'People who benefit from the current model will need to embrace a new revenue model, or wait for others to disrupt.' As more publishers transition to making games for online distribution, Riccitiello says he expects EA will experiment with different pricing models."
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EA Boss Says Games Too Expensive

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  • by religious freak (1005821) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:32PM (#21203039)
    If this is an excuse to release crappier games, count me out. These things are expensive to make and I'd rather own 3 or 4 good games that have been invested in than 10 games that were just pounded out by some off-shore devs.

    Yes, I'm sure some troll with mod points will kill my karma by me stating the obvious.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by FlyByPC (841016)

      If this is an excuse to release crappier games, count me out. These things are expensive to make and I'd rather own 3 or 4 good games that have been invested in than 10 games that were just pounded out by some off-shore devs.

      Yes, I'm sure some troll with mod points will kill my karma by me stating the obvious.

      Amen. And would it kill them to make at least one or two games that aren't either about shooting-everything-that-moves, sports, or race cars?

      If you can read this... 01110101 00100000 01110010 00100000 01100001 00100000 01101110 01100101 01110010 01100100

      No no no. A 01100111 01100101 01100101 01101011, if you please.

      • what kind of games would you suggest?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Fozzyuw (950608)

      If this is an excuse to release crappier games

      It's probably more of an excuse to move towards a "game license" system like other too well known software products. No longer will you own the game, you'll only own a license to play it on your machine and you'll have to continue to pay a monthly fee to play it. Sound familiar? Games will stop being on a disc and companies will start distributing them via download play only.

      After all, the resale of their games really kills them. Sure, I pay $50-60 for a g

      • by Fjornir (516960)
        (all the current gen consoles have internet connection, so I cannot see the next-gen skipping it and PC's have had it forever)

        Oh, they're so cute when they're so little!

    • > People who benefit from the current model will need to embrace a new revenue model, or wait for others to disrupt.

      It's far more insidious than that. This is EA, the company known for (among other things) taking things that used to be standard features -- stripping them out -- then trying to sell them to you via micropayments. That is a "new revenue model". Sell the game cheap. Only it isn't the whole game. Most of the cool parts aren't there. Then you get nickeled and dimed to death buying the
    • Not crappier games. More likely smaller running games. Like Portal/HL2:EP1/HL2:EP2. Less material, cheaper price.

      I remember it was only a few years ago you could buy a single player game and expect to get a months play out of it. Now days your lucky to get more then 5 hours.
    • by Endo13 (1000782)

      If this is an excuse to release crappier games, count me out. These things are expensive to make and I'd rather own 3 or 4 good games that have been invested in than 10 games that were just pounded out by some off-shore devs.
      Remember, this is EA we're talking about. I'd rather pay $10 for a crappy game than $50.
  • lol (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Hsien-Ko (1090623)
    And stripping online support of expensive games to force them to buy new versions is a worse tactic. Pot kettle EA!
  • I never did. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by iknownuttin (1099999)
    ...how long they can expect consumers to pay $59 for a video game.

    I only shop for games in the bargain bins. The most I've ever paid for a game was $10. And I save the cost of having to upgrade my machine every, what, six months.

    • by Seumas (6865)
      There have been so many games coming out recently that I can't keep up with them. If a game is online multiplayer, I tend to buy it on the release day for the release price. If a game is single player or off-line only, I am more likely to wait until I can buy a used copy for half the price or a little more.
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      I've paid $59 for a few of my games. But those were good games. Games that gave me 50+ hours of play time just to beat that. Compare that to buying a movie on DVD for $15, where even if I watch it 5 times, I sill only get 10 hours out of it. A good game should be able to give you 100 hours of play without getting bored, and without having to do repetitive stuff. What we really need to stop is having every game cost $59. I find it very disappointing that all the games cost the exact same amount, even th
    • And I save the cost of having to upgrade my machine every, what, six months.

      Yes yes.. very relavent to conversations FROM THE LAST DECADE. Dude.. computers don't change anywhere near as fast as they used to - I can get a machine now for $1000 dollars that will last me through the end of this decade, and probably into 2011.

      I assembled my current box from parts of the old with a few upgrades - new proc and mobo, 1.5 gig of ram, and a new video card. I remember looking at this seething pile of power with a wistful sorrow - because I was leaving for a year in Europe a month later, a

  • by DrXym (126579) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:38PM (#21203145)
    I expect the cost of licencing NBA, FIFA, Nascar, NFL, Tiger Woods etc. far, far, far, far outweighs the costs of actual game development. Perhaps if EA wants to make a cut costs they'll relinquish their exclusive deals. Let some other company bear the weight of forking out for some exclusive franchise plough the savings into making decent titles.

    Interestingly the NBA & NHL both allow multiple game franchises and probably each is better for it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by p0tat03 (985078)

      Licensing gives them far more sales than the licenses cost. If anything that's the *smartest* move they can make. Sports games, while no piece of cake to produce, have costs that are far less than, say, an RPG like Final Fantasy. How many stadiums do you have to make to satisfy your players, vs. how many entire WORLDS the RPG would need to have?

      No, better spend $20M licensing + $5M producing mass-market game with millions of sales, than to spend $50M making an epic hardcore-gamer game that's going to top

      • by DrXym (126579)
        Licensing gives them far more sales than the licenses cost.

        That may well be so, in which case why bitch about development costs when they are not the major source of expenditure?

        • by p0tat03 (985078) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:49PM (#21203361)

          Because not all genres are created equal. RTS games generally have lower dev costs than FPSes, due to the fact that FPS environments are scrutinized more closely, and tend to be disposable (once you've been through an area you don't go back). RPGs have the highest dev cost of all, due to players being accustomed to massive CG-quality cinematics and huge, epic storylines full of expensive voice acting, as WELL as non-recyclable maps.

          I think the majority of the complaints here is that, the market's insatiable thirst for shinier graphics is ballooning the cost of content development, driving games to the edge where only "arena" based games like Sims, strategy games, and sports games, have a dev cost low enough to be profitable. HL1 was produced for a mere fraction of the cost to produce HL2, but somehow had a longer playtime. Before one blames Valve one should look at the level of workload difference between creating a scientist model in HL1, vs. the effort to do so in HL2.

          One of the focuses right now for the industry is procedural content. How much can we reliably generate by machine without significantly impacting quality? Also we need to look at our toolchain, much of our tools are still too "dumb", exponentially increasing required artist hours for every extra little thing we add. The solution to our cost problem is technological - we need smarter tools that reduce man-hour cost, and we need procedural tools that can take a number of things away from humans entirely.

          • by Khaed (544779)
            Actually, your description of RPGs is why I quit playing them, but I'm definitely in the minority. Around the time of the Playstation, they just reached a point where the games annoyed the living shit out of me, and they didn't strike me as fun as games from the previous generation.

            Now if you'll excuse me, I think there are some damn kids on my lawn.
            • Well, you're not entirely alone, and the situation isn't entirely hopeless. thought Disgaea was a very refreshing departure from post-FFVII RPGs. Properly speaking, it's a tactical RPG, but the tactical RPG is really the proper successor to classic RPGs. They're games for people who thought that the idea of commanding an army of wizards, barbarians, ninjas and monsters was cool in and of itself, and made that aspect of the game take center stage instead of an obtuse, inscrutable plot.

              The tricky part is

          • Voice actors are paid not too much more than an entry-level programmer or artist on an hourly basis, and the number of hours you need them relative to the number of *man-years* you will be chucking into getting your graphics up to snuff is insignificant. WoW's crazy-refined zones are the products of close to a thousand man years of development. The voices, by comparison, are a tacked-on joke. (Which, in WoW, is actually pretty funny. /funny)

            Marketing costs as much or more than development, incidentally.
          • by Endo13 (1000782)
            All true. And I could have predicted it a good 5 years or more ago. I still find the original Unreal Tournament and Quake 2 as fun to play as any FPS since. And WoW, with it's highly-simplistic graphics is far and away the #1 MMO. And almost all the rest of the MMOs have "superior" graphics. Moral of the story is, while pretty graphics are nice, gameplay > graphics. Most gamers are content with the quality of graphics from '99. Perhaps they need to slow down and wait to make games with jaw-dropping grap
      • by rtb61 (674572)
        Now that is just completely untrue. It is all about the game play, it has always been all about the game play and it will always be all about the game play. Licenced content games have proved to be some of the crappiest games of all time and have demonstrated that paying for crap licence content is just throwing money away. Game play sells games beyond the first week, not licensed content, the Internet and real players opinions kill, crap, bullshit, licensed content marketing once the first players start co
  • Some games are worth $66 (with tax). Some are not. An MMO might be worth $66, even if you factor in monthly subscriptions. It's hard to justify a button masher with six hours of game play for the same price.

    You can see a movie for $5. That's about $2.50 per hour of entertainment. A six hour videogame would be about $11 per hour. I just bought World War Z from Amazon and at $10, that'll give me a lot of reading entertainment at about a buck or so per hour.

    Games seem disproportionately expensive. Especially a
    • by reaktor (949798)

      Some games are worth $66 (with tax). Some are not. An MMO might be worth $66, even if you factor in monthly subscriptions.


      Maybe... But paying $60+ for a MMO with the additional continuing $15/month fee is ridiculous. I can't believe that Microsoft even charges for online play for the 360. Absurdness is an understatement here, IMO.
    • by Hells (1166547)
      Seeing a good movie can cheer you for a day, I'm not too keen on these simplistic comparisons.
    • by GMFTatsujin (239569) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @05:15PM (#21203745) Homepage
      In those terms, my purchase of the Core Three D&D manuals was the best entertainment investment of my life.

      At ~$80 for the whole package, I've had *years* of fun playing in co-op mode with my friends, every encounter was fresh, the quests were challenging and unexpected, and the monster AI dynamically adapted to my tactics.

      Of course, there's the significant lag time of looking up the rules ... but at least there are no subscription fees.

      • but at least there are no subscription fees.
        Until one of your players wants to play a half-dragon prestige-classed psion/warlock with every feat taken out of a different book. Then it gets a little expensive.
      • by Shadow99_1 (86250)
        What you don't tip your DM...? As hard as a good DM has to work to create a good story, I'd hope they get something out of it...
  • by Paddo_Aus (700470) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:40PM (#21203183)
    EA can afford to distrib their games for less because they just recycle the same crap from last year with a new badge and a few small incremental improvements rather than developing NEW games.
  • by Bin_jammin (684517) <Binjammin@gmail.com> on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:40PM (#21203195)
    game publishers? I won't spend $60 on a game. I won't spend $40 on a game. You'd be hard pressed to get me to spend $25 to play a game that has a storyline, because it's wasted money after the story is complete. I'll buy used games for far cheaper (if at all) if I'm looking to kill some time. I'm about as casual a gamer as you'll ever find, but the ever rising price of consoles and games means you've lost me as a customer. I bought a PS2 and an Xbox, both of which are gathering dust. I may break them out once a month (or far less frequently in the summer) but don't count on it. I've considered buying a Wii because it's almost affordable, but there's not a whole ton of games for it. Consider this, I would LOVE to be able to buy a console that had games priced between $15 to $20. I don't really give a squat about the graphics, I want to be entertained. You'll have a customer for life if you make that happen, as I'll be able to justify buying a game or two a week. I realize you'd be hard pressed to put out that many quality titles, so chapterize them. Break the content up over a few games and I'll buy 'em one piece at a time, but don't make them updates, each would have to be a standalone title I'd be able to pick up and play for a few hours. At those prices you'd be competing with movies, and have my attention for at least twice as long.
    • by XaXXon (202882)
      I disagree COMPLETELY. Why should I pay for a game that relies entirely on users to create story? That's like buying a novel prices and getting a blank notebook.

      • Why should I pay for a game that relies entirely on users to create story? That's like buying a novel prices and getting a blank notebook.
        People buy Mad Libs books. Likewise, people buy video games that provide a framework in which to tell a story.
    • by Daneboy (315359)
      They already made a game console that'd be perfect for you. It's called a Sega Genesis... :-)

      OK, I say that jokingly -- although... I recently went on a retro-trip and picked one up on eBay for like $30, and spent almost an entire day playing the original Sonic in glorious 16-bit color. I haven't had that much *fun* with a video game for a long time.

      I disagree with your point about story lines, however. Sure, there's little point in re-playing a story-based game once you've finished it once -- but
    • by Xtravar (725372)

      I bought a PS2 and an Xbox, both of which are gathering dust.

      I have both as well. The thing that really pisses me off is that new PS2 games still cost $30 to $50. On the one hand, I really am glad they still make PS2 games (as opposed to XBox games), but on the other hand, do they really expect me to pay that much for PS2 games when the PS2 is on the verge of obsolete? I keep imagining the breaking point when the PS3 has momentum and all the remaining PS2 games in stock drop to $10 - $20. But maybe that point will never come. Maybe I will never get to play GoW2

      • Look at the numbers. This year, PS2 console sales are expected to be 13 million. Total PS3 sales (to date): 6.5 million. Total XBox 360 sales (to date): 13 million. Total wii sales (to date): 13 million.

        Since newer PS3s are reducing (or eliminating) PS2 compatibility, I'm wondering if Sony is going to try to split them into 2 different product lines and keep their PS2 cash cow around for as long as they can.

    • by Jim Hall (2985)

      Consider this, I would LOVE to be able to buy a console that had games priced between $15 to $20. I don't really give a squat about the graphics, I want to be entertained. You'll have a customer for life if you make that happen, as I'll be able to justify buying a game or two a week.

      Have you considered downloadable games? I purchased a PS3 this summer because of the PS3 games, and was surprised about the downloadable games you can purchase at low cost from the PlayStation Network store. My fave right now is Super Rub-a-Dub [youtube.com] - I'm 35, but I love this game. But I tell people I got it for my wife. :-)

      Seriously, we will sometimes play this game for a few hours at a time. Lots of fun! Most fun you can have for only $7.

      They have a ton of other games on PSN that are about the same cost.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by tepples (727027)

      I would LOVE to be able to buy a console that had games priced between $15 to $20.
      Try Xbox Live Arcade, PSN, Nintendo DS (some games $20, most games $30), Leapster, and soon WiiWare.
    • You'd be hard pressed to get me to spend $25 to play a game that has a storyline, because it's wasted money after the story is complete.

      Same could be said for movies, except I find a game is a lot more replayable than a movie. Especially a good game. Especially with online content.

      Recently, I spent $50 on the Orange Box. That's Portal, a short, replayable game with a story -- but despite the story, it's just fun to play, and I'm sure we'll see custom maps for it soon. It's also Team Fortress 2, a multipla

    • "would LOVE to be able to buy a console that had games priced between $15 to $20. "
      Buy a PS2 and hit the used game rack :)
      I know you said that you already do that. If you don't have to have the latest and greatest then getting a console late in life and buying used is the way to go.
  • Games truly aren't that expensive because theres no free/open source equivalent of them. Not to mention I would rather pay $60 for a good game that has a solid gameplay rather then a $20 of a movie-rip-off game that has the gameplay of an old NES game. Next, isn't "price wars" that caused the video game market to crash? It seems that EA a main maker of mediocre games in my opinion (Just look at Madden football and the rest of their yearly sports games) could see the quality of games drop dramatically to E.T
  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:43PM (#21203243) Homepage Journal
    1. Release games in increment bundles - you buy basic version and get expansions or pay extra for online content.

    Pro: Better revenue stream for game producers. Bug fixes easier to release.
    Con: Consumers feel, rightfully, that they're getting ripped off.

    2. Release games with in-game ads and product placements - signs in game and t-shirt logos and decals and maybe songs and optional extras are from adversiers.

    Pro: Better revenue stream for game producers. Targeted ads from game registration.
    Con: Consumers may feel they are oversold.
    Note: If done only to level of real world or fantasy world normal experience, without flashing vids and noisy ads, this has higher buy in from consumers and doesn't feel bad to them.

    3. Release games at lower cost and take money from CEO/exec pay while not stiffing game developers.

    Pro: Investors in game producing firm get same return. Developers feel not as ripped off. Games cheaper.
    Con: Fantasy. Game execs will never do this and will fix things so this never happens. Better off shooting the execs dead to practice marksmanship skills for in-game experience.
    • by webmaster404 (1148909) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:50PM (#21203377)
      Or number 4. Create Good games where people will actually pre-order and stand in line until midnight when the game is to be released. That is why Nintendo always ends up ahead in games, magazines will poke fun at the Wii, DS, GBA and Gamecube for having a lack of games but yet most of the games that are First or second party titles end up being smash hits, think about Ocarina of Time, people were willing to pay $50 for that game, even look at the Wii and how most American stores are almost always sold out of it and sometimes even Wii points! People are willing to pay full price, just don't make mediocre games (such as Tiger Woods, Madden, etc.)
      • Or number 4. Create Good games where people will actually pre-order and stand in line until midnight when the game is to be released.
        More often then not that is "create good marketing" or "create good hype" not "create a good game".
    • by Trojan35 (910785)
      I love how everyone blames executive compensation for high priced goods. $5m for a CEO in a large company is nothing. It probably wouldn't even affect EPS for a full year. The job of a CEO isn't about how many excel sheets he can go through in an hour, i'd guess a tenth of that of a normal employee. The job of the CEO is to make the right call once or twice a year, and thereby making the difference in revenue (either increasing it by 20%, or stopping it from decreasing by 20%).

      CEO's aren't the reason games
  • by r_jensen11 (598210) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:48PM (#21203335)
    With SNES games costing sometimes $70 when they were launched (I have no clue what NES games cost when they were released), I'm surprised video games are as "cheap" as they are. Sure, some games have a rediculously high price now, like Guitar Hero and Rock Band come to mind. But there, you're also paying for new hardware, which doesn't cost *that* much more than a typical controller, and given that they're made in smaller quantities and require more materials, it makes sense that they cost more than a typical controller.

    If games cost $60-$70 for the SNES, if video games were subject to inflation, and given a modest 3% inflation rate, they would be costing between $93.48 and $109.06. Yes, I know that not all games cost $60-70 back fifteen years ago, but some very popular ones did.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Altima(BoB) (602987)
      Surprised they're so 'cheap' now?

      Move to the EU.

      Here in Ireland, the average video game for a next generation system is 70. That's $101, almost twice the price of the average game in the US. The way I see it, instead of these executives worrying about getting Americans to spend $49 or $39 on games, why not figure out some way to get prices and release dates in the EU to less ridiculous levels? Higher taxation is a factor, true, but the average EU citizen has less spending power than the average US citizen,
      • By the way, that's 70 Euros.

        For some reason Slashdot didn't like the Euro sign and omitted it...
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Manmademan (952354)
          Keep in mind though that Euro prices have VAT (that's sales tax for those unfamiliar with it) built IN to the price, and VAT can easily be 20% of the game's price or more. US prices are all quoted without tax. Some states add 5% to what you see, some add 7%, and some add zero.
    • Yes, it's all just a factor of inflation, there certianly aren't many other factors to consider, and you should always assume the prices you work with were not high and priced fairly.

    • Don't forget that at the time, games were stored on a more expensive rom format. Games are stored on optical media now, so yes, the price should drop
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Osty (16825)

      Sure, some games have a rediculously high price now, like Guitar Hero and Rock Band come to mind. But there, you're also paying for new hardware, which doesn't cost *that* much more than a typical controller, and given that they're made in smaller quantities and require more materials, it makes sense that they cost more than a typical controller.

      If you do the math, those peripherals actually cost less than a new controller. For example, I recently purchased Guitar Hero III for Xbox 360 for $90 (+ tax). I

    • Back then, games were pretty far from their optimal price point because it was pretty much impossible to sell a good game for a good price. No, it had nothing to do with development costs, but with manufacturing costs.

      A SNES era cartridge was created with custom made ROM chips that held the game, not unlike ancient arcade cabinets. The more you put on the game, the more chips you needed, and the more expensive it got. It was easy to notice by just weight! Some games also carried extra processors in them, wh
      • Yes, SNES and N64 carts cost more to manufacture than Disc based games do. It wasn't just this though- nintendo had some pretty draconian royalty policies in place as well. New games could and did cost up to $30 more than comparable PS1 games back in the day, and you can't tell me that was all just the cost of the cart itself.

        But that's besides the point. What the OP was trying to point out is that since the advent of disc based games (say, 1995 or so) the cost of a AAA game has only risen 20%, from about

    • Aside from development costs, there's economics of scale. Compare the size of the game market today to what it was in the 80's. There are also a lot more games being made - Half Life 2 might have been a good shooter, but if Valve's asking price was $80, it would have given people second thoughts about where to spend their money.
    • Believe it or not, I recall getting my mother to fork over $54 for Super Mario Brothers 3 (NES, 1990). I have no idea how I did that. But the important thing is that I got it 1 day before my friend!

      That's about 90 bucks in today's worthless dollars.
      • by MBGMorden (803437)
        I got that game too. No clue on how much it cost at the time or the exact year though.

        I do know though that the Christmas after it was released, my mom payed around $70 for Street Fighter II Turbo (and an SNES to play it on which I think was either $149 or $199 at the time).

        That was probably the most excited I've ever been to receive a game.
    • I don't know whether anyone has made a mention of this yet, but in Australia we pay a flat $100-$120AUD ($92-$110USD on Nov 02) for new games that come out which, frankly, sucks. When new games are announced, the first thing we find out is whether or not they are planning to release on Steam, or if we can buy them from overseas (not always legally). If the answers to both of those is "no", then we seriously reconsider the need to buy the game. Steam has made a huge difference to the accessibility of games
  • by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:57PM (#21203477)
    The consultant solution:

    1) Look at the development costs and segment by skills required.
    2) Identify those skill that can be done elsewhere for less (art, coding for example)
    3) Offshore those jobs
    4) Pay CEO big bonus for saving money
    5) Decide to ride the gravy train as long as you can with expensive games
    6) Bail out of the company stock when it become obvious you are going to start losing money
    7) CEO gets new job at another company for more money
    8) Consultant pockets hefty fees

  • I think some of the comments here are focusing too much on the fact that Mr. Riccitiello works for EA, and not focusing enough on the content of his statement. The fact that he works for EA has no immediate relevance to the content of his statement; a statement which is not far off the mark.

    With the emergence of video game markets overseas that offer downloadable content and even entire games for free (not to mention the prevalence of modified consoles playing games downloaded from Bit Torrent), the west

    • by searchr (564109)
      "I think some of the comments here are focusing too much on the fact that Mr. Riccitiello works for EA, and not focusing enough on the content of his statement. The fact that he works for EA has no immediate relevance to the content of his statement.."

      "In China, they're giving games away for free,' he says."

      Considering the appalling slave-labor work conditions in China that likely contribute to a viable give-away-free business model, and that Mr. Riccitiello works for EA, a game company notorious for wor

  • Actually, I used to love gaming on my pc, but there is no way I am spending that much money for games. Its just not worth it. You can say that its my choice not to game, and you'd be right, but I believe there are a lot of would be casual gamers like me who would buy games if they cost less.

  • ... whilst I don't like paying more than I have to, games are not necessarily too expensive, imho.

    With the caveat on that, that it has to be a decent game.

    Even a decent game with flaws - for example, Neverwinter Nights 2. Is it perfect? No. However it has kept me occupied for probably 100+ hours so far. I think it was about $90 australian (tangent: now the $AU is up >90c US, why the hell are we paying so much?? :D), and if you work out the entertainment cost, it's near enough to $1/hr or less.

    • by Macgrrl (762836)

      tangent: now the $AU is up >90c US, why the hell are we paying so much?? :D

      Because petrol is still $1.30 per litre and they have to pay for delivery somehow :(

      Response comes with free sarcasm - but doesn't make it any less true. :(

  • OK, so I'll admit I have a cruddy memory, but haven't the games for big-name consoles--mostly--been priced at right around $50 since the NES was released? Major commercial PC games, I'm pretty sure, have come up in price--I can't remember any solid figures, unfortunately.

    If you ask me, this is a lame attempt to appeal to the "casual" gamer that's cropping up and changing the face of the video game industry. Perhaps these casual gamers, if driven by price alone, are the people who're buying all those DS-e
    • I am more of a "casual" reader to be honest, and I prefer to read the Cliffs Notes version of a book. They tend to cost about half of the price and take a fraction of the time to finish!
  • and you should charge for support. No, wait a minute ...
  • Well, it's his job to make long-term market predictions. That's why CEOs get paid hundreds of millions of dollars. If they're wrong, the company loses a hell of a lot more.

    Golden parachutes when they screw up is an entirely different story, but probably more related to how contract terms run these days to attract good people.
  • Bad Idea + Throw lots of $$$$ at it = PROFIT!
    Good Idea + Throw a little bit of $$$$ at it = MORE PROFIT!

    Get it? Start with a good idea for a game, for a change. That way, you don't have to sink $50M into lighting effects and marketing, just to get people to play it.

    Tetris is one of the best selling games of all time, Lumines did extremely well too. You don't have to throw millions at something just for it to be good. Obviously for more epic gameplay, you need more time and money, but even then, do you think
    • $20, maybe 5-10 hours of gameplay.

      So good I've played through (all the way) probably two and a half times in one weekend. Spend $50 on Orange Box, haven't played the rest of it (Ep 2), but Portal alone makes it worth it.

      However, this is HARD to do, especially hard to do consistently. Event harder to make it fit in with a plot -- how many plots can a handheld portal-making device really fit into?
  • The folks at EA just don't get that a crap game will get crap sales. Everything they do appears to drive to mediocrity or down right apathy to what they produce. The golden ticket is to change their business model to produce great games.
  • SimCity Societies is coming out soon, and I think it looks nifty. So will they be charging me less than $50 for it, I wonder?

    ($50? whatever happened to the $30 game? Blah!)

  • A gaming executive telling the booming games industry that it's overpricing games?

    Ha ha!

    This is a trap. He's up to something.

    I believe the current pricing for games is accurate... you can compare it with movies, I think it's a very just analogy when you pick out the differences. The cost to develop some games is about the same as for some movies. Give or take, I've been told that before so of course correct me if I'm wrong. The sale price for a game is much higher than the ticket price for a movie, or
    • by nanowired (881497)
      Actually, I think its because he doesn't want to admit that all his company does is A) produce formulaic Sports games, which requires no innovation B) Buy /good/ companies and hump their golden camel until its tarnished with shame and sadness C) Produce crappy games.
  • Free? (Score:3, Funny)

    by adona1 (1078711) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @08:38PM (#21206059)

    In China, they're giving games away for free


    I believe they also follow that model in Sweden [thepiratebay.org] ;)
    • I believe they also follow that model in Sweden ;)

      Pirate bay doesn't distribute any games. They only provide information about places that do.
  • This comment is so delayed that I doubt many people will read it, but I am going to post it anyway. I stopped buying video games years ago when I was a teenager. I don't have a console anymore. The last computer game I bought only runs on Windows 95/98. So what games do I play? Scrabble, Chess, Uno, Skipbo, Phase 10, Monopoly, Risk, Battleship, and the list keeps going. Do you want epic single player games? A good book or just some time day-dreaming. What do these cost? Depends on where you get them but the

  • Us Canadians are expected to pay $64.99 for games, and routinely have been expected to pay $69.99 as of this generation until very recently. PS2/X-Box/GCN generation consoles routinely sold games for $59.99 and no cheaper, and it looks like very soon they may actually drop us to parity with the USA on game prices, if we're lucky.

    And our dollar is worth $1.05 US. Stop complaining, seriously.
  • I love it that he's finally realizing the huge budget over producerized games are too expensive. That's good for me, the small developer. As soon as EA stops thinking that a game has to be massive to be a success, little dev houses will start getting deals from EA again. That's a good thing. For me ;)
  • by Taulin (569009)
    These people who are proud they don't spend over $2 are lairs, or are missing out. It is an awesome feeling to have the newest stuff. To play through a game knowing very few others have done the same thing is incredible. One of the best parts of getting something is the anticipation of getting it, aka release date (for some, Christmas). The other part is playing, the next perfection playing if it is a good game. I agree with this EA guy. It is harder to buy release day games now that they are more expe
  • I bought all these.

    Rainbow Six: Vegas $50
    Test Drive Unlimited $50
    Arma: Combat Operations $50
    S.T.A.L.K.E.R. $50
    Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars $60
    Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 $50
    Bioshock $50
    World in Conflict $50
    Enemy Territory: Quake Wars $50
    The Orange Box $45
    Crysis Collector's Edition $60

    that's $565 dollars excluding taxes and shipping for games that I bought this year.
    That's money that really was meant for other things like food. As a PC gamer, I need to pay for upgrades to my computer to even p
  • I guess I'm one of the few people willing to spend more money on games, IF those games are large, fun, and expansive. Take, for example, The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. A huge game with lots of content, easily worth it's $60 price tag. I personally would have split the game up into 2 parts, with a cliffhanger in the middle, making the total $120. I think this would have been more than fair.

    Or MMORPGs, which cost $20 a month. Lots of people paying for those. Likewise, I could easily see an FPS like Battlefield

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