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First Person Shooters (Games) The Almighty Buck Games

EA Outs Battlefield 4, Plans To Charge $70 For New Games 323

Posted by Soulskill
from the first-person-inflaters dept.
Justus writes "Posts at NeoGAF and IGN show that a quickly-removed Origin advertisement for Medal of Honor: Warfighter reveals plans for Battlefield 4 and a new-game cost of $70. With Battlefield 3 DLC promised through 2013 and PC games cheaper than ever with things like the Steam Summer Sale, are gamers ready to buy Battlefield 4 at next-gen pricing?"
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EA Outs Battlefield 4, Plans To Charge $70 For New Games

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  • Outs? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Antarius (542615) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @02:29AM (#40653937)
    "Outs" Battlefield 4? What, are they going to be in rainbow camouflage or something?
    • by chebucto (992517)

      "Outs" Battlefield 4? What, are they going to be in rainbow camouflage or something?

      Nah, it's just set in 1000 BC, and you play the Athenians against the Persians.

      Like Plato said,

      And if there were only some way of contriving that a state or an army should be made up of lovers and their loves, they would be the very best governors of their own city, abstaining from all dishonour, and emulating one another in honour; and when fighting at each other's side, although a mere handful, they would overcome the world.

    • Re:Outs? (Score:4, Funny)

      by MacGyver2210 (1053110) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @08:52AM (#40655321)

      I just unlocked the "Fabulous Fire" perk. Check it out, my tracers are rainbow-colored and my camo turned into assless chaps!

  • No, no no (Score:4, Informative)

    by masternerdguy (2468142) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @02:29AM (#40653939)
    Loved the series before it so I preordered. I finally get the game and find it has created the most elitist and troll infested cesspool of a game I've ever encountered. Between the stat padders on Operation Metro and the server admins kicking me for outscoring them, I got fed up. I think the final straw was when forum 'discussions' degenerated into the person with the highest KD ratio automatically being right about everything. The community killed that game.
    • I'm referring to BF3, of course. BF4 will probably be worse. I have dealt with a lot of trolls being an active EVE player, but BF3 was too much.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by O('_')O_Bush (1162487)
      I play on PC and on PS3, ~300 hrs between them... and I haven't seen any of what you experienced. Sounds to me like you are just a whiner.
      • You're full of shit or extremely luckly. The 360 has the biggest asshole gamers but the PS3 certainly isn't free of douche bags.
    • Re:No, no no (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 15, 2012 @03:04AM (#40654081)

      Forget the community: the biggest problem I have with companies like EA is that they support draconian nonsense like DRM. I can't support them in good conscience.

    • by Xest (935314)

      If you've started frequenting the forums, you've already lost.

      Honestly, if you expect any kind of sensible or worthwhile debate on forums for a game like Battlefield or CoD then you need to get a better understanding of the world of gaming. It's best to just keep away, there's nothing of value there.

      I'm not sure what platform you're playing on, but there are a number of servers that genuinely do just have no rules, and there are official DICE servers on the XBox 360. Stick to these rather than some child-ru

      • My thought is: There are already so many better online shooters that aren't infested with mouthbreathing numpty jackasses, why would I pay more for the one that is?

    • by Simulant (528590)

      "The community killed that game."

      With significant encouragement from EA by way of uncapped player levels, a million unlocks, and no official servers. A huge number of players seem to be playing (and often cheating or stat padding) for themselves with little regard for their team. Not to mention that every server has different rules. While there are still good rounds of BF3 to be had, it can be hours before you encounter one. I don't see myself buying another BF game unless they cap player lev
  • by locopuyo (1433631) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @02:43AM (#40654001) Homepage
    I stopped buying EA games when every single one started having a web interfaced that required me to download a browser plug-in to launch a windows EXE on my local hard drive.
    I don't want to download your shitty browser plug-in and be forced to use a shitty browser just to launch the game. I want to click one button to launch the executable and be in the game.
    I won't spend $70 on any EA game. I won't even play a Free to Play EA game because of this.
    • by asylumx (881307)
      Thank you for bringing this up. I still play BF3 but constantly rail against the stupid web interface. Heaven forbid something on their website is down -- you can't even play the game!
  • by the_humeister (922869) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @02:44AM (#40654009)

    It was $70 at Target. That was almost 20 years ago. Now games have better graphics, better replayability, on-line multiplayer, etc. and they sell new from $40-$60. That's not bad given the progression since then. I'd ask you to get off my lawn now, but it's been paved over with concrete.

    • by jhoegl (638955) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @03:10AM (#40654105)
      Your argument is flawed. Back then, games were a niche market. Less people were buying them, the industry was just getting started, and games came with manuals.
      Today, games are prevalent, the market is understood, and the industry has been around a while. They also have no manuals.
      However, cost is going up because industries are getting greedy and are creating a false environment of "games are in trouble thus we must raise prices".
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Have you ever heard of this thing called "inflation"?

        If your statement is true, how come stuff like food and cars are not getting cheaper, although I'm pretty sure their market is also quite understood?

        • Commodities like food and transportation has already reached its base point - they are sold at just barely above material cost - sometimes below when subsidized by outside sources such as the government. The profit margin is miniscule, which is part of why food costs the same and farmers are making such piss-poor money compared to 10 years ago, and why auto makers are constantly getting bailed out.

          If the video game industry charged just over cost of programmer time, API licensing, and distribution costs, we

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 15, 2012 @03:16AM (#40654139)

      Your argument is flawed--$35 of that $70 price was for the media itself because cartridges were expensive little buggers. Today DVD's cost pennies.

    • SNES cartridges carried a much higher cost than a plain stamped optical disc or downloaded content.
    • by JDG1980 (2438906) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @03:43AM (#40654209)

      Remember when Street Fighter II came out for SNES? It was $70 at Target. That was almost 20 years ago.

      A large part of that $70 price tag was actual manufacturing costs. Street Fighter II was the first 16MBit SNES game, and producing ROM cartridges that large was not cheap at the time.

    • * use standard media instead of hardware media (DVD/blue ray vs cartridge)
      * Better distribution channel.
      * Bigger market
      * Development cost (code) lower due to library / engine / plug in software solutions
      * re-usage of some artisitic/texture
      * better software practice, standard, and sof forth

      That made game much cheaper to produce than it was a long time ago. In fact, you have to wonder why the price stay fixed at 50$ rather than go lower, seeing the poor quality of certain products and obvious , VE
  • by Osgeld (1900440) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @02:49AM (#40654033)

    that was 20 something years ago, and hell if you dont want to pay 70 2012 bucks for a game that has higher production quality than most movies from 20 something years ago and gives you months of entertainment, wait

    yea OMFG wait, by Christmas it will be in the sub 30$ bin at walmart and still have thousands of players.

    of all the things people can bitch and whine about new games, cost is not really one of them

    a 2600 game would cost you 77 bucks today
    a SNES game would cost you 79 bucks today
    Metal Gear solid would cost you 84 bucks today

    (and we haven't even left the 90's yet)
    so please STFU that game prices have not inflated equally with everything else, they have actually gotten cheaper!

    • by Sowelu (713889)
      Oh how I wish I had mod points. You are so exactly right. I paid fifty bucks for NES games, even though they didn't have much gameplay in them.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by JDG1980 (2438906)

        I paid fifty bucks for NES games, even though they didn't have much gameplay in them.

        NES games, at least the good ones, had a lot more real gameplay in them than the cookie-cutter FPS shit that passes for "A-list games" today.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          NES games, at least the good ones, had a lot more real gameplay in them than the cookie-cutter FPS shit that passes for "A-list games" today.

          Today: shoot shit in 3d, fly vehicles around and stuff

          Yesterday: jump on platforms and shoot shit in 2d

          It's not revolutionary, but it is evolutionary

    • by locopuyo (1433631)
      And the money they put into developing them has gotten ridiculously higher. A typical game takes around 3 years to make with hundreds of people working on it to finish. A typical NES game could be made by a handful of people in less than a month.
    • Well the thing is (Score:5, Informative)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @03:40AM (#40654205)

      Sales of games have gone up as well. More people buy them, and marginal cost has gone way, WAY down. Console cartridges had a fairly high marginal cost. Those chips weren't that cheap. DVDs cost next to nothing, a full boxed game costs $1-2 at most to make. Digital distribution is even cheaper, costing only a few cents for a download at most and the cost is borne entirely by the company running the DD service.

      Also DD allows for more profit per title. Steam, Impulse, etc take less of a cut than retail. Standard retail markup is usually 100%. So if you want a retailer to sell your product for $60, you have to charge them $30. Just the kind of margins required to make money with all the costs of retail. DD charges less, Steam doesn't reveal their specifics but it is more around a 30/70 split (70% to you) than the 50/50 of retail.

      Of course if the DD happens to be owned by the company then all they pay is the cost to host and transfer it to customers (usually they outsource that to someone like Akamai) which as I said is only a few cents.

      So really it seems to make sense that maybe games should be costing less. Yes the product cost is higher, but distribution costs are very low and of course we all know from ECON 200 that lower prices equal more sales.

      The question is all one of value for the money. If they want $70 for their game and other companies will sell them on sale on Steam for $20, then maybe they don't get many people paying $70.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by iCEBaLM (34905)

      yea OMFG wait, by Christmas it will be in the sub 30$ bin at walmart and still have thousands of players.

      Will it? BF3 came out Oct 2011 with a price of $59.99 (in Canada). It's been in the wild for 9 months. The price is still $59.99.

    • by thegarbz (1787294) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @07:31AM (#40654891)

      so please STFU that game prices have not inflated equally with everything else, they have actually gotten cheaper!

      While I agree, I hate the trend of the games today.

      - Most modern games have zero replay value.
      - Most modern games come with nothing, a DVD in a case and if you're lucky there's a one page card inside with a link to a website which may show you how to play.
      - Some modern games come feature incomplete. Here's your new game. Oh what you wanted that bit of the story too? Well you can have that as soon as you send us yet MORE money.
      - A 2600 or SNES had actual cartridges which cost actual money to produce. They were a significant portion of the distribution costs. Todays games come on a flimsy 20c sheet of plastic (if you're lucky) and sometimes you don't even get that instead option for some download effectively cutting distribution costs out completely.

      I look at the costs of games today and I don't think much about it, but when I look at what I actually get, what I hold in my hand and the entertainment it (sometimes very briefly) provides I fell ripped off.

      • Most modern games have zero replay value.

        untrue. today's games have very rich multiplayer components, and people play it for 6-12 months every night. sounds pretty replayable to me.

        Most modern games come with nothing, a DVD in a case and if you're lucky there's a one page card inside with a link to a website which may show you how to play.

        that's because they have an inbuilt tutorial. which is miles better than a static list of controls and moves.

        Some modern games come feature incomplete. Here's your new game. Oh what you wanted that bit of the story too? Well you can have that as soon as you send us yet MORE money.

        i agree, but even without dlc, the game is fairly complete. usually.

        A 2600 or SNES had actual cartridges which cost actual money to produce. They were a significant portion of the distribution costs. Todays games come on a flimsy 20c sheet of plastic (if you're lucky) and sometimes you don't even get that instead option for some download effectively cutting distribution costs out completely.

        providing gigabytes of download to millions of people also costs something. maybe not as much as a cartridge/dvd, but its not free. and i think all that is offset by the level of sophistication o

    • by LandoCalrizzian (887264) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @07:58AM (#40655001)
      Of all the examples you listed, how many of those ~$80 can you still play 20 years later after the studio is gone or no longer supporting the game? The way EA is setting up Origin, you are just renting the games and they only guarantee access for 2years in the Origin TOS. With DLC and in game ads, they are overcharging for the game.
    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday July 15, 2012 @08:50AM (#40655313) Homepage Journal

      please STFU that game prices have not inflated equally with everything else, they have actually gotten cheaper!

      Wages aren't keeping up with inflation, neither minimum wages nor typical wages. Unemployment is at levels not seen since the great depression. STFU that game prices have gotten cheaper, they are now a larger percentage of the typical disposable income.

    • I don't know where you pulled those numbers from, but for those exact game types, I paid nowhere near that much at release. I think you need to re-examine your historical pricelists, son.

      • by Kaldaien (676190)

        I don't know where you pulled those numbers from, but for those exact game types, I paid nowhere near that much at release. I think you need to re-examine your historical pricelists, son.

        Of course you didn't - nobody pays future inflation-adjusted prices 20 years in advance unless they are completely insane!

  • Good luck with that (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tsotha (720379) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @02:56AM (#40654059)
    I play PC games through steam, and I'm patient. Haven't paid more than $30 for a game in years, and I'm not about to start.
    • by Spacejock (727523)
      I paid $90 for Oblivion, $90 for Skyrim, and that's about it for full-priced titles over the past 7-8 years. Over the past three years I've gone Steam and GOG crazy, hoovering up cheap games and spending way more than I used to when it was 'pick one title and make it last'. At my age I reckon I have more games than I can possibly finish in my lifetime, but I still keep buying the suckers.
      • by garyoa1 (2067072)

        Have to agree with that. I shunned steam for eons. Downside is have to be on line, it calls home, etc, etc. But then realized that so does google, yahoo, etc. Everybody tracks everything. Welcome to the 21st century.

        But on the other hand everything you buy is always there on your machine. No nostalgically remembering that old game and having to dig thru boxes to find it and reinstall it. It's just there.

        As far as pricing... last weekend they had a max payne 3 sale. $39. That's a $59 game that's what... a mo

  • by Crypto Gnome (651401) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @03:06AM (#40654089) Homepage Journal
    Current PC Game prices here in Australia have been in the $70-$100 range for years, yes even this year where our dollar is worth more than yours.

    I'd say it's nice to see you finally playing catch-up if it weren't for the fact that it's only going to translate to $150 games here.
    • The correct solution would be to make your games cheaper, not make ours more expensive. Especially with the actual cost of developing these games coming down so much in the last decade.

    • by Kaldaien (676190)

      Everything in Australia is more expensive. Even your cheapest supermarkets charge 2-3x the prices of American supermarkets. The only thing you have going for you is a significantly higher minimum wage (for adults, anyway - you tend to screw teenagers).

  • by Lose (1901896) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @03:16AM (#40654133)
    Of course I'm not ready for "next gen" prices. I'm not even willing to pay the current gen prices. If I can't wait it out for the price to come down by at least 50%, I won't buy it.

    It doesn't help that almost all commercial PC games come in the form of sloppy console ports these days. I wouldn't even consider pirating them. If there wasn't such a strong indie game market I probably wouldn't buy any new games at all.
  • by bug1 (96678) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @03:16AM (#40654137)

    eg. a "new release" shooter from ebgames (gamestop) $68AU, which is about $70 US.
    https://www.ebgames.com.au/pc-150873-Spec-Ops-The-Line-PC [ebgames.com.au]

    In other news, US companies overcharge foreigners.

  • This is the same EA who recently said that they were going to a full-on digital company too, and cutting out the middleman(aka retail boxed stores) eventually. Well, isn't that interesting. You'd think, maybe, just possibly, they'd take the reasonable approach and sell something for less and in turn make more money by selling more copies. Instead of charging more money, and selling one copy.

    • by Issarlk (1429361)
      Why charge less and sell more copy when you think you can charge more and sell more copy? (and blame the pirates when it doesn't happen)
      • Funny, I am blaming their pricing for my piracy, and they are blaming my piracy for their prices.

        Hey guys, I didn't pirate before you overcharged. Try again.

  • by dingen (958134) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @04:21AM (#40654299)

    I guess they'll release Battlefield 4 before "the future" then, as it is the same EA that predicts that in the future all games will be free [kotaku.com].

  • I bet those crooks will sell or allow the evil aussie ozziesoft or who ever, have country wide exclusive distribution rights, and have their own 40% markup for zero work.

    EA, please dump/ignore ALL au middle men, setup your own EAAU HQ, and use it to bring in all games at true true true wholesale prices ($40USD) and sell them to AU shops at 65AU, so they can retail for $70AU in shops, below every single retailer selling competitors products in AU for $110+.

    Screw the middle men, the exact work they do is nothing special that EA cannot do themselves in AU.

  • by Leo Sasquatch (977162) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @04:50AM (#40654415)
    If they've upgraded the game engine significantly, opened up the world (or at least removed the artillery insta-death wall around all the levels), and made the enemy take wounding damage and react accordingly, then yes, that's a distinct improvement over previous iterations of the franchise. If it's just what amounts to a map pack for the same engine with a short-ass totally linear single-player campaign bolted on, then it's Doom with extra shiniez and they can go phuq themselves.

    I'm going to use my awesome psychic powers here to predict that it's a map pack with a 10-hour campaign bolted on, and a handful of obscure weapons added to the multiplayer. Because that's much, much cheaper than actually doing any work.

    Most games companies (excluding Valve) are no longer in the business of providing top-quality entertainment. Their job now is to figure out precisely how little they can give you, and how much they can charge you, before you finally vote with your wallet and go somewhere else. You know that if the game makers came up with a 16-hour campaign, the publishers would release an 8-hour campaign, and 2 x 4-hour DLC.

    I haven't bought anything in the last 6 months that wasn't on Steam. Still working through Arkham City, Psychonauts, Serious Sam 3, Braid, Rock of Ages, and Assassins Creed. I don't need or want to buy any new games at $70 or UKP equivalent - I'll just wait until they show up on Steam in a year for half that.
  • Inflation (Score:2, Troll)

    by dnaumov (453672)

    Stop complaining about game prices, you only make yourself look stupid.

    $50 in 2002 = $63.86 today
    $50 in 1992 = $81.82 today
    $50 in 1982 = $120.04 today

    Games have actually gotten cheaper, not more expensive over the decades, because their prices have not kept up with inflation.

    • by Vaphell (1489021)

      first flatscreen TVs were in tens of thousands range. You see what i am getting at?
      Games used to be a niche, a luxury, now they are a mainstream entertainment for the masses and a mature industry - economies of scale should apply, considering digital distribution, tech advances and what not... not to mention depressed economy.

  • We typically get charged $130-150 for new console games. The PC equivalents are around $100 so a bit cheaper. The NZ$ is currently worth 80 US cents so you do the maths.

    The part that really disgusts me is that NZ salaries are significantly lower than the US and yet entertainment costs are way higher. Heck, I can buy Blu ray discs from the UK for half the cost delivered than I can just by going to JB Hifi down the road. Shame that Amazon UK won't sell us games too because the UK prices on those are typic

  • Never again (Score:3, Funny)

    by naranek (1727936) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @06:08AM (#40654657)

    I bought Mass Effect 3 and you wouldn't believe all the hoops I had to jump through just to play the game. One of them was as silly as downloading the game files from the EA server even if I had them on the DVDs I had bought. The Origin client was a beta version, and when I contacted EA support to ask for a stable, they said they don't have one. I also asked if I could play the game if Origin network is shut down. The answer was that it's a new network and it's constantly expanding, so I shouldn't worry about it shutting down.

    Never again.

    • by Ash-Fox (726320)

      I bought Mass Effect 3 and you wouldn't believe all the hoops I had to jump through just to play the game.

      I bought Mass Effect 3, inserted the CD, it installed Origin, had to enter some game serial keys, copied some content of the disc, it downloaded updates and then I played it.

      I'm not understanding the issue?

  • I can not even remember the last time I paid $60 for a new game, let alone $70. Thank goodness Walmart exists to keep game companies honest, because gamestop certainly does not put up much of a fight in the price department (new releases routinely are $60 or $70 on Gamestop pre-order, but on actual day of release, Walmart puts em out at $49.99

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @07:56AM (#40654995) Homepage Journal

    Please stop using the term "next-gen" for every goddamn thing.

    "Next-gen pricing" is an abomination. Overcharging is not even "next-gen", it's old fashioned "squeeze consumers for every penny", early 20th century greed. The kind that makes your customers lose enough respect that they wait for SKIDROW to come out with the unofficial demo.

    Anyway, Battlefield 3 was overpriced by about $20. At $39 I would have felt like it was a worthwhile purchase. At $59 I felt ripped-off. The additional customers EA would have gotten at the lower price point would have more than made up for the lower price-per-unit and maybe your customers wouldn't hate you so much.

  • EA seems to really like DLCs. I propose a solution to pay $60 and DLCs to enhance a barely-functional game.

    Separate DLC packages at $1 minimum for:
    1) knife
    2) handguns
    3) rifle
    4) a playable character
    5) explosives
    6) Ammunition
    7) being able to run
    8) crouching option
    9) first-aid packs
    10) ability to chat with others

    These 10 packs would bring the cost back to $70. If you're the peaceful type and want to play the game without killing anyone, you only pay $1 to purchase a playable character.

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