Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Businesses The Almighty Buck Entertainment Games

Large Publishers Pointing to High Prices 138

Despite Mark Rein's recent statements to the contrary, has word that Activision, THQ, and Take Two are all indicating that they may be charging $59.99 for next gen titles. From the article: "This strategy is likely to see a two-tier structure emerging for game pricing, where premium titles command a premium price point of $59.99 or more, while less important games are sold for between $39.99 and $49.99 - much closer to the current price point."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Large Publishers Pointing to High Prices

Comments Filter:
  • gouging? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by opposume ( 600667 ) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @03:20PM (#11967918) Homepage
    You know, they can charge anything they want and still get it. $60 a game is quite expensive. But I guess if you really want it, you'll figure out how to afford it. *shrugs* I think it sucks because not one system is better off than the other being at the mercy of the developers...
  • by Drakino ( 10965 ) <d_slashdot.miniinfo@net> on Thursday March 17, 2005 @03:23PM (#11967962) Journal
    Slashdot already covered this from the other point of view, where Mark Rein of Epic found no reason games should be jumping to $60. []/ 1759251

    All it means for me is a longer wait. I've already been getting tired of buying games at $50 and watching the publisher suck up most of that money. Usually I only buy games at $40 or less. I have such a backlog of games anyhow that by the time I can play something new, it is already $20-$30.
  • by EngineeringMarvel ( 783720 ) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @03:30PM (#11968095)
    I have only purchased one game that was at or over the $40 mark, and that was HL2. I have over thirty games and only maybe two or three of them I would say is worth $50. I do however own 2-3 games that were worth $50 at retail, but I recieved them as gifts. By no stretch do I consider a static game to be worth $60, that's just ridiculious, especially with the overall lack of gameplay quality in games nowadays. I believe $60 is too much and any game put at that price will see a reduction in overall profit of that title. I would like to add that I can easily afford a $60 game a month if I wanted. I don't buy them at that price because I can buy other entertainment equal in value for half the cost.
  • Re:gouging? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kniLnamiJ-neB ( 754894 ) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @03:33PM (#11968142)
    It's sad, but you're right. And it's probably going to keep going up. The worst part is, IMO, the games are getting to be less fun than they used to... I still play my original NES and SNES games (emulated on my PC) almost as much as I do the few new games I've got (eg Call of Duty). I probably won't be buying a lot of new games, even though I could afford it with little hassle... just don't WANT them that much.
  • by SunFan ( 845761 ) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @03:34PM (#11968152)

    I can wait until next year and pay $20! Even less! HAHAHAHA!
  • affordable (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Nivoset ( 607957 ) <qwerty_puter@hotm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday March 17, 2005 @03:38PM (#11968212) Homepage
    i think this will lead to allot more copied games, cause im starting to have problems affording (or saying i can afford, other things have more importaint ques on my money) that are 44$ slightly cause i dont have tons of cash to spend on frivolas things at times, and mostly, cause very few games end up worth nearly that amount. and this price hike isn't going to help there cause i think. oh well. maybe once they get very old game si might be able to afford them (and hopefully that will coincide with the console dropping price too!)
  • Re:gouging? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Jicksta ( 760596 ) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @03:40PM (#11968245) Homepage
    I guess if you really want it, you'll figure out how to afford it

    Or figure out how to pirate it...
  • Re:Two words: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jicksta ( 760596 ) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @03:49PM (#11968359) Homepage
    Well, the justification supposedly is that games are getting more expensive to produce [] with rendering technologies becoming more advanced and the gradual migration of television owners to high-definition.

    I don't feel sympathetic for the game industry. Games are turning too pop-culture for me. The Halo 2 hype we still hear about? Sorry, but that's just too fucking creepy for me.

    I'll just stick to writing [] and playing FOSS games [].
  • by Jicksta ( 760596 ) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @03:55PM (#11968446) Homepage
    When Serious Sam and Serious Sam 2: The Second Encounter each came out for PC, they were only $19.99 brand new.

    To say that releasing affordable, quality games for retail is impossible is, well, just blatantly wrong.
  • Price of Entry (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kamalot ( 674654 ) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @04:02PM (#11968540)
    I recently blogged about this... []

    This pricing is going to have a detrimental effect on the industry as a whole. With higher-priced games and consoles, people will be willing to buy fewer titles. The pressure will be put on game companies to produce the "next big thing" to ensure that their game is the one that gamers purchase. Publishers will only seek to fund development teams that can create tried-and-true games, ones that have a history of financial success or a recognizable tie-in to other media. As a result, there will be fewer innovative and new titles. More games will be rehashes with a new coat of paint or based on movie/comic licenses.

    This is a terrible future for gaming. Gaming was once a bastion of creativity. As prices become so high, it is going to be relegated to 2nd hand status with more re-hashes than Hollywood. The evidence of this is already present.

    How many games are TRULY worth the $50 we pay for them?

    High prices like these also discourage more casual gamers from picking up a console and getting into video gaming. This reduces the potential audience for video gaming, making it even more of an inaccessible niche market. With the proliferation of gaming on mobile phones, and the rabid success of affordable handheld platforms, it should come as no shock that many people like to play games, if it is easy and affordable.
  • by (H)elix1 ( 231155 ) <> on Thursday March 17, 2005 @04:18PM (#11968724) Homepage Journal
    I'll second that - and add that I waited for HL2 until I saw it go on sale for $30 and Doom 3 for $20! Had they not been at the $50+ mark, it would have been opening week. $60 (even $50) breaks the threshold for me of 'impulse buy'. I'm a sucker to pick up a game - newer titles in the $20-30 mark, older titles for under $10 - adding up quickly to good chunks of money. $60 puts it right in the category of requiring due diligence in reviews, fan sites then customers, perhaps one or two people who played it, and even waiting for the first round (or two) of patches. More often then not, I just don't buy anymore until it heads to the bargain shelf. Dropping the price from $60 to $45 is not the bargain shelf either...
  • by PoderOmega ( 677170 ) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @04:34PM (#11968886)
    I posted about this is a similar slashdot posting... but here we go. I'm not sure where you got the NES games costing $60/$70, but I do remember Genesis and SNES games costing that much. I would say that $70 for Street Fighter II for SNES was worth the price. $70 for Strider for Genesis was fair, and it is a matter of opinion if $80 for Phatasy Star 4 was reasonable. Yes, the argument was for the ROMs being larger, but I don't know if that is the real reason why. Anyway, compared to other games at the when SF2 for SNES came out, it was amazing. An almost perfect translation from the arcade. If they can release games that blew me away as much as SF2 for SNES back in the day, they can charge $70 for a game today. Unfortuantely, I don't think that will be the case.
  • by Evro ( 18923 ) * <> on Thursday March 17, 2005 @04:49PM (#11969043) Homepage Journal
    "What the market will bear." If the quality of the games increases along with the price then it sort of makes sense, but somehow I don't see that happening.

    I expect them to come back with the piracy argument, which is totally backwards. "We're competing with a cheaper alternative (the same game for free) so we... raised prices... to... compensate."
  • They can try (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bluGill ( 862 ) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @05:16PM (#11969382)

    They can charge what they want. Standard economics, you don't even need to take the class to understand it. As price increases demand falls. At some point there is optimal profit. As you raise prices you are also loosing customers who would buy at a lower price, while lowering prices brings in less customers than the added profit.

    They can try raising prices. However I personally consider $25 on a game too much, so already there are many games I personally do not buy. As price goes up more and more people will cross that line. I know many people who would buy more games, but their wife keeps saying that is too much.

  • by 17028 ( 122384 ) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @06:22PM (#11970021)
    You're assuming the publishers use a "cost plus" method of pricing. I.e. this game cost us 1 million to make, and we expect to sell 100,000 copies, so we can sell it for 15 dollars a make a 50% profit. That's not how it works. They say; at which price point will we make the most money? If that happens to be 50 dollars, they sell it for 50 dollars. The only reason they don't sell games for 100 dollars right now is that they expect they'll lose too many sales and therefore make less money overall.

    So the obvious question is, what happens if the price customers are willing to pay is too low to pay for the cost of the game? First you decide whether it is worth putting it out to recoup some of the investment, or just can it and eat the cost. Then it is time to either look over your cost structure, or to look for another business to be in. It happens all the time in all kinds of industries.
  • by ahbi ( 796025 ) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @08:02PM (#11970802) Journal

    The $50 & $60 price points are supported by a tons of high school and college kids that have large amounts of discretionary income AND time. Even the first 2 years post-college I was able to pony up the high end prices.

    Now, 33 with a kid on the way, I just don't have the time and energy for too many video games. I can easily wait for the $30 or $20 price point. And, I don't have cable/sat TV. My PC is my primary form of entertainment.

    Yeah, I have the money for the $50/60 price point. I just don't have the time. Plus, I am old enough to remember when the premium price point was $40. (The problem of being "not cheap, just old" comes up with car buying too. "What do you mean a mid-level car costs $25k? I should be able to get it for $15k, max.") Recently when I purchase a game past the $40 price point, I feel ripped off.

    Also, waiting has the benefit of making sure the game works. NWN was non-functional when it first came out (for me, YMMV), but 6 months of bug fixes later it was a fine. KOTOR2 is another example. If I had had the time I'd have gotten that day 1 due to KOTOR. Now that more reviews have come in from fans (as opposed to magazines) I feel that waiting till the $30/20 price point is a good move.

    By the time I NEED a 6800 the price will have dropped to the low $200s.

    If I wait the worst thing that happens is I finally finish Planescape: Torment and GTA3:VC.
  • Re:Two words: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bios_Hakr ( 68586 ) <> on Thursday March 17, 2005 @10:37PM (#11971899)
    That's complete bullshit.

    Madden 05 is Madden 04 with updated names.

    Same for just about any other EA sports title.

    Most of your FPS titles on the PC will be Doom3 or HL2 engine revamps.

    Basicly, I see very little *new* code to justify the cost hike.

    On top of all that, putting a game on a shelf is SO 2004! Steam is the future; get onboard or get left behind.

    No more CDs, copy protection, printed materials, etc means lower distribution costs. Add bittorrent to the mix and your costs bottom out.

    On a side note, we had a LAN party last weekend. Even though Steam is suposed to be torrent-based, a fresh install of HL2 was gonna take like 6 hours to complete. This was at a 30+ person party with everyone running Steam. Valve needs to reassess their protocol system and figure out how to make LAN-2-LAN downloads more effective.
  • Re:gouging? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kniLnamiJ-neB ( 754894 ) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @11:26PM (#11972190)
    So you're saying I should change my tastes in games AND pay more money? Not a chance. What seems to be happening is that companies are re-hashing all of the last 10 years' good ideas instead of using imagination and going out on a limb. What do we have this year? Another Halo, another Half-Life. Both wonderful games, but come on... there are hundreds of games that play almost the same (just without this year's video-card-burning eye candy). Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I want more for my money, ESPECIALLY if you're going to raise the price. It used to be that when a "revolutionary game" came out, there was something never done before inside the box... now "revolutionary" seems to mean "we have made a game that will require you to buy new hardware."
  • Wow (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Lord Kano ( 13027 ) on Friday March 18, 2005 @01:47AM (#11973030) Homepage Journal
    Every year, I become more and more happy that I "retired" from console gaming about 6 years ago.

    I'll pay $300-$500 every couple of years to upgrade my PC, but there's no way in hell I'd pay $60 each for console games.

    PC games come down in price so fast that I'm more than happy to wait 6 months to get games at a reasonable price point like $20-$30.

    But, I guess as long as people are willing to play those prices, they'll keep charging them. It's just possible that they might not know the limit, they may overstep their bounds and do serious damage to the software marketplace.

    Because if they price their games too high and sales slump, do you think the executives will admit that it's because they fucked up or will they blame the "loss" on "evil internet pirates"?


Order and simplification are the first steps toward mastery of a subject -- the actual enemy is the unknown. -- Thomas Mann