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Author Topic: you're next gen games will probably cost a lot more  (Read 2848 times)
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Tebunker
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« on: March 04, 2005, 05:42:57 PM »

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Wow, Sega stating that they're probably going to have to goto 60 bucks a game, and then the speculation that EA's games will be 70 bucks each. That's ridiculously nuts.

Might be time for a new hobby.
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2005, 05:48:47 PM »

I still remember buying Mortal Kombat 2 for the Nintendo 64 for 75 bucks at K-Mart.... if they are going to bump up game prices that much, then they had better be churning out some damn great games.
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2005, 06:27:01 PM »

I can't imagine the market supporting $70 games. I think they will lose a lot of sales (too many) if they price this year's Madden at $70. I think even a cursory poll of gamers around here would show a fair percentage of people opting out at that price.
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2005, 06:29:07 PM »

N64 games were $60-70 for the most part...
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2005, 06:34:39 PM »

$70 games would make my wife very, very happy... I would either not be buying at all or only sure things.

I guess EA has to pay for that NFL contract somehow.
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2005, 06:48:15 PM »

This doesn't bother me in the slightest. I never buy games at full price anyway, and while it may take longer for the price to drop where I'm willing to buy, it will happen.
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2005, 10:03:59 PM »

Quote from: "RamPanther"
This doesn't bother me in the slightest. I never buy games at full price anyway, and while it may take longer for the price to drop where I'm willing to buy, it will happen.


Same here. I can out wait the companies.
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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2005, 10:10:30 PM »

Basically what will happen for me is that I will only pay full price for sure thing games from developers I trust and want to support.  Other than that I will wait, thereby reducing the number of games I buy since I am less apt to buy a 1 year old game.
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Greggy_D
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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2005, 01:25:02 AM »

Some games cost that much back in the late '80s to early '90s (which I paid).  Adjusted for inflation, that's probably close to 100 of today's dollars.  I have no problem paying that for a great game.
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corruptrelic
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« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2005, 03:06:34 PM »

And here I am thinking $49.99 is a high price. Personally I never pay more than $40 for a game unless it's an absolute must have. When I used to be really into PC gaming (going back a little) the average new PC game came out at $39.99. Then slowly but surely the $39.99 new price tags started being replaced by $49.99 ones. Now I just wait until they come back to down to $40.
You have to take into account how many games are being sold as well.

$70 for a new game IMO, is pushing it way too far. You can buy a GBA system for that price. A new DVD player. Make (just about) your insurance payment. Buy a preowned gamecube. Give it to me. Plenty of other reasonable things you can do with 70 bucks than to put it down on a game.
Not all of us are rich and can afford that kind of price tag. When you take into consideration a great deal of console gamers are underage (therefore unemployed) there's no way in hell they're going to be able to afford $70 a game. So who's going to have to buy the games for them? Their parents.
I'm sure though, if enough of us don't buy games at $70 they will realize how much money they are losing and will come down to something more sensible. The lower the price the more copies will be sold.

I wish I could say $70 a game was no problem for me but I just don't have that kind of money and I know I'm not alone.
So it IS a problem.
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« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2005, 04:43:32 PM »

Good grief!  Sixty to Seventy-Five bucks a game & I quit gaming.  The number of rough, buggy games is incredible at $50 a title.  I can live with waiting for $20 bargains, but no game is worth almost $100.
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Sarkus
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« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2005, 05:56:13 PM »

I can see EA charging 60 for Madden this fall now that they have the NFL exclusivity.  However, my guess is that the general price increase will happen as the next generation systems begin to come in.  Look at the PSP - $40 to $50 is the price on that system.  

This is one of the risks Microsoft is taking with launching early.  It may be hard to sell the XBox 2 with $60-70 games when Sony and Nintendo's older systems are selling games at $40-50.
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« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2005, 06:29:30 PM »

Quote from: "Sarkus"
I can see EA charging 60 for Madden this fall now that they have the NFL exclusivity.  However, my guess is that the general price increase will happen as the next generation systems begin to come in.  Look at the PSP - $40 to $50 is the price on that system.  

This is one of the risks Microsoft is taking with launching early.  It may be hard to sell the XBox 2 with $60-70 games when Sony and Nintendo's older systems are selling games at $40-50.


I think we can take solace in a few things. For those of us that are PC gamers, I think it is unlikely to impossible that the majority of PC games outside a select few of highly anticipated titles made by companies with the best reputations (ie, Half Life 2, World of Warcraft, Doom3), it will be nearly impossible for the publishers to survive in a declining market charging more than 50 bucks a game. The 55 for HL2 and D3 certainly didnt go over that well with us, the hardcore gaming sect smile

Anyways, on to console games. THe chances of me paying 60 fucking dollars for an incremental update to a game already surpassed by another NFL franchise (madden and ESPN, duh biggrin ) is zero to none. Every couple of years I dont mind spending 50 on madden, but 60 ever year is a freaking joke.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2005, 08:37:00 PM »

As much I would prefer prices stay the same I have little cause for complaint if they do go up.  As noted by a few, game prices have been remarkably resistant to inflation and in a lot of ways have actually gone down over the last decade or so, even if you ignore inflation.  I remember paying $60 or $70 for Phantasy Star II for the Genesis when it originally came out and there were other PC games from the early nineties I also remember with well over $50 price tags.  

Combined with the larger number of outlets with sales these days (Best Buy, Frys, GoGamer, etc) and its still much cheaper to be a gamer than ever before.
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« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2005, 09:01:26 PM »

Why is that the game prices that people adjust for inflation are from the Genesis/NES era, when games might have been arguably more expensive for many reasons? Now, media is cheaper, there is greater competition amongst game companies and consoles, there are far more outlets for leisure dollars, etc. It seems like all those factors should force prices a lot lower. I think there's been a lot of pricing collusion in the games industry.

The new trick is to offer "bonus material" to justify a higher price. The limited edition of Doom 3 is going to be $60! Adding "making of" videos and tasking newly-hired programmers to spend a weekend coding Doom 1 and 2 for Xbox doesn't rate $10, imo. Neither do extra characters, modes or maps. Making me feel otherwise cheated isn't a good way to get any of my money, never mind more.
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« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2005, 09:14:16 PM »

Quote from: "adamsappel"
Why is that the game prices that people adjust for inflation are from the Genesis/NES era, when games might have been arguably more expensive for many reasons? Now, media is cheaper, there is greater competition amongst game companies and consoles, there are far more outlets for leisure dollars, etc. It seems like all those factors should force prices a lot lower. I think there's been a lot of pricing collusion in the games industry.



Because you aren't noting a huge factor- skyrocketing development and marketing budgets.  The days of a small 5-10 man group turning out a game in a year are largely over.  Most games are using huge teams and are starting to require two-to-three years of work to complete, plus professional level voice acting and musical scores.  Even accounting for inflation, the average development budget is probably tenfold what it was in the NES/Genesis era.
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« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2005, 11:09:10 PM »

Quote from: "Greggy_D"
Some games cost that much back in the late '80s to early '90s (which I paid).  Adjusted for inflation, that's probably close to 100 of today's dollars.  I have no problem paying that for a great game.


That was a diffrent time. You were dealing with a niche market with the PC  in the 80's and more "hardcore" fans who really wanted to play those games. We are  in the mass consumer market these days and price matters. Simply look at what happens when consoles hit certain price points and see the sales jump.
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« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2005, 11:35:58 PM »

Videogaming is a much, much bigger market than it once was.  Plus it's now on a dirt-cheap medium: optical discs (as opposed to the circuit-board cartridges).

That Sega wants to up its prices says the company's in trouble more than it says that next gen prices are going to be higher, IMO.

I really hope EA cranks up their price to something astronomical, because I want to see EA burned at the stake for their shitty business practices.  Go right ahead, EA, charge an arm and a leg.  I'll dance on your grave.
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« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2005, 11:50:29 PM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Videogaming is a much, much bigger market than it once was.  Plus it's now on a dirt-cheap medium: optical discs (as opposed to the circuit-board cartridges).




Is it?  How do the current installed base of the consoles compare with the NES, Genesis, and SNES in their heydays?  I imagine the PS2 compares favorably but the Xbox and Cube haven't even matched the numbers put up by the N64 last generation much less the numbers from the 8-bit and 16-bit days.  For Xbox and Cube exclusive games are they really looking at selling to a larger installed base than games from the early 90s?  I'm doubting it.  A million seller is still great sales these days and there were million sellers back then.  While the media is certainly cheaper I question whether that even comes close to making up for the increased cost of production.  

The biggest selling game of all time is still from the NES- Super Mario Bros 3.  Its the Titanic of videogame sales- not even GTA or Halo 2 has come close.  

What has shifted are the game demographics- games are certainly appealing to an older demographic and are certainly perceived as being more "acceptable" to society-at-large.  

I'd love to see tie-ratio numbers for the old consoles and the current, if anyone has them.
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« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2005, 12:55:28 AM »

"The biggest selling game of all time is still from the NES- Super Mario Bros 3. Its the Titanic of videogame sales- not even GTA or Halo 2 has come close."
That's true, but you have to take the market as a whole.  There are vastly more games being released nowadays, and they're spread among more systems.  Each individual game may not be as big a seller, but taken together, they're making much more money.  I would guess that the total number of games sold a month in today's market is several times that of the SNES days.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2005, 01:08:54 AM »

Quote
Each individual game may not be as big a seller, but taken together, they're making much more money.


The market as a whole bigger?  Sure.  But again, if each individual game isn't as big of a seller but production budgets for those games are increasing, then how are the individual games going to maintain being profitable?  The occasional mega-hit can do wonders for making up for games that don't turn a profit, but there are only a few megahits of such caliber each yearand certainly every publisher doesn't necessarily have one in their stable.  

Hollywood is able to survive on such a dynamic thanks to a comparitively small number of studios putting out the vast majority of the product, as well as guaranteed anciallary revenue from foreign markets, DVD, and television.  Within the gameworld, there is tons of product but also a lot more publishers out there and very few that have a wide portfolio of franchises that can be counted on to make up for lackluster sellers.  

What's interesting to me is that the games that have started to increase the MSRP (Doom 3, Blizzard games, Half-Life 2) are the ones that likely need it the least since the sheer volume of sales for those title is likely to make up for even those titles huge budgets.  

I would actually expect to see increased price-points from smaller, niche developers/publishers like Atlus and Nippon-Ichi that don't have any blockbusters in their lineup but that do have a core of dedicated fans not likely to balk at an increase in price of $5 or $10.
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« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2005, 01:48:11 AM »

I would definitely not buy any game for $70. The $50 price-point is somehow ingrained into video-gaming. $55 is a reasonable stretch that I would consider making more often. $70 is outrageous, and I would likely never buy a game for that price.
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« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2005, 03:14:49 AM »

Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
What's interesting to me is that the games that have started to increase the MSRP (Doom 3, Blizzard games, Half-Life 2) are the ones that likely need it the least since the sheer volume of sales for those title is likely to make up for even those titles huge budgets.


But how many games does Blizzard put out?  They are lucky to get out a game a year, maybe a game and an expansion pack.  Same with id.  Same with Valve, who took nearly five years to get out a sequel.  There is much more time between games for these studios, and generally they are high quality product.  Buzz helped to elevate demand, so they had a higher price.

Now take a look at Oddworld: Strangers Wrath.  Getting high review scores in general, but the sales for this game have absolutely flopped.  It has started to go on sale for $40 easily.  If demand for the game doesn't go up, it's a pretty good sign that this game will be in the $20 range.  Maybe Microsoft was right to let it go from the publishing deal.

I think that a few games will have the demand to support higher prices.  However, that doesn't mean that all games will have the demand to support higher prices.  A lot of people will go to a matinee instead of an evening movie because it's less expensive.  Games are much more expensive.  I bet that if game prices go up too high, people will wait until the games drop in price.  With few exceptions, the market can't support much higher game prices.  Gamers just won't support it.
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« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2005, 06:14:05 PM »

I buy maybe 8 games a year at most (probably half used), and then proceed to finish and sell back 2-3 of them.  

Wouldn't affect my habits too much, since I wait for non-critical games to get to the $30ish range...
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« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2005, 06:19:34 AM »

Quote from: "Arkon"
Basically what will happen for me is that I will only pay full price for sure thing games from developers I trust and want to support.  Other than that I will wait, thereby reducing the number of games I buy since I am less apt to buy a 1 year old game.


I do much the same thing. Lately ive beeng getting new games for only $5! Of course, Ive been playing older systems so that would explain why. I really only pick up the big names at full price and wait out the rest. Halo 3 or something similar, I would be in at $75. But it needs to be that big for me to be on board.
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« Reply #25 on: March 08, 2005, 10:50:49 PM »

A few points.

I spent 9 years in the industry and can add a few arguements.

Yes, SM3 is the highest selling game, BUT if you were to look at other game sales that month, there was little else purchased. That actually proves the market is bigger as the sales from games each month is bigger than SM3 every month. There is no doubt that gaming is a bigger market than it was during the NES days. The Xbox and Ps2 have pushed gaming into the mainstream, everyone has onel, not just kids.

YOU CANNOT compare n64 to optical media. Its not fair, When I worked at Acclaim Nintendo would charge us at least 25$ a cart to manufacture it. Then you had to give them 10$ royalty on top of that. Sony and Microsoft and Nintendo have REALLY relaxed the rotalty since then due to competition. It cost like 1.25 to replicate Sony Media then, so there is a HUGE SAVINGS.

The problem is development costs have gone up considerably, BUT it actually is a break even due to manufacturing costs.

This is scare tactics... sorry.. the GENERAL market wont support every game being 70$ NO WAY... Look at what happened when ESPN went 20$... I always thought it should head THAT way, more people would buy games like DVD sales. Movies cost more to make than games, and they can afford 15.99 movies...

I can afford to buy games at 70$ but wont.   I will pay 70$ for GTA 4 Halo 3... HL4 little else.. I just dont play games THAT much anymore that I get that kind of value out of it.

Ill take the wife to dinner and get more entertainment....
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« Reply #26 on: March 08, 2005, 10:57:01 PM »

SM3 sold more than anything else because it is better than anything else.

End of discussion.  biggrin
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« Reply #27 on: March 08, 2005, 11:04:26 PM »

Back when it was first released in the 1970s, I remember seeing Space Invaders for the 2600 selling for $100 at one of the department stores in town.
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« Reply #28 on: March 09, 2005, 12:14:14 AM »

i'm in for 60 bucks - for as many games a year that i now pay $50 for.  let's see, this year it was Fable and Halo 2, maybe one or two others i can't think of.  i used to pre-order lots of stuff, but those days are over. i was in fear of used games, but after awhile you realize that they're mostly fine, especially if you have a disc doctor, lol. now i troll EB, eBay, and the Trading Forum, and have more games than i can play.  

I'm with Chrisoc13 on the more expensive games. $70?  probably only one game on the horizon now would get me to pay that - as you're no doubt sick of hearing - ES Oblivion.  even then, it would take a load of research and it would have to look like it was capable of sucking up six months of my life like Morrowind did.  oh, sweet addiction!  if it was a lot shorter, not as open-ended, or had mediocre reviews, i might wait even on that game (gasp).

right now i'm even balking at $30 for non-must-haves.  if i'm not positive i'll really like the game, $20 to $25 is about all i'll spend.
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« Reply #29 on: March 09, 2005, 07:43:15 PM »

Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
As much I would prefer prices stay the same I have little cause for complaint if they do go up.  As noted by a few, game prices have been remarkably resistant to inflation and in a lot of ways have actually gone down over the last decade or so, even if you ignore inflation.  I remember paying $60 or $70 for Phantasy Star II for the Genesis when it originally came out and there were other PC games from the early nineties I also remember with well over $50 price tags.  


You can cite that, but back then, games did last longer as well.  I don't feel we're getting as much "value" for our dollar now as it is.  Not even Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion will give us as much playing time as Ultima VII did.
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« Reply #30 on: March 09, 2005, 07:51:07 PM »

Frankly, I'd be more inclined to spend $70 on a 25 hour RPG than I would on 40+ hour RPG. I view this trend toward shorter games as completely positive.
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« Reply #31 on: March 09, 2005, 08:06:51 PM »

Quote from: "Warlord of Mars"
Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
As much I would prefer prices stay the same I have little cause for complaint if they do go up.  As noted by a few, game prices have been remarkably resistant to inflation and in a lot of ways have actually gone down over the last decade or so, even if you ignore inflation.  I remember paying $60 or $70 for Phantasy Star II for the Genesis when it originally came out and there were other PC games from the early nineties I also remember with well over $50 price tags.  


You can cite that, but back then, games did last longer as well.  I don't feel we're getting as much "value" for our dollar now as it is.  Not even Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion will give us as much playing time as Ultima VII did.


Sure, games are generally getting shorter due to the dramatic increase in resources necessary for each "segment" of content now.  Don't forget though that many older games were arbitraily long.  Most console games of the time didn't have save states or passwords and consequently required replaying large chunks of the game as a core part of game design, something that would never be tolerated by the mass market now.  

Plus, the dramatic increase in multiplayer content (which is only going to get larger on consoles next generation) goes a long way toward offsetting the generally shorter singel player games.  As a single-player only gamer this doesn't affect me, but I've seen numerous posts of people who cite mulitplayer content and mods as a reason for buying fewer games.
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« Reply #32 on: March 09, 2005, 08:08:17 PM »

Quote from: "Andrew Mallon"
Frankly, I'd be more inclined to spend $70 on a 25 hour RPG than I would on 40+ hour RPG. I view this trend toward shorter games as completely positive.


It looks like Bioware agrees with you.  They stated in the most recent EGM that Jade Empire is deliberately shorter (approx 20 hours for the main game) than their past works.
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« Reply #33 on: March 09, 2005, 10:26:39 PM »

Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
Quote from: "Andrew Mallon"
Frankly, I'd be more inclined to spend $70 on a 25 hour RPG than I would on 40+ hour RPG. I view this trend toward shorter games as completely positive.


It looks like Bioware agrees with you.  They stated in the most recent EGM that Jade Empire is deliberately shorter (approx 20 hours for the main game) than their past works.


I like shorter RPGs too. They feel less stretched out.
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