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Interesting article on $60 games and their future


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#1 iswitt OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:06 PM

If you haven't seen this yet on Yahoo!, here's the link. I'm glad someone is finally talking about this on mainstream outlets.

http://games.yahoo.c...-181412574.html

#2 5-11under ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:34 PM

I haven't played Call of Duty or Angry Birds, but I have a feeling that that comparison is quite a stretch.
I agree that $60 is a large chunk of change, unless it's a game you're going to play a long time, and if you're a teenager with plenty of expendable cash.

#3 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:05 PM

I like how the author talks about other price issues as well, questioning why Plants Vs. Zombies is $3-ish on the iPhone, while the same game is $15 on the Vita.

#4 godslabrat OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:04 PM

I also liked how the Yahoo author gave at least a passing nod to DLC, and the point was later expanded in the Wired article it linked to.

For the record, even though I don't often buy $60 games, I don't think the price itself is crazy. I just don't want to spend $20-$30 on DLC AFTER I've dropped $60.

#5 RARusk OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:43 PM

I also liked how the Yahoo author gave at least a passing nod to DLC, and the point was later expanded in the Wired article it linked to.

For the record, even though I don't often buy $60 games, I don't think the price itself is crazy. I just don't want to spend $20-$30 on DLC AFTER I've dropped $60.


Especially if you find out that the DLC is already on the disc.

#6 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:26 PM

For the record, even though I don't often buy $60 games, I don't think the price itself is crazy. I just don't want to spend $20-$30 on DLC AFTER I've dropped $60.


Exactly. Milking the DLC cash cow, nasty DRM practices, and online passes are what deters me from buying new games at $60--I don't think that's taken into consideration in the article. Granted, I am likely in the minority there.

#7 thegamezmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:05 AM

I also liked how the Yahoo author gave at least a passing nod to DLC, and the point was later expanded in the Wired article it linked to.

For the record, even though I don't often buy $60 games, I don't think the price itself is crazy. I just don't want to spend $20-$30 on DLC AFTER I've dropped $60.


I agree!

#8 Metal Ghost OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:23 AM

I really dug the Wired Article linked to as well. Chris Kohler did a great job outlining the situation and actually bringing facts whereas others have been brining conjecture.

#9 iswitt OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:27 AM

That Wired article said everything I've wanted to say and more, but could never articulate quite as well. The reasons the author gives in the article are EXACTLY why I DO NOT buy new games from certain companies. Sure, I've bought my share of new titles, but I'll be damned if I ever paid full price for a game from THQ, EA or Ubisoft. I will gladly give my money to Eight Monkey Labs though, because they haven't started sucking the life out me yet. I am intrigued by what the next console generation has to offer, but if the developers end up using gimmicks to abuse the consumers next round, I'll gladly stick to my current consoles and vote with my wallet. They can all go to hell as far as I'm concerned.

#10 Metal Ghost OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:45 AM

That Wired article said everything I've wanted to say and more, but could never articulate quite as well. The reasons the author gives in the article are EXACTLY why I DO NOT buy new games from certain companies. Sure, I've bought my share of new titles, but I'll be damned if I ever paid full price for a game from THQ, EA or Ubisoft. I will gladly give my money to Eight Monkey Labs though, because they haven't started sucking the life out me yet. I am intrigued by what the next console generation has to offer, but if the developers end up using gimmicks to abuse the consumers next round, I'll gladly stick to my current consoles and vote with my wallet. They can all go to hell as far as I'm concerned.


Agreed.

It's funny....from a 'Modern' console standpoint (and admittedly I'm saying this without seeing the shiny new nextgen hardware yet, which I'm sure will get me crazy excited) a couple of days ago while going back to play Super Mario Sunshine, I realized that I've finally gotten to the point where I don't feel as if I 'need' to get a new console. I really want to 'want to' get one :) But yea, there are so many games left for me to play from both this generation and the last that I'd still like to get to that, if game prices stay the same but DRM goes to the next level, I may opt out. Because at heart I am a bit of a collector and a historian, and if I'm loosing my ability to collect my games, I want a price cut. Can't have it both ways, companies!

#11 MagitekAngel OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:29 AM

The way I see it, in most cases the 60 dollar price tag is simply an "early access" price. If you're willing to wait two or three months, the game can be had for ten dollars less. If you're willing to wait six months to a year, the game can be had for half its original price or less.

Unless you're a big Nintendo customer. I think part of the reason Nintendo's sales in particular are lagging these days (aside from the obious "they stopped making new games" bit) is that their games almost never depreciate in value. Coupled with an utterly laughable "player's choice" effort this generation, a newcomer hoping to start a Wii collection this late in the game is faced with enormous start up costs just to get the four or five most popular games from the console's life-span. Not even CoD games are still sixty bucks a year later, but it's been three years now, and at my local EB at least, New Super Mario Bros. Wii has gone up to sixty-five.

#12 godslabrat OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:39 AM

The way I see it, in most cases the 60 dollar price tag is simply an "early access" price. If you're willing to wait two or three months, the game can be had for ten dollars less. If you're willing to wait six months to a year, the game can be had for half its original price or less.

Unless you're a big Nintendo customer. I think part of the reason Nintendo's sales in particular are lagging these days (aside from the obious "they stopped making new games" bit) is that their games almost never depreciate in value. Coupled with an utterly laughable "player's choice" effort this generation, a newcomer hoping to start a Wii collection this late in the game is faced with enormous start up costs just to get the four or five most popular games from the console's life-span. Not even CoD games are still sixty bucks a year later, but it's been three years now, and at my local EB at least, New Super Mario Bros. Wii has gone up to sixty-five.


Both are excellent points. First, that's why I said that even though I don't often pay $60 for a new game, I don't object to the idea. There are some games I want badly enough to have right after release, and $60 seems fair... but in that case, I want the whole damn game.

And as a rabid, diehard Nintendo fan, this generation has been rough, financially. EVERY other generation has had serious efforts by Nintendo to have a budget line halfway into the console's life span, so that people getting in late can grab the best of the lot, and then immediately move on to the newer, full-price games. I'd say that both my N64 and GameCube collections were 1/2 Player's Choice, and 1/2 full-price-new, and I waitied about two years to buy into each system. With my Wii... I've really had to space out my buying, because so many games will never go below $50 new. And what really sucks is that Nintendo has decided that it's better to let a game go OOP than to sell it for less than full price.

...Sorry, I've had a lot of fun with my Wii, but the pricing scheme has been a VERY sore topic with me.

#13 cimerians OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:59 AM

...Sorry, I've had a lot of fun with my Wii, but the pricing scheme has been a VERY sore topic with me.


Yup Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Mario Party 8 are still expensive.

#14 HammR25 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:26 PM

I've gotten as much or more enjoyment out of Trials HD than I have any of the Call of Duty games. That's probably why I just wait for the price of those games to match the price of the XBLA games I purchase.

#15 potatohead ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:56 PM

Well, for me the future is damn clear. If I can just go and play it from the disc, and that experience has enough value, I'll just pay the price asked, maybe going used, maybe not.

If it's tethered I pay less, and it's directly related to the use rights I get with the purchase.

Result: I don't buy much these days, more or less stepping away, but for those high value titles I find worth it.

The reality on all of this is they will either find that whole dynamic worth it, or not. In the case of the "or not", they will blame ANYTHING and ANYONE, rather than face the really hard value for dollar questions. Is there any wonder over the more or less constant push against home brew, indie, used?

#16 onlysublime OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:08 PM

I've gotten as much or more enjoyment out of Trials HD than I have any of the Call of Duty games. That's probably why I just wait for the price of those games to match the price of the XBLA games I purchase.


this is where valuation gets messed up.

My friend doesn't buy XBLA titles because he goes, why buy a title like Trials HD, even if it goes on sale for $5 when he just got Mass Effect 2 brand new for $10? He'll go, yeah, that XBLIG game was $1, but for $3, he got Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. He won't even consider an XBLA title above $5 because he says he can get big commercial titles for about $10 (like Batman Arkham City brand new for $10).

Edited by onlysublime, Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:08 PM.


#17 potatohead ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:41 PM

And that's really about what they are worth, when they are download only. Frankly, I don't mind doing that one bit. Pay $10 or $15, play it, be done with it. If that's where they want to go, great! Cheap ass. Nothing I care to archive right now anyway. I think that ship has sailed, leaving retro where it's at for longer term fun.

#18 godslabrat OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:48 PM

And that's really about what they are worth, when they are download only. Frankly, I don't mind doing that one bit. Pay $10 or $15, play it, be done with it. If that's where they want to go, great! Cheap ass. Nothing I care to archive right now anyway. I think that ship has sailed, leaving retro where it's at for longer term fun.


Yeah. "Games as a service" has connotations that the industry isn't considering. I can buy my own steam cleaner for $250, or I can rent it as a "service" for $15. I can spend $18,000 to equip my house to run on wind/solar power, or I can subscribe to the electric "service" for $80. I can buy a house for $200,000, or I can rent a hotel "service" for $120. What I don't think is being grasped by the industry champions is that when people opt to purchase something as a service, when they have the choice to own it outright, they do so because they want to pay less. I might not clean my carpets often enough to justify the purchase of a steam cleaner, and I might not live in my house long enough to see the financial benefits of going off the grid. The consumer appeal is that you get to pay for something only when you need it, and you avoid the initial expense and long-term cost of ownership.

"Games as a service" hasn't done a good job of falling in line with those economics. We're still seeing games being sold at full price, with tons of add-ons at additional cost, which can be turned off whenever the mother ship wants. It's all the expense of a product, with the lack of ownership you'd get with a service. Steam has their crazy sales, and iTunes/Andriod have set a very low bar for the initial price, and that's heartening, but that's still being fought by the likes of EA.

I want my games to be products. I want to buy them and play them whenever I want. But, if the industry wants to give me a new option, I'll be open minded. Thing is, I can see that we're being told we should rent something at the same price it would be to buy it, and that doesn't fly with me.

#19 potatohead ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:09 PM

Yeah, it's a double dip. I just avoid those, unless the experience is good enough.

Two ways that goes. If they raise the bar by reducing value in one area, say broad use rights to play when a person wants to, on the device they want to, as opposed to play it now, until we say you can't, and on this device right here, value needs to come up in other areas, or it's just a money grab.

I bought the Squaresoft FF release, because Mrs likes them, and I added the DLC on too. $80 or so, I think. But, she and I where it makes sense, will go and do ALL of it, which for one of those is a considerable playtime. No worries. When we are done, we are done.

Might buy SSX too, depending. Ton 'o playtime in that one, and frankly, some nice opportunities to value add with DLC. The basic game is hugely fun, when they don't botch it, and if I can play it on any device, the DLC will be a lark at best. Or not! If they botch it with a broken game, or serious use right restrictions, I'm gonna pass.

Could go score a PS2, which is tempting, and just continue to play the hell out of the original one anyway.

And that's the rub right there. They really don't want to face that. Why? Because that lowers the bar for how much value they have to add to keep the price, that's why.

On the other hand, companies like Pop Cap make goofy little games for $10. Score! Play it, forget it, no worries. EA doesn't want to face THAT EITHER, not to mention homebrew, indie, DIY gaming, retro.

Lean too hard on the top buyers, and the people will shift some to casual, Fail to provide good casual, used, trades, and people will game less, doing something else, which then drains dollars from gaming, etc...

The thing people don't realize, and that the game companies are very reluctant to admit, though they totally know it, is entertainment dollars are largely fixed. People have the entertaiment $$$ they have. When they are gone, they don't generally get more.

So that is what these annoying moves are all about. They want to force high value choices more of the time, so the industry competes with movies and music well, and so the industry is selling at all levels well, and optimally. PITA for people, being nudged this way and that.

What is really interesting is people have an appetite for gaming that's larger than their entertainment dollars. This is true for movies, music and such too.

That brings up a very interesting question. If the appetite is larger than the dollars they have, what does that mean? Massive opportunity for those who would just be disruptive on value and cost. That's more competition, unless the bigger players own the new, smaller ones. And it opens the door for gaming to get diluted too. FB gaming? LOL!! What about gamification of just about every business there is?

All of that dilutes things a little, tires people, drains away that appetite, meaning they discriminate more, which takes us full circle again...

#20 SoulBlazer OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:04 PM

Lot of good points, and I agree with mostly everyone here.

First, that Wired article is awsome. One of the best ones I've read. And the Yahoo article was good also, and a nice nod to a link of sources including that Wired article.

Second, about the 'double dipping' -- I don't mind it in certain cases. DLC is susposed to add content and more playtime on to a allready existing game. Mind you, a FULL and ALLREADY THERE game. Not a crippled game that the DLC is susposed to 'restore' to full (Capcom, I'm looking at you!). The problem is, greedy gaming companies and publishers don't see it that way. They see it as a way to get more money with shyrocketing gaming budgets and a limited source of income.

Mass Effect 2 is a great example. I bought the game new last month for $20. When I checked out all the DLC, I found out that all of it together -- all the extra missions and weapons and armor -- would run me about $30. I groaned at that, but in the end I paid it, cause 1) I had gotten the original game for cheap 2) I didn't HAVE to get the DLC, but it would add and enhance my gaming experience and 3) the price was now in line to a brand new game, and the Mass Effect franchise is one I'd be willing to pay top dollar for. And I was happy with the DLC -- all together, I spent about 68 hours on the game, and I can easily say the DLC added on about 10-15 hours of that.

I'm just waiting on the price of Mass Effect 3 to drop a little bit more (new copies can be had on Amazon for $42) so that when I get the DLC for the game it will again be a 'normal' priced new game, which I'm willing to pay in this case.

Skyrim I knew was a complete whole game and one I had to have launch day, so paid the $60 for it. And despite some bugs, it WAS a complete game. There's not even any DLC out for it. Madden I also plop down the $60 for each August cause I play the hell out of it and love it.

But if I hear a game is going to be crippled, or have a ton of DLC coming out for it right after launch, then I'll do what I did with Mass Effect 2 and just wait.

I'm only willing to fork down $60 for the top tier games. Everything else I'll either buy much later new, or wait a bit and buy used. Those articles make a great point -- the top tier market is alive and well, cause the $60 games are worth it. And the cheap IPhone and XBox Live arcade gmes are booming, cause $1-10 to spend on a game is nothing. But what about the mid range companies and publishers? They are dying, all of them. And it's not good for the gaming market. Why can't someone SEE that? We need more options, and another solution! I'm not sure what can be done, honestly, but something has to give. I don't want to see the mid range publishers and companies die.

Finally, I accept that when I buy a game on XBox Live Arcade and Steam that I won't be able to play it forever. That's fine. As godslabrat said, anything in the $1-15 range is a 'service' game, where I play it, enjoy it, and don't cry if I can't play it 5 years later. But for $60, I damn WELL better be able to play that game for the next 50 years!

#21 xg4bx OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:33 PM


That Wired article said everything I've wanted to say and more, but could never articulate quite as well. The reasons the author gives in the article are EXACTLY why I DO NOT buy new games from certain companies. Sure, I've bought my share of new titles, but I'll be damned if I ever paid full price for a game from THQ, EA or Ubisoft. I will gladly give my money to Eight Monkey Labs though, because they haven't started sucking the life out me yet. I am intrigued by what the next console generation has to offer, but if the developers end up using gimmicks to abuse the consumers next round, I'll gladly stick to my current consoles and vote with my wallet. They can all go to hell as far as I'm concerned.


Agreed.

It's funny....from a 'Modern' console standpoint (and admittedly I'm saying this without seeing the shiny new nextgen hardware yet, which I'm sure will get me crazy excited) a couple of days ago while going back to play Super Mario Sunshine, I realized that I've finally gotten to the point where I don't feel as if I 'need' to get a new console. I really want to 'want to' get one :) But yea, there are so many games left for me to play from both this generation and the last that I'd still like to get to that, if game prices stay the same but DRM goes to the next level, I may opt out. Because at heart I am a bit of a collector and a historian, and if I'm loosing my ability to collect my games, I want a price cut. Can't have it both ways, companies!


i'm kinda feeling the same way. the idea of a new xbox 720 or whatever is exciting but then i realize that there are a ton of games from this gen i want to get and i'm even finding myself looking to fill in ps2 titles. i'm sure i'll end up with one of the new consoles next gen but i certainly won't be rushing to get one right away. even moreso than price i want to get a feel for how the gaming 'landscape' is going to be. if its shooter and downloadable content filled it'll make the wait incredibly easy.

#22 moycon OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:22 AM

i'm kinda feeling the same way. the idea of a new xbox 720 or whatever is exciting but then i realize that there are a ton of games from this gen i want to get


Exactly my thoughts as well. I literally have probably 2 years worth of titles in my "to play" queue, and more and more I'm finding older titles from this gen I want to get back to or revisit. They could remove all game consoles from the market, stop producing games, and I'd be happier than a pig eating s$%t because of it. Not sure if it's just a getting older thing or what, but I'm not too crazy about the next gen systems coming out. Of course than I laugh it off and tell myself I'm full of it (doesn't everyone talk to themselves?) because I know as soon as I see all the kick ass games coming down the pipe, I'll take all my old games, stick them on a shelf and promise to play them some day, but then rarely look back and go buy the latest and greatest.

Kind of sad.

#23 onlysublime OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:01 AM

the thing is people will migrate to the next platform when it has the coolest new games.

I still have tons of Xbox1 titles that just sit on the hard drive of my Xbox. I'm so backlogged with 360 games that some really great Xbox1 titles just languish on that system...

#24 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:17 AM

There's lots of folks commenting on gas prices in that article. Some dude sold his gaming system for a tank of gas for work till the next paycheck rolls around. Sounds to me like that would be one less customer for the gaming industry.

I believe there are multiple factors that make a $60+ game un-attractive.
Gas prices (you can get 500 miles personal mobility, or sit in your room fingering a joystick)
Growing up and having different priorities
Used game market
Lower quality games
Games not engaging you enough because you are/have outgrown interaction with a machine, blahh blahh..
DLC and on-line passcodes and unlock codes
Length of games, too long and too dry.

Personally for me it is different priorities AND I have an immense backlog of retrogaming to work through. And sometimes it's the cost. My next "game" I'll probably purchase is X-Plane flight sim. It's something I've traditionally done over the years. I'd say I've spent $500 on the series since 2003. Considering the amount of enjoyment vs cost. To me, this is a steal. And it's good for a few years before the next version comes out. And you get free updates for the life of the current version.

That and Orbitersim. This is totally free and there's tons of updates and add-ons. Next comes all the astronomy software like Celestia and Stellarium. Free too. That, then regular PC maintenance, time with the lady, work, school, Photoshop & relaxation time. Photography. All these things plus tons of other stuff.

So spending 60+ on a game is a rare occurrence, if and when I do, it is carefully chosen. And the money spent on x-plane, like I say, is good for 2 years of updates. And it's not like they "turn-off" the stuff at end of life.

My immediate gaming needs are met by angry birds and retro 2600 emulation. No need for a ps or xbox.

That's just what I jam to. Perhaps you cruise differently. Speak up!

Edited by Keatah, Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:28 AM.


#25 Mord OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:26 AM

Though some of the blame can rightfully be foisted upon the decline of the once-mighty Wii, it's apparent that people aren't buying games like they used to, and the industry is scrambling to figure out why. But most agree that it begins — and likely ends — with the high cost of new games.


It begins with the high cost of new games, but it most certainly doesn't END there.

- unfinished games released for full price.
- DLC to nickel and dime the customer after paying full price.
- restrictive/abusive DRM.
- Just crappy rehashed game content to begin with. :P
- relatively low quality hardware compared to previous generations. (I've seen far more complaints on this forum alone about failed consoles this generation than any other before it, and that's even after the 360 went slim.)
- Firmware updates that can potentially brick said hardware. (If you lose power while updating for instance. :P)

I just couldn't take it anymore so game budget has been far more restricted in the last few years. If they're down 8% as they claim, I'm probably not alone.

Edited by Mord, Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:26 AM.





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