Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Sweet Spot for Game Price

I love video games and I especially love showing my support to the developers who are responsible in creating those games but it should be no secret to all gamers that the standard of $59.99 for new releases that came with the introduction of the X-Box 360 many years ago is just way overpriced. I do my best to stay away from paying that crazy MSRP whenever I can and I have been lucky enough that my favorite local game store is very good with selling new games with a discount from $5 up to $10 off their regular price. Playing on the Personal Computer platform more than my consoles also provided me with great savings even though the $59.99 disease has started to show its disgustingly ugly face in the PC market as well.

Why should game prices go up when the value of the games you own continues to go down?

Well, I don't know about you but I had enough of games being so overpriced these days despite them looking better but playing much poorer than the games of old. These days, most games are about lengthy one time run adventures instead of promoting a short experience that warrants repeat plays. In one hand you have a game like League of Legends that focuses on a complete gaming experience every single time you play a match and in the other, you have something like the upcoming The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim that promises an epic, long-lasting progressive adventure. The difference? The former is absolutely free to play and the other wants to charge me $59.99 as an admission fee. I don't know what Bethesda is thinking trying to sell the game at the same price as the console versions to the PC community despite our suspicion that the lead platform for this game is the X-Box 360. One thing is for sure, I won't be buying it at that price even though I really wanted to play it. There used to be a time when I would promote anyone to get the games they wanted at whatever price if they could afford it because life it too short to gamble on waiting for the price to drop since there is always that possibility that one might drop dead before one could pick up those games. Well, my perception have changed on that because I have too many games already in my possession and since I play these games when I am in the mood to play them - which resulted in newly acquired games being abandoned until later - there is really no reason for me to rush getting a new game when they come out because my gaming time is fully occupied most of the time. Does this mean that I have no desire to play the latest and greatest? Certainly not but I have decided that I should never pay a lot of money to get them quickly unless they hit my sweet spot for game price.

Sometimes new releases are bundled with extra items to entice early buyers.
But surely, we buy video games to play them and not to own extra trinkets, physical or otherwise.

I have decided on $39.99, plus or minus taxes. If I absolutely have to get a new game immediately after release, it cannot go above that budget per game. The developers need their money I am sure but surely they can make a lot even at the price I am proposing. Just imagine if no one out there would buy a game unless it is priced at $39.99 or below, you know that the developers would be quick to adjust to that price while still delivering the goods. The rapid advancement in graphical technology cannot overtake the complexity of gameplay design and the latter just requires a brilliant mind than access to a high tech graphics engine. To be fair, graphics and gameplay can meld into one to provide a very powerful experience but seeing that most developers are not pushing the graphical capabilities of the current generation hardware on all the gaming platforms - the PC included - that means that you are mostly paying for the gameplay. I am confident that this new commitment to the maximum amount that I would pay for any game would perfectly complement the way I access and use my Game Library. Others should make a similar stance so that we can stop being taken advantage of by the gaming industry. Start asking yourself this question: If you have the power to set the maximum price for a newly released game, what would that amount be?


Kelli said...

I should adapt that habit as well but deep down I can't control game spending. That feeling of "I have to have it" always overcomes me

Loner Gamer said...

It has been really, really hard to force myself to do this but I know that it is very necessary. $59.99 is a lot of money. Even if I have that amount to spend, it's still a lot of money. I am not one to regret the decisions I have made in the past but to continue paying for a game at that price is just a bit silly. No game is worth that amount. The problem is, we have been enabling the game developers to continue abusing us with that price tag. It needs to stop.

overscan68000 said...

I am such a tight arse. I hate paying more than £5 for a game. My recent spate of 360 purchase were all £3. I'll pay up to £25 for a new title that I really want (Bioshock, Mass Effect for example) but I try and stay under £10 per game.