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nekrosoft13
03-30-09, 05:50 PM
The prices attached to traditional blockbuster games are a major barrier to entry for new consumers, said Spector, and the industry has been over-charging for product for too long.

'We need to get our price point down because we've been in competition with other media for years, it's nothing new,' said Spector last week during the Game Developers Conference. 'We've been a niche medium that over-charges for its product and therefore generates a lot of revenue which makes us a little bigger than Hollywood, which is crazy.'

"The key is removing barriers to the creation of content and removing barriers to the consumption of content. Allowing people access to lots of it, at the lowest possible price where you can make a profit," offered Spector.

Comparing prices to the number of hours spent with entertainment isn't realistic, he said, as games price themselves out of the impulse market.

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/spector-we-need-to-drive-down-game-prices


lower prices = less piracy = more sales

WeReWoLf
03-30-09, 06:02 PM
The prices attached to traditional blockbuster games are a major barrier to entry for new consumers, said Spector, and the industry has been over-charging for product for too long.

'We need to get our price point down because we've been in competition with other media for years, it's nothing new,' said Spector last week during the Game Developers Conference. 'We've been a niche medium that over-charges for its product and therefore generates a lot of revenue which makes us a little bigger than Hollywood, which is crazy.'

"The key is removing barriers to the creation of content and removing barriers to the consumption of content. Allowing people access to lots of it, at the lowest possible price where you can make a profit," offered Spector.

Comparing prices to the number of hours spent with entertainment isn't realistic, he said, as games price themselves out of the impulse market.

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/spector-we-need-to-drive-down-game-prices


lower prices = less piracy = more sales

Hmm, sounds alot like something that Steam has been pushing with their Special Deals and Sale Weekends.

$n][pErMan
03-30-09, 06:07 PM
I don't find $50 for a game unreasonable considering what you get out of it. As long as it does not go above that it does not stop me from buying the game.

Medion
03-30-09, 06:10 PM
Here's the problem with lowering the price of games.

-If you want to go see a movie, you simply march your happy ass to the local theater, and buy tickets. No specialized hardware is required.
-If you want to watch a movie at home, you simply turn to a station using the TV you already own, or throw a DVD into the DVD player that you already own. Any DVD movie will work in any DVD player, region encoding aside.

And that's the main barrier to gaming, requiring a gaming console. Not all games run on the same console. You would need a unified console that was dirt cheap. Also, DVD players were around for nearly a decade before Blu-Ray came out. New consoles come out every 5 years. So, there's a more consistent need to upgrade.

Since there are multiple console, and fewer people own consoles than DVD players, prices need to be higher to recoup dev costs. Also, a movie makes up its production costs by a theatrical release, followed by a hard media release. Console games no longer make worthwhile revenue from an arcade release followed by a home release, so all of their revenue has to come from the home release.

saturnotaku
03-30-09, 06:40 PM
While lowering prices across the board would be nice, you have to keep in mind that games have cost $40-50 for the better part of 15 years. If game prices trended with inflation, one that cost $50 in 1985 (the price of most NES games) would have been more than $95 in 2007. A $50 game in 1990 would be over $78.

Yaboze
03-30-09, 07:05 PM
True, game prices were 40-50 bucks in the 80's. I worked at a game store in the 80's and I remember most games were 39.99 and 49.99.

The production on new games is like a Hollywood movie, but the games are much shorter than they were. 4-10 hours of gameplay. Pfft.

|MaguS|
03-30-09, 07:23 PM
Untill I get an "I am Sorry" Card from Warren for putting out Deadly Shadows he can go rant and preach all he wants...

Nekro, We all know that Lower Prices do not equal less piracy, Pricing has NOTHING TO DO WITH PIRACY. I would say that maybe less then 10% of pirates out there pirate a gamee because of price. Most do it because they can and don't want to spend any money. If price were the reason then many good budget titles would never have been pirated.

NarcissistZero
03-30-09, 08:50 PM
Untill I get an "I am Sorry" Card from Warren for putting out Deadly Shadows he can go rant and preach all he wants...

Nekro, We all know that Lower Prices do not equal less piracy, Pricing has NOTHING TO DO WITH PIRACY. I would say that maybe less then 10% of pirates out there pirate a gamee because of price. Most do it because they can and don't want to spend any money. If price were the reason then many good budget titles would never have been pirated.

Exactly... people say they pirate CDs because music CDs cost too much, which is ridiculous... $10 for an album I will get endless enjoyment out of and listen to for my entire life? Not too much to ask. I guess $10 is steep if you buy crappy music, but there's your problem, not the price.

I also think $50 isn't too much to ask for MOST games. Your get at least 3 times as much length out of a game than a movie, which cost me $30 on Blu-Ray, and games are also much more replayable than movies are rewatchable.

There are games that are too short for $50, like Wanted, and for those you can wait for the inevitable price drop to $20 which happens to every game ever released.

Kaguya
03-30-09, 10:05 PM
[pErMan;1971530']I don't find $50 for a game unreasonable considering what you get out of it. As long as it does not go above that it does not stop me from buying the game.

I agree. The prices of games don't hold me back... I think they're right on the money. In fact, as a comparison, I just took my daughter to see Monsters vs Aliens in 3D. Adult + Child admission, plus children's combo (small popcorn, drink and small treat) came to just about $30.00. While we had a great time, they're not going to knock the price down for me when the DVD comes out, so that'd be another $20.00 on top of that... there's $50.00 right there.

Of course I wouldn't complain if they lowered prices, and maybe it would help the industry out, though it could just as easily hurt it. I do think, though, that if people really thought about it they have more money than they realize. Stop buying low-fat-mocha-latte-frappachinos or whatever for a couple of weeks and you've just bought yourself a copy of Fallout 3.

nutcrackr
03-31-09, 02:59 AM
We are probably the wrong people to ask this questions since we (except the dirty pirates) buy full priced games. I usually buy it within weeks if not days of release so I'm paying top dollar.

I guess he's looking at a different audience and I can see $50 being a risky investment for them.

LurkerLito
03-31-09, 09:35 AM
I disagree, I think he is right about prices, they are on the high side. While I do buy games at full price occasionally I wait for sales all the time. When steam has that 10% preorder offer they make more sales from me than if it isn't there. I just look at console games in general. $60 is way to much for any game, it actually forced me from being mainly a console game buyer to a console game renter. On the PC side, I am only a buyer since I can't rent games on PC, but because every game must be bought I wait on titles till the first price drop at the very least for almost all titles. The only time I don't I usually found some special deal/coupon that dropped the price at least $15-$20. The last full price game I bought was Drakensang on steam, but that one's regular price is $30 so there was no hesitation to buy it at full price after I played the demo. Fear2 was another game I really liked the demo but I didn't buy it till it hit the gogamer 48hour sale list.

Lowering the price won't stop piracy, I am sure we all know that, but they can significantly increase their sales if they do. I just look at the indie Zeno Clash game I bought blind on steam. 50% off one day preorder sale made it $10. After watching the video I thought it looks OK, I don't think I'll like it cause melee fighting in a FPS view has never worked as expected in many games I have tried (like the original fear). But still for $10 I bought it.

FastRedPonyCar
03-31-09, 10:40 AM
He should have mentioned something in that speech about better games = more sales.

But look at how well the HL2 episodes sell becuase they're $20 (well that and they're totally amazing) but the same with warhead. lower price and people here loved that fact.

I'm willing to bet that if all games were $30 and that was an industry sales price cap, there would be more games being bought. I know that if I were back in highschool or my broke days in college, I could have MUCH more easily handled $30 than $50.

jolle
03-31-09, 02:17 PM
Gabe Newell mentioned some stats off Steam at DICE 2009.
http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/955/955392p4.html
on that weekend sale we also talked about the fact that there's going to be new content coming, that we're going to be doing one of these updates. Everything that we've seen says if you hit the more dimensions that you can touch a customer at the same time you get a nonlinear reaction from the market. So we did this sale, and had some really interesting numbers. First off, the Steam sales were up by a factor of 30, right? Not 30 percent, but by a factor of 30.

I think the thing that some people would say is all you're doing is screwing your retail partners... ...You can see there was no difference. We weren't cannibalizing retail sales at all.

And the real point here:
After Christmas we implemented discounts. And so the minimum discount on Steam for all the products was 10 percent. We saw 35 percent increase in sales, not in units but in sales. In real dollars or euros or whatever. And the interesting thing is if you want to 25 percent off, you know, every publisher and developer got to make its own decisions about how it wanted to participate. If you go to 25 percent, you see this huge factor of 7 increase in the revenue you're generating. Clearly there was some function that was going on there. Then you go to 50 percent, still seeing increase. That's great. But you go to 75 percent off. And people are making almost 15 times as much money by getting to what apparently is a much more natural price point for our products and our content.

ofcource, Digital distribution doesnt carry a production overhead per unit as retail copys does with disc printing, case, manual etc.
But still, those numbers agree with Spectors views.
The lower price increases sales enough to make it more profitable.
Might not be as great and increase as when its on sale, but people would prolly still by alot more games, and be less picky about the pretty nondescript Metacritic grades, games with a bad score can still be appreciated by alot of people.

Also, am I the only one that keep seeing the comment "Meh, Ill pick it up once it hits the bargain bins" or "IŽll prolly get this when it drops below 20 bucks" on this and other forums?

Kaguya
04-01-09, 01:41 AM
Gabe Newell mentioned some stats off Steam at DICE 2009.
http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/955/955392p4.html




And the real point here:


ofcource, Digital distribution doesnt carry a production overhead per unit as retail copys does with disc printing, case, manual etc.
But still, those numbers agree with Spectors views.
The lower price increases sales enough to make it more profitable.
Might not be as great and increase as when its on sale, but people would prolly still by alot more games, and be less picky about the pretty nondescript Metacritic grades, games with a bad score can still be appreciated by alot of people.

Also, am I the only one that keep seeing the comment "Meh, Ill pick it up once it hits the bargain bins" or "IŽll prolly get this when it drops below 20 bucks" on this and other forums?

I think it's a matter of perspective. If games were all $20.00 at launch, there'd be no room to move, and I think sales would eventually be flat... especially because the perceived value of the game via MSRP is now lower, the purchaser assumes that the product is worth less, and may not bite at discount prices quite so readily.

But take a game that's normally $50.00 and reduce the price for a limited time, then you'll get a lot more interest because a) people want to get the deal now, even if they don't intend to play the game until later, and b) the perceived value of the product is still $50.00, even if the purchaser is only paying $25.00.

In all honesty, I think the price points are fine. People wanting to pay for the privilege of playing a game as soon as its released will pay full price, others will wait. For the publisher it's win-win. People pay an inflated price on release to have a game as soon as it's available, and when those sales flatten out, lower the price to get a second wave. This is something Steam does especially well and I look forward to their sales. Retail, I think I've rarely seen a good deal on an A rated game anywhere near as early as I see them on Steam.

Gabe's no dummy... this marketing strategy could explain why Steam prices are often higher than other sites. Sales mean more when the deal looks better.

NarcissistZero
04-01-09, 01:58 AM
I could see the need for more flexibility in game prices maybe, rather than an overall decrese in prices.

Something like Wanted should really come out at $20 or $30, but there's this image that games should always be $50-$60 at launch and if they aren't they're crappy budget titles. That could change, and should. Lower prices could mean more sales out of the gate, when the PR is rockin', rather than months later when they drop in price.

Then of course we could see games like Fallout 3 going for $70 or more. I remember paying $80 for Shadowrun on the SNES.

Bman212121
04-01-09, 10:49 AM
[pErMan;1971530']I don't find $50 for a game unreasonable considering what you get out of it. As long as it does not go above that it does not stop me from buying the game.

I think that's the main point, it's whether or not you feel you've got your moneys worth. The price of games could be $100 if it provided $100 worth of entertainment. The best example is wow players. They easily spend more than that per year to be able to play it, and I really don't hear people complaining about the price because they can justify it since the game has a never ending amount of content.

As a side note, I was thinking about this the other day. One of the things that I really miss about some older games is the ability to play it with your friends. I'm talking about on the pc btw. There are no split screen modes for most games anymore. If I want to show someone my fancy new game I got we can't play it together unless they also shell out cash for it. Games like Warcraft 2 and Age of Empires 2 allowed other people to play even on different pcs using "spawns" of the game. They couldn't play single player or multiplayer, but if I installed it and hosted a multiplayer game two other people could join in on the fun (7 for Warcraft 2). To me this gives the game a lot more value since you can still play games with your friends. I don't own Call of Duty: World at War, and I don't intend on purchasing it because I'm not going to play it but once or twice. It sucks because I have two other friends that do play it. So if they are playing it I can't join in on the fun. Compare that to a game like Halo; if they are playing it I could just drop in at either of their houses and get a little gaming in with them. Chances are good I might have enough fun that I'll go out and buy the game as well so I can play SP or play MP on my own console. (And could have other friends over so they can play it with everyone)

Kaguya
04-01-09, 01:12 PM
... I remember paying $80 for Shadowrun on the SNES.

Yeah, I'm certain games have come down a lot in price since the good old days. I was young, but I recall my parents paying $70-$80 for NES games or even Atari 400 games way back in the early to mid '80s. With inflation, that would be at least $100/game in today's currency?

JT8D-9A
04-01-09, 01:55 PM
I think HW prices are the bigger problem and that today's software is mainly made to sell new HW.

crainger
04-01-09, 03:11 PM
I think 50USD is reasonable. Except I don't pay 50USD... I pay 80USD. ::(:

FML

NarcissistZero
04-01-09, 04:59 PM
I think 50USD is reasonable. Except I don't pay 50USD... I pay 80USD. ::(:

FML

Well you should have known better than to be born outside the super spectacular united states.

crainger
04-02-09, 12:40 AM
I'll join the Mobile Infanty and become a Citizen.

NarcissistZero
04-02-09, 01:05 AM
I'll join the Mobile Infanty and become a Citizen.

Maybe someday soon we could get married so you get a green card.

C'mon California!

|MaguS|
04-02-09, 01:09 AM
Maybe someday soon we could get married so you get a green card.

C'mon California!

WoW that went from Starship Troopers to queerfest... wow...

crainger
04-02-09, 01:22 AM
VelvetMafia just signed in.

NarcissistZero
04-02-09, 02:09 AM
WoW that went from Starship Troopers to queerfest... wow...

The shame I feel over missing the Troopers refferance really can't be understated.