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Old 03-30-09, 04:50 PM   #1
nekrosoft13
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Default Warren Spector on Game Prices

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/article...wn-game-prices


lower prices = less piracy = more sales
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Old 03-30-09, 05:02 PM   #2
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Default Re: Warren Spector on Game Prices

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Originally Posted by nekrosoft13 View Post
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/article...wn-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.
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Old 03-30-09, 05:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: Warren Spector on Game Prices

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.
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Old 03-30-09, 05:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: Warren Spector on Game Prices

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.
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Old 03-30-09, 05:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: Warren Spector on Game Prices

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.
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Old 03-30-09, 06:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: Warren Spector on Game Prices

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.
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Old 03-30-09, 06:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: Warren Spector on Game Prices

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.
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Old 03-30-09, 07:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: Warren Spector on Game Prices

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Originally Posted by |MaguS| View Post
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.
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Old 03-30-09, 09:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: Warren Spector on Game Prices

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Originally Posted by $n][pErMan View Post
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.
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Old 03-31-09, 01:59 AM   #10
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Default Re: Warren Spector on Game Prices

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.
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Old 03-31-09, 08:35 AM   #11
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Default Re: Warren Spector on Game Prices

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.
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Old 03-31-09, 09:40 AM   #12
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Default Re: Warren Spector on Game Prices

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.
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