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(Uproxx)   Dear Game Devs: Please stop telling us $60 is not a lot of money   (uproxx.com ) divider line
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6906 clicks; posted to Geek » on 06 Mar 2013 at 3:17 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-05 08:56:02 PM  
especially when you have day 1 dlc.
 
2013-03-05 09:59:44 PM  
It isn't a lot of money.  The $100 that we have to pay here in Aus IS though.
 
2013-03-05 10:02:28 PM  
Adjusted for inflation, your average video game is actually cheaper than it ever has been.

This is true. Twenty two years ago we paid $60 for Falcon 3.0 and ran home and played it for days on our 15 inch SVGA monitors with our first gen Thrustmaster sticks in 256 colors. AND WE LIKED IT

/got-damned kids with multicore processors and SLI and multiple huge displays and head tracking view systems
 
2013-03-05 10:11:09 PM  

SJKebab: It isn't a lot of money.  The $100 that we have to pay here in Aus IS though.


But you get a society with very little taboo about having a beer during a working lunch and access to Ford FPV Falcons, I'd say you still end up ahead.

/Though the wide variety of spiders, snakes, sharks, jellyfish, and other hazardous animal life lurking around every corner probably detracts from it.
 
2013-03-05 10:40:10 PM  
I can buy two or three hardback SF novels, seven or eight SF paperbacks, a pretty good bottle of Scotch, or three bottles of Irish for that. Or some combination.

No wonder I buy so few video games.
 
2013-03-05 10:43:56 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: Ford FPV Falcons


I've always wondered why they didn't become popular in the US.  I'd have thought that something like this would sell like hotcakes over there.  Especially the utes, which were designed as a southerners wet-dream.  (A car that can go to the pig markets on weekdays, and to church on sundays.)

The wildlife here is not that bad though.  You know that spider with the manna bar?  We keep those guys inside the house to keep the mosquitos away.

/Not a ford man myself
 
2013-03-05 11:46:35 PM  

SJKebab: TuteTibiImperes: Ford FPV Falcons

I've always wondered why they didn't become popular in the US.  I'd have thought that something like this would sell like hotcakes over there.  Especially the utes, which were designed as a southerners wet-dream.  (A car that can go to the pig markets on weekdays, and to church on sundays.)

The wildlife here is not that bad though.  You know that spider with the manna bar?  We keep those guys inside the house to keep the mosquitos away.

/Not a ford man myself


Holden makes some cool ones as well, and we did get a versions of the Commodore in the US as the most recent Pontiac GTO, Pontiac G8, and will get another run with the upcoming Chevy SS.  I'm not sure why Ford has completely ignored the US market with the Falcon, or why GM only seems to want to dip its toes in with limited run vehicles based on the Commodore.  Rear wheel drive sedans with big engines are about as stereotypically American as cars get, and Chrysler has made some big bucks with that formula on the 300 and Charger.

The Utes would be cool too, but those, like station wagons, are casualties of CAFE regulations (US mandated corporate average fuel economy regs).  If you make a station wagon or a Ute it counts differently against the average fuel economy of your lineup than if you jack it up and sell it as a CUV or a pickup truck.
 
2013-03-06 12:08:33 AM  

vossiewulf: Twenty two years ago we paid $60 for Falcon 3.0


I paid $30 for it the day it came out.

$60 for a game is way out of line.  I understand development costs and all, but dayam.
 
2013-03-06 12:10:36 AM  
So you can imagine how I felt, reading Cliffy B's missive on Kotaku

Stopped reading right there. "Cliify's" cock is so far down Gawker's throat it would make a porn star blush.

That and Gawker sites are ass.
 
2013-03-06 12:23:05 AM  
Dear poor people, it isn't.
 
2013-03-06 12:39:33 AM  

SJKebab: TuteTibiImperes: Ford FPV Falcons

I've always wondered why they didn't become popular in the US.  I'd have thought that something like this would sell like hotcakes over there.  Especially the utes, which were designed as a southerners wet-dream.  (A car that can go to the pig markets on weekdays, and to church on sundays.)

The wildlife here is not that bad though.  You know that spider with the manna bar?  We keep those guys inside the house to keep the mosquitos away.

/Not a ford man myself


You don't understand southerners. They're more like India with a stratified gentry and peasantry. The well to do southern aristocracy with their white suits and money don't drive trucks, while the low class blue collar folken need a bigger bed and/or the power to haul full size trailers.

A ute style hybrid is the the exact wrong thing for that market. You need two distinct vehicle classes for the two distinct drivers.
 
2013-03-06 01:01:39 AM  
People buy video games?
 
2013-03-06 01:07:37 AM  
$60 isn't a lot of money.  It's not nothing, but it's not a lot.  If a game you really want is coming out, they give you plenty of notice to start saving your pennies.

If you're trying to "buy every major game coming out every month", that ADDS UP to a lot, just like if you were buying every major motion picture that comes out each month, or every best selling book that comes out each month.
 
2013-03-06 01:40:06 AM  

PanicMan: $60 isn't a lot of money.  It's not nothing, but it's not a lot.  If a game you really want is coming out, they give you plenty of notice to start saving your pennies.

If you're trying to "buy every major game coming out every month", that ADDS UP to a lot, just like if you were buying every major motion picture that comes out each month, or every best selling book that comes out each month.


The comparison to movies is a good one.  The budget for a major motion picture isn't dissimilar to a major game release, but the game will be $60 while the DVD is $20 (I guess you could argue that games are released on day one for purchase while you have to wait a while before you can purchase a movie, but games don't drop to $20 during the time span it takes a movie to come out on DVD either).
 
2013-03-06 01:48:24 AM  

TuteTibiImperes: The comparison to movies is a good bad one.


A movie has on average 100 minutes or so of entertainment. If I really like it, I might watch it three times.

A good game will keep you entertained for easily over 100 hours, and if you're talking a continuous MMO, many many times that.

Now do the math on cost per hour of entertainment.
 
2013-03-06 01:58:46 AM  

vossiewulf: TuteTibiImperes: The comparison to movies is a good bad one.

A movie has on average 100 minutes or so of entertainment. If I really like it, I might watch it three times.

A good game will keep you entertained for easily over 100 hours, and if you're talking a continuous MMO, many many times that.

Now do the math on cost per hour of entertainment


I'll give you a game can take longer to get through than a movie, but 100 hours is a bit of a stretch, even the largest RPGs are typically far shorter than that.

In pure terms of return for the money invested though it shouldn't matter how long it takes to finish.  If it takes $100 million to make a summer blockbuster and $100 million to release a AAA gaming title, both should be able to be profitable selling for $20 for owned copies given that a roughly similar number of each will be sold (I will admit I have no clue on how those figures compare, do major game releases typically sell in similar numbers to major film releases on DVD? )

Many PC games end up on Steam eventually, and Steam is famous for having some pretty major sales.  However, console releases of those same games don't get anywhere near the same price drops, unless it's a sports title when the next year's version comes out.
 
2013-03-06 03:02:33 AM  
I'm fine with paying $60 for a new game, actually, I've been known to pay $80+ if they include enough bonus goodies. What I'm not fine with is a game that sells for a premium price ($60+ on launch day), then has a monthly subscription after the first free 30 days (yes, I play MMOs), then has micro-transactions in the game, to get you to spend even more money. It's bull, it really is!

If a company wants all that DLC or Microtransaction cash, then give us the base game for free, and drop the subscription. If you're going to act like a pay-to-win, F2P Asian MMO, then just go Full Monty and be a pay-to-win, "Free-to-Play" game, already!
 
2013-03-06 03:03:00 AM  

vossiewulf: TuteTibiImperes: The comparison to movies is a good bad one.

A movie has on average 100 minutes or so of entertainment. If I really like it, I might watch it three times.

A good game will keep you entertained for easily over 100 hours, and if you're talking a continuous MMO, many many times that.

Now do the math on cost per hour of entertainment.


Better yet, do the re-sale math. I've almost never bought a new game. 80% of my purchases are used, $20 range. The dev team sees 0% of that money.

If you sold new games for $20, there'd be next to no resale and all that cash'd go to the companies.

1 sale at $60 or 4 sales at $20? Only a great fool woul choose the former, and judging by EA, that's exactly the case.
 
2013-03-06 03:19:56 AM  
On most major titles, I will typically wait until a Game of the Year edition comes out with all of the DLC included and a price point below $30. I want the complete game and I'm willing to not have the latest titles. Also, by then most of the major duds have disappeared from the new stack and I feel happy I didn't drop $60 on them.

For PC games, I just wait for a Steam sale.
 
2013-03-06 03:23:08 AM  
It's not. It's a lot to pay for a game I don't know I'll like, but if it's a game from a company I like, which has received good reviews from people I trust, then it's not a whole lot to pay for the entertainment I get from it. The issue with that is that's a problem for start-ups... but in this day and age, at least with consoles, start-ups can't produce the type of game players want anyway. They can still make good PC games and good retro-style console/PC games, and for me, that's enough. I'm pretty satisfied with the game industry today and where it's going with the exception of the MMO market, which a whole different discussion.
 
2013-03-06 03:24:47 AM  

MmmmBacon: I'm fine with paying $60 for a new game, actually, I've been known to pay $80+ if they include enough bonus goodies. What I'm not fine with is a game that sells for a premium price ($60+ on launch day), then has a monthly subscription after the first free 30 days (yes, I play MMOs), then has micro-transactions in the game, to get you to spend even more money. It's bull, it really is!



sounds like you got burned by swtor, too
 
2013-03-06 03:28:51 AM  
seeing as at one time SNES and Genesis cartridges were going upwards of 80$ in the OMG 32MB OF MEMORY wars, adjusted for inflation, I'd say the Kotaku article was spot-on.

nobody put a gun to your head to spend a small fortune on a wedding for your princess.  leave the gamers and devs out of your fairy tale and stop b*tching.
 
2013-03-06 03:31:47 AM  
Most people don't run a New Game Review blog so they don't have to buy the latest every week. A past co-worker father of two i used to work with long ago would wait for games to go on sale at Wal-Mart which is typically every month. Then he'd scoff one major title for half price.
 
2013-03-06 03:33:16 AM  
Make the game something innovative and I'll cough up the 60. If it's your rehash of an idea you lazily borrowed from someone else? Piss off. To put it in terms of game titles, make something like Katamari Damacy and I'll fork over the money. Make yet another FPS? I don't give a damn how cool it is, how big and open the world is, you're just rehashing what's been done. And no thanks.
 
2013-03-06 03:34:19 AM  
Three months of fun money so no that much

/Also watching encounter at far point and cannot believe I watched more after.
//Threadjack
///How stupid where we Q is in THE FIRST EP.
////End threadjack
 
2013-03-06 03:47:10 AM  
$60 is too much.  I can afford it, but it's still too much.  I blame steam sales for putting me in this mind set.
 
2013-03-06 03:47:54 AM  
Maybe publishers shouldn't waste so much money on marketing.  Yes I know they need to pay reviewers off, but really, they shouldn't have to.
 
2013-03-06 03:49:33 AM  
I'll join the camp of people saying the price point is set too high, unless something really special is going on.  I pre-ordered a copy of Bioshock Infinite.  When I first heard about the game, I mentally checked it off as a game to buy used next year (like I did with Skyrim and Borderlands 2).

But then I found out the developers were including a copy of the original Bioshock (which I never bought), and my pre-order is getting me some special in-game content.  So I'm really getting Bioshock for 30, Bioshock Infinite for 30, and some bonus material for free.
 
2013-03-06 03:56:35 AM  
The galling part about the $60 price point is that the bulk of the revenue on it goes to pay the publisher for the damn advertising of it, not the game itself.
 
2013-03-06 04:02:38 AM  

TuteTibiImperes: vossiewulf: TuteTibiImperes: The comparison to movies is a good bad one.

A movie has on average 100 minutes or so of entertainment. If I really like it, I might watch it three times.

A good game will keep you entertained for easily over 100 hours, and if you're talking a continuous MMO, many many times that.

Now do the math on cost per hour of entertainment

I'll give you a game can take longer to get through than a movie, but 100 hours is a bit of a stretch, even the largest RPGs are typically far shorter than that.


If your RPG is only worth one or two playthroughs without sidequests, I'd say it doesn't qualify as a "good game".
 
2013-03-06 04:08:00 AM  
"A lot of gamers work pretty hard and can afford to buy, at most, one or two new games a year."

If your budget is so tight that you only have $60-$100 over the course of a year to spend freely then it's time you found something else to do with your spare time. Last I checked games weren't one of the essentials of life, if you can't afford them then don't play them. Every gaming forum I go to it's the same old arguments, gaming is a damn hobby people, if you can't afford it then find a cheaper hobby. Same with DLC, nobody is forcing you to buy DLC. In most cases you get a complete game for your $60, the DLC is just add on content for people who want additional missions or extra weapons/cars/whatever.

Also, nobody is forcing you to play games the day they're released. I buy plenty of games that are two or three years old and guess what, they're just as much fun then. So unless you're after the online play wait to buy your games, they'll still be there in a couple years and they'll be a lot cheaper.
 
2013-03-06 04:10:12 AM  
Man is an idiot. You SHOULD care about the relative value, if you wish to continue buying and playing high quality games with modern production values, which people clearly do. You simply cannot ask people to make games for you at a loss and expect it to continue, it will not continue. Either have cheaper games or pay what it costs to have expensive games, it isn't complex. Saying 'I only care about ME' doesn't actually achieve a damned thing.

If you genuinely only want to play simple indie games that cost little to produce them indeed you shouldn't be paying a lot (You should be prepared to pay a little of course), but people who play a list games can frankly shut up about the price because it is NOT excessive at all.
 
2013-03-06 04:11:09 AM  
If you are a console gamer, wait for the big budget games to hit the "greatest hits" or "platinum games" line.  If you are a PC gamer, wait for the Steam sale.
While you are waiting for those games to come down in price, support small developer games like Super House of Dead Ninjas and Bit.Trip Runner 2.

The only reason you should buy new games when you only play online multiplayer FPS and RTS style games or if you are a professional gamer.
 
2013-03-06 04:11:59 AM  

HotWingAgenda: So I'm really getting Bioshock for 30 15, Bioshock Infinite for 30 45, and some bonus material for free.


You can pick up Bioshock for $15 new or $5-$10 used these days.
 
2013-03-06 04:13:26 AM  
I don't mind $60 for a new release, I'd actually pay more if I thought the game was worth it (I dropped twice that for the Project Eternity kickstarter).  If something about the game made me hesitant to pay full price like a bad review orworrisome feature, I just put it on a wishlist and buy it used or on a Steam sale later (or forget about it completely).  For instance I bought Tomb Raider and Citadel (ME3) today, I have zero interest in how they did the new Sim City so will probably never get that, and added Far Cry 3 and Trackmania Canyon to my Steam wishlist since I want to wait for a sale to get those.

I don't use the whole hours-per-dollar math others do.  While that may work for them it's not how I valuate my games.
 
2013-03-06 04:17:24 AM  

gaspode: You simply cannot ask people to make games for you at a loss and expect it to continue,


Maybe the people making games should change how they do things.
 
2013-03-06 04:18:33 AM  

TuteTibiImperes: The comparison to movies is a good one.  The budget for a major motion picture isn't dissimilar to a major game release, but the game will be $60 while the DVD is $20 (I guess you could argue that games are released on day one for purchase while you have to wait a while before you can purchase a movie, but games don't drop to $20 during the time span it takes a movie to come out on DVD either).


While DVD sales bring in a decent chunk of change, the majority of the money is made at the box office.
 
2013-03-06 04:22:02 AM  
WhyteRaven74:

Maybe the people making games should change how they do things.

Like make cheaper games? Its either that or go do something else for a living.  25 million dollar budgets are in fact what it costs to make some of these games. There is VAST amounts of content and the quality is insanely high.. and if there isnt, or it isnt, the press eviscerate it and nobody buys it.

There is an alternative model (cheap games marketed by non publisher channels) and it is thriving, but people still want the big show games.

If you have a genuine model in mind to make actually good games that aren't 'retro because it means we can use crappy graphics' or whatever and still make good money without the games being expensive then please god message me, I will be back in the game business in a snap and give you a cut.
 
2013-03-06 04:24:14 AM  
I've been a long time Mac gamer.. I don't think I've ever paid $60, though I can think of a few titles that were worth that and more.

Mostly playing Blizzard titles lately.. though when they take down servers for all 3 current titles at once, it's annoying.  I bought a copy of Deus Ex: Human Revolution the other week, tried it out yesterday.. pretty, but it's getting hard, fast.
 
2013-03-06 04:26:35 AM  

ReapTheChaos: HotWingAgenda: So I'm really getting Bioshock for 30 15, Bioshock Infinite for 30 45, and some bonus material for free.

You can pick up Bioshock for $15 new or $5-$10 used these days.


Meh.  Given how much design and background story is going into the new one, I honestly don't mind if the original game is free on the market used.  I'm big on alternate history stories, especially from the period between the Spanish-American War and WWI.
 
2013-03-06 04:28:16 AM  
I remember paying 350 Francs for "Alone in the dark" in 1992, or about 70 bucks. It amounts to more than 110 dollars today.

Sorry, guys, but I do remember how much video games did cost in the 90s. Inflation was beat thouroughly. Heck, I remember that when Street Fighter 2 came out for the Super NES, it was priced at about 150 dollars of the time.
 
2013-03-06 04:30:44 AM  

WhyteRaven74: gaspode: You simply cannot ask people to make games for you at a loss and expect it to continue,

Maybe the people making games should change how they do things.


How would you suggest they go about that? Aside from crap games like CoD (that they shiat out every 9 months) most major game titles are in development/production for 3-5 years. That's a serious amount of investment to recuperate  If they push games out faster than that everyone biatches because they're crappy games.
 
2013-03-06 04:39:49 AM  
$60's nothing if it's a good product.  (Of course, not being poor helps a lot.)  I've paid a couple hundred per seat to see shows and been happy.  I've paid $8 and demanded a refund.
 
2013-03-06 04:40:32 AM  
Stop adjusting for inflation when pay doesn't.
 
2013-03-06 04:47:06 AM  

sexy-fetus: Stop adjusting for inflation when pay doesn't.


Actually they haven't adjusted for inflation. I've been playing games since the Nintendo NES days and they've pretty much stayed at the same $50-$60 price range all these years.
 
2013-03-06 04:47:28 AM  

TuteTibiImperes: In pure terms of return for the money invested though it shouldn't matter how long it takes to finish.  If it takes $100 million to make a summer blockbuster and $100 million to release a AAA gaming title, both should be able to be profitable selling for $20 for owned copies given that a roughly similar number of each will be sold (I will admit I have no clue on how those figures compare, do major game releases typically sell in similar numbers to major film releases on DVD? )


Things like Avatar, Phantom Menace, Lion King, Raiders sell around 90-100 million movie tickets (and then you have DVD/BluRay and so on to add to that at some point), the highest is Gone with the Wind with an estimated 200 million tickets sold.

On PC the typical AAA title would be something like Battlefield 2 after 5 years (so including much cheaper sales) had reached 11 million, Diablo 3 is about 12 million, and the highest is Sims 2 with 20 million. On PS3 you go up to the more recent CoD titles at 10-12 million (PS2 has some higher as you might expect at up to 17 million for titles like San Andreas and GT3. XBox 360 has things like CoD and Halo 3 again get in the 10-14 million sort of range.

So accounting for the fact it might have to be reworked for up to 3 platforms, you are still looking at peak figures of around 25-30 million for the most successful games releasing across at least a couple of platforms, and that is the entire retail revenue you can expect, and that includes some number of sales after the price has dropped, and there is very little extra revenue sources.

Compare that to movies: probably something like 3x the number of tickets sold to the theatrical release for an equally successful title. Then you might sell 30m DVDs for something like Avatar (or something like Titanic made 2/3rds on DVD sales that it made in the theatre - $1.2b on DVDs, $1.8b in theatres). Then you sell TV rights (can be another 1/5 to 1/4 you theatrical take over time), and then the merchandising - something like Cars did "mediocre" in the box office (less than half a billion), but then sold $10b in merchandising, plus rental incomes are much higher than games, and you have pay per view incomes, etc.
 
2013-03-06 04:48:24 AM  

ReapTheChaos: "A lot of gamers work pretty hard and can afford to buy, at most, one or two new games a year."

If your budget is so tight that you only have $60-$100 over the course of a year to spend freely then it's time you found something else to do with your spare time. Last I checked games weren't one of the essentials of life, if you can't afford them then don't play them. Every gaming forum I go to it's the same old arguments, gaming is a damn hobby people, if you can't afford it then find a cheaper hobby. Same with DLC, nobody is forcing you to buy DLC. In most cases you get a complete game for your $60, the DLC is just add on content for people who want additional missions or extra weapons/cars/whatever.

Also, nobody is forcing you to play games the day they're released. I buy plenty of games that are two or three years old and guess what, they're just as much fun then. So unless you're after the online play wait to buy your games, they'll still be there in a couple years and they'll be a lot cheaper.


Maybe people have other hobbies to spend money on. Plenty of people I know like games but aren't the "have to put in 16 hours a week into it" sort of people because they have other stuff to do - they're the ones who usually end up buying only a couple of games a year.

Hitting steam sales and GoG a fair bit over the last few years have given me a large enough backlog that I can't even remember the last time I wandered into an EB. No matter what they say, if a day 1 game keeps flashing up reminders about all the awesome content I could have by spending more money; I end up feeling like the game is unfinished.

I'd really like fully-fledged expansion packs to come back rather than this annoying microtransaction thing.
 
2013-03-06 04:49:36 AM  
I bought Battlefield 3 for $60 and have over 300 hours of play.  Study it out.  That's some pretty cheap entertainment.
 
2013-03-06 04:55:40 AM  
60 is too high plain and simple.
 
2013-03-06 05:06:59 AM  

ReapTheChaos: How would you suggest they go about that?


Well there's what's spent on marketing, also some game developers are awfully heavy on staff that doesn't actually have anything to do with developing the games. Part of the problem is acting like no great game has ever been made any other way. Myst was made by fewer people than have posted in this thread.
 
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