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Are games worth $60?

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  • arshlevon
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    arshlevon polycounter lvl 14
    i think something that people are not thinking of at all when talking about this is publishers. current gen games costs a metric shit ton to make, the creators of the game might see 30-50 % of that 60$ so after the packaging, the mediastorage, advertising, press events, conferences like gdc to promote, ect, ect, you might see half.(probably less) then you have to pay everyone.. how many years did it take? <
    this is why games cost $60

    my company makes one game every single year, and because of that we have manged to not tank by putting all our chips on one 7 year epic masterpiece hoping it recoups, VERY few companies can do this, the ones than can usually have been around a long time and have already made a bazillion dollars... epic,3d realms, blizzard, valve, id, rockstar, will wright, ect, ect.. and they all stared super small and grew into epic masterpiece games, they didnt come out of the door with doom, or unreal, or gta 3, or halo, they grew there. todays market is saturated with games that have bloated budgets to compete with these titles in hopes of getting that cash, so they need a big team, that means more computers and software, they have to treat their employees like shit, hire disposable workforce, provide some sort of benefits, rent a huge space to fit giant work force, then manage to actually make a game....


    that is fun....

    that people buy...


    good luck with that..

    i am surprised they don't cost more.
  • Deholise
    Games are as expensive as people wants them to be. If nobody bought games for 60€ there wont be any game (or almost any game) that will cost that much, but people doesn't.

    If you really want games to be less expensive, just don't buy them in their release and wait some months or search some bargains. If most of the people did that games will cost less in their release, for sure.

    Think it this way and don't get caught by the hype: If a game is good today it will be in some months. Some days ago I bough Company of heroes (7,5€) and Stalker Clear Sky (15€) in steam and in play.com prereleased Left for dead (33€) and they are surely good games and price was great.
  • notman
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    notman polycounter lvl 16
    Obviously most of us aren't economists, but that's not what the original question was. It's about whether or not YOU feel the games are worth $60. The game companies have already done their analysis' on pricing... basically what ninjas was saying. People were probably surveyed at one point, and asked what they would be willing to pay. I'm sure many of you have done one of these surveys now. What do you think is too much? What price makes you question the quality? etc...
    My issued with that that process is, I don't think they do that for all their games. I think it was just done once, when they initially created price points for the game systems. Then they applied these prices to ALL games. They then determine their development costs based on the predicted value of a game using these prices. For them, this price also helps offset games that don't sell well.

    So, again, for me, most games aren't worth that price, and there are many games I don't buy because I am waiting for the price to drop. If the price never drops, then I just end up never getting the game. I can understand their initial price point, because that's what they base their development on, but after a certain time, I think it would improve boost their profits if they were to lower the price. It would obviously be up to them to determine this timeline, but if they were to drop the price $10 after several months, people like myself would pick up the game. Most likely their development costs are covered at this point.

    And for those who think the prices should be higher because of development costs, you need to understand how much they make off these games. Millions to develop a solid game is not really that much when you consider how many copies a game can sell. I mean look at Halo 3. $300 million in it's first week! How much is it still selling for right now? $60.
  • Lamont
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    Lamont polycounter lvl 12
    notman wrote: »
    I mean look at Halo 3. $300 million in it's first week!
    But that was like, I dunno... like what? 200 Legendary packages? :P
  • MachineMinded
    We pay roughly the same price we paid ten years ago for games that last only half or one third of the time games used to last at that time. So yes, I think that paying current amount of cash and getting less almost each year for the same price is too much. This is probably the reason why I nowadays get more games from sale bins than when they're full priced(or from Steam sales and special offers).

    IMHO with the amount of gameplay and quality of said gameplay today average FPS shooter should cost some 30€ max ($41.50 for you yanks) at release(the lowest price for L4D at release here that I saw was 37€, which I think was OK since the game clearly delivered).
  • Microneezia
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    Microneezia polycounter lvl 10
    didnt I see the same people that are complaining about price also bitch about no industry jobs earlier?

    heres your cake, and heres a fork... stand back everyone, were going to witness something special.

    Im over-simplifying this I guess, but it just seems that game artisans themselves should be the last to try and drive the price down?
  • killingpeople
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    killingpeople polycounter lvl 14
    Are high-fives worth $60?
  • Mark Dygert
    We pay roughly the same price we paid ten years ago for games that last only half or one third of the time games used to last at that time.
    If people wanted to ride the merry-go-round for merry-go-round prices we could do that and rake in the cash. But they want the entire 6 flags park for merry-go-round prices.

    Actually you are getting more bang for your buck. better textures, bigger environments more detailed characters smarter AI bla bla bla. Given the choice in playing 1000hrs of new Quake1 content or 10hrs of Gears2 most people will probably go with Gears2...Hrs played, doesn't always = fun.

    The price was raised to not only cover raising production costs, more people, more workstations, new console hardware, more licensed software, bigger facilities ect... but to deal with inflation. If you made the same hourly rate people did 10 years ago you might have trouble paying today's bills also.

    Of course there are other factors involved in play time, some of it is design. People might not have 80hrs to devote to a single game or the game play mechanics might get old after 20 levels so why design, create and spend years on content most players will never see. If people cry for more, you put out a sequel or expansion pack.
  • rolfness
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    rolfness polycounter lvl 16
    hmm I bought Fallout 3(PS3) X3 Terran Conflict(PC) and Left 4 Dead(PC) recently and I thought they were all worth it.

    Im very fussy with what I play I dont buy so so games. Fallout 3 has been awesome so far, Ive been a Big Fan of the X3 Series, I played X3 Reunion for hundreds of hours and it was worth many times it purchase price.
  • Ghostscape
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    Ghostscape polycounter lvl 13
    I'm fine with it. Gamefly has satisfied my desire to play everything without breaking the bank :)
  • Jeremy Lindstrom
  • Codeman
    Its the ceos and parent companies that get most of the money, not the average joe game artist.
  • Mark Dygert
    I think its safe to assume the staffing numbers would pretty much mimic that graph. A single artist might fall below 1% of the 25% slice, especially when you factor in that is the budget for the whole art department not just salaries, it includes outsourcing, equipment ect.

    You might see a smaller slice going to CEO's but there are less of them so their actual individual slice of the pie is still bigger then your average grunt.
    It's not like one artists takes 25% of the profit from each game...
  • SHEPEIRO
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    SHEPEIRO polycounter lvl 13
    personnaly id like to see smaller cheaper games, i dont mean worse production values i would just preffer tosee 6-8 hour games with re-play value than sprawling epics that i have no time for.

    i dont see why they cost so much, th production cost of a hollywood film is far more than games yet theyre priced so high that buying new games is risky, if buyers are risk averse from cost then so are publishers and developers.

    anyway bollocks rant cos im still drunk from newyears
  • Ninjas
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    Ninjas polycounter lvl 14
    $60 USD now are worth about $30 1985 dollars (and that is not even counting the bullshit numbers they use to cook the CPI these days).

    In 1985 I remember buying games brand new for $48.

    I think games are a much better deal than they used to be.

    http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 16
    Remember the Neo Geo? $600 console with $200 games!
    I recall Super Grafx and Core Grafx having expensive games as well but they were even more niche than the Neo Geo.
  • Jesse Moody
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    Jesse Moody polycounter lvl 15
    Well looking at my shelf I can say I think games are worth 60 bucks. I could take my wife out to dinner for around 35-40 and a movie 20-30 and oh yeah the sitter. 30-50 bucks for the night. For a nice little 100-120 dollar night. Not counting gas, tips, extra drinks or snacks at the theater, etc.

    So for what would be around 5 hours of mild entertainment I could have 2 video games for my ps3 or 360 and that would surely bring a lot more hours of entertainment then 1 single 2 hour movie.

    Stop being a bunch of cheap asses!!

    haha
  • Richard Kain
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    Richard Kain polycounter lvl 14
    Stop being a bunch of cheap asses!!

    You make some very good points Jesse. But unfortunately I can never stop being a Cheap Ass. It's in my very genes. There's some tightwads on my father's side of the family, and several penny-pinchers on my mother's side. I am genetically predisposed to avoid paying full price for anything.

    When you think about it, gaming really has always been a somewhat expensive hobby. And I don't think everyone is getting upset by the price, but by the volume. As several people have pointed out, the price of games hasn't really gone up. In fact, it could be argued that it went down in the previous generation, and the adjustment up to $60 is just inflation catching up.

    And despite all this, the potential value of games has also increased. I mean, think about it. Back in the day most games were either unending arcade titles, or they were story-based. Most games either couldn't be beaten, or they could be beaten in a few short hours by experienced players. These days your average game will last you between fifteen and twenty hours. And that's on a single playthrough...oftentimes on the easy setting. Then there are all the unlockables and hidden secrets. $60 isn't really so much when you consider the volume of content most games provide.
  • snemmy
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    snemmy polycounter lvl 15
    Well looking at my shelf I can say I think games are worth 60 bucks. I could take my wife out to dinner for around 35-40 and a movie 20-30 and oh yeah the sitter. 30-50 bucks for the night. For a nice little 100-120 dollar night. Not counting gas, tips, extra drinks or snacks at the theater, etc.

    So for what would be around 5 hours of mild entertainment I could have 2 video games for my ps3 or 360 and that would surely bring a lot more hours of entertainment then 1 single 2 hour movie.

    Stop being a bunch of cheap asses!!

    haha

    Does your wife approve of this line of logic?
    :p
    lol
  • Sage
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    Sage polycounter lvl 16
    In 1990 games for NES sometimes were sold at 50 dollars if they were brand new or really popular, sometimes more. When Ninja Turtles came out for example, you know that awesome piece of crap that wasn't at all like the the arcade version, cost 50 bucks at some stores. So the prices for games in my eyes are pretty standard in my experience. Retailers try to make as much money as they can from these games. At some places you can buy Counterstrike full price :D for example. Publishers and retailers control the price of video games, it's a simple as that.

    Some games are worth 60 dollars, Warcraft 3 for example, but I usually can't afford them at that price so I wait until they come down in price. I still play that game for hours and hours...
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir ngon master
    10 years ago the ratio of pretty, to content, was around 2:10.

    now it's 10:2.

    i realise textures take up memory and all that jazz. but come on... can't i have ONE game that not only looks good, but takes me forever to finish? Gothic 3 did a good job...
  • Jesse Moody
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    Jesse Moody polycounter lvl 15
    snemmy actually my wifes a gamer too so sometimes she'll just say lets go get some new games or download some new songs for Rock Band 2.

    She has beaten Fable 2 3 times already so she could get all the endings and is forcing me to build her a new computer by the time Sims 3 comes out.
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 16
    could these rumblings mean the hardcore gamer crowd won't keep the industry afloat if the casual market dries up?
  • rooster
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    rooster mod
    some games are worth it some aren't. simple!
    but you can only go by quality of experience, not hours played. if its 9 shit hours, then what's the point..
    cod4 took me about 5 hours of intense fun, and was awesome
    fallout 3 took about 100 hours of slow burning exporation, and was awesome
    both worth the asking price, no question
  • oXYnary
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    oXYnary polycounter lvl 16
    I'm might have something that puts games in perspectives. Richard, as a hobby. No, games are not expensive compared to some at least.. Example.

    My other hobby love (other than comics) is R/C Car Racing.

    Lets see, for the top of the line first class machine.. (1/10th Sedan)

    $420 Chassis kit Without Body/tires
    $250 Motor/ESC
    $250 2 Lipo Packs
    $220 Higher end charger and power supply
    $100 tools
    $230-500 High tier Programmable Remote.
    $20 Body
    $40 Tires for class.

    So your looking at around 1600!* Starting from scratch. Given most people work their way up to this. The point though is to show that games as far as a hobby aspect... Are nickels and dimes compared to others.

    (*Im not that crazy, I run a much smaller scale and have some sponsors to make things a bit cheaper).
  • acc
    Great, so we're all happy to pay $60 for Gears 2 and COD4 and Fallout 3. Now back to the actual issue which is every single game that isn't the biggest blockbuster of the month.

    That is the problem with high prices. It's not about "some games are worth it some aren't". It's a market that can't support anything but a couple of games at a time. People can only afford to buy blockbusters and the reality of the market, which we're seeing by poor sales of even high profile games + tons of canceled projects + studios shutting down is that it's not healthy to only encourage people to buy the biggest game out there! Right now everyone who isn't in charge of a massive franchise is shitting their pants because everyone is 100% reliant on huge blockbuster hits.

    Maybe those hits do really well at $60. That's fine for them, but everyone else is in trouble because of it. Luckily it's less of an issue now that independent development has revived and people are just moving to PSN/XBLA/Browsers.

    Oh hey look, PSN/XBLA/Browser games cost less. How coincidental.
  • notman
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    notman polycounter lvl 16
    From the hobby perspective: Sure, some people have a hobby racing cars, which can easily get into the hundreds of thousands. But other hobbies, like fishing, can be dirt cheap. Comparing hobbies to values is not an even comparison.
  • ElysiumGX
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    ElysiumGX polycounter lvl 16
    Model trains are an expensive hobby.
    I could take my wife out to dinner for around 35-40 and a movie 20-30 and oh yeah the sitter. 30-50 bucks for the night. For a nice little 100-120 dollar night. Not counting gas, tips, extra drinks or snacks at the theater, etc.

    A dinner for two could cost $20, a movie $15. Gas, don't drive far. Snacks at the theater?! Wtf, $5 for a drink? Get plenty to drink at dinner. You have fun Mr. Moneybags. :D

    She ... is forcing me to build her a new computer by the time Sims 3 comes out.

    Same here. :( And EA is milking those Expansions. $$$

    The topic is, there are many games that don't give you an equal value in entertainment as the price you paid for it. For the most popular, best selling, high production games...$60 may seem fair. I buy a lot of $20 games. Get several months of play out of them. The Orange Box was a great deal...I'm still playing TF2. $45 for L4D, and I believe I've gotten all that in return. Perhaps more with the next update.

    Fishing was a good comparison. Cheap. No frustration. Rewarding. Can involve friends. Great visuals. Force feedback. etc.
  • Rick Stirling
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    Rick Stirling polycounter lvl 14
    A dinner for two for $20?

    That's...about £14. £14 wouldn't cover the wine.
  • Mark Dygert
    ElysiumGX wrote: »
    Model trains are an expensive hobby.
    Sure there are more expensive hobbies, I could collect classic cars, or acquire antiques from ancient times. But for a lot of console gamers it became a hobby during the PS-PS2 Xbox era and they're hobby jumped up in price. People will always groan about higher prices for things they precieve as the same old product.
    ElysiumGX wrote: »
    A dinner for two could cost $20, a movie $15. Gas, don't drive far. Snacks at the theater?! Wtf, $5 for a drink? Get plenty to drink at dinner. You have fun Mr. Moneybags. :D
    $20... maybe if you order off the kiddie menu, drink only water, don't order salads and skip desert. If I'm out for a nice night with my wife, I'm not talking her to a taco truck and telling her to order anything as long as its a napkin and a salsa packet, just to save some cash... Also its easy to spend $5 on "drinks" for one person in one night. Even a cheap glass of wine or most beers are close to $4.00.
    ElysiumGX wrote: »
    I buy a lot of $20 games. Get several months of play out of them. The Orange Box was a great deal...I'm still playing TF2. $45 for L4D, and I believe I've gotten all that in return. Perhaps more with the next update.
    I agree. With all of Valves games I've always gotten way more bang for my buck.

    Say what you will about the high cost of games, at least some deals can be found and most games do drop in price a few weeks or months after launch.
  • Darth Tomi
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    Darth Tomi polycounter lvl 12
    I always buy used. Never paid more than about $20-$25 for a game. Either wait for a sale or ebay it.
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