Top Game Industry People Question High Game Prices

Nintendo,s CEO, Satoru Iwata, was one of the first in the game industry to voice his opinion that next gen video game prices were getting too expensive. This minority opinion among game publishers was unique. But several other voices in the industry are beginning to see the wisdom of Iwata,s comments and are siding with his views. On a pod cast released by GDC Radio, several industry leaders commented upon the state of price points for video games. Not all were in agreement, but the views expressed by these individuals do shed light on what the game companies are thinking.

Brian Eddy, a game designer and project lead for Midway games, expressed his views on the difficult position that game companies find themselves in when trying to reach a proper price point for video games, “It’s that quandary of ‘the production costs are going up, so we have to charge more to get the money back’, but I think it does remove some of the audience. And it removes more of the mass audience than the hardcore gamers. They can’t simply afford that many games.”

Eddy took the position of the consumer and continued, “If I can buy two [games] for $30, I may just buy those two for $30, even if they are not as good as the $60 game, because I feel like I am getting more value, and just more variety of gameplay. I think it affects sales. And the numbers and units that we can sell passed the hardcore gamers.”

Todd Howard, executive producer for Bethesda Softworks, home of The Elder Scrolls franchise, commented that affordable games would increase sales. He stated, “…despite making huge games, I think games are way too expensive. I’m a proponent of a $19 price point. What [if] a DVD or a movie was $60? How much research [would you] do on the internet to find the right movie to buy? I just think that, right now, more games would sell more copies if they were cheaper. The main reason that publishers get antsy is because we have to make really sure bets because if [the title is] not a great game – there’s not a lot of people who are going to put down $50 or $60.”

Evan Wells, game designer for Naughty Dog, disagreed and said that video games were still a good value by saying, “I think that compared to going out to see a movie, even at $60 a game, video games are a bargain. I think that for the time being a small increase is completely warranted.”

While Wells, statement that a video game is a bargain compared to seeing a film, the initial outlay of cash still causes sticker shock for consumers, regardless of the entertainment value of the game. The bottom line is that the video game industry is in desperate need of business, and with price points of next gen video games costing $60 and up, the consumer won,t have full shopping carts loaded with games for their next gen machines.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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