Forums

Topic: The Price is Right? Gaming Price Discussion

Posts 21 to 40 of 45

BAMozzy

@Th3solution drops in price for things like Black Friday could occur for games like RDR2. Whether it remains at that price after though is debatable. As for 'how much' of a discount will depend on the game in my opinion and the retailer. I have noticed that some price drops - that may only be a few £'s/$'s from launch - are made to seem 'bigger' by quoting the RRP as the base price. Save £10 on RDR2 from the £50 RRP price yet was on sale for £43 at launch so effectively only saving £3.

Permanent price drops are likely to occur when a game isn't selling the numbers expected/wanted or based on competition prices too. Most retailers will buy their stock from a distributor and then price their game depending on the competition rather than the recommended RRP. Its better to sell at lower profit margins than not sell any at the higher profit margins because everywhere else is cheaper. If they have a lot of stock left after the initial weeks after release, they will drop the price to encourage sales. Others, who may well be selling well may drop the price too to remain competitive.

I wouldn't be surprised if Publishers get their 'profit' from selling the game to distributors rather than to us the gamer. That is probably a 'fixed' profit from each game regardless of the retailer price. The variable profit is with the retailer, how much they buy the game from the distributor and the price they can charge based on the competition prices. No doubt the major retailers buy in bulk so get a much better price per unit than small independent stores who may not buy as many copies. Therefore places like Amazon and Game can charge less and still have a decent profit margin. If a game isn't selling, its still better to get your money back than have that money tied up in stock. If they can sell it for Cost + some margin of profit, then bonus and I have no doubt that in some cases, some games may well be sold at cost or less because its better to get some money back than no money back, clear the storage for stock that is selling well and is profitable. Its not that different really from any other retail business - not just gaming.

I have no doubt that long term, the base price can drop too - the price the game costs to a distributor and then to the retailer. After the cost of development (around £40m seems to be the figure for an avg AAA game) and any marketing costs are recuperated, the only 'costs' incurred are those of the materials, printing and distribution. However, retailers and all those in the chain back to the publishers will be aware of well the game is selling and will keep the price high to maximise profit margins. Why drop the price if people are still willing to spend the asking price - even if they could now? A game, like any other product, will find its price point, a point where its selling enough to keep those in the 'selling' business happy. Maybe they could drop the price and sell more but its whether or not that price drop would sell enough 'more' to offset the smaller profits per game. If you are only getting say £100 profit from every 20 games sold and drop the price and only sell 5 more games in the same time frame but only get £80 profit, then its better to keep the price higher and sell a few fewer.

Of course this is based purely on Physical editions. Digital is a very different thing and its the lack of competition that keeps prices high. They know they can charge RRP (or higher prices) because you can't go to another digital store and pay less money. They may try and make 'digital' seem more appealing - instant access, pre-downloads on pre-orders so you can play at 'mid-night' on the day of release (or as soon after when you first turn on your console) etc but they are still selling just a licence to play the game that is locked to you where as a Physical release is selling you a 'general' licence. The game itself isn't what you are are buying and you never own the code - the code is necessary of course to play but unless you have a licence to access that code, its unusable. When you trade in a 'physical' game, you are really just trading in your licence - hence you can't play the games even if all the game code is stored on your HDD. The point is though that you are not paying $60/£45 for a game, just the licence to access that game.

The game itself belongs to the either the developer or the publisher. Activision for example own Crash Bandicoot 1-3 even though these were made by Naughty Dog. Naughty Dog needed permission to use Crash Bandicoot in Uncharted 4 even though they were the ones that built that game. I picked Crash as that was not a 'licenced' character like Spider-Man (owned by Marvel) and not sure who owns the Spider-Man game (Sony? Insomniac? - Maybe need permission from Marvel too if they wanted to release it on a different gen in the future because of Spider-Man being owned by Marvel - its more complicated than Crash) but something ND themselves created yet cannot use without permission now. Bungie can't use 'Halo' either despite creating that game, the artwork and characters. As such, you aren't paying for a game - you are paying for a licence to access the game which is owned by a company. Of course no company would want to spend money on a project that they cannot recuperate their money back by selling enough licences but they have the 'game' as an Asset that they can make money from in other ways - like merchandising or even selling the code, the license(s) of any copyrighted logo's/characters etc, Assets etc. As we have seen in the past, Activision had a big lawsuit with the original creators of CoD and had some game taken off the market for using 'CoD' assets. You can't take a 'CoD' gun and stick it in your own FPS game because that asset is owned by Activision. Again this is more proof that you don't own 'anything' other than a 'license' to play the game - the game is supplied to you so you can access it but you don't own any of the game itself.

What you really should ask is, are the licences worth the price. I am sure that Sony/MS with their conditional licenses for PS+/GwG games aren't as 'valuable' as a 'full license - not that it makes much differences to most of us as we still get the full access to the full game (as long as we keep up our subscriptions) and can seem little different to actually purchasing a game - but they are literally only giving you a 'conditional licence' but to access that game, you still have to download it but like all other games, you never 'own' the game itself - just a license.

A pessimist is just an optimist with experience!

Why can't life be like gaming? Why can't I restart from an earlier checkpoint??

Feel free to add me but please send a message so I know where you know me from...

PSN: TaimeDowne

Th3solution

@BAMozzy Very insightful, sir, as always.
Do developers get a “cut” of the sales profits or do they get a flat reimbursement from the publisher after the game is ready to release, or a combination of both?

I’m wondering because sometimes I feel like I want to buy a game to “support” a developer I like or a franchise, but if the sales success of a game goes primarily to the publisher, then there is very little point in doing that.

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

————————

Forum Megapoll 2020 - Best Video Game Box Art: Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Special Edition

BAMozzy

@Th3solution I would expect the Developer - or at least the bulk of those that work for a Publisher (like Dice, Treyarch etc) to get a flat wage. They get paid over the course of the years they worked on the game just the same as everyone else employed in a regular job. I wouldn't be surprised if they do get some bonuses but in general, they get a regular wage over the course of the year. They aren't working for nothing and then get paid depending on how successful that game is.

Publishers obviously make money based on how successful their titles are. However they are also generally answerable to shareholders and they must make more money this year than they did last year. EA and Activision also have to fund those studio's they own, pay those wages of the developers and their running costs, pay the advertising etc as well as make a profit - its why they may sell/close studio's down because they cannot pay the wages and running costs as well as continue to make increasing profits to keep shareholders etc happy.

Then you have independents, like CDPR who will make deals with publishers so they get some of the profit from sales and re-invest that money back into the company, pay back investors etc.

A pessimist is just an optimist with experience!

Why can't life be like gaming? Why can't I restart from an earlier checkpoint??

Feel free to add me but please send a message so I know where you know me from...

PSN: TaimeDowne

Jaz007

I think $60 is a good starting point. It’s worth if you want at launch, but you can wait otherwise. Nintendo is the exception as it brings down their games for me when it’s a risk to try it, but they want $60 a year after launch. I think all digital is a very scary idea because its prices don’t drop though. Flash sales aren’t good enough to compensate for overall higher prices either. I’m okay with Steam on PC, but not on consoles.
@BAMozzy Excellent point about DLC and MT being a hidden rising cost on our end.
I think MT’s in something like Destiny in particular are awful. Cosmetic items are still a part of the game and that DLC adds up.

Jaz007

BAMozzy

@Jaz007 As someone who plays Destiny, I don't have too much issue with their Micro-transactions. Nearly everything can be earned through just playing the game - every time you earn enough XP, you get an Engram which will give random Eververse items. If you don't want them, you can break them down into 'bright dust' and use that bright dust to buy from a selection of items on sale and things like emotes, ornaments etc are only one time items - in other words, you won't get duplicates. There are bounties too to earn bright dust so overall Destiny's is one of the better options and I have NEVER spent additional money yet still have all the 'exotic' cosmetic items that Eververse sells - just by playing the game. The first 3 levels every week are at earned at a higher rate so you can get the first 3 Eververse engrams in a an hour or so per character - that's 9 in a few hours of gaming. There are a few items though that are sold for real money only - a couple of 'Whisper' camo's and an emote which are ridiculously over-priced for just cosmetics - I think they are around £8. The fact that you can earn everything by just playing, earn bright dust to buy items from Eververse if they happen to sell the items you specifically wanted, doesn't rgive many duplicates but has a higher chance of getting something you don't have its one of the better implementations of Micro-transactions.

I am NOT defending MT's at all and in my opinion, they should be banned from AAA games entirely. Destiny's is more like a 'random' reward, with a limited selection being offered weekly to buy with 'in-game' currency or you can spend 'real' money to get more random rewards if you want. Its not like some games where the random rewards are earned so slowly and full of 'rubbish' so the chance of getting exactly what you want is incredibly small. I already have every exotic item from the halloween event in Destiny - that's in a week of just playing the game and NOT spending anything!

I agree that when Destiny introduced Eververse, it was very poorly implemented but now its possible to get (almost) everything without spending anything just by playing. I can live without the two Whisper ornaments, the 'IT' dance and two (upcoming) Thunderlord ornaments as I refuse to buy any Silver but I have all the exotic ships, sparrows, ghosts, the other ornaments, as well as all the shaders (which can also be bought from your collections too btw if you have had at least 1 before) and still have over 20,000 bright dust if Tess is selling something I want that week. A lot of games don't offer a selection to buy with in-game currency and Destiny's are only cosmetic so don't affect the game in anyway - whether you have them or not. Changing the colour scheme of armour/weapons is not exactly game changing like getting a weapon or particular variant with bonuses.

A pessimist is just an optimist with experience!

Why can't life be like gaming? Why can't I restart from an earlier checkpoint??

Feel free to add me but please send a message so I know where you know me from...

PSN: TaimeDowne

WanderingBullet

@Th3solution So much for waiting for a price drop, SCVI's Deluxe Edition is already sold out on Amazon.

Huntin' monsters erryday.

Th3solution

@WanderingBullet lol, ah well, the best laid plans and all that .... so much for predictions. I still feel a price drop in the next month, though. I’ll keep my eyes peeled.

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

————————

Forum Megapoll 2020 - Best Video Game Box Art: Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Special Edition

Octane

@Jaz007 Digital-only also means no competition between retailers. I don't really pay €60 for a game at launch, because there are always at least one retailer asking €58, or €55, etc. If everything is in one store, there's hardly any competition. And feel like whenever digital-only is established, streaming will be next, and we'll be even worse off. So I don't get it when people are rooting for a digital-only future; it's going to be awful lol.

Octane

Th3solution

@Octane Yeah, I’m currently trying to decide whether I get Red Dead Redemption 2 now at release or whether to wait. I just saw GameStop is offering a $10 reward of in-store credit if you buy it there at launch. So effectively the price becomes $50 instead of $60, so I think I might go ahead and do that. I’m unlikely to find it cheaper than $50, possibly not even on Black Friday.

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

————————

Forum Megapoll 2020 - Best Video Game Box Art: Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Special Edition

themcnoisy

@Th3solution there isn't one price you could hang your hat on. For me £60 is about right for AAA unique games like RDR2, Gow, Zelda botw, hzd etc. Built from the ground up with big teams involved. I will pay about £40 for annual released games like pes, ass creed, cod, codemasters racing games etc. £30 is the right price point for remasters. £15 is my preferred price point for Indies.

Now with micros and map packs etc. They just need to go. With the advent of online gaming and the fact we pay psplus I would like to see a bigger subscription service say it's £70 per year for psplus. The £60 is kept by Sony for our current psplus benefits but £5 is split between the top 20 online games of the first 6 months of the year and £5 for the other half. That's approx £200,000,000 for online games to keep servers on and produce content for the year. £5,000,000 if you creep into that top 20. More than enough to keep people in work and get rid of the bs we see today and Increased competition to innovate and keep people engaged.

Forum Best Game of All Time Awards

PS3 Megathread 2019: The Last of Us
Multiplat 2018: Horizon Zero Dawn
Nintendo 2017: Super Mario Bros 3
Playstation 2016: Uncharted 2
Multiplat 2015: Final Fantasy 7

PSN: mc_noisy

Octane

@themcnoisy The MTX aren't used to keep the people in work. Most AAA games are profitable after their opening weekend. They don't need the MTX; even without they they would be very profitable. It's just an extra on top of it because they know they can get away with it, because apparently there are people willing to pay for them.

Octane

themcnoisy

@Octane I never mentioned mtx other than to condemn them and I fully realise that big games are making ridiculous money. However my second paragraph is blue wave thinking, the online games will be going big to make the top 20 cut and we won't need mtx in any form as the dough is already there.

Forum Best Game of All Time Awards

PS3 Megathread 2019: The Last of Us
Multiplat 2018: Horizon Zero Dawn
Nintendo 2017: Super Mario Bros 3
Playstation 2016: Uncharted 2
Multiplat 2015: Final Fantasy 7

PSN: mc_noisy

Jaz007

@themcnoisy I would be okay with this solution. It's just not okay outside of FTP games. and then once you enjoy a FTP game, you wish you just pay a premium to re-balance not to encourage MTs. No that there are very many good FTP games though.
What we really need, it for game companies to buy back their stock so annoying shareholders don't hold them to short-term profits all the time.

Jaz007

BAMozzy

Sony have around 20-25m people subscribed to PS+ that's around £100m a year allowing for differences in exchange rates. That's more than enough to maintain servers - especially as some companies (like Activision) have their own dedicated servers as well as the console acting as a 'host' server in a lot of games.

We all know that AAA games generally sell enough to be profitable in the first few weeks or so - some may take a bit longer depending on cost of development and advertising but a LOT of games are profitable after a 1m or so in sales and some that are profitable before they even release with pre-orders.

We don't always know how much companies 'waste' either on development - it can't be 'cheap' to cancel games and close down studio's. The fact that EA and Activision are releasing fewer games but have still seen massive growth in profits has from a business perspective, been the right move. Killing studios stops the outgoing cost of wages and running costs for the 2-3yrs before they release a game to start recuperating those costs. It also limits the risk of games not being as profitable as they hope - especially with competition from other releases. MTX and DLC can be made by a small handful of people that are not needed in the early stages of a new game being developed so have literally no cost to make and are extremely profitable too - the big reason that both EA and Activision have seen such big growth in the past couple of years. EA has had some 'flops' too with games like Titanfall 2, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Need for Speed: Payback, Battlefront 2 etc but these were still 'profitable'. Titanfall 2, the ultimate edition has been on sale for £5 on MS Store (possibly on PSN too but I bought the physical edition for PS4 and haven't bothered looking on PSN to see its price) - A game that released between Battlefield and Cod, struggled to sell and even offered 'free DLC' maps so as not to split the user base yet was still profitable. EA though expected 9-10m in sales yet sold a quarter of what Titanfall managed in its first week (both physical and digital sales). Despite these high profile games not selling as expected or 'hoped' by EA, EA still managed to grow massively in the past 6-8yrs. Fifa Ultimate Teams is worth $800m a year (at least it was a year or so ago) which is enough to make ~15 Mass Effect: Andromeda's a year (which cost around $50m/£40m to make) and Activision say there Micro-transactions are worth $2bn a year...

Its why these companies would rather have this type of content as its incredibly cheap to produce and virtually all profit - in other words very little outlay for massive profit. Why spend $50m on making a game over 2-3yrs when you can spend almost nothing and make more profit? It wouldn't be too bad if we were seeing that being invested in games, offering more content - even if some of it comes after release in the form of DLC expansions, more new games instead of the same 'few' year after year - a growth in their portfolio instead of a reduction...

At the end of the day though, ALL gamers will vote with their wallets and decide what a game is worth to them. If a game is worth pre-ordering and having on day 1 to a person, then they will pay that much. I really don't get the mindset of people that complain about price drops after a game has released - they were 'happy' to pay that much to buy it on Day 1 - of not they should have waited until it dropped to a price they were happy with. Its the same with Consoles or other hardware too - If you can't afford it or don't think its worth the money (as we all value things differently), then you can wait! I can't afford ALL the games I want every year - especially not if I buy ALL on day of release so I decide which I want, which I think will be worth getting on day of release when games are at their most expensive and which I can happily wait for in a sale. The price I am willing to pay is dependent on the game, what aspects of it appeal and how much I value it to be compared to my budget, my expectations and my desire to play it. A game I am excited for is something I am likely to pay more for than a game I am only slightly interested in....

A pessimist is just an optimist with experience!

Why can't life be like gaming? Why can't I restart from an earlier checkpoint??

Feel free to add me but please send a message so I know where you know me from...

PSN: TaimeDowne

NecuVise

@Th3solution I haven't read the whole thread so I'll just reply to OP.

Games have been more expensive back in cartridge age but got cheaper with the rise of discs and only got to a 60 usd price tag at the beginning of last gen. Publishers regularly post record breaking profits, so I'm not sure where all this "they earn less than before" comes from.

Raising the base price won't stop exploitative practices like dlcs, microtransactions, half products at launch etc it will just bring more money to the greedy and that's it.

Also, many forget how big digital became, and this is where publishers earn much more money because they share profits 30/70% and that's without any manufacturing and distribution costs. And if we're talking about first party like Sony, then they get 100% of profits which was unimaginable back it those days.

One more thing which is specific to this gen is how easier it is to develop games because of x86 architecture so obviously cheaper.

So, if you ask me, considering all sources of profits publishers have today games should actually become cheaper. But that's not going to happen and it will remain at 60 usd for at least one more generation.

Europeans have been less fortunate as digital prices have raised in some places to 70 euro and that's shameful really.

NecuVise

NecuVise

@themcnoisy you want to pay more? That's and interesting 💭. I don't know why all people think that we play games on Sony or Microsoft servers when for the majority of games it isn't true at all. And let's not forget that Sony raised the annual price of psplus by 10 usd/euro last year and we still have the same discounts, same occasional downtime of psn, same two games per month (with albeit improved selection for the majority of this year). So why does anyone think more expensive service will bring something more? Let's say they rise it to 70, so after a few years someone will come and say oh they could improve this and this and this we should have 80 price tag and so on and on.

I'm bemused why people think giving more money to companies will make them charitable when they are just businesses and they care for profits and that's it. Even if they do things which are beneficial to us it's still for profits. They aren't charity organizations and that's okay, they are here to profit and they should profit, but let's just adjust our expectations and the stance on them.

NecuVise

Octane

@NecuVise The €70 price tag for digital is so weird when games can often be found for €55 physically at launch. Maybe that's the result of many competing retailers versus one digital storefront.

Octane

This topic has been archived, no further posts can be added.