Are gamer’s being priced out?
Since the launch info of the next-generation consoles, PS5 and Xbox series X there has been a lot of talk about price. One of the prices in question happens to be the games themselves. A couple of weeks ago game companies started speculating that they would have to raise prices in order to contend with developing quality games on faster machines.
To confirm this suspicion a recent interview with IDG President and CEO Yoshio Osaki (strategic consulting, and data analytics) said that game pricing has not moved since 2005, whereas other areas of entertainment, such as TV and movie pricing has increased. The examples that Yoshio Osaki gave were comparisons to Netflix, who have increased subscriptions by 100% and cable TV packages (U.S.) with a rise of 105%. He also pointed out that next-gen game production costs have risen by between 200%-300%.
That’s all well and good, but there are a few things worth noting. I don’t know about you, but when I tune in to Netflix and want to watch the Witcher series I get the entire first season, and it’s complete without a patch on day one and has no bugs that stop my viewing pleasure. The same cannot be said for gaming. More often than not I purchase a game and as soon as the disc goes in I have a 20GB patch, despite getting the midnight release.
Then as I begin to play I realize that my game has some terrible bugs and issues (Ghost Recon: Breakpoint anyone?). Add to that there is a 90% chance I will need to shell out an extra thirty-odd quid for any DLCs, which 7 out of 10 times is mediocre at best and contains things such as skins and weapons which is simple coding as far as I am aware.
It would be like having your Netflix subscription and then having to pay and extra fiver each time you want to watch the last couple of episodes of your fave series. Or worse, having a bug that makes the screen go blank so you can’t see what’s going on (Like when you can’t complete a quest because its bugged). You can see where I’m going with this right? A price increase is fine as long as its worth it for me as a consumer. I appreciate companies have costs but clearly this depends on the company.
For example, I have a few games on Pre-order: Cyberpunk-£49.99, Star Wars Squadrons-34.99, and Marvels Avengers-54.99. I imagine they will likely have DLC’s, loot boxes, and micro-transactions (I’m guessing here). Again, I can’t see anyone wanting a loot box for Netflix! Pay a fiver and hope you get the series you want (I’m looking at you FIFA). As you can see from the above, the prices vary depending on the developer. My Netflix subscription never varies, regardless of the actors in the show.
If, as a company, your outgoings far exceed your income then perhaps a degree in business studies is required instead of charging gamer’s an extra tenner for nothing more than what they get now. If I buy a next-gen console I would expect to have better graphics, frame rate, etc.
And as my subheading suggests, the gamer’s of the world that are on lower incomes are going to miss out massively. Is gaming now going to be reserved for the elite and rich? Will we be destined to have pre-owned copies only, or wait until prices drop? If Sony and Microsoft had their way we would already be making all of our purchases digitally already. I, like many others, rely heavily on trading in my games. If I have to pay up to 60 quid for a basic game with no DLC or digital content it better be damn good and bug-free! Rant over!
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