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Digital Games Are A Secret Price Increase

Cinelinx - " If you are a gamer, you often run into arguments beyond the fanboy spectrum. These arguments are either “mobile/”Free”-to-play games are taking over the world” or that digital editions are going to be standard soon. The second one is the focus here. It seems that publishers are hell bent on trying to push digital in our face. They don’t do a very good job at it, but they are desperate to push retail aside and make digital the norm. Other industries (most notably the music industry) has already gone this path, but why do they want it so bad? Well when a publisher wants something, you know very well that it means money. These digital games are a secret price increase on consumers. "

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oODEADPOOLOo1179d ago

Pretty great article I figured digital would be a one way deal for a while. Its one of the reasons I don't buy digital unless there's a sale, speaking of which its funny how steam has more frequent sales at a deeper discount that you never see on console. Steam is the ultimate digital platform for gaming and yet they do not keep prices at $60 for long, probably because they know it wont sell well staying at that price. Something publishers on console seem to be getting away with since consumers on console are not used to seeing digital games discounted and do not expect it. For the most part. Yet people still buy physical over digital a majority of the time, so its not likely digital will take off on consoles until they match more of the type of sales steam has.

Also interesting is why do downloads on steam seem to be faster then the same games on console?

Soldierone1179d ago

I think the Steam thing may have to deal with ISP. I know my ISP knows the difference between a PC and PlayStation, and they will indeed throttle PlayStation.

(similar to how they throttle Netflix) maybe Steam just isn't "popular" in the main stream so ISp's ignore it?

psuedo1179d ago

Ha change the mac address and boom your ps4 is now your unthrottled computer. Unless they realize it from the data streaming, which I dont know. I do know this though. The place where we live (campground/trailer park) has free wifi. They isp doesnt allow xbox to connect period (either that or the greedy sob's dont pay for a good package) so I change my mac address to that of my kindle. Bam im magically connected. Pisses me off to no end.

Darkstares1179d ago

How much do the service providers charge to put the games on the store? Apple charges 30% and I think Steam does too. So there is cost associated even going digital that's because they spent millions building the infrastructure to provide the stores and the services that come with it.

SuperBlur1179d ago (Edited 1179d ago )

they used to have a not so great download service but they since improved it A LOT

http://store.steampowered.c...

is why download speed is consistent

they dont have a deal with ISP's , made me laugh tho

mhunterjr1179d ago (Edited 1179d ago )

It's not a secret price increase, it's an obvious profit margin increase.

Yes it would be nice if the publishers passed these savings onto customers, but in their eyes, their product didn't become less valuable simply because it became cheaper to distribute.

I think we'll see efforts to increase the value consumers see in digital content before we see publishers outright make digital games cheaper.they'll be attaching perks to digital purchases that physical buyers won't see...

chuckyj11179d ago

I's called the "Convenience" factor. Of course they are cheaper to bring to the market why? Nothing physical needed. No discs, No instruction manuals and no boxes they also cut the middle man out of the picture (game out-lets). Game publishers also don't need to worry about supply and demand anymore.

But, yet with all those cuts there is almost always NO discount on the digital copy of the game. Often times when the physical copy of the game is discounted the digital copy stays the same price.

MS is really pushing the digital aspects with it's latest firmware update that allows external USB 3.0 HDDs that allow you to take all your games with you (So long as their digital) sign into your friends Xbox and have access to your whole digital games library.

Its like asking why a 20 oz. bottle of soda costs more than a 1 liter bottle of soda. Its strictly Convenience. Some people pay for it... Other consumers wont.

Death1179d ago

Perhaps the servers, building that house them, A/C to keep them cool and electricity that runs them aren't free. There is a small chance their ISP isn't running a charity either. What are the chances people are also employed to keep all these things going? While some things are cut out like retailers and packaging, digital distribution also has costs that packaged games don't.

chuckyj11178d ago (Edited 1178d ago )

Read the breakdown costs of making an XBL game. Not that expensive.
http://www.totalxbox.com/79...

games submitted through [email protected] program have a recurring cost of $19.00 a month to maintain your URL everything else is a one time bill.

So....Plus everything you mentioned... umm would also be needed for almost every game released this gen... Remember online multiplayer games require servers as well anyways..

Death1178d ago

Different servers chief.

iceman061178d ago

I get what you are saying. But, redundancy can reduce all of those costs. As a company, it would make sense to have one division to house all of that. Therefore, you wouldn't have to have all of that per game. So, over time, they would still be making much more per digital sale than physical. I understand that the IP has a perceived value, but I also understand the we as the consumers actually determine its overall worth. Otherwise, if we are willing to pay then they are willing to sell. I am not afraid of a digital future. However, I would like to know that there is more benefit to me than just not having to leave the house.

0P-Tigrex1179d ago (Edited 1179d ago )

Want to know why i don't fully support digital games?? If my Ps3 or Ps4 were to break.. i would no longer have those games. There is the convenience of just purchasing a game online instead of driving to the store. Microsoft saw this with their DRM policies..perhaps they just acted too soon? It seems as if both companies were predominately physical in regards to discs are moving towards the digital model.

thunderbird861179d ago

The games are tied to your account, you would still own them, just need a new system to play them on, which you would need a new system for physical games, too.

Death1179d ago

You own them as long as they are available on the servers. It's not the same as a disc in your hand.

thunderbird861178d ago

Why would they ever be taken off the server? It's a very rare occurrence you are trying to pass off as everyday.

Seafort1179d ago

Ubisoft 2 days ago added AC Unity and Far Cry 4 on steam for $60/£50/€60.

There was so many unhappy people on the steam forums about the price hike for UK and EU.

Today (2nd Aug) Ubisoft has removed both games from steam UK store but not the EU store.

Not sure why yet. Maybe a price correction or just couldn't be bothered with the hassle of the justifiable complaints.

Either way £50/€60 was approx $80.

This was just the normal edition. The Gold edition was £65/$109.

Death1179d ago

Factor in cost of living, taxes, health care, internet pricing/speed etc. It's easy to cherry pick things like this and make an example. I took my kids to McDonalds the other night. It set me back over $30 for a couple kids meals and Big Mac meals. In some third world countries that is as much as some make in a year. Clearly Mc Donalds is ripping me off. Get the point?

Seafort1178d ago

Well I guess Ubisoft disagree with you considering they removed the games on UK store.

This has nothing to do with cost of living or anything else you mentioned. That's just a cop out excuse.

It's all about greed.

The prices were relatively equal a couple of years ago now there's a $20 difference?

They'll be increasing the US prices soon too. So don't get too cosy with $60 price bracket :)

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