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Gamers are overreacting to EA's ‘Star Wars’ controversy, publishers should raise prices: Analyst

KeyBanc Capital Markets says game publishers should raise prices for its titles due to the medium's low cost per hour of entertainment.

"If you take a step back and look at the data, an hour of video game content is still one of the cheapest forms of entertainment," the firm's analyst writes. "Quantitative analysis shows that video game publishers are actually charging gamers at a relatively inexpensive rate, and should probably raise prices."

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XiNatsuDragnel21d ago

Hell naw you moronic nut case. This was anti consumer practices . And it will stay the same or else.

4Sh0w21d ago (Edited 21d ago )

lol, Tell us how you really feel.

-Damm so EA used Star Wars as a trojan horse to create incentive to raise retail game prices overall.....now that's truly eeeeeeevil or The Darkside, whichever you prefer.

XiNatsuDragnel21d ago

Yes thanks for being anti consumers 😑

4Sh0w21d ago (Edited 21d ago )

XiNatsuDragnel,

This analyst is just doing what suits do, he's not paid to be your friend and I'm just reporting what publishers are hearing from Wall Street (with some humor in my comment only because of your response), I dont have to agree with it but gamers should be informed so they can make there voices heard on this issue as well.

UCForce20d ago (Edited 20d ago )

You are basically making it worse. My solution is this : 60$ game and expansion pack or either standalone dlc. It’s good enough for me and consumers. More greedy isn’t going help.

fiveby920d ago

What is it with these analysts? They cite "an hour of video game content is still one of the cheapest forms of entertainment". As if all forms of entertainment are based on dollars per hour (substitute your currency of choice). An hour of grind fest is not necessarily considered entertainment by everyone. So 4 hour movies are more enjoyable? If it's based on time then perhaps f2p games are the finest games of all since you need to spend nothing and can play without MT in many as well. Quality, not quantity. Sure having both is great but most would take quality over grind for the sake of gind.

Don't fall for this BS to justify price increases. If a publisher wants to increase their prices, by all means, do so. The market will decide if it is warranted. I think MT systems are so cheap to implement and offer very high margins that publishers prefer those systems. Even if only 1% of players buy the junk it's still worth their while. The only problem is, their existence can ruin the experience for the other 99% of players. And now, at leats wit SW BF2, many gamers pushed back.

I'm sure that financial analyst spends alot of time gaming. /s

PeaSFor20d ago (Edited 20d ago )

If you think that you can "just not buy any loot boxes" you are paying $80(because yes, we pay 79,99$ for a game in Canada) for an intentionally unpleasant experience.

UCForce20d ago (Edited 20d ago )

Ok, who disagree with me in my previous comment. What i’m trying to say is that a 60$ game and 20$ expansion pack like Horizon Zero Dawn and Frozen Wild.

Damthatsword20d ago

You don't really make much sense.

fiveby920d ago

@UCForce The only problem with expansions is the fine line of what is day 1 DLC and what is not. Holding back content for the purpose of selling it as an expansion feels wrong. Next thing you know base games are shells of their former self and reliant solely upon expansions. I am okay with expansions though especially if done like CDPR has with The Witcher 3.

_-EDMIX-_20d ago

Not really

you have to understand that game prices should have risen a long long long number of years ago based on inflation I mean what you're trying to say is game developers over the last 10 + years have been getting paid the same thing for doing more work

would you rather get paid the same thing while doing more work?

rainslacker20d ago (Edited 20d ago )

Dunno about that, but I remember this kind of stuff happened with online passes back in the days. Or when EA first tried to justify MT to begin with.

@Ed

Game prices went up about 13 years ago when last gen started. They went up based on development cost.

For every game price increase, it's always been based on development costs coupled with user base. Every last one. There are several generations where games were actaully cheaper based on inflation, but the average consumer doesn't consider inflation when looking at how much they're spending.

For the most part, when I spend $60 today, it's $10 more than the $50 game I brought for my SNES. Half a hundred is about the same to the average person, and only banks and companies care about inflation.

In any case, the market is bigger now, so based on economies of scale, and production costs remaining about the same as they were at the start of last gen, game prices should actually go down. They wont, because publishers know the customer will pay $60, but that's a different issue.

Gaming is one of the few consumer level products that doesn't go down in price as production costs stay the same or decrease, while the market for the product increases.

ChickenOfTheCaveMan20d ago

Just like Disney used the new Star Wars to f*** movie theaters.

trooper_19d ago

Well, people don't enjoy being ripped off.

Crazy, I know.

+ Show (9) more repliesLast reply 19d ago
-Foxtrot21d ago ShowReplies(1)
Christopher21d ago (Edited 21d ago )

Cost of entertainment based on hours played is not how you determine price. You determine price by market trends and desired profit margins, which are relative to cost to develop and market.

Let alone it is this concept alone that have given many games a bad name by using filler content of no value that is comparatively easy to develop versus well designed and tailored single experience content that is more memorable.

Also, by this logic, they hold that all movies are equal when in reality we pay $12 to see an opus as we do a mindless action adventure movie. Even further you can buy a movie for $10 and watch it hundreds of times without being asked to pay any extra for it.

fenome21d ago

Ecactly, this would be like paying for a movie by the minute or a book by the page.

EA can charge $1 or $100 dollars for their product as far as I'm concerned because they aren't getting a dime from me.

AnubisG20d ago

Very true!!! I actually know someone who said the same thing this analyst is saying and we constantly get into arguments over this. What a stupid way to look at video games per hour of play / cost to consumer.

_-EDMIX-_20d ago

That's the thing I don't even think anything is wrong that much with the microtransactions themselves as much as the progression system being altered purposely incentivize the purchases

rainslacker20d ago

My TV provides me with more hours of entertainment than a single video games. I mean, tens of thousands of hours over an extended period of time. Maybe TV's should raise prices too.

This analyst is idiotic. It's not about price per hour of entertainment, it's about value of a game. That price is determined by what people are willing to spend. Movies may cost $10 for 2 hours. But that $10 is apparently required for the movie to make money on ticket sales. But a Blu-Ray may cost $20, but multiple people can watch it. You can watch it multiple times. You can rent it for a few bucks. But it's the price people are willing to spend.

While there is some merit to charging a price that is required to deliver the product, one has to consider how much you can make based on the projected sales. At that point, the budget to produce said product is determined, well before anything goes into production.

Ultimately, charging more for a game doesn't mean that it'll make more money. If the price goes too high, and is based on hours of entertainment, then a qualitative way to determine how many hours a person will play the game has to be standardized, and ahdered to, as shorter games would realistically have to be cheaper, despite at times costing much more to produce.

For instance, removing the MP from UC4, you could say the base game is about 12 hours. Since most people don't play a game twice, and most don't even complete a full game, keeping it at 12 hours that'd be $5 per hour. UC4 probably had a production and marketing budget of $100 million dollars.

But then you have a MP game like COD, and you can easily get 40-60 hours out of it, if not more depending on the player. Well, that's only $1 per hour. COD development budget is probably in the 50 million range, and marketing is subsidized by the console maker. So the game costs half as much to make than UC4, and you can get more play time out of it(for purpose of example), yet by this analysts assumption you should pay significantly more for COD.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 19d ago
wonderfulmonkeyman21d ago

Good lord, no.
Microtransactions aren't the fix the development industry in gaming needs for their financial woes.
They need to stop over-inflating their budgets by focusing so much on pixel counts and tech, and just start getting more inventive/creative with the kinds of gameplay they offer.
Condense your games so that there's a lot of content regardless of the games' world sizes. Work on crunching down file sizes, use new visual styles, hire new talents with fresh outlooks, and take some risks that don't make your budgets jump every shark in the pacific.

It's probably not an easy thing to do, but it's certainly better than trying to make the consumer foot the bill for your own bad practices.
$59.99 in the states is already a pretty tough price for a new AAA game, for the average consumer, and send a prayer/spare a thought for the poor Australians who quite often have to pay even higher prices than that, not to mention others that are worse off.

If you want another video game crash, then sure, raise prices and keep pulling this microtransaction BS.
If you're smart, however, find better ways than trying to price gouge the very consumers you depend on to even be able to AFFORD to make your games.

Ittoittosai20d ago

They just need to bring realistic expectstion on ROI and slash marketing budgets those two moves alone will do wonders. These days if a game isnt make a 400% return on profit ita considered a failure. They keep crying about server cost and the like then stop doing a MP with god damn game especially onea that dont need it.

EatCrow20d ago

What financial ways is what im wondering about.
They make many millions and if MTs have been making them more then what the make from selling the game then damn theyre making buttloads of cash. Maybe the higher ups should stop lining their pockets with so much cash and let that trickle down to the actual hard workers.

Ashlen21d ago (Edited 21d ago )

The problem here is that these companies that are making billions in profits have fooled the weak minded masses into believing they need to charge more. Then you get clowns like this who likely haven't even played a game and just want to see the value of there stock investment rise telling people who can't think for themselves or be aware of even the most obvious facts how to think.

Anyone can look at EA's or WB's or Activision's or Ubisoft's financial reports to see they don't need to raise prices or use MT's to make billions. And the sad thing is, it's not the publishers that actually struggle to keep things afloat that are pushing this. It's the absolute most profitable ones who even when they are literally the most profitable companies in the entire entertainment industry still want more.

Anyone who believes these people seriously needs to get a knock on the door from natural selection for the betterment of all humanity.

AspiringProGenji21d ago (Edited 21d ago )

Games already raised over $60. What about deluxe, gold, and collectors edition that offer you a more complete experience over the standart $60 version? The $60 dollar thing is just a myth, so FU mister analyst

yomfweeee20d ago

Call it what you want, but you pay more for extra content in the future. Most games don't have that and $60 is standard.

rpvenom20d ago

I'd rather pay $99 for the full game.. versus spending money on microtransactions on giving me a CHANCE to get a certain item or boost... So I personally would rather they jack up the price of games and give me the entire product versus making me gamble on nonsense.

yeahokwhatever20d ago

There's no reason for games to even be 60$. Not everything's price NEEDS to raise. Some things even get cheaper in time(food, music, certain electronics, etc.). There are actually quite a lot of sub-60$ games out there, and most of the time, even the 60$ games drop to 40 within 2 months of release. MTs exist not because studio's can't make money on 60$, but rather because studios know they can make MORE money. Same with seasons passes and the rest of it. The reason we see so much "greed" is because people have been willing to pay. Battlefront 2 was a reaction to them crossing what most consider to be "the line".

Sciurus_vulgaris21d ago

Plenty of other AAA games made profit off just their raw sales alone at $60. Battlefront 2 microtransactions are there to just grab cash from impulsive spenders. Heck the microtranscations and loot grates are the games progression system. A progression system with no concept of fairness and gameplay balance. Battlefront 2 has some of the worst MTs I have ever seen in a AAA game.