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Barlog: I Prefer an Initial Increase in Next-Gen Game Prices Over Cash-Grab Microtransactions

God of War director Cory Balrog has taken to Twitter to comment on the rumored looming next-gen game prices increase.

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BlackIceJoe77d ago

I prefer neither. Plus why do game developers think they have a right to increase the price of games?

I don't see Blu-Ray movies increasing in price. I've seen it for years that game developers think it is fine to keep raising the price and let me tell you it isn't alright.

I remember when games were 50, then 60 and now they think they're entitled to 70, no they are not. Plus I guarantee you if they start selling games for 70, these thieves will still sell microtransactions.

The one thing these developers that think raising the price is fine, need to understand people will be more picky about what games to buy. I can easily see people being less likely to try an experimental game over some thing they know they'll enjoy.

Plus people will be buying more open world RPGs than ever before, because the games like Elder Scrolls can easily last you over a thousand hours of gameplay, so no one will buy a five hour game for 70 dollars.

Also with the Coronavirus, people already are having to make hard choices on what to buy and I can easily see a higher price point keep people from buying a PS5 or Xbox Series X any time soon, so adding more expensive games to buy is a really stupid move, on the game industries part.

ColdSin76d ago (Edited 76d ago )

Detailed games (which everybody enjoys these days and go for) require bigger budgets. Bigger budgets require bigger fundings. Bigger fundings require costlier prices. If the cycle is not completed, game development for detailed games is unsustainable. Sony's ex exec have already discussed this a while ago and his solution was less detailed games (instead of increased pricing).

morganfell76d ago (Edited 76d ago )

There really is nothing we can do about it. Gamers aren't going to take a stand. I won't even pretend as come this fall when the games launch I will be forking over my money.

FlavorLav0176d ago (Edited 76d ago )

Not necessarily less detail, shorter quality experiences. Instead of 40-60+ hour games, Shawn Layden mentioned having more 12-25hr games w/ high replayability but with shorter development periods of 3-4yrs max instead of 5-6 year periods. That way we’d get more games out during the generations. I happen to agree with him, I get exhausted playing one game for 100s of hrs. I like the variety and if the game is good I’ll play it many times over still!

anonymousfan76d ago

@morganfell I'll probably have to pay 100$ or more per game here in 🇨🇦 and I agree... I'll probably swallow the pill and buy games still... But you can bet I'll be picky as hell and I'll buy physical just to resell any disappointing game.

rainslacker76d ago

Perhaps you can offer up some details and citation on what the average AAA game production budget is.

Seems instead of just parroting what the publishers are saying, who have their own motivations, we should be asking to hear what the average game production budgets are nowadays. I've heard them say that game prices have gone up for well on 15+ years now. What I haven't heard is how much they've gone up. What I have heard is how much revenue they're bringing in, and how many copies they're selling. Nothing suggests that many of these games aren't making money.

Investors do want to make more, and a higher price may be what's required to make that happen....that whole, "SP games are difficult" thing Spencer was talking about. But, I'd rather publishers not just bullsh*t the community, and be upfront about their motivations. People will still want the games.

indysurfn76d ago (Edited 76d ago )

Wow this board sounds JUST LIKE IT DID when EA started talking about how Micro transactions are the future...Resistance is futile....just give up and except it........oh wait is this EA....AGAIN! Dont be so quick to give up...a dn repeat corporate talking points WORD FOR WORD because you read an article. Think about this BOTH Microsoft and Sony have promisssed that. Games are suppose to be EASIER to develop coming next gen....and faster to get up and running. on all platforms....EA tried $70 dollars 7 years ago, and LOST. Stop drinking the flouride

RememberThe35776d ago

I don't really give a sht what developers think about pricing. I'll spend what I think the value of the game is. If I have to wait for that price than so be it.

Marquinho76d ago

Publishers that still do microtransactions will still do with or without a price increase.

Yppupdam76d ago

Sure... profits from the gaming industry still eclipse the movie and music industry combined. but, they are hurting....and need more money......well, You can empty your wallet into those super profitable publishers coffers, I'm sure they appreciate your sacrifice...with higher prices and even more micro-transactions.

agent453276d ago

Most games today lack free unlockables, free videogame content and modes (you can buy a single player mode and the like). Interestingly, the gameplay mechanics have not changed since the PS2 era.

garos8276d ago

they are getting cheaper than ever to make mate. Pay attention to more efficient technologies out there. Most of the budgets in game making goes into marketing anyways so spare with the bigger budget nonsense

cooperdnizzle75d ago

They said nothing about detail decreases, the opposite in fact.. They did say making games shorter but packing more of a punch with more detail and animation etc etc. I’m an adult now so I’m okay with. Also fine with super long rpgs for certain experiences.

I think games should stay right where they are at. It’s simple business. Fine ways to cut cost else where before trying a price hike. I’ve also read plenty of developers and creators stating that this gen should take less man power to develop because of the speed you can load in assets, change on the fly and load and get into your game. Also debugging will take far less time not to mention the fact that they are still using the same architectural system.

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Obscure_Observer76d ago

Plus I guarantee you if they start selling games for 70, these thieves will still sell microtransactions.

Indeed.

kayoss76d ago (Edited 76d ago )

Yes they will. But is it their fault that the consumer spend money on microtransactions? If there are willing buyers out there, theres will be someone making it to sell it to those buyers. So blame the consumers not the developers. Im against microtransactions, but its up to me to make sure i dont support this type of practices.
Its easy to lay blame on others because it hard to believe that youre at fault.

Silly gameAr76d ago

Yeah, all of those Microtransactions in God of War was horrible.

Rachel_Alucard76d ago

There's always going to be willing buyers because if even one whale decides to spend thousands on currency, he already cancelled out thousands and thousands of people who said no. The profit margins are ridiculous so it's impossible to just completely stop.

RgR76d ago

@kayoss

Yes it is their fault because game design can be manipulative and some succumb to that manipulation.

MTX use phsychological triggers to incentivize players. Add on top game design that pushes the player in that direction and yes it is 100% the devs fault.

rainslacker76d ago

Must be that time of the year where I actually agree with you for once.

People will pay the higher prices, and people that buy MT will still do so. Publishers aren't going to forgo one revenue stream just because they are getting more upfront. They'll just add on more to what they make up front.

Without fail, publishers have proven they aren't interested in just giving a good product at a fair price. They'll try to maximize potential revenue, and give lesser products to those who don't spend as much.

Generally speaking of course. Some publishers aren't that bad, and obviously not all games have MT.

cooperdnizzle75d ago

Kayoss. That’s just like saying don’t blame the drug dealer it’s the people who buy it. Well if it wasn’t offered in the first place, and it is pretty much illegal and unethical and some greedy business suit didn’t want more money at whatever cost, we wouldn’t have them in the first place.... It’s manly kids who buy these things and uneducated parents who let it happen.

I hate when people take the side of Corp greed, and support destroying my hobby and many others. Gaming since I was 4 years old. I’ll keep fighting for my favorite past time. Also they have done things like this in the past and the game industry almost went belly up. Maybe you want that but I’m good. I’ll take fair practice and honest business. Watch get Greedy in any business and watch it go belly up.

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kayoss76d ago (Edited 76d ago )

Did you compared movie blu rays to video games disks? You know what the difference is right? Most movies make their money from theater releases before they are released on discs. Video games dont have that luxury. Developers have every right to raise the price of games because games are getting more expensive to make. We want games with great graphics and that cost money. So youre willing to demand stuff but dont want to pay for it? You also need to take inflation into consideration. for the past 10 years, everything went up in prices, games hasnt.
Remember, not all studios and developer have microtransactions and those studios are suffering because games are getting more expensive to make. Take God of War for instance, it was rumored to cost up to $44 million to make.

RgR76d ago

Just selling 1million copies covers those costs and more.

Game costs have not gone up. Production costs go up willingly. With it comes the possibility of higher earnings.

Posterboy3975d ago

Why ppl keep saying prices of video games never went up they did go up from 39.99 to 59.99 from ps2 to ps3

thejigisup76d ago

I remember when a gallon of milk was 1.32 in 1970 I just paid 3.89. I should stop buying milk bc the milk barons are greedy.

Tapani76d ago

Haha... Sadly, milk is not a long-term investment! Neither are games, to be honest.

rainslacker76d ago

I can usually get a gallon of milk for less than $2. Granted, it's sold that cheap as a loss leader product at Wal-Mart, but still.

In any case, the cost of game production hasn't risen significantly since last gen. The market has increased by huge numbers. It's easier to make a profit on a game nowadays than it was at the start of last gen. It's not as simple as looking at inflation, nor even production cost increases, because there are a lot of factors which go into pricing games....and the biggest factor is publishers wanting to maximize the return on their investment.

kayoss76d ago (Edited 76d ago )

@rainslacker,
Yes what youre saying is partially true, however. Youre forgetting one big factor. releasing a game, especially a new IP is a risk. You dont know if you can recoup your money back on a game. Youre looking at marketing expense, publisher expense, licensing fee, etc... so the "cost" of making a game is not always black and white. Every developers knows that releasing a game is a gamble. Thats why when a game fails, its a major blow to the studio.

Yppupdam76d ago (Edited 76d ago )

Your what they call a sucker, But, I'm glad you exist, because you can take the full price hit and I will just sit back and grab games used, at a discount or even wait till the GOTY with all the dlc and add ons drop for cheap. I'm patient, and I am not so fooled to believe what some greedy publisher that can make anywhere from 500mil to a cool billion on a game with the way games are priced now and can still cry and get suckers to carry water for them.

kayoss75d ago

@yppup
Im a sucker? Let me ask you this, you own your own busy or do you work for someone? You know when you work for someone, youre "Carrying their water for them" right? i own my own business and dental practice. But like you, i dont buy games when its full price. But i still wont go against developers raising the prices on games. I know how inflation work because i own my own business. Yes, corporation make millions and maybe billions. But you need to consider what studios youre referring to. Not all studios are Multi million dollar studios, not all studios can afford to make AAA games and charge their consumer $30 per game. If you think inflation is an excuse to raise prices, you need to go educate yourself in economics. Good luck to you if you ever own a business.

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Gameseeker_Frampt76d ago

@BlackIceJoe

"I don't see Blu-Ray movies increasing in price" Have you actually looked at the prices for 4k Blu-ray movies compared to Blu-ray? How about the fact that Blu-ray movies cost more than DVDs?

Gamers have already spoken with their wallets and have shown that cost plays very little in the decision to buy a new game. Almost every new retail game in the last 12 months that cost less than $60 (due to lower production values and less advertising) sold only a fraction of $60 games.

edwardmde76d ago

Exactly right. Exact same format, yet the latest Star Wars movie in the UK is £12.50 on Amazon. The 4K version is £25. It’s easy to understand why.

Batnut0076d ago

“Plus why do game developers think they have a right to increase the price of games? “
Because they make the games, And Blu-Rays and games are not even remotely the same thing, the movie is already there while developers pour years into bringing that shit to life. Now obviously screw MTX of course, but the entitlement in this post is shitty.

Yppupdam76d ago

You used the magic word and invalidated you point. "entitled" is NOT what gamers are, THEY ARE CUSTOMERS, You have to EARN a customers business. You don't earn a customers business buy selling them low quality products, charging too much for a product or calling the customer "entitled" when they don't like some aspect of the product that you are trying to sell them. Granted, you are not the Publisher or developer (as far as I know) but, you sure are carrying water for them.

Germaximus76d ago

What? Bluray movies launched at $30 while DVDs launched at $20.

Shadowsteal76d ago

Also inflation is a factor. $60 in 2006 is valued at $76~ today. So a price hike to $70 is more than warranted.

Minute Man 72176d ago

Wages barely moved, that's the real problem

Tapani76d ago (Edited 76d ago )

Maybe you remember games were 50 US dollars in the 80s and 90s, but I remember many new games (not all) were also equivalent to 80 Euros (100 USD at that time) in some scandinavian countries, not too far from that in Germany, France and UK. Not to mention the games that weren't even available in the region, imported games could cost even more (we didn't get all games in Europe in the 90s.) And if you think I'm complaining, ask people who live in South America/Middle East/Africa how much games cost there, those guys have it really rough, and believe they sell games in those markets a lot as well!

Also, there were seldom discounts for new games within six months from release. If you calculate in inflation, games are generally cheaper than ever before, and the prices have just been going down, while the costs have gone up. I support 70 USD/Euro games (they are already 8500yen = 70€ / $75 in Japan anyway) to keep the industry's hard workers happy.

Personally, I've taken the route of discounts, I play games a year or two late to save half of the costs of playing. Meanwhile I tune my consoles and PCs to make them as silent as possible, and play my backlog. Way too many good, cheap games out there nowadays!

DVAcme76d ago

That's a disingenuous comparison. Compared to other entertainment industries, the gaming industry makes huge leaps in technology and manpower needs, expecting a raise in price to never happen is naive. The $60 price standard has been around for practically two decades already, which is practically unheard of for any other consumer product, and if anything, gaming is the most cost-effective entertainment product available. Games drop in price incredibly rapidly, with bargain prices showing up within months of a game's release, while every other entertainment product's price staying constant and never giving the same value for money and time. A $5 to $10 raise in game price may not be something we as consumers want (let's face it, we want NOTHING to go up in price), but it's not something unreasonable. It's just a matter of voting with our dollar and only committing to products that are worth it. If a game offers a full experience with no bullshit monetization, $70 is not an unreasonable price. However, games like, say, Anthem or Battlefront 2 are overpriced at ANY price, considering they're giving us a substandard game with predatory monetization.

Profchaos76d ago (Edited 76d ago )

Why do Devs think they have a right to increase games well the increase is from the publisher but I amount it to this.

I've worked hard to build this product I should be entitled to ask for a price and the market dictates the price in most cases. If no body buys my product I've asked for to much but if people are willing to buy it still then it's an acceptable price point.

There's been an argument that games don't cost more to make and yeah it's kind of holding water the biggest development costs for titles looks to still be for PS3 era games however the amount of released titles has been on a significant downward trend from all studios even ea released less games this generation which means less revenue as games take longer to Dev.

If it holds true that people don't want to buy games at a higher price there will be a correction in response but it's not up to the gaming public it's up to the industry and publishers.

Were already seeing special edition games retail.fir significantly higher amounts with minimal special in the special edition case in point rdr2 unlocked some content and gold bars costs take 2 nothing but added $50 to each sale. At least in AUD.

If rockstar release GTA 6 and ask for $100 I think it will still sell astronomical numbers because of its quality but if goat simulator asks for $100 it will sell a copy or two to little Timmy's grandma's doing Xmas shopping.

If you don't like it no amount of forum posting or Twitter outrage will change it you need to vote with your wallet and if others don't care and buy games anyway your vote is cancelled out.

I know the industry is already aware that people are financially struggling Sony has publicly stated it expects to sell less ps5 units in launch over ps4.

WelkinCole76d ago (Edited 76d ago )

Its not simple because different games requires different level of investment. Sports games for example while it may be cheaper to make every year we don't know about the licen cost etc.

AAA story driven games could cost more with more detail graphics and animation etc Personally I would not mind paying more for more AAA story driven games that gives me all the bell and whistles.

However yearly games I don't want to pay more however this is where the free market comes in. Vote with your wallet.

To be fair I have not bought more than 3 FIFA a gen for this reason.

If its an absolute must to raise game prices for publisher like Sony to give me AAA exclusive games like GOW2, Next face melting ND game that keep pushing boundaries in gaming then so be it. Its a price I am willing to pay for.

homeruz276d ago

Demand and supply dawg. If none of us but the games at full launch prices, you'll quickly see price drops

Yppupdam76d ago

Let the Fools with money to burn and lame excuses of "supporting" the developer pay full price. I may be a gamer but, I am a consumer first and foremost, I work for my money, and I am obligated to spend as little as I can for good and services as possible. Not wanting to pay full price on a product or service because you think it is too much is not being "entitled" like some of these lunatics in this thread like to call anyone that doesn't agree with this arbitrary price hike on a non essential product.

Flewid63876d ago

"why do game developers think they have a right to increase the price of games?"

Because they are literally the ones making them. lmao.

Yppupdam76d ago

You are absolutely right, they could charge whatever they want for their products, but, the product will only sell for what the market will bear, For example, Would you still buy the games these publishers are selling if they decided to double the price of a game? 120.00 US if that is OK, then maybe 140.00 would be ok as well? maybe be you have the money to burn, and you would be happy to spend that money on the 50 or 60% chance of maybe getting a great game?

Harkins172176d ago

Buy games on sale. You never have to pay full price

Yppupdam76d ago

10-4, Always buy at a discount and NEVER pre-order! and I would go as far as only buying physical discs, at least you can recoup some of your money back if you don't intend to keep the game. You can be a gamer as well as a smart consumer. Seeing how almost every gamer has a backlog, we need to start using that to our advantage, and avoid succumbing to instant gratification.

andy8576d ago

Why don't they have a right? Games we're up to $70 in the early 90s and look how small scale they were. They didn't take 4 years and they didn't have development teams of hundreds of people. We have it good in my opinion to be just about ticking back to those prices. And let's remember that's digital, physical will always be cheaper to game.

hulk_bash198776d ago

Gamers are such an entitled bunch. At the end of the day, if game prices increase and you dont agree vote with your wallets. Or do what alot of people do, myself included, and wait for price drops. I will be more selective with my day one purchases next gen which im completely fine with.

Yppupdam76d ago

Yeah, how dare we be smart consumers! that is contrary to being a gamer! BLAH!
Gaming is the only industry that wanting to pay as little as possible for a product gets you branded as "entitled". and the only industry that has a cadre of "fans" that will carry water for a company, free of charge.
Well, screw that! I NEVER (and WILL NEVER) pay full price, It is not some sort of misguided "entitlement" that urges me to do that but, my Obligation as a consumer. You make it sound like The Dev and Publisher are "entitled" to my money and that I HAVE to pay the full price or I'm...what? not a real gamer...not supporting the developers? or the annual multi billion dollar profit Publishers? Nah, I will be a good consumer first and a gamer after that, personally, I think that the Devs and publishers are filled with tons of misguided entitlement when it comes to selling their products. they have to EARN my business, Not the other way around!

hulk_bash198776d ago

@yppupdam
Yes you're entitled, if you believe game prices should never change. The reality of inflation is prices will increase. Goods and services will go up as the costs of making and marketing go up. Do I like it? Of course not, i never said I did. When did i say if youre not a "real gamer" if you dont buy games day one? Or that Developers are entitled to your money? My comment stated that if you dont support the idea of increased prices on games, then vote with your wallet. Or wait for a price reduction. Be a more frugal gamer if thats your prerogative. That doesnt make you more or less a gamer.

garos8276d ago

they should be entitled, they are the ones with the spending power that have elevated the gaming industry to where it is.

Yppupdam76d ago

It's not entitlement, it's consumer obligation. Frankly, I don't really care what the publishers sell their games for, but, I am not such a fool to think that they are raising their prices because they are hurting, you would have to be a complete fool to think that, The gaming industry eclipses the movie and music industry in profits year after year COMBINED! but somehow they cannot make ends meet? how stupid must they think their customers are? You cannot brag about profits and then complain about needing to increase prices. At the end of the day, I'll do what a good consumer does and get my games at a discounted price WAY below whatever the "industry" decides to charge, and I'll let the suckers that think paying full price is part of the "fun" of gaming or whatever. You can eat the increase.

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rainslacker76d ago

I'd prefer neither.

I'd take higher initial prices over cash grab MT.

Higher game prices will not stop cash grab MT, so the idea that raising game prices means that cash grab MT won't be a thing, or minimized, is just a justification to get the prices higher without as much push back from the consumer.

If publshers have proved anything over the past 15 years, its that they have no problem trying to find ways to fleece the customer.

But, then you get games like Horizon, and GOW, from Sony studios, where their budgets are actually relatively low compared to regular game production prices. Horizon cost $40 million, and GOW was said to be about $60 million. That doesn't include marketing. Those production costs are lower than the average AAA game production cost, and proves that awesome games don't have to cost an arm and a leg to produce like publishers keep saying they do.

Smarter productions, not more expensive is the way the industry has been going for some time now, and current production costs haven't risen significantly, if at all, compared to what they were during last gen. The talk about it now costing more to produce is just another way they're trying to justify higher prices.

bangoskank76d ago

Because the better a game looks, the more it's going to cost to make. If you want next gen you're going to have to pay for it.

Yppupdam76d ago

Never pre-order and wait till the price is cheap enough....and NEVER buy digital. Let the suckers with cash to burn take the hit. I cannot wait to hear all the pathetic shills on Youtube and here call anybody that doesn't want to pay the new expensive price "entitled" and "not willing to support developers" by eating the new, high price. Well, they are NOT "entitled" to my hard earned cash If I find their pricing too high. The will not get the price they want from me...or anybody that has a modicum of smart consumer acumen.

Flewid63875d ago

Games are a hobby. Hobbies cost money. What you can or cant afford isnt the responsibility of the developer selling the game.

Mr_Writer8576d ago

"I don't see Blu-Ray movies increasing in price"

But cinema ticket prices have, which is how movies make the bulk of their money.

Home release is just a little bit extra.

Games have roughly been the same launch price for decades.

But with increased development costs, and the gamers demand more and more from their games, increase of price was always going to happen.

Thankfully sales are frequent. And unless it's a Nintendo game, if you wait you can get the game cheaper.

Either that, or we move closer to the GAAS like game pass model, where you pay a monthly fee.

yomfweeee75d ago

Why do game developers think they have a right to increase the price of games? What? They can try to sell their games for whatever the hell they want.

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Sonyslave377d ago

And what going to stop devs from doing both, hell you got games with 70 or 100 dollars edition still with microtransaction.

Ricegum76d ago

Nothing will stop them if people support it. I'm not defending them but can you really blame developers for taking advantage of these idiots that throw money at them?

jambola76d ago

yeah
i mean why wouldn't they put it in?

Tacoboto76d ago

You can't blame the developers when most of the time it's at the publisher's dictation.

Boxed gaming software has stayed the same price since 2005. We've gone from DVDs to Blu Rays and now games will ship on multiple Blu Rays or possibly a UHD Blu Ray.

Movies cost more in their higher resolution formats. Uncharted 1 was a $60 launch title. TLOU2 is a $60 generation-closer title. The development costs between the two none of us will probably ever know. But yet, they both have the base MSRP.

If we go back to 2005, we'll also remember Microsoft's directive that initial 360 first party games would stay $50. I don't know when that ended, but I expect this is going to be another thing for them. Once those two years of cross-gen titles are up and out, next-gen exclusives will make the price hike.

robtion76d ago

I agree they won't stop.

Can you blame them for being greedy and lacking integrity though? Yes, yes you can.

SickSinceSix76d ago

Micro-transactions are a cash cow that publishers won't abandon, whether the games are $60, $70 or even $80+

morganfell76d ago

They won't abandon it. They will just put it on hold for the first year then start easing it back in.

StifflerK76d ago

Fun corporate facts:
CEO Bobby Kotick made +$28 million just in bonuses last year in line with previous years- irrespective of the not so good performance of the company.
800 employees where laid off during that time so Bobby could get his bonus.
Activision received over $200 million in tax credits ( that's your tax payer money btw)
Activision were reported to have moved over 5 billion euros into to offshore companies a few years back (apprx 2016/17 it's probably a lot more by now.)

Bare that in mind the next time MT's, Season pass/dlc , releasing unfinished products, price hikes are mentioned in the media.

It's similar to the way in which some countries operate taxes - the system is set up to protect the interests of politicians and their corporate buddies at the expense of everyone else. (CEOs + higher ups compared to the underpaid / overworked staff who actually make the games.)

Big game companies make more than enough money to make videogames - they just need to stop corporate parasites leeching off of it, and invest that money back in the companies, their staff and products.
There is no justification for price hikes and predatory monetisation from major publishers.

LoveSpuds76d ago (Edited 76d ago )

This is exactly why I strongly disagree with the price hikes.

You cannot tell me there are no profits to be made when CEO's and board members are making tens of millions a year, it doesn't stack up. It wouldnt be so bad if the extra money went to the people making the damn games, but it won't, it will go to the offshore accounts of these tax dodging vultures.

If you want to discuss increasing the price of indie games, then I can get on board with that all day long, but in the AAA sector, they can fuck off. I buy probably 12 - 15 games a year at launch, I will start waiting for sales before I ever consider paying 70 quid for a piece of entertainment.

kayoss76d ago

well this is like every multibillion dollar company. CEO's get bonuses in such. You look at the airlines, they are now in trouble, why? because they prioritize their CEO's over the company overall. This is why they need bailout. But you can not punish all studios, because not all studio have this vultures type practices.