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$70 games are good for developers, but they’re getting harder and harder to swallow as a consumer

Xbox joins the publishers charging $70 for new, triple-A game – and that’s good. Until you consider there’s a cost of living crisis.

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isarai63d ago

🤣 you really think the devs are seeing literally any benefit to that price hike? How naive

crazyCoconuts63d ago

so how does a company that makes a new game and sells it either physical or on, say, the Xbox/PS store get paid?

oIMyersIo63d ago

Mate, developers are paid a set and agreed amount by the publisher as outlined in the contract.

Some contracts may have performance bonuses based on review scores. The only cog in the machine benefitting from this are the publishers.

Tacoboto63d ago

Publisher agreements differ game to game especially with regards to bonuses and royalties. Some tie it to sales numbers, some tie it to sustained player count, infamously some were and still are tied to the Metacritic rating.

And devs will get whatever their negotiated cut is after... The publisher, marketing, platform holder & retailer fees, etc get their money.

IIRC, People Can Fly lamented how they didn't get bonuses from Square for Outriders and were not provided the data that Square themselves used internally to tell them that they didn't hit the mark.

crazyCoconuts63d ago

Yes the individual developer doesn't directly get paid more, I get that. But the company they work for i believe gets a % cut of gross sales and a 16% increase in price should equate to that much of a bigger cut for the company I would imagine... and these companies can continue to employ developers making games to the extent they are profitable in this endeavor. So sure, and individual developer wouldn't see the impact directly, but indirectly I think they will.

Army_of_Darkness62d ago

@crazyc

This is no different from me working for Mars. They increase the price of their products, even sell a couple millions more this year, but none of this additional money goes to the employees. It's the upper management that reek the benefits of a price increase.

crazyCoconuts62d ago

@army, i respect your opinion, but i don't think that's the way it works, especially for skilled labor like developers. When there's money being made in software/game development, more companies will want to do it, and since the labor pool of developers is relatively fixed at any point in time, the demand goes up with fixed supply so our rates go up - in other words we make more money. In times where companies are not making money, they start laying off increasing supply and our rates go down. I see this first hand...

VariantAEC61d ago

So many disagrees from clueless fools that clearly know absolutely nothing about this. That said I even disagree with your second post in this thread as publishers either already organized a deal with their devs so that the developer itself gets a sizable cut of their games sales (meaning devs effectively DO get paid directly based on sales).

Regardless your other comment was also agreeable; as a company does better, often times so to do their associates/employees. I don't know why people disagree with that... they must all conveniently work for the worst employers ever!

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 61d ago
Christopher62d ago

It's an indirect benefit. Publishers making more money will be more willing to budget more towards games with a $70 price tag versus only $60.

TiredGamer62d ago

This. A higher price point equates to lower volume risk, all things being equal. A game can technically sell about 20% fewer copies at $70 and still break-even/be considered a moderate success over one selling at $60. It's not a perfect formula, but as long as demand doesn't drop by more than 20%, there's a net positive.

Publishers need incentive to invest in games. More niche/experimental titles carry more financial risk. If said financial risk exceeds the potential gain threshold, publishers will avoid it.

As much as it sucks having to pay more, publishers are always having to play the odds of profitability. A higher price point builds in more cushion for mediocre/disappointing sales. We as consumers have to pick our poison.

isarai62d ago

I bet you believe in "Trickle Down Economics" too?

Christopher62d ago

***I bet you believe in "Trickle Down Economics" too?***

Resources increase in cost over time regardless of the act of profit distribution. This accounts for that. This is basic budget forecasting. They are increasing profit potential but maintaining profit margins, which means better products that sell versus continual lower resourced products that won't compete as well with others who up resource capabilities.

SurgicalMenace62d ago

Wow. Are employees seeing the direct benefits of their employers? Yes, as each person is paid a salary. With your level of nativity of how employment works, I'd be surprised if you had a job at all.

WeAreLegion62d ago

It sounds like YOU don't have a job. Employees don't get raises based on the company's performance. The executives get bonuses. Companies don't even match cost of living increases now.

SurgicalMenace62d ago

@WeAreLegion

Depends on who you work for. I name my price as I am a specialist, and the benefit there is I get 24% of the projected growth of the project, no need to be concerned with rising costs. I've been done with jobs since I wanted to experience true freedom, sir.

VariantAEC60d ago

@WeAreLegion
Are you kidding me!?
I work for a massive corporation and when they do well we little guys also see increases in pay. What hurts us more than anything is when states choose to increase minimum wage which increases cost of living far faster than the generally slower inflation rate (which also doesn't apply in this particular point in time due to rampant government spending during the pandemic which effected basically every nation on Earth save for North Korea which was already broke and unable to spend more, not that that nation's government would spend more to help their people anyeay).

1nsomniac62d ago

How naive!?

I find it really odd that developers can openly tell you time and time again. That they can recoup the ENTIRE project cost from start to finish, over several years, including salaries. Over just 24 hours of the game being on sale.

So go on, please tell me how naive everybody else is except yourself….?

People are so stupid. Facts are there. They literally tell you from their own mouths. Yet you people just refuse to listen and instead fight for these corporations with some form of ridiculously childish mindless loyalty. It really is sad.

VariantAEC61d ago

So... No royalties and licensing agreements then?

Do you really think publishers pay only once for any games sold on their platforms?

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Outside_ofthe_Box63d ago (Edited 63d ago )

Outrageous - sure others have increased their price of their games, but Microsoft could obviously afford to not do this

Also they chose December during a busy shopping period to announce this… Microsoft under Phil Spencer is so out of touch with gamers

lonewolf1063d ago

At least they waited until after Xmas to increase unlike most publishers and the price hikes by MSoft were announced for 2023 a while back. I'm not sure Phil is the one out of touch here.

SonyStyled62d ago

They waited until after Christmas to cancel the games advertised in their “Best lineup in Xbox history” holiday sales campaign

mike32UK62d ago

It wouldn't really make a difference anyway as they have no games coming before Christmas 😂

The3faces63d ago

Sony is a billion dollar corporation. They could afford not to raise prices as well.

SurgicalMenace62d ago

Why would they lose money for the convenience of the consumer? Costs increase, price increase. Fair🤷🏾‍♂️

CorndogBurglar62d ago (Edited 62d ago )

There's not a single company that wouldn't care about keeping their bottom line intact lol. It's not reasonable to ask any company to never raise prices even though they are seeing a rise in prices on their end.

TiredGamer62d ago

Prices have to increase at some point in the timeline. Games are not a commodity. If not now, sometime in the future, but as the cost of living has increased everywhere else, games would/will eventually need to follow suit.

Asplundh62d ago

Umm... The article in the links you posted are about Sony increasing the price of the PS5 in certain regions, its not about them charging $70 for games.

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GoodGuy0963d ago

Oh yes, unless it's a game I really want and have to get my hands on, I just wait for a sale. Gow Ragnarok so far is the only $70 game I've bought lol. Even when games were at $60, I always waited for sales.
One thing to know is that EA and UBI games go on sales real quick so if you're a fan of them, do hold off. Nintendo rarely ever does, Playstation has been a bit hesitant this gen but they did do good sales during the black friday week. Mcsft, you can just get gamepass.

FIELDMARSHALL_P62d ago

What you said I don't have to be first to play a game.

EvertonFC63d ago

Going to a supermarket, cinema or theme park is harder to swallow these days, I get so much value for money with games imo anyway.

dumahim63d ago

Seriously. I spent $160 last time at the grocery store for pretty much the same stuff that was like $100 just a couple years ago. People are sweating over a $10 hike for a video game?

EvertonFC63d ago

Exactly, gaming has never been so cheap imo. I think some gamers today dont have the means to have gaming as a hobby but feel pressured from friends, social media etc.

SurgicalMenace62d ago

Exactly, all this constant whinning wouldn't be going on if they could comfortably afford it. It is starting to sound like people aren't working as much as they need to afford their hobbies.

Traecy62d ago

It's ridiculous. They're in the wrong hobby to complain about a $10 increase of big budget video games.

EvertonFC62d ago

Agreed, I also listened to a podcast the other day and they mentioned they'd already heard rumblings before this gen has ended within the industry the price of games will increase further to £80.
Gonna be fun reading comments when that happens lol.

TheLigX62d ago

Imagine defending corporations putting more costs on consumers... How do those boots taste buddy?

AmUnRa62d ago

When Sony did it they got a slew of trash over them by raising the price with $10.
Now that MS does it there is a certained fanboy group try to sugargoat it ore are saying the FPG from MS on GamePass cous they will be on GamePass day one, i play them on GamePass for "free".
You will be in for a rude awakening in the coming year.

dumahim62d ago

@AmUnRa

Try looking at my post history. I've never had a problem with the $10 price increase. Prices are going up everywhere. Somehow gaming is supposed to be immune to it? Also, I don't even have GP.

VariantAEC60d ago

@TheLigX
How many games would you have without those corporations?
Hmm...

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Thundercat7763d ago

To understand this, we have to separe things here.

People have no problem paying for a high quality product (look at iPhones or Samsung Galaxies). The problem lies charging for products that are not high quality.

Sony's first party studios are high quality games. Just see the reviews, awards and millions they sell. People are ok paying for that high quality.

The problem is that Xbox first party games are not in that standard and don't have that high quality as officially stated by Phil Spencer itself.

Petebloodyonion63d ago

So by your logic seeing a Disney movie or buying one should cost 30% more compared to the rest since they are better in terms of quality with a bigger production cost?

Also, there's a difference between making a bad product and not liking MS.
Last I checked Forza is still considered the top racing product, Flight Simulator, Gears5, Grounded, Gears tactics, Ori, etc.
Please name the several games that are not up to standard, and that offer a broken experience.

VariantAEC60d ago

MSFS was broken on launch and still doesn't offer offline modes which is baffling as they still lock "Offline Map Data" that you downloaded to your PC hard drives behind... being ONLINE!
I have the game and the ownership license that forces me to boot the game online. After that I can play offline so long as I don't log out of my PC or turn it off. I still cannot use offline map data when offline though... weird. I also didn't pay the normal $60 for just the base game I paid $90 for the "Deluxe" version.

Forza Motorsport was never not broken (too many issues to discuss here), Forza Horizon has always had "teething" issues especially on PC with FH5 being the least offensive of thr lot. Yeah Playground Games actually gets better with each release, probably the highest quality studio MS have at the moment and still they couldn't figure out how to get motion blur to apply to stuff properly on launch day, I was there. Even so it doesn’t measure up to the quality of Driveclub visually even when targeting next gen and having a PC release that pushes beyond Xbox Series X's capabilities now including official RT support during gameplay (v. 3.527.960.0)!

Gears 5 was good, but Gears 4 wasn't so much, but I only played the trials early on.

In the end there have only been two games I would consider acceptable on PC from MS first parties at launch Gears 5 and FH5... Ori is a small game if they messed that up on PC or Xbox I would be confused.

Kurt Russell62d ago

All this does really is make sure I check reviews and make an informed purchase. I won't be impulse buying games at £70, they need to be released and proven before I do is all.