Not sure if you've noticed, but the American economy's in the toilet. Even the supposed "recession-proof" video game industry is feeling the pinch, with publishers slashing prices even on best-selling titles. Could last-gen pricing return?
Forbes points to cuts on titles like Activision's Call of Duty: World at War — currently Amazon.com's deal of the day — and Guitar Hero World Tour as indicators that sales may be slowing on top tier titles. Analysts, such as Lazard Capital Markets Colin Sebastian, say that the reduction on the latest Call of Duty, a best seller in November, "highlights the risk of lower software pricing moving into the new year." That's bad news for publishers, now accustomed to selling games a sixty bucks a pop.
Activision's not the only one cutting prices. Pre-holiday releases form publisher Ubisoft like Prince of Persia, Tom Clancy's EndWar and Far Cry 2 saw significant cuts.
Forbes' Chris Morris theorizes that if publishers keep releasing new games at the new standard of $59.99 USD, "the inability to keep them at that level for a significant period could have some serious implications on revenues." Especially if wiser buyers anticipate that big-budget releases will be inevitably slashed and decide to wait, we'd think.
We'd also think it would be difficult to find anyone on the consumer side losing any sleep over less expensive games.
Game Prices Tumble [Forbes]