Publisher Actually Thinks Games Are Too Expensive

Publisher Actually Thinks Games Are Too Expensive

I think games are too expensive. You think games are too expensive. Surprisingly, a major international publisher thinks the same; Namco Bandai are calling for a “worldwide summit” to discuss this crisis.

“I feel all the big video game companies need to join together in a worldwide summit to discuss the future of our industry. I think we have to pull our thoughts together”, Namco Bandai’s Olivier Comte told MCV.

“I am convinced that in the future we must change the price of video games – they’re too expensive for the audience. With the cost of development and the retail margins, £40 is a fair price [to us] , but for the consumer it is too much.”

“From September to December there are three new blockbusters every week, and consumers just can’t afford to buy all that.”

I like where this is going, I like where this is going….oh, wait. “A good price of a game should be around £20 – but for this price we can’t make a ten to 15-hour adventure. So for £20 we should offer consumers four to five hours of gameplay, then after that we can make additional money with DLC.”

Shame. Call me naive, but I’ve always liked the idea of simply cutting the price of existing games by half. “Halve the price but triple the audience!”, I yell with gusto at parties, before I wake up the next morning and realise there’s a reason multinational corporations don’t base their pricing strategies on my broke-ass whims.

Namco: ‘We must change the price of games’ [MCV]


  • “So for £20 we should offer consumers four to five hours of gameplay, then after that we can make additional money with DLC.”

    What about the Indie devs who managed Dozens of hours of gameplay for $5, and then let the community make its own DLC for nothing… I’m thinking Torchlight.

    Big publishers who ‘cant make 10 hours’ worth of game with millions of dollars don’t deserve my money.

    • Agreed. I’m playing way more indie than anything any more because I just can’t afford the $100 price tags. And you know what – I’m enjoying gaming way more as a result. I know big developers still win the hearts and minds of the vast majority still, but I get the feeling I’m not exactly alone in appreciating how much better these indie games can be.

  • So they’ll sell a 4-5 hour game for 20, then make you buy the remaining 10 or so hours for another 20, bringing the price back up to 40 (if not more).

    So at the end of the day you still end up paying 40 for a 12-15 hour game.

    Games really aren’t that expensive – $80 – $100 for a new release compares pretty favourably to $30 for a new release DVD, given the number of hours of entertainment you generally get out of them. And if you don’t think it’s worth $100, just wait a few months and it usually ends up going for half that. I paid $50 for Oblivion GOTY edition. Played over 200 hours. You can’t tell me that isn’t good value for money.

  • I don’t entirely agree with it as some of the blockbusters like RDR and BFBC2 and MW2 are worth the asking price but still could do with that little price drop (even $10)to bring in more customers, some people are more comfortable with spending $99.95 then $109.95 just because it doesn’t break the $100 dollar barrier and for some reason makes the purchase that little bit easier to stomach price wise, myself included. But if devs started to put more into there games to ensure quality (Uncharted 2) then people may not have such a beef with the price.
    well thats my 2 cents worth

  • any company that sells me a game that goes for a maximum of 5 hours i wont buy, because in the australian market it would still most likely be 60-80 dollars.

  • hells yeah
    $100 for a game is expensive and he does make a point with the release sept-dec. with a lead up to christmas, thats an easy $400 in 3months
    it might look like it cause most games are around $80 anyways

    • Because we are Australian, and we continue to buy said overpriced products, and thus retailers are more than happy to continue overcharging us.

      I find it ridiculous that Dragon Ball GT Season One in Australia is $60 (for practically all stores, give or take $1-2). In America? US$18.
      Even at current exchange rates, that’s only AUD21. TWENTY-ONE!!! The retail price in Australia is almost 300%.
      Unfortunately, Americans go under Region 1, and we go under Region 4.
      It gives me incentive to buy a Region 1 DVD player.

      • If the prices retailers give on trade in are an indication of what they pay for games new, then it’s unfair to to place too much blame on them.

        I think that the issue is rather the publishers pushing the price, and the situation with things like steam supports that.

    • Exactly! I refuse to buy new releases for that reason, I’m happy to wait till the price drops. Unfortunately our game retailers have lost all connection to the exchange rate and (of course) reality.

  • While i agree that games especially in Australia are quite expensive, even when pre-owned, i would hardly call it a crisis.

    You know what crisis a summit should be called for? How to stop the USA from f**king everything up.

    • If the prices were the same then I’d buy games on release rather that waiting for some crazy special or until it’s moved down to bargain basement pricing.

  • They should make less games but increase the overall quality of those games that they do make. That way more people will be inclined to buy them. This would mean that they actually spend less money on developing games that wont sell and could pass on the cost savings to us. Also, games need to mod-able. And expansion packs, need those. Nothing says value like a $70 title with a $40 expansion pack 8 months down the line.

  • I have no problem paying $50 US for a game. It’s just a shame that in Australia that is not what we pay. No way are games priced in comparison to exchange rates. Games used to be $100 because we were only 50c US. Now we are close to parity we still pay $80 – $110 per game.

    Personally think Aussie gamers are getting the pointy end of the stick.

  • Hate when these stories keep coming up… Games are not expensive within Australia relative to the rest of the world. Period!

    You cannot use a direct exchange rate as a guide either. But yes, our dollar is doing well against the other major currencies.

    Finally, whilst the RRP is set at $100-$110 for most games, everyone seriously needs to shop around. We’ve seen 2 major release games (Alan Wake & RDR) released this week and could be purchased at some stores for about $84.

  • I say the call by the publisher is misleading.

    If we put him through a truth machine, instead of saying
    “today games are too expensive” he would say
    “how do we get more people to invest in a game so that we can charge them for dlc”

    because you know its true. The price will turn out to be exactly the same as before in the end.

    Think of it this way instead. This publisher is campaigning to CHARGE $20 for game DEMOS and with the option for consumers to buy proper content through dlc.

    What’s worst, the perception of a “full game” will change. Currently we all perceive dlc’s as add-ons to an already complete game. In the future if we are never given a full game to begin with, publishers can keep churning out dlc and games will simply…not end.

  • I think the summit should be on why Aussies (and our friends from across the Tasman) are paying what we are for games. My games collection would be much larger if games weren’t selling for a nice $100+ AUD rip off price. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if they actually reduced the standard $50 USD asking price for games and still slug us with $100 AUD.

  • Pfft, I can’t believe anyone here is complaining about paying $60 for a new game. I’m from Australia but am currently living in Canada and having just paid $60 for RDR instead of the $110 it would be at home, I can honestly say that $60 is completely reasonable.
    Aside from that, consider that a new release DVD costs $20 – $30 for 1.5 hours of entertainment, whereas an average game provide around 20 and some up to 60+.

  • Ive always felt $10 per hour was a fair price for a game. Naturally anything over $98 is over priced unless it comes with a toy I will look at for a minute before tossing into the pile of collector edition junk Ive amassed. Though sometimes I do look at my gaming collections and cringe at the thousands and thousands of dollars Ive spent on it and all the useful things I could have brought.

  • It’s hard to justify a price for the length of a game. A publisher or a gamer could say – this 6 Hour game may not be worthy of a buy to you or the $80 tag, you may believe its only worth $50 cause it doesn’t offer re-playability cause of its short length. But to me it may be worth that price tag and have that re-playability.

    Just like music and fashion and nearly everything in life, its all about personal choice and taste.

    Big games like Call of Duty, Halo, GTA and games that are so hyped and anticipated, really don’t need such a high price tag. They are going to deliver in sales anyway.

    Other games, like new IP or by a less popular developer I can understand a higher price tag. They may not meet expectations or expect a lot of sales. This would be hard to follow aswell, one could say “Well our game deserves $99 cause we dunno if its going to exceed expectations or not”.

    The only way publishers are actually gonna say “OH hey, we should fix this” names like Activision and EA – is when consumers come to the halt where they don’t purchase as much and cut back. (It is hard with a lot of great games and like this article suggests, that are spread out all year round). Only then they will change their plan. It’s only gonna take one big publisher to make the move for others to follow. But for the time being, they’re happy – we aren’t, but we’re still buying!

  • games wold have to be about the cheapest entertainment around, a movie is $12-$20 for a maximum of 3 hours fun, any form of sport indoor or otherwise works out more than $10 an hour.
    Most games I buy are AUD$80 or less, but I rarely buy on launch day, and I get at least 10 hours out of a game, usually a hell of a lot more. If I’m unsure of a console game’s value, I rent it for $4 first.
    Seriously, games are cheap, and sure when a bunch come out at once you can’t afford them all, but then you can’t really *play* them all either, you can still purchase them a month later when you have the time to actually play them. No matter what price they were, people would still say ‘if they were cheaper I’d actually buy them’. They are cheaper, they were way more expensive in the 80s.

  • The vision of designers shouldn’t be altered by what will make publishers the most money. I only speak for myself, but there’s a fine line between DLC, and robbing the customer of something they shouldn’t have had to pay for. How much would Fallout 3 have cost if you had to pay for every side mission?

    I know I wasn’t the only person pissed off that the MW2 map pack cost 1200, and it’s only going to get worse, because publishers now know that their audiences are filled with idiots who will pay anything for DLC, no matter how unsubstantial.

    I used to think video-games were art. Now i’m not so sure. 10 minutes before a film finishes, they don’t force everyone to pay an extra $3 to see how it finishes.

Log in to comment on this story!