Skyrim Chief: More Games Should Cost $US29, But Not Skyrim

Skyrim Chief: More Games Should Cost $US29, But Not Skyrim

It’s a safe bet that Bethesda’s upcoming RPG Skyrim will offer enough hours of gameplay to merit its $US60 price tag. However, while speaking to PSM3, Skyrim director Todd Howard shared his belief that while his game will be worth every penny, many other games are not.

“I do think industry-wide we would benefit from more games out at $US19 or $US29,” he said. “I would try more games. Because I’m not going to try a game for $US60. It’s a tough decision.”

This statement echoes one made by Bastion‘s creative director Greg Kasavin when I spoke with him earlier this week. From Kasavin’s point of view, the $US60 price point presents an opportunity for smaller developers like his own Supergiant Games. “As more of these games try to stretch out the experience to justify their $US60 price tag,” he said, “there will be an opportunity for these smaller games to just sort of get in there and deliver a meaningful experience to someone relatively quickly but still provide a lot of value.”

These developers are raising some good questions about how much consumers are asked to pay for their games, and whether the games themselves are really worth it. I’ll have no problem paying $US60 for Skyrim when it launches, but it sure would be nice to see the the industry standard drop a bit.

Games are too expensive (but Skyrim isn’t) argues lead [CVG]


    • Yep, this. Very much so. Bethesda – please explain.

      Why are Australians taxed so much on your games. Brink is a good example, right now on the Quake-con Steam sale, America is paying US$25 (including 50% off) whereas Australia is paying US$68 (including 25% off).

      No sale for me, at least no sale from Australia.

      • Let me guess Monte, you’re an American, right?

        There’s a whole planet out here, and out in our part of the planet, Australia (not Austria, AUSTRALIA!), Skyrim is $90 on Steam.

        By the way, you might want to brush up on the definition of slander, right after you’ve looked an atlas. You know, the big book they don’t have in American libraries?

        *sarcasm off*

  • Well you see it costs more money to send data overseas 😀 /sarcasm…. God this pisses me off looks like ozgameshop has another sale…

      • it doesnt really cost anything to actually transfer the data, only to set up the servers and shit, which is already done.. there is no good enough reason to be paying that much tax it sucks

          • It doesn’t cost steam/valve any of those things, they don’t employ people in Australia, the servers are hosted by the isps in Australia, they don’t pay to send data here, our isps pay to get the data from the US.

            In fact, if any extra people are employed, they are employed to maintain/update the prices for different regions, if they didn’t allow companies like Bethesda to charge Australians stupid amounts of money, they could theoretically employ less people.

            I would love a world where online companies choose the currency they wish to operate under (USD, AUD, GBP, etc) and the price is set in the currency they choose and for everyone else it just fluctuates based on the exchange rate.

            That is the world we should be living in, at least online…

  • It’s true. Look at the value for money?

    Infamous 1 and 2 are worth max price. So is Skyrim. Fallout 3 is, but is New Vegas? Ok maybe it is. But then the question of DLC price comes into play…

    COD… I don’t play MP so why should I pay 109.95 for a sp game essentially? COD should by all means be 59.95 aus. That’s all its really worth given its length. The guy is spot on.

    • Step 1: Buy Call of Duty: Black Ops on day one on 360 for $98.
      Step 2: Finish Call of Duty: Black Ops within three days.
      Step 3: Trade in Call of Duty: Black Ops for 50-60 bucks worth of credit; more if there’s a special deal on.
      Step 4: Wait, no, Step 3 was where the profit is.

    • Agreed – Can’t stand MP either – so wouldn’t a better price structure be to have a base price for the SP game & an aditional fee structure if you want to take it online?

      • Sue me. I LIKE CoD single player campaigns. They’re fun, but they’re short. They’re not great but they’re better than most shooters out there for a good 6 – 7 hour bash. I can finish most of them over a weekend and yeah, I will rent them for sure now.

        Though I WILL openly admit I just bought COD4 and MW2 at EB for 78 dollars in total 2nd hand. 35 for CoD4 and 43 for MW2. Good deal I felt.

        When I can get BLOps for 45 I will buy it and WaW for 35 or there abouts I will buy it too. I just refuse to pay over 50 for a CoD game.

        • “They’re fun, but they’re short. They’re not great but they’re better than most shooters out there”

          Nope. they are the bottom of the barrel.

      • You’re getting into dangerous territory here. There is already enough outcry over EA “charging” to play online, even though its free if you were the original purchaser of the game as an effort to gain profit of pre-owned sales. Here you’re suggesting they charge on-top of the full purchase to justify a cheaper retail price? What about co-op campaign or modes (spec ops, zombies), where would they fit in?

        I guess they could release three copies of the game – two “budget” priced versions, one multiplayer, one single player, and a third being a bundle of both as I’m sure there are a lot of people still interested in both aspects. This will in turn increase production and distribution costs, bringing prices up even further.

        For a game like Skyrim, even if it just had 100 hours of gameplay, $60 is a bargain. Compare that to the cost of a movie on cheap night. $10 for 3 hours – if you go by yourself and don’t eat anything. What I can’t stand is when they charge $90 in Australia for digitally distributed medium – no more overhead distribution, shipping or retail costs involved, yet we’re charged a premium.

        • I suggest something simple like this:

          Release the physical copy that has both single and multi in the one package.

          THEN online:

          You can either download the SP only or the MP only variant. Either of these can be downloaded for half the price of the of a slightly reduced retail purchase price.

          Works for me.

          • Just replace “half the price of the of a slightly reduced retail purchase price.” with “65% of the full retail price.” and you have a more realistic number, that’s a SAVING of 35% after all!!
            Also if they want to upgrade later it doesn’t seem like the total cost of ownership has doubled which instinctively seems harsh.

  • I’ve decided that Fallout is the last time I will be burnt by Bethesda – after the last DLC I am ignoring anything from Bethesda till it is cheap enough to warrant buying – I would recommend others do the same but it is clear they are too weak.

    • I never buy Bethesda games until the GOTY edition comes out. Then you get all the DLC chucked in for the same price, and hopefully the worst of the bugs have been patched out by then, too.

    • What’s wrong with fallout? Both FO:3 and NV are two of my favourite games of all time. I’ll admit, some of the DLC has been hit and miss, but there have been a few gems thrown in there (Mothership: Zeta for FO:3 and the recent Old World Blues for NV).

  • lol what are you guys talking about, these games have over 300 hours of content in them if you play them through. If that doesn’t warrant 80$ you’re just being cheap. It may cost more than the US but that’s universal at this point, you may aswell just boycott everyone.

  • There are VERY few games I’m happy at buying the Aussie price for ($80 – $100) even though it’s at least 20 bucks cheaper elsewhere. Skyrim is one of those games.

  • Lol AMERICANS why you no get 100$ price tag?

    60$ and hes crying, try mustering up $100 or more if you buy it in a store for a game.

  • Funny thing is I would buy it without a thought to the 4 month wait till release at US50 on steam. But I have noticed a lot of the bigger titles are getting this Magic $89 number. It then gets relegated to the -not gonna buy this – category until it drops. I understand that some distributors are getting pressure to change a lot more via steam to encourage the likes of EB and HN so they remain getting customers, but some like myself will not buy anything but steam games now. This is a win to the publisher ect as I cant trade games in which a lot of these stores now do to get extra money ie nil to the distributor ect.
    As for origin – too little to late. I want one system not a half a dozen. If we don’t boycott Origin then all the companies will follow suit. And that means a bad experience for us. You know their customers.

  • Ill be happy to walk into EB games and buy a collectors edition of Skyrim for $120 AUD or whatever is costs. Its worth it for Skyrim. I could order it from UK cheaper though.

  • Skyrim isn’t worth a cent. If it’s anything like Oblivion it’ll be a mess of horribly designed dungeons, combat that has been dumbed down to the point where it’s just a bad h&s, godawful writing and VAing and incredibly blooody stupid AI. The previews somehow make it seem even worse that Oblivion what with that Radiant Story garbage. Todd Howard your design philosophy is the bane of RPG gaming, please take away the RPG title from the TES series and stay the hell away from Fallout (just make Obsidian develop future Fallout games). Also if you guys just stuck to publishing that’d be great too.

      • I hated Oblivion and thought Fallout New Vegas was 50 times better than Fallout 3 and actually played like an RPG and that makes me the dumbest person on the internet? Nice to know that opinions are apparently objective.

        Seriously though, Oblivion wasn’t an rpg, and neither should Skyrim call itself that when it’s so bloody dumbed down.

  • boycott games until they reach the $60 price point. The message WILL be sent that $60 is the correct price, and we wont be pushed around.

    The reason we pay more is that we VOLUNTEER to be pushed around when we pay the exorbitant prices.

    All the core gamers out there need to unite and not buy games until stocks remain so high that this new price point is forced.

  • I hope that hypocrite sees the posts us Australians and New Zealanders have written about the BS price hike, NINETY dollars. $90.00

    Also, our dollar is stronger than yours, stop ripping us off!!

  • @Stinger, Just because Oblivion and Fallout 3 strayed from the ‘traditional’ RPG a bit doesn’t mean they weren’t good games. Fact of the matter is the vast majority of people who’ve played them rate both very highly. Personally FO3 was one of my favourite games of all time.

    On the price issue, the reason is simple. It’s what the Australian market will pay. Same reason its cheaper to buy games in China than say here or the US. The price the market accepts is largely what dictates the price. I think you’ll find if you sampled all Americans with annual wages between say, minimum wage and $200,000 and all Australians with the same criteria you would find that the American ‘average Joe’ would earn less than the Australian ‘average Kevin’. Therefore our mate Kevin pays more for his vidya games then Joe does.

  • “I’d like to thank all the idiots like Joe Mama, Blackhawks!, and Warlok, who clearly have more money than basic bloody sense and are happy to be ripped off because of some moronic internal justice-system that says they’re happy to pay more money – money that the creators will never see – because they like a game. Which is thus telling all the distributors that what they’re doing is okay and as such will continue to do it.”

    That’s what I would say if I was a moron and didn’t buy all my games for ~$40 from Ozgameshop or Dungeon Crawl.

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