Is the era of $60 PC video games coming to an end?

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4 Responses

  1. Chubzdoomer says:

    Excellent article, but I did notice one mistake: Guild Wars 2 is technically not a free to play (F2P) title. It’s unlike most retail MMOs in that there are no monthly fees to worry about, but you still have to pay roughly $60 for the game online or in stores. F2P games require no payments at all to begin playing and remain a player. The others you listed, though, like PlanetSide 2 and Mechwarrior Online, really will be F2P from the get-go and require no purchase what-so-ever.

    • Jon says:

      You are correct. While Guild Wars (and GW2) have a different model, I lumped them in there because they were the first of the main stream “free to play”. Free to play, but cost to purchase. Now it doesn’t even cost to purchase the MMO’s. Also originally GW had absolutely nothing to buy for real money, other than the games itself – so again different F2P model, but much the same concept.

  2. Ben Damer says:

    Good points. I think it’s also important to consider that there really isn’t a compelling reason for why each game should cost $60, since as you mention there is no real per-unit cost for software. Once you’ve sold enough games to cover the cost of development and marketing, everything else is just profit for the game studio.

    It seems at least for consoles, the justification for the price is that reselling games through Gamestop, etc takes away too many new sales, so in order to be viable it has to cost a fixed amount X. Obviously that doesn’t apply for digital sales any longer, which is the direction the next generation of consoles will probably go to anyway.

    I guess Valve figured this out ahead of everyone else, if you look at their numbers: http://www.shacknews.com/article/57308/valve-left-4-dead-half

    • Jon says:

      Part of the problem with consoles, I will concede, is that there are ongoing costs. According to Tim Schafer, it costs $40,000 to patch an Xbox game. That’s another couple of thousand units you need to sell, just to cover the cost of one patch.

      Valve is doing some interesting stuff, that’s for sure.

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