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Opinion Publishers had two generations (2 1/2 if you count Steam) to deliver on the lower-priced digital utopia, and yet...

DunDunDunpachi

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...prices still haven't dropped, they continue to grow. The digital connectivity of gaming devices opened a door to new revenue streams via games as a service (gaas) design. Indies once cost $5 to $10 and now cost as much as $30 to $40. "Digital Deluxe Editions" upcharge the customer for things that would normally have been included as preorder bonuses.

I have heard the excuses. Retailers still have a lot of sway on price. Development costs are going up so the prices still need to be high for now.

But when will games get cheaper? It seems like one of the main routes by which gamers acquire cheaper games -- third-party sellers -- are actively fought by the publishers and developers. It makes me leery of companies pushing for an even tighter grip over digital marketplaces. They keep dangling the carrot but gamers keep getting the stick.
 

The_Mike

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Well, games hasn't really been more expensive over the years, actually the opposite. Games have cost 60 bucks like forever, meanwhile everything else has gotten a price increase.

No ones forcing you to buy the deluxe edition.
 
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It's never going to happen, because games lose their value faster than ever, especially on PC. Publishers and platformholders will want to make the highest amount of money on release, and that requires a $60+ price tag.
 

Doczu

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Well, games hasn't really been more expensive over the years, actually the opposite. Games have cost 60 bucks like forever, meanwhile everything else has gotten a price increase.

No ones forcing you to buy the deluxe edition.
The only reason prices remained mostly the same is that games are being bought by milions more. That's why they expect for 5+ milion sales (or more) to break even. Games didn't get expensive, but they know they can't get the price up or no one would buy games and all AAA games would stsrt flopping harder than my soft dick.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Well, games hasn't really been more expensive over the years, actually the opposite. Games have cost 60 bucks like forever, meanwhile everything else has gotten a price increase.

No ones forcing you to buy the deluxe edition.
I'm not suggesting I am being forced. I'm just wondering when the digital savings will appear since we all know the cost of offering a digital download is a fraction of what it costs to print, ship, and shelve a physical copy.
 

JunkerWoland

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Most publishers were never gong to pass along any savings from digital distribution to the consumer. If a product could be sold for $60, it'll be sold for $60, and there will always be some reason to justify that price point, regardless of whether a physical item is involved.

Outside some tectonic reshaping of the industry's entire retail landscape, the best digital distribution will continue to offer price-wise is the random deep discounts on titles, after their primary sales window has eclipsed.
 
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PhoenixTank

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I'm not suggesting I am being forced. I'm just wondering when the digital savings will appear since we all know the cost of offering a digital download is a fraction of what it costs to print, ship, and shelve a physical copy.
No doubt soon after all digital storefronts and consoles drop their cut down from 30%.
Surely then... :messenger_tears_of_joy: ... oh no :messenger_crying:
 
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Cheap is relative to socio-economics.

I live in Phoenix. In 2005 you were lucky to make $50K as a software developer in Phoenix. In 2020 it's hard to not make six-figures with the exact same profession. Games cost $60 in 2005 and still cost $60 in 2020.

So to me, relative to my income, yes, games are much cheaper.
 
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DunDunDunpachi

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Cheap is relative to socio-economics.

I live in Phoenix. In 2005 you were lucky to make $50K as a software developer in Phoenix. In 2020 it's hard to not make six-figures with the exact same profession. Games cost $60 in 2005 and still cost $60 in 2020.

So to me, relative to my income, yes, games are much cheaper.
It's true that games are relatively cheaper while costs are going up, that is why I [X] Doubt any claims that moving the market over to digital will ever result in better prices for the consumer. Moving to digital will barely salvage the profitability of these publishers. Passing along those savings to the customer is the last thing on their minds, in my opinion.
 

Stuart360

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People keep wanting that digital future, but when consoles go full digital, you will be at the mercy of whatever prices Sony and Microsoft etc want to charge you. As a PC gamer, it happened for us. Long gone are the days where PC games used to be £10-20 cheaper than console versions.
 
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laser_printer

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As soon as brick and mortar stores close down digital prices will drop.

Until then, no chance, sadly.
Brick and Mortar for PC is fucking dead as a doornail and look what happened.

Publishers get the same profit from a game at 20 dollars digitally that they do from a 60 dollar boxed game but now they have you by the balls from a control aspect. I'll be damned if I put up with that shit!

Most of the time digital sales are A LOT cheaper than physical and you can stock up on games. Look at how much hype the Steam sales get. Both MS and Sony do the same.
Yeah you say this without realizing that physical disc end up going on sale on places like Amazon and Best Buy who are quick to match, except now that I have something that's mine forever and could resell even at paltry sum later on. But at-least I have that option. Digital games should ALWAYS be cheaper, ALWAYS!
 
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laser_printer

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It's true that games are relatively cheaper while costs are going up, that is why I [X] Doubt any claims that moving the market over to digital will ever result in better prices for the consumer. Moving to digital will barely salvage the profitability of these publishers. Passing along those savings to the customer is the last thing on their minds, in my opinion.
Prices are already up in different countries. Persona 5 was 90 dollars in Japan and most games range between 70-90 mark. I believe that with the move to 4K disc nextgen games are probably gonna hit 70 bucks in America.
 
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o'dium

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Brick and Mortar for PC is fucking dead as a doornail and look what happened.

Publishers get the same profit from a game at 20 dollars digitally that they do from a 60 dollar game but now they have you by the balls from a control aspect. I'll be damned if I put up with that shit!
Can’t argue there.

Remember when we were all told it was a good thing they would be removing game instruction books, and that we would see cheaper games because of it?

yeah sure...

I used to love getting SNES games back home then sitting reading the book. Usually on the loo of memory serves. 🤣
 

Stuart360

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As soon as brick and mortar stores close down digital prices will drop.

Until then, no chance, sadly.
Sure, just like on PC eh?. Or just like how all the Indie devs and studios used the excuse that EPIC moneyhatting their games meant they would be able to sell the games cheaper to us gamers, even though PC games on the EPIC shitstore are just as expensive as anywhere else, more so with some games.
 

o'dium

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Sure, just like on PC eh?. Or just like how all the Indie devs and studios used the excuse that EPIC moneyhatting their games meant they would be able to sell the games cheaper to us gamers, even though PC games on the EPIC shitstore are just as expensive as anywhere else, more so with some games.
While I won’t argue most of that, digital pc games are still by and large much cheaper than console, at least in my experience.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Most of the time digital sales are A LOT cheaper than physical and you can stock up on games. Look at how much hype the Steam sales get. Both MS and Sony do the same.
The price of a physical copy is offset by the (potential) recoup upon selling it. Also I regularly see physical copies 20%+ cheaper than the digital copy.

In a digital-only environment like PC, of course Steam is going to get a lot of sales because that's the main storefront for tens of millions of customers. But these sales aren't usually up-front cost reductions.

If digital is the inevitable future -- with higher margins to boot -- why can't it compete with physical retail on price? I know it's a complicated question without a one-and-done answer but it does make me doubt the claims of it being cheaper.

Prices are already up in different countries. Persona 5 was 90 dollars in Japan and most games range between 70-90 mark. I believe that with the move to 4K disc nextgen games are probably gonna hit 70 bucks in America.
Quite possible. :messenger_fearful:

Good thing I've already built up a sizable collection.
 

Stuart360

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While I won’t argue most of that, digital pc games are still by and large much cheaper than console, at least in my experience.
They are $60 just like console, with the added benefit of a lot of countries getting shafted by publisher ignoring regional pricing and they end up paying even more. When PC games still had a large retail sector, PC games were usually much cheaper than console versions of the same games (although i never fully understood why that was) but once physical died on PC, bang $60.
 
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ManaByte

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The price of a physical copy is offset by the (potential) recoup upon selling it. Also I regularly see physical copies 20%+ cheaper than the digital copy.

In a digital-only environment like PC, of course Steam is going to get a lot of sales because that's the main storefront for tens of millions of customers. But these sales aren't usually up-front cost reductions.

If digital is the inevitable future -- with higher margins to boot -- why can't it compete with physical retail on price? I know it's a complicated question without a one-and-done answer but it does make me doubt the claims of it being cheaper.
Even if physical media were to go away, games would still cost the same amount of money and manpower to produce.
 
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laser_printer

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Quite possible. :messenger_fearful:

Good thing I've already built up a sizable collection.
I wouldn't worry. Think of it like this, the United States consumes the most games, more than entire continents yet we pay the least for them. I feel like this will finally put a stop to a lot of stupid shit we hear about from "investors"

Or not and they'll double down and get greedier. Realistically video games are an excellent value of entertainment per dollar, I've read my favorite books like The Road, Lord of the rings trilogy and Sophies world and History of western philosophy multiple times and yet combined probably less time than I spent with a 20 dollar copy of Demon's Souls I put 400 hours in.
 
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DunDunDunpachi

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Even if physical media were to go away, games would still cost the same amount of money and manpower to produce.
Debatable, since a major part of delivering the game to the customer involves splitting the profit among the dev, the publisher, the printer, the transportation network of the game, and the retail store shelves upon which the games can sit, to say nothing of the marketing costs.

Hasn't digital been preached as a simplification of this dev-to-consumer pipeline? Isn't the entire indie market surge predicated on the relative ease of making and delivering games compared to the past?

If I want to order some tea from China, the price of producing the product is only one part. If I want it flown over, it'll cost more. If I'm willing to wait 2 months, I can have it shipped on a barge at a cheaper price. If the company was clever enough to have a local hub/brand that can deliver the tea from 20 miles away, it could be even cheaper for me, the consumer.

Still wondering why these basics of product delivery do not apply to games. Digital has fewer "middle men" taking a slice of the profit and costs less to maintain compared to a network of retail storefronts yet those savings aren't leveraged to offer consumers lower prices (aside from sales, which is a wash since physical games get sales / discounts too).

I wouldn't worry. Think of it like this, the United States consumes the most games, more than entire continents yet we pay the least for them. I feel like this will finally put a stop to a lot of stupid shit we hear about from "investors"

Or not and they'll double down and get greedier. Realistically video games are an excellent value of entertainment per dollar, I've read my favorite books like The Road, Lord of the rings trilogy and Sophies world and History of western philosophy multiple times and yet combined probably less time than I spent with a 20 dollar copy of Demon's Souls I put 400 hours in.
True. The value-to-cost is very much in favor of the customer. In fact, if the game is "too good" it may soak up too much of the customer's time and dissuade them from purchasing other games (or so the thinking goes).
 

laser_printer

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Even if physical media were to go away, games would still cost the same amount of money and manpower to produce.
So when does it stop? Even if it goes away nothings stopping them from immediately jacking up prices to 80 dollars.

Hell, there are now 15 year old games that are 30 dollars on PSN/Xbl/Steam, they should be 5 bucks, 10 dollars max.
 

Zog

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Physical games go on sale to clear shelf space, that will never be an issue for digital games. Physical games also go on sale to get bodies into the store, that isn't a thing for digital stores either.

Example: I was interested in picking up Yo-Kai Watch last week. The game is almost 7 years old and yet it's still full price on the 3DS eShop. I just bought a brand new sealed copy on eBay for $9.99 with free shipping. It came in yesterday.
 
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Stuart360

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When digital games were first being talked about, (before digital was even a thing on PC), all we were told was games would be cheaper becuase of no disk and cases manufactoring, no game stores taking their cut, no 'middle men' basically, but none of that happened, in terms of games being cheaper, quite the opposite actually happened.
 

Kenpachii

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As soon as brick and mortar stores close down digital prices will drop.

Until then, no chance, sadly.
Wrong they are already gone here, and prices are still up for us.

Hell they even get more expensive, want to buy ac odyssey with all its content 100+ euro. Want to buy Tomb raider with all its content 100+ euro
Want to buy anno with all content 100+ euro.

Then u got shit u can buy in there stores also that are locked out of the game which makes it even more expensive. etc.

There is no excuse games on PC should go for 30 bucks at max and frankly while the base verison drops faster towards it mostly, its still a stripped version of the game.
 

#Phonepunk#

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no commercial industry will ever lower the cost of it's products. doesn't matter what they say, they have profit margins to meet.

when CDs were just coming out, they promised they would be cheaper. they were cheaper to make than records. cheaper to ship. then they came out with CDs and they were more expensive. what can i say, they wanted to keep making money.

also it doesn't matter how old a record is, a re-release will cost full price new. gamers are used to having old games reduced in price. you will have to buy full price for a Black Sabbath album no matter when you buy it. you have to pay full price for Star Wars no matter what decade you are in. the idea that older media should be cheaper is something mostly isolated ti games.
 
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EDMIX

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As soon as brick and mortar stores close down digital prices will drop.

Until then, no chance, sadly.
You mean when we have LESS OPTIONS, prices will drop when publishers have a stronger hold over the market? Thats a lot of assumptions. If anything, don't tell us it will happen, tell us WHY you think it will happen and HOW.
 

StormCell

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I guess I don't really see the complaint. I get what you're saying, but I'm also sitting here playing the complete editions of games released only a year or two ago and paid $20 or less for each during whatever big sale I bought them during. Games like H:ZD probably cost a small fortune to make, and then after like a year or so you can pick it up plus all its DLC for ~$15. Is that not the cheaper digital age that was advertised? Will it not continue if the physical/brick and mortar goes away? I'm confident the publishers will continue to battle it out for sales, same as always...

Nintendo on the other hand.... Good gawd, those prices almost never drop. Ever. And, no, sorry, 15-30% off isn't what I consider steep discounts. :)
 
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phil_t98

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on xbox and I think its the same on plsystation is digital sales have 2 licences where you can game share. disc copy you lend it to a mate you can't play it so that's why cost stays same for Digital even though there is no packaging and stuff
 

Vawn

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have heard the excuses. Retailers still have a lot of sway on price.
That's not an excuse - that's the reason.

But games are cheaper than they've ever been counting inflation. If this gap was to ever to occur, it would be by retail prices going up, not digital going down.
 
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synchronicity

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I don't know. With Humble Bundle, Steam, GOG and other sales/deals, I'm drowning. (in a good way :p)

But I rarely bother with playing new releases, unless it's just something I have to have immediately - which is very rare.
 
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DunDunDunpachi

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That's not an excuse - that's the reason.
So if you remove retailers from the equation i.e. you don't have to pay them to deliver the product to the customer, wouldn't they have more leverage to offer more competitive prices?

The speciality retailers are growing broke (GameStop) and the major retailers (Wal Mart, Best Buy) aren't actually going to care about digital prices until it possibly affects the viability of offering the product in the store.

It seems like a deflection from the publishers: bu bu but retail will take a stand against us if we offer better prices digitally. Okay but will they really? As has been pointed out, digital offers tons of sales but that never seems to affect whether or not the retailers carry the product. I generally do not trust corpo suits who insist something bad will happen (with no explanation) when it means I have to keep paying a premium.
 

Zog

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The speciality retailers are growing broke (GameStop) and the major retailers (Wal Mart, Best Buy) aren't actually going to care about digital prices until it possibly affects the viability of offering the product in the store.
Wal Mart sells new games at a discount. $60 games are $50 at Wal Mart and $40 games are $32. These aren't sales but everyday prices.
 

Vawn

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don't have to pay them to deliver the product to the customer, wouldn't they have more leverage to offer more competitive prices?
Yes, but if they leave, you lose all that advertising, sales. Parents and grandparents are much less likely to be buying digital.

Of course, digital games should be cheaper, but the publishers can't risk pissing them off, as they still need them.

Whether it's a good reason for the formats having the same price or not, it IS the reason.
 
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