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Opinion Business Game Dev Xbox’s Aaron Greenberg discusses $70 game pricing and says it’s a ‘complex’ issue

GreyHand23

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And for a lot of people Halo is the reason to get an Xbox.

As it should be. I'm just saying if Microsoft wants to charge $70 for their first party games, they should meet a certain quality level. That's why I'm glad they delayed Halo Infinite and I'm hoping they commit to releasing quality rather than allowing brand tarnishing releases like Crackdown 3.
 

Concern

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Is the concept of buying and owning a game suddenly so alien to you just because you can try it out on Game Pass?


Nope. I enjoy the fact that i can install and unistall all first party games as I please without needing to purchase them anymore knowing they will always be there for me to play.

As far as third party, if it's anything that's take off and i will still play, I'll just purchase it like SoR4 for example.
 

chonga

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Aug 17, 2020
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MS will keep games at 60$ till they’re next gen only. They don’t want to raise current gen prices, cus it’s a dick move, and they don’t want to charge for next gen upgrades either. So with MS consumers on both gens benefit right now.
They have to because of Smart Delivery.

They can't not have Smart Delivery on their own titles, and therefore they can't price things differently because there's only one version of the game.

And Aaron is clearly leaving the path clear here for $70 titles.
 

Arkam

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Here, Now and maybe later
Is the concept of buying and owning a game suddenly so alien to you just because you can try it out on Game Pass?

I dont know if i'd call it alien, but sure doesnt feel natural. Let me spend $10-$15 one month, play the game for the month.... then still have a enough game left to warrant another $60? For massive games or ones with endless replayability, but not the lions share. I'd just spend my month(s) where it is part of my sub (I have PSNow so a bit apples to bananas) and then move on when it's gone. Had PSNow since December last year, have not purchased one game I played on that service first.
 

DeepEnigma

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Dec 3, 2013
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Microsoft has every reason to push $70 games, because it makes their subscription look like an even better deal (in the short run).

Personally, I'm in favor of premium prices for premium games. However, a lot of games aren't "premium" in my eyes since a huge chunk of that money goes toward marketing, voice acting, mocap, and crappy story-writing, I usually wait for a sale or skip, in those cases.

They were first to push $60 in the 360 era when $40-$50 was the norm, they even went back on their word of first party games staying at $50 when they launched Halo 3 at $60 and their 1st party games thereafter went to $60.

2K was the first to push $70, then Sony for a platform holder, MS will follow as well when it shows zero slowdown due to that pricepoint. His dodgy answer is more than enough for the obvious.

Good thing nowadays for the budget gamer. Games dip much sooner in sales prices for both physical and digital.
 
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soulbait

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Mar 9, 2020
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Sorry but there are few games that warrant the $70 price tag. You factor in dlc, battle passes, MTX etc. and this looks more and more as greed to me. I've gotten to the point that I'm more than happy to wait for a price on a game I want to come down.

I remember paying $70 for Conker's Bad Fur Day when it was first released on N64 (it was also the first game I was ever carded for :D ). When adjusted for inflation, it cost me, a high school kid with only a part time job, $103. Games were usually only $50 that time (with some N64 games costing more due to cartridge price), which would be right around $73 in today's money.

Of course I do not want game prices to go up, but looking how much more it costs to make games these days, a $70 asking price ($10 increase) does not seem like an unfair jump in price.
 

Three

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Games like Miles Morales, Sackboy and likely Horizon II will all be the same price across both platforms. The UE for Miles is £70 but that is down the slightly predatory tacking on of the PS5 Remaster of SpiderMan PS4.
Exactly, the price for Mile Morales is under £50. Using the Ultimate edition price that comes with an additional game is not looking at the actual retail price for the game. It would be like saying Flight Simulator costs $120 (the Deluxe edition that comes with 10 additional planes).
 

Jigsaah

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First off, #firegreenberg

Secondly. All this is telling me is that Xbox is waiting for the premium pricing to be normalized. This is something I'd expect more out of Sony. Sony just said fuck it though and dropped the $70 bomb on us in the absolute worst of times. So Sony can be very transparent it seems when it comes to certain things.

It's like Microsoft is slowly ripping the band-aid off. Sony just tore it off and applied 90% rubbing alcohol and told us "If it burns, you know it's working."

Prediction: Once cross-gen crap is over in a couple years and the pandemic is over, $70 will be the norm.
 

Redlancet

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You missed the part about microtransactions in the post you were responding to. Those systems you mentioned didn't have that. Furthermore, games back then came as a finished product and not in incomplete states or with content purposely held back for DLC.

The issue isn't that games are going up in purchase price, it's that these same games double dip by cutting content behind even more paywalls. It's never "just' another $10.
God of war have None of that
 

DeepEnigma

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First off, #firegreenberg

Secondly. All this is telling me is that Xbox is waiting for the premium pricing to be normalized. This is something I'd expect more out of Sony. Sony just said fuck it though and dropped the $70 bomb on us in the absolute worst of times. So Sony can be very transparent it seems when it comes to certain things.

It's like Microsoft is slowly ripping the band-aid off. Sony just tore it off and applied 90% rubbing alcohol and told us "If it burns, you know it's working."

Prediction: Once cross-gen crap is over in a couple years and the pandemic is over, $70 will be the norm.

I doubt it will even take that long. 2K and all the other third parties are going to be $70 on the XSX like they will be on all platforms. They will follow suit with their first banger.
 

Jigsaah

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I doubt it will even take that long. 2K and all the other third parties are going to be $70 on the XSX like they will be on all platforms. They will follow suit with their first banger.
So essentially, Halo Infinite, if they actually clean it up. Hmmm...honestly, even if they don't. People are gonna buy it regardless. Can't believe how many were willing to defend it's initial gameplay.

EDIT:
Maybe The Medium since it's next gen only may be $70. But again, up to the publishers right?
 
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reinking

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Sony didn't raise prices on current gen games.
I was discussing their next gen games for PS5. That was inline with the post I replied to. My reply was in reference to Sony should have not raised prices until all of their games are next Gen exclusive. As long as they are still releasing current gen games at $59.99 it is a bad look. There are two Sony published games releasing for $69.99 on the PS5. I understand those games are not coming to PS4 but it is still a bad look. Especially when the competition (mostly due to circumstance) is able to dance around the issue.
 

AllBizness

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I was discussing their next gen games for PS5. That was inline with the post I replied to. My reply was in reference to Sony should have not raised prices until all of their games are next Gen exclusive. As long as they are still releasing current gen games at $59.99 it is a bad look. There are two Sony published games releasing for $69.99 on the PS5. I understand those games are not coming to PS4 but it is still a bad look. Especially when the competition (mostly due to circumstance) is able to dance around the issue.
Xbox doesn't have any 1st party next gen exclusives yet ofcourse there's no need to raise prices.
 

DeepEnigma

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So essentially, Halo Infinite, if they actually clean it up. Hmmm...honestly, even if they don't. People are gonna buy it regardless. Can't believe how many were willing to defend it's initial gameplay.

EDIT:
Maybe The Medium since it's next gen only may be $70. But again, up to the publishers right?

I think The Medium is $50. It's probably a more concise experience, which is not a bad thing. Some games can be tooooooo long.
 
Aug 28, 2019
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At that point you're just paying for the privilege of having demos (functionally). PS+ suffered through the same issue which is why I cancelled awhile ago.

They're not technically demos, though. They're full games; if you act on your own choice to play them in full, you at least actually have the ability to do so. Actual demos would not allow you to do such, you'd be forced to buy the game to enjoy more.

...which speaking of, people can still buy the GP games if they want, and do so at a discount if the game's on the GP service. Which is a neat perk imo.

First off, #firegreenberg

Secondly. All this is telling me is that Xbox is waiting for the premium pricing to be normalized. This is something I'd expect more out of Sony. Sony just said fuck it though and dropped the $70 bomb on us in the absolute worst of times. So Sony can be very transparent it seems when it comes to certain things.

It's like Microsoft is slowly ripping the band-aid off. Sony just tore it off and applied 90% rubbing alcohol and told us "If it burns, you know it's working."

Prediction: Once cross-gen crap is over in a couple years and the pandemic is over, $70 will be the norm.

Unfortunately $70 might end up being the norm, but if MS are smart they'll be able to leverage some of those games being on GP to act as a means for getting a discount on those games as long as they're on the service (not taken out of rotation). So for those games, if someone's buying them on a Series platform, they could still be getting them for $60, hell maybe even less than that depending on the specific game.

I expect that's something Sony will be forced to match in terms of an ecosystem benefit sometime in the future, but that depends on them growing PS Now, which they have a lot of work to do on that front.
 
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DunDunDunpachi

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They're not technically demos, though. They're full games; if you act on your own choice to play them in full, you at least actually have the ability to do so. Actual demos would not allow you to do such, you'd be forced to buy the game to enjoy more.

...which speaking of, people can still buy the GP games if they want, and do so at a discount if the game's on the GP service. Which is a neat perk imo.



Unfortunately $70 might end up being the norm, but if MS are smart they'll be able to leverage some of those games being on GP to act as a means for getting a discount on those games as long as they're on the service (not taken out of rotation). So for those games, if someone's buying them on a Series platform, they could still be getting them for $60, hell maybe even less than that depending on the specific game.

I expect that's something Sony will be forced to match in terms of an ecosystem benefit sometime in the future, but that depends on them growing PS Now, which they have a lot of work to do on that front.
You're right, they're paid demos that go away if you stop your subscription and/or they cycle off the service. It's only a loose comparison, but the underlying point is that you're paying for the privilege of playing these games and then also paying to keep them for longer than the allotted rental. A discounted purchase, yes, but the discounts are applied to the games they want to funnel you to. I will repeat that I've already dealt with these sort of tactics on PS+ and eventually cancelled as a result.

It's a FOMO subscription. Nothin' new.
 
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Calverz

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Sony are doing $70 because they're losing more money on the Digital Edition PS5 IMO. People that want that console will have to pay $70 for first party games.

$70 at retail for physical copies is irrelevant, because no one ever actually pays full retail price. Here in Australia our RRP is AUD$100 for games, yet everywhere apart from EB Games sells them for between $75 and $89 on release. Not just on sale, that's literally the price they release at and never go up.
I have pre ordered demons souls physical for £70 so your point is nonsense.
 

HarryKS

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MS will keep games at 60$ till they’re next gen only. They don’t want to raise current gen prices, cus it’s a dick move, and they don’t want to charge for next gen upgrades either. So with MS consumers on both gens benefit right now.

Dude...
 

lastmessiah

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It's gonna happen no matter how many people whine about it on the internet. AAA games are expensive to make and often don't sell that well. Or they sell but only at slashed prices. Not sustainable to make multi-million dollar games only for them to end up peddled on the used market or languishing in the bargain bin. There are always those who will buy day one and they need to make their money there.

Nintendo wins of course, because they don't spend nearly as much on AAA trimmings and yet more people are willing to pay full price for their games than are willing to buy a AAA for $30.
 
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OrtizTwelve

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$70 + tax for a game(s) that 95% of the time day 1 ships unfinished, unpolished, buggy, and a majority of the time loaded with non-stop paid dlc, endless "season passes", micro-transactions, and other schemes. It's a never-ending stream of nonsense.
 
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Balducci30

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You're right, they're paid demos that go away if you stop your subscription and/or they cycle off the service. It's only a loose comparison, but the underlying point is that you're paying for the privilege of playing these games and then also paying to keep them for longer than the allotted rental. A discounted purchase, yes, but the discounts are applied to the games they want to funnel you to. I will repeat that I've already dealt with these sort of tactics on PS+ and eventually cancelled as a result.

It's a FOMO subscription. Nothin' new.

I don’t really care about owning games, I’m not building a collection. I play a game and I’m done. Ive resold nearly every physical PS4 game I’ve owned for a much much lower price - even if they were fairly new. It’s always annoyed me. if I want to revisit maybe I’ll renew my subscription. I’m a casual gamer though of course so that’s just the way I play.

This “paid demo” spiel is nonsense. God I wish Demon Souls was on a service like that it would be a no brainer.
 
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DunDunDunpachi

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I don’t really care about owning games, I’m not building a collection. I play a game and I’m done. Ive resold nearly every physical PS4 game I’ve owned for a much much lower price - even if they were fairly new. It’s always annoyed me. if I want to revisit maybe I’ll renew my subscription. I’m a casual gamer though of course so that’s just the way I play.

This “paid demo” spiel is nonsense. God I wish Demon Souls was on a service like that it would be a no brainer.
Don't take it too personally, as the "paid demo spiel" was a loose comparison, in response to the idea that you would pay for Game Pass and then buy those games afterward anyway.
 

NickFire

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Translation: This is really complex because we've spent 7.5 billion on devs just last month, and a ton more money before that. So we're going to start with differing prices based on what the market will bear for each game. The crappy shovel wear will generally be cheaper as a general rule all generation. But once our new acquisitions have software ready for retail, we're charging $70 on every platform. We love gamers, but we aren't about to eat billions and billions of dollars just to own 67% of console players who prefer a different eco-system.
 
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Evangelion Unit-01

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$70 will be the standard for next gen AAA releases, especially as we move past the cross-gen titles. I don't expect we see any $60 games in 2022. That said, there is something to be said for the fact that as games have become more diverse in nature there is plenty of room for a variety of different price points. Not every game is a big AAA release-there are $20, $30, $40, $50 releases out there now. Microsoft also has Game Pass to consider to them games aren't just $60 nor are they $70-they are also the value of retained + new Game Pass users at $15/month.
 
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You're right, they're paid demos that go away if you stop your subscription and/or they cycle off the service. It's only a loose comparison, but the underlying point is that you're paying for the privilege of playing these games and then also paying to keep them for longer than the allotted rental. A discounted purchase, yes, but the discounts are applied to the games they want to funnel you to. I will repeat that I've already dealt with these sort of tactics on PS+ and eventually cancelled as a result.

It's a FOMO subscription. Nothin' new.

Sounds like subscription services in general aren't your cup of tea.
 

Jagz

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$70 games in this current economy, is defnititely a hard pill to swallow.

All console bias' aside, you have to admit that with the Xbox Series S/X, all you basically need to do is buy the console and a Game Pass subscription and you instantly have a ton of entertainment available to you, at little to no extra cost.

PS5 has the better exclusives, like Demon's Souls and Spider-man, but for the price of one of those games, you could have spent that on 4 1/2 months of Game Pass, and got to play lots of games.

I don't know, Game Pass has really disrupted the console market, and PS5 in particular. It will be interesting to see how things turns out.
 

Zannegan

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And just wait til it does become the norm and Switch 2 games start launching at $70. =/ Here's hoping we get a Wii situation where the Nintendo console's games come out for $10 cheaper for a generation. It would really sting to pay $70 or wait for a handheld game.

Man, I wish Best Buy's discount subscription was still going. That was an amazing deal in retrospect.
 
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The way I see it, it'll be worth it for the games that are worth it. The average AAA game does have way higher expectations than games used to have when it comes to breadth, depth and quality of content (and often length of replayability and support). Yeah some games don't release finished, but most AAA are patched to hell and back for at least a few months. Battlefront 2 showed devs that there is a breaking point when it comes to microtransactions, and most systems have been adjusted accordingly. Sure some of them are malicious, but its usally only a problem if you have no self control and let yourself get fomo'd into buying a bunch of skins that don't do anything, and have no feeling of reward associated with them. Let the suckers be the suckers.

But like I said, I'm speaking generally. I think a game like COD: MW/Warzone has a surprisingly fair system that works for most people while still being lucrative, whereas a game like Destiny 2 does most everything wrong.

$70 has been coming for a long time, and honestly I'm surprised it didn't happen earlier.

Oh...and inflation.
 
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mckmas8808

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And just wait til it does become the norm and Switch 2 games start launching at $70. =/ Here's hoping we get a Wii situation where the Nintendo console's games come out for $10 cheaper for a generation. It would really sting to pay $70 or wait for a handheld game.

Man, I wish Best Buy's discount subscription was still going. That was an amazing deal in retrospect.

It's crazy to me that Best Buy went away with their discount program.
 
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Poop!

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Remember in 2005 when the 360 launched all the first party games were $50 for the first year. Only once Gears of War 1 came out did the price increase to $60.
 

NickFire

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I'm surprised by the lack of people wondering why MS is trying to figure out how much to charge for the games that everyone thought were bought primarily bought to make a subscription service more attractive.
 
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