Less than 10 years ago, the price of a Video Game would have cost no more than £30. Today, however, you walk into a high-street Game or HMV and just the basic game will cost upwards of £50, and that’s not even including add-ons, season passes or exclusive editions of games.
A prime example of this was last week. I walked into a Game in Swindon, just after the new Call of Duty ‘Infinite Warfare’ was released. Now, this game, a standard edition is currently selling at £60 on Amazon, but the edition I saw, in front of me, in Game, was a ‘Legendary Pro Edition’ and was on sale for £110. This is bloody insane. How a game, with just a little bit more added on than a standard edition, could cost more than £100 makes no sense! How did the price of a video game become so much?! Especially for a franchise that is basically just reproducing the same genre of first person shooter each and every year. Is it because the fan base craves new content that they’ll pay as much as they can to get as much as they can?
Now, not all Video games are this expensive. An example of this could be Football Manager 2017. The game was only officially released 8 days ago and costs £35. The game franchise does also have a large fan base yet, unlike Call of Duty, it doesn’t feel the need to excessively charge for the game. For me, I’ve had Football Manager 17 for just over 2 weeks, bought for £30, and I’ve already logged over 100 hours playing the game making it well worth the money. As well as this, Sports Interactive (the makers of Football Manager) offered a reduction service to long-serving fans of the franchise, with the company offering 5% of FM17 for every game you’ve owned going back the past 5 years, therefore owning the past 5 Football Managers meant you got 25% off this new version, something that Call of Duty have never offered their loyal fanbase.
It seems that every week a brand new ‘triple A’ (meaning big budget) game is released, and unless you’re a big franchise like Fifa and Call of Duty, it can be difficult to warrant a big price tag, especially if your game comes with a lot of hype. An example of this was the release of No Mans Sky back in August. This game was hyped so much by hopeful gamers and the company that they charged £50 for a game that no one had played before. The result? Angry gamers (myself included). The game was not what the company promised. Lacking key features that the company had stated would be available to players, the game launched well, but once players realised that the game was incomplete and not worth the price tag, many started to get angry and demand their money back. Many players used a loophole in the Steam refund clause to get their money back and return the game, other players had no such luck. My own experience of the game was good, but this might have been because I a) didn’t pay for it and b) wasn’t aware of the features that should have been available. I did, however, feel that the game was over-priced for what it was and that it was severely lacking in certain places making the game becoming boring after a few hours of playing.
Another common aspect of gaming that, so far, hasn’t been effected by the price rises of games is re-releases. This means that games that used to be available on older consoles, such as Skyrim and Lego Harry Potter, have been remastered and re-released to the newer console generation. Both of these games I own now on PS4 and I used to own on PS3. How much did I pay for both? £60. For two games! Two full games (well 3 as the original Lego Harry Potter was split into two games), remastered and HD available to me on my new console. Now, I don’t know why companys can afford to sell these remastered games at a lower cost, maybe it’s because it didn’t require much money or effort to remaster them and then release them, all I know is that I’m glad these games don’t cost as much as ‘new’ Triple A games as these older, remastered games are just as good and fun to replay and enjoy repeatedly on my new console.
I’m hoping the price of Video Games goes down, especially with the rise in DLC (Downloadable Content) and Season Passes. But with these games making the money easily due to fan demand, it looks like it won’t be happening any time soon.