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Games and Rising Costs

I’d like to see a discussion on the rising costs of games and the resulting considerations that are being made re: industry trends, such as where the resources are going, and what that means for creativity, innovation, etc.

Also what this means for the on-going discourse re: content vs costs. How much content justifies the cost of the Day One pricetag? Developers are pushing a notion that many hours in an open world will equal more bang for your buck, and so we’ve seen on-going debate about quality vs. quantity while more and more games are being made in accordance with the "more hours = worth it" mentality. What of those of us who don’t have the hours in a week to sink into a game? Do we get left behind?

  • I work at an electronics store that sells video games- I am also not a huge gamer- and have therefore always been baffled at the exorbitant price tag attached to most games upon their release. I would like to see someone discuss this topic in the way you have proposed. From what I understand, Open-Word maps (such as those available on Skyrim, Grand Theft Auto, Fallout, etc.) are becoming the norm and may be taking away from some of the deeper, more involved narrative interactions (ex. L.A. Noir.) My one suggestion would be to introduce the competition that modern day piracy provides. PC gamers can often pirate games for free and play unlimited time for free on their computer, along with downloading mods, making this platform a more customizable and cost effective choice for gamers. This creates a sales deficit for platform games that a huge price tag helps make up for. Other than the addition of that point I'd narrow the thesis and keep rolling with it. – AndyJanz 5 years ago
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  • This, is a topic I would love to see being put forward! Thank you for sharing! – shehrozeameen 5 years ago
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  • This is a really good topic. I think there has always been a debate about the value of a game versus the number of hours you spend with it. I don't think you can equate value to number of hours a game takes because you should also factor in the quality of experience, nature of the game and its genre and other factors. The indie video game community is an interesting example of this. Indie games can range in price and range of experience. Online distribution of games through Xbox Store, Steam, Playstation Plus, and The Nintendo E-shop has allowed some companies to sell games for a cheaper price then $60 and challenge some notions of what a game should cost. You can also think about DLC and the sometimes hidden cost it can entain and how companies roll out this extra content, which will be charged for. – SeanGadus 5 years ago
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  • It's also important to note how many games are getting price cuts so soon after release. For example, Titanfall 2 and Battlefield 1 can often be found for $30-$40 despite it only being out for a few months. Also, Amazon Prime and Best Buy Gamers Club offer 20% discounts for preorders and games until 2 weeks after release. Lots of analysis could be put into the economics of preorders, the culture of AAA producers pushing pre-orders and how pre-release hype can immensely help a game's bottom line regardless of quality (see: No Man's Sky). – Sofie 5 years ago
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  • There are also issues of rising sales goals for video games. When the Tomb Raider reboot came out and sold 3.4 million copies Square Enix later came out and said that it had "failed to meet sales expectations." When games are so expensive that selling a million copies can be seen as a failure, how does that affect the design space? – John Wells 5 years ago
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