The idea that if publishers raised the price of AAA games to $70 then they'd cease to do all the shady scummy greedy things that they currently do with games listed at $60 is straight up ridiculous on its face. It's in fact laughable.
I think the sad fact is that these things are going to continue happen regardless of the entry price for these games. Whether it's $60, 90, 20, or free, they'll continue. And so if that's is your perspective, as it is mine and clearly Jim's, then moving towards a freemium model makes sense, both from a business standpoint and a logical one. If Battlefront 2 was free, then no one would have really cared or complained much about their predatory practices because it's expected in a freemium model. Same with Shadow of War. I do think games that have those aspects should be free, because that's where they make most of their money anyways.
That said, I also think that more games need to be willing to adjust their pricetag. I do think there are some games that could easily get away with requiring $70 or even $80 to purchase. I think games like Horizon, Breath of the Wild, Witcher 3, and so on all are worth that kind of money as they are of extremely high quality and they don't utilize any microtransactions or other predatory practices, so in those cases, it may make sense to increase the amount of money charged up front. Though personally, I think in those cases it probably makes the most sense to continue the current trend of having multiple editions - $60 base game, and then up from there for added bonuses like steel book editions or special editions with art books and statues.
Also I think more games should cost much less than $60, but not necessarily utilize the freemium model. Basically, the yearly iteration games, like the sports titles, should cost probably around $30 since they're usually just the same game as the prior year with some tweaks.
I'll give them some credit, I hadn't ever thought of the social pressure to purchase the best equipment and skins in a game before. So it's cool they revealed another side to all this that I hadn't considered before. That said, this is not a good look for these guys and I totally disagree with them.
@Backfire, I couldn't agree more. It's naive to the point of incredulity that think that companies would stop these predatory monetisation techniques if the price increase. They'll always try to push the limits of what they can get away with and when the reach them they'll expect to be praised for going back to previous scummy schemes because they aren't as bad anymore.
I don't even buy games at full price anymore because even the current price adds up real ****ing fast. And a lot of people feel the same way, its why platforms like Steam have flourished. People want cheaper games and I feel that leads to more sales. And especially if you want to add in micotransactions its just not justifiable to charge what they are right now. We've seen in MMO's for instance that they can make more money by going F2P with microtransations then they could through just sales and subscriptions.
And totally agree with the sports titles thing, they're a complete scam imo. And they make insane money through microtransactions. I heard EA made a billion last year on FIFA microtransactions alone. And FIFA '18 is £55 on Origin right now. I don't see how you can claim those games need to charge what they do when they're basically just re-releases.
I think the video's entire premise is based on faulty reasoning. It's based on the idea that the $60 price tag is unsustainable based on the fact that it hasn't changed in a while. Two problems with this are that
1) It has changed, it wasn't that long ago that games cost $50. Also with the inclusion of things like gold editions and ultra editions and all that, I think Jim's argument that $60 is just the price for basic entry now, and not the full game is much more honest. The full game now usually costs anywhere between $100-$150, where as before, the full game was $50. So by that metric, it has absolutely changed.
2) What this video ignores (or maybe it doesn't, I stopped watching it after about 3 minutes because I found the guy's voice grating and found the initial point behind the entire premise silly) is that video games now have a much much larger audience than they did 15 or 20 years ago, which is why games cost so much more to make. They're no longer the niche, dweeby passtime that got you made fun of like they were back when I was in high school, but a popular and mainstream source of entertainment. So taking into account the large increase in number of potential customers, $60 should definitely be sustainable if the game is actually good and worth that price tag because in that case, the potential audience is large enough to definitely give the creators of that game huge profit. The fact is, though, that not all games are, which takes us back to the prior point that they need to start utilizing more flexible pricing methods.
Yeah, I don't see much merit in their premise either. From what I've heard companies are making tons of profits and they always have been. Like Ridleys video says, the big companies like Activision and EA are making billions right now. They aren't struggling at all. And EA recently assured their stockholders that taking lootboxes out of Battlefront 2 wouldn't hurt the games profits, so clearly they aren't necessary for the game to be financially viable.
Yeah, I've never heard of these Extra Credit guys, I imagine they're just being contrarian to get attention seeing as they haven't put much effort into their arguments. Or maybe they just aren't good at what they do.
The point you brought up about the social pressure to have the best loot/gear is interesting. But ultimately loot boxes don't do anything to alleviate that pressure or desire, they just make it more expensive to attain.
Thank God I'm an antisocial cvnt who never plays online games. It's rare that I even pay for full blown DLC expansions let alone microtransactions crap. I got the DLC for Witcher 3, Zero Dawn and Assassins Creed Origins.
Extra Credits is a pretty influential channel when it comes to game discussion online in some circles. I don't watch much of their stuff anymore since they focus a lot from a game dev perspective since they work in the industry. They've made some great videos in the past but I just didn't care about all the video's that were soley focused towards an actual game dev. But the Extra History stuff they do is fantastic. You do need to get used to the guys voice though, lol.
Its not a positive thing, its one of the things they mention against lootboxes. Players get pressured into buying premium equipment so they don't let their team/guild down or so they don't get made fun of for having shitty stuff. It makes me think that although lootboxes are different than gambling, they have their own elements that could make them just as bad.
Last edited by Nephthys on Feb 15th, 2018 at 11:07 PM
Oh, got it. I misunderstood your/their point. Yeah, loot boxes are pretty insidious. Did you hear that Hawaii may enact legislation outlawing the sale of games with loot boxes to people under 18? Pretty huge if they do that.