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The Price is Wrong, Mac - Active Topical Banter

Fowl SorcerousFowl Sorcerous Dread News EditorRPGamer Staff
edited October 2014 in Latest Updates
Between various platforms, business models and the ever-present Square-Enix Tax, we navigate the state of game pricing for RPGamers.

iOS subscription (have you guys tried downcast? way better than itunes for this sort of thing.)

Talking Points from the Episode:
-Dollars per hour is the most stupid measurement ever.
-At what point the money matters.
-Sale prices are not lost revenue.
-Most expensive to make, cheapest they've ever been to buy
-Current console price point makes launching IP unfeasible w/o spending even more on marketing
-"Sqeenix tax"
-Steam sales/humble bundles/subscription gaming and how it affects consumer habits

Next Time: Fixing Final Fantasy


  • Rya_ReisenderRya_Reisender Solipsist Snowflake Full Members
    edited October 2014
    I usually calculate a game's worth with €/hour and I think it's fine. However I don't use the time you need to play through a game but rather the time I enjoy it. And of course how much I enjoy it also plays a role (increases €/hour).

    The only games I find too expensive are console games. Some drop in price to an acceptable level like 40€, but others keep increasing in price until they end up with like 100€, so I just end up never buying them.

    Most games I buy and enjoy I actually find too cheap. I hardly pay more than 15€ these days for PC games I often enjoy a lot more than any of the 40€ console games I bought the past years. I often feel bad when paying less for a game I enjoy more.
  • smacdsmacd Full Members
    edited October 2014
    I don't calculate based on the $/hour, but I don't see anything wrong with it in general. I do like the comparison with other forms of media such as movies, it makes me feel like I'm getting more value. However for me, I'm a strong believer that the sticker price is the sucker price, and thus I rarely ever pay full price for anything. For a standard $60 game, my buy in point is when it drops to $20 (with rare exceptions). For other initial price points, its getting a 50% or better discount. On the other hand, I absolutely refuse to do used games unless there is no way to get it new. On the other hand, I also don't even usually get around to playing most games till they've dropped down in price anyway.

    $/hr used to be an interesting measurement, but much like Sam, I'm getting to the point where I'd rather play shorter games over longer games. a 15-30 hour RPG is far more appealing than a 50+ hour RPG now. However in the last several years I've had that inverse in time vs money that many people have started having as we get older- I have a lot more money than I do time available.

    The Squeenix "tax" is annoying (much like all taxes). But I wish they would pipe it into localizing DQ in the West. If they're going to charge me more, at least give me a good reason for it. But again, following my rules of 50% off, I have still bought some of their mobile games since they have had sales. Though the mobile DQs are pretty well priced IMO and I've been picking them up at regular price, if only to encourage more localization.

    Atlus is interesting, in that they used to make games you had to buy day one because otherwise you'd have to buy them on the secondary market for very high prices. Now, they are scumming the digital services and I regret picking up several of their games at full price when I just started becoming aware of them and their print run limitations (right as they started dumping everything on PSN/eShop)

    I do agree with Scott, it IS the cheapest time for gaming. I paid $75 for both Chrono Trigger and DW4, and $85 for FF3 (snes) back in the day. And I know PS4 was $100. Adjusted for inflation, we're talking about over $150 for games. We live in a day where games are rather cheap, but dev costs are very high. Though they make up for it in volume. Though I'm surprised we didn't see a jump to $75 in the US with the current gen.

    As for that feeling Sam mentions about wanting new games to be like what you used to love in the old games, I think the only series still doing that for me is Dragon Quest. I wish I would get that out of FF, TES, Megaman and most of my other favorite series. But I know it'll never happen again, its been over a decade.

    DLC pricing is where the $/hr really hits home for me, and I'm glad its been mentioned (and I look forward to the podcast covering it). I get really angry when I spend $5-$15 on less than an hour of content, especially when they attach trophies/achievements to it. Its one of the reasons I hold off playing some games until all the DLC is out and get a GOTY if I can, or get deals on the DLC before I play the game. But yeah, DLC is a big topic for me since I've bought quite a bit.

    The steam curation... don't really care at all. I like the discovery queue a LOT more along with the "Not Interested" and "Follow". I just wish they had a smarter algorithm that actually personalized it rather than just telling me what was popular or highly rated.
  • VictarVictar Member Full Members
    edited October 2014
    Dollars per hour means nothing when you have a gigantic backlog of games to play and plenty of disposable income to spend on more.

    Dollars per hour means everything when you don't have a game backlog and you're nearly broke.

    Some people have memories of this from when they were children and had to save up their limited allowance for one game that could hopefully last a while. Others are living this as adults, such as college students and recent grads enmired in debt.

    Length isn't everything, but any game review should mention the estimated length and replayability of a game, allowing the reader to work out dollars per hour if they so desire. I appreciate that RPGamer does this.
  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Hands off the parfait! Administrators
    edited October 2014
    I find myself buying fewer games day one, especially those I know will be easy to find months, even years later. I have enough of a backlog as a is. It's not as if I find full price games expensive, but it seems more practical to wait.

    There is one company where waiting for a price drop will take you a long: Nintendo. The prices are fair, but even a used copy will only be a few dollars cheaper. New copies, especially of more popular games, will keep their full prices for a long time. Sometimes it may take the system's successor to arrive before the more popular games on that system drop in price. I expect this to happen with Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Depending on various circumstances, I may get one of the games months before whenever generation 7 comes out (like what I did with Pokemon HeartGold), or a little sooner if I really want access to the move tutors. I don't foresee a big drop in price on those games.
    Bravely second...
    The courage to try again...

    Twitter: BerryEggs

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