Should Video Game Prices Always Vary?

-by Dylan DiBona

If you’re going to pick up a hot new video game, sixty is probably a number you’re familiar with. For more than a few years now, $59.99 has been the standard price for video games that have just been released, while digital only games vary between $14.99-$19.99.

I was watching an interesting podcast where one of the co-hosts was trying to question why we hang onto this sixty dollar price point, he brought up The Witcher 3. According to the website How Long to Beat, The Witcher 3 takes roughly 167 hours to do everything. Factor in the two king-sized DLC packs Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine and you have yourself a 200+ hour game.

Image result for witcher 3Why should a game that long be accepted as monetarily equal to The Last Guardian, a 13 hour game? It shouldn’t.

Now the main arguments against my point are usually game budgets and time of development. Games like The Last Guardian, which was in development hell for about eight years must have costed a fortune to make. Constantly paying people to work on a project for that long is expensive, especially when their aspirations for the Trico AI were so high. But is that the consumers fault? Should we as the die-hard fans have to pay (literally) for a companies mistakes?

The last thing a company wants to do is sell something at a loss, but even Nintendo did just that with their Wii U, and guess what? They’re still alive and kicking with their new system.

Now my argument for fluctuating game prices can easily backfire on me. Maybe game companies would still see $59.99 as the standard and think a game like The Witcher 3 should cost $79.99. Persona 5 lasted me about 120 hours, and with a new game plus it’ll be double that; sixty bucks for a game that long is an absolute steal.

Who wants to pay more for games? Nobody. Now here’s where I would wave the white flag and forfeit to our current pricing system, but there’s one more factor I think people should consider: DLC. 

Let’s be honest, games today don’t just cost $59.99. That price is for the plain and vanilla version of a game; pay another twenty or forty for all the DLC or even a season pass and then you’ll get the full game. This is how the companies must really make a profit. If game prices always did vary and we had to pay $79.99 for The Witcher 3 up front, could we actually get the full game with all the DLC included?

 

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3 thoughts on “Should Video Game Prices Always Vary?

  1. I’ve thought for awhile the DLC should just be released as part of the original game. Generally, if you aren’t buying new release, you can buy it bundled with the game so why not do that in the first place.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s tricky because I imagine cost of development really is a factor here, yet there are some games that should obviously cost less than others. Super Bomberman R for the Switch comes to mind…that game is very nearly full price, and it isn’t exactly best seller material. I feel like the market itself eventually takes its toll on those titles – when no ones buys it for $60, the company will eventually mark it down so they at least don’t take as serious of a loss. At least, that’s what I would do.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I usually think and write from a very ‘let the price reflect the quality of experience’ standpoint but I admit a lot of these points resonated with me. If we’re talking about length then I might revert back and say a longer game might cost $40 a few months after release but still be shitter than a $60 12 hour title. But paying more because of increased development time – nah, not a fan of that.

    Liked by 1 person

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