-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.
Why 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?