With rumors floating around of PlayStation 4 games costing $10 more than current-gen titles, and EA assuring us that all of its future games will have microtransactions built-in, just how much is too much for a game? The $60 price-point has been common for quite some time, but that was before the advent of DLC and other microtransactions. Today, that $60 game could turn into a $120 game – or worse.
Amidst all of the complaints about being nickel and dimed, there’s one person who believes that most people are just whiners. That person is Cliffy B, who wrote an editorial last week that describes his thoughts on things. In his mind, $60 is not a lot to spend on a game, and as for microtransactions, it’s more content, and that content requires $$$ to make. That might be understandable from a business perspective, but a consumer perspective, I’m not so sure.
Consider, for example, all of the games that come out in a given month that are worth purchasing. At $60 a game, you could very well exhaust your monthly entertainment fund on two or three games. With such prices, many have deemed it reasonable to only purchase the games you have to have on day one, and for the rest – just wait a couple of months and snag it on sale.
I think about that last point often. Even more than movies, most games plummet in price fast. There are some exceptions, but it’s not uncommon to see a $50 game on sale at Steam or elsewhere for $33 a month later, $25 two months later and perhaps even $13 a month after that. A great question might be, who would buy games on day-one?
That question is of course meant to be more of a joke, because there are some games that are well-worth the full price, or even more. That brings us to another point. EA might release a game that many would consider mediocre at best, and then sell a ton of DLC for it. Meanwhile, a game like Borderlands 2 comes out that I’d consider to be worth twice what it costs (it really is that good).
Ubisoft’s Far Cry 3
One of Cliffy B’s arguments is that game development is more expensive than ever, but I have to ask – does it need to be? Of course, games with mega-graphics, like Crysis 3 (our review) or Tomb Raider are nice, but not all games need that level of detail. It’s been proven time and time again that graphics don’t make the game, and as long as they’re sufficient, people will play if the game is good. Look at Team Fortress 2 or the original DotA.
It’s clear that this post turned into a bit of a brain dump, and to properly discuss anything would require a 10-page editorial. So I’d love to hear what you guys think about the state of things. Is $60 too much for a game? Do you buy DLC? Are you opposed to microtransactions? Do you have any exceptions to your rules?