Jimquisition: Don't Charge Retail Prices For Digital Games

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Don't Charge Retail Prices For Digital Games

The $60 pricing model is broken in the retail space, and that's a scientific fact that can be proven with science. It's truly staggering, then, that publishers are attempting to apply that awful model to the digital space, where they can better afford alternative pricing tiers. Simply put, a digital game should not cost the same as its physical counterpart, and the hubris involved in such a decision is astounding.

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For dual release, digital and retail, the price difference between the two will never happen since the retailer will complain about it and just not stock the game which will result in huge profit drops for them.

For pure digital distribution? Yeah, it should be lower and there are a few that have priced themselves lower and have no physical disks to sell. Minecraft, Torchlight, Terraria, Etc. Granted there's companies like Nintendo and their eShop who are DETERMINED to sell their old games for ridiculous prices, granted they've gotten better on the 3DS one but still.

But if they release both they'll never have a huge price disparity because it'll cost them a lot of money. Be it from GameStop or Target.

Well you certainly did a good job of creating fuhrer this week.

So you are looking forward to companies monetizing the digital market?
Then again Valve already has a grasp on that market on PC and Mac,soon Linux will follow.It won't be that hard to break it,but Valve already has won consumer loyalty so it will take a lot of resources to get a hold of most of that market.

Also "HAI HITLER!"

Good lord...he GODWIN'D himself!

Despite that...he definitely made a decent point. One wonders why these porridge-for-brains are continuing to be allowed to run the place if they are refusing to acknowledge something so basic.

The phrase "inmates running the asylum" seems inadequate.

CAPTCHA: of course

See? Even the Captcha agrees!

It has never bothered me that much that games publishers are asking for the same amount of money for a download title as one brought from retailers as I will always go and buy a physical copy anyway. It just makes me laugh that a game that costs £40 from a shop will cost £50 from the Playstation Store and never seems to decrease in price.

I want to know if there is anyone that actually buys these games when even if you are unable or unwilling to step out the house to go to a shop, you can go on the internet, onto Amazon and have the game delivered the next day for less than it costs to download from the Playstation Store.

I agree completely if publishers want to push download only as the future, it needs to get a hell of a lot cheaper. Mind you, I'm not sold on this future and if and when it comes around, I will probably start getting into retro gaming.

This is why I refuse to buy Skyrim on Steam. The bloody game is STILL at $60. I always wait for Bethesda to release a Game of the Year Edition so I can at least get everything. Buying one of their games at launch is never good news to me.

Jim, stop being so entitled. Game companies can do what they want and even though you weren't saying otherwise, I won't let that stop me from accusing you!

DVS BSTrD:
Well you certainly did a good job of creating fuhrer this week.

I hope I'm not reiching here, but Jim's always been a heavy Hitler.

The wordplay in this thread is Hitlarious. Having a swastastic time reading it!

I have a Vita, and I must say it's nowhere close to actually undercutting retail. First, a lot of games are unavailable for download in certain countries. Mortal Kombat is not available for download in Poland, Russia, Ukraine and some other countries... For no real reason other then Sony allowing WB to single out countries in a region for no reason.
And other Vita games.. I've bought Shinobido 2 in a retail store considerably cheaper then it cost in PS store.
Make digital version half the price of retail - then we're talking. Physical product still has value - it's yours forever. No one will ever take it from you, no matter what (unless you're mugged in the street, well, that's not a legal way to take something from a person). Right now you either pay for a game that's your forever or you pay same for game that Sony might take away from you.

For the most part I agree with you.

About the price point: I don't have an issue with both retail and digital copies both costing $60. However, once the first week/month/however long until the price drop the digital copies should drop in price more, since the publishers don't need to produce/ship any additional copies or anything like that. However if it's JUST digital than yeah, it definitely shouldn't be $60.

And yeah, any digital distribution service should be like Steam: New games are retail price, and the price drops regularly (like retail copies do), and older games aren't selling for large chunks of money. You want an old DOS game, it's only $3-$5

Well I can't imagine that there's any intelligent counter argument to this...

1nfinite_Cros5:
This is why I refuse to buy Skyrim on Steam. The bloody game is STILL at $60. I always wait for Bethesda to release a Game of the Year Edition so I can at least get everything. Buying one of their games at launch is never good news to me.

Its been at reduced price a few times since release. I bought it at 33% off on steam. You just need to check steams specials daily. Sometimes twice a day. You can't find treasure if you aren't digging.

Which is a great segway to why I have often considered buying physical over digital. The "you don't own your games, we are just licensing them to you" is a bunch of bullshit. And someday soon, the shit is going to hit the fan on that. At least if you have a physical copy of the game you can have a copy that if you really really wanted to, could install and play and not be at the mercy of a company holding your right to play a game you paid for hostage.

I buy most of my games on steam now because, dun dun dun..........its cheaper AND more convenient.

Big companies using their monetary power to stall progress that would improve how things work.

JEEZ, WHERE HAVE WE SEEN THIS BEFORE?!

History sure does love to repeat itself many times.

Captcha: hot-blooded, how fitting.

MonkeyPunch:
Well I can't imagine that there's any intelligent counter argument to this...

Oh sure there is.......its greed filled, bullshit filled and reeks of pure unadulterated evil. But intelligent non the less.

"The Good Hitler of Video Games"? Of course, you're out for a "Holocaust" against consumer-biting money-grubbing policies, but you being a "Hitler" implies that those policies are supported by Jews, which is stereotypically ... true.

Okay, let's look at the non-controversial, optimistic side of things. Disregarding Nintendo's/EA's outright refusal to offer price drops on digital items, digital distribution is pretty alright now. Xbox Live, Steam, and Playstation Plus (which offers only discounts and bells and whistles while not hogging the multiplayer access) have occasional discounts, which I have taken advantage of nicely. For example, I got most of Yatzee's recent Top 5 games on sale (except for Portal 2, considering price drops, but it was pretty much worth $45 with Portal as well).

My own little experience with the Sony/EA digital cluster--k is equally laughable, as the PS3 Awakening expansion pack for Dragon Age: Origins was only available as DLC in Europe.

The Xbox and PC retail versions you could pick up from HMV and GAME on the day of release for £20. Meanwhile, us PS3 players were forced to pay £32 for it.

£32 for a four hour expansion pack!? I didn't even pay that much for the damn Collector's Edition of the original game!!!

Of course EA and Sony blamed each other for the pricing, it wasn't until a year or two ago when somebody actually did something about it.

In the end, it was actually cheaper for me to just buy an Origins+Awakening bundle for my Mac.

Anyway... sorry, rant over...

You used not only Persona, but the FIRST Persona game as an example.

Jim...thank you.

And yeah, I agree. I admit I'm one of those "but I like the way the games look on my shelf" type of people, but if we ever actually do hit a point where digital downloading becomes the smarter, move effective, and cheaper option...so long shelf.

HAI HITLER!!!! (Video game Nazi)

I still like to hold my boxes... actually... I missed the old days where game boxes are made fancy, and big, much like models... Where are my art books? Colored Menus? my beautiful posters? My awesome cd case for my game? now.. all we get is a cheaply made DVD cover, with black/white menu, and a stupid AD in our small puny, unattractive box... I am sad.. and NO, I do not like digital distribution, it feels empty... I want a physical game!

Nice vid though, I think we shouldn't pay 60 bucks for games either... I'd settle for a 30-40 bucks per pop, because that was how I bought my Duke 3D in JR high school...

Good episode. It's completely true. I love when gamers defend companies like EA for their reasoning as to why games are so expensive. My favorite in recent memory is, "if used games didn't exist, we could sell games for less". It's hilarious how many people will believe bullshit just because they want to believe it. I remember when EA was saying those things. And anything they say now is just more bullshit. No company is looking for ways to compete. As the producers of games, they have the ultimate pull on the competition, but they are too busy with their heads up their asses to actually do anything to compete. No, they cry and whine and wait for gullible gamers to take up their cause. It's just too bad there are so many gullible gamers out there.

I couldn't agree more. And the problem is worse here in ireland( and probably other eu countries but i'm not 100% sure). Games cost 45-50 euro at retail here, but on the playstation store a new release game costs 70 fucking euro!!! Thats 20-25 euro more that the retail copy. its fucking ridiculous and it needs to stop

girzwald:
Oh sure there is.......its greed filled, bullshit filled and reeks of pure unadulterated evil. But intelligent non the less.

I choose to not call that intelligent but erm... erm... exploitative.
Then again you could call it intelligent exploitation. Damn you. Shut up. No. I win.
*puts fingers in ears*
"nananananananananananana"

While we're on the subject of pricing, we need to see an end to regional pricing bollocks with digitally distributed games and media. With digital content distribution regional pricing schemes should not exist because nearly all the business arguments behind regional pricing simply do not exist with digital distribution. I may not have the exact figures, but I'd be surprised if pushing 0s and 1s across cables turned out to be more expensive than manufacturing and shipping discs to all corners of the globe. Who knows, maybe when oil hits $300 a barrel publishers will think twice about putting in a manufacturing order for what is essentially a fuckton of plastic.

I got distracted at the end of the video, but "I'm Hitler" did make me focus right back on it :P

As for the whole price thing, I think publishers are hoping that if they can keep selling games, both digitally and physically, for the same price for long enough, we'll take it as "industry standard" and stop complaining. Of course it's stupid, but publishers already think we're stupid, so what's new?

And that my friends, is why I do all my game shopping from Amazon/Gamestop.

I got Mass Effect 3 on PC for 36 euro off Gamestop on release day. For PS3 it would've cost me 45-55 euro as a physical copy.

Last time I checked it was still SEVENTY FUCKING EURO on the Playstation Store.

image

As always, they will do it until it stops working for them. And for all our talk, all our articles and videos and e-mails and forum posts, every word we write about ignores the simple fact that these guys only ever read the bottom line.

----

As an aside, the issue with releasing two versions at the same time at different prices is that this model favors the lower-priced version. Retailers won't spend the money to stock a title if they feel that folks are just going to buy the digital version and leave them with unmovable product.

The answer, then, is to lower the price across the board. (Or, of course, raise the price of the lower-cost version to match, which is what they're doing.)

In theory the worst part about all this is multiplayer as far as getting value for your money. Back in Sierra days if you bought a single-player game and got it in physical media, sure your disk might eventually go bad but if you properly archived it you would get the same game forever.

Now you can't sell off your game, you can get locked out for changing systems too many times or being a dick on the forums of that company, and if it's a multiplayer game in a few years there simply wont be a way to access much of the content due to a lack of users down the line. Digital downloads not costing less are, in my opinion, more of a drop in the bucket once these other changes are reckoned with as well.

If you don't support the better developers then they wont keep making great games. Sure skyrim is $60 but that's for hundreds of hours of gameplay. Considering millions of people pay $60 for COD which only has about 10 hours of content before your just repeating maps in multiplayer paying $60 for skyrim is a bargain. I bought it on release day and i think it's the best game this gen. Bethesda deserves your money for it

Sorry Jim your no Hitler but you could stand in for Hermann Göring.

Awesome. You took the words right out of my mouth Jim. Seriously. So yes you can call me a good Hitler and you may proceed to thank God for me.

Only thing I think you missed was the automatic diminished value a digital copy has vs a physical one just for its ability to be resold, but it seemed more like you were trying to present that as a good thing somehow.

Qitz:
For dual release, digital and retail, the price difference between the two will never happen since the retailer will complain about it and just not stock the game which will result in huge profit drops for them.

But if the stores refuse to stock the title (especially if it's a popular game) they'll end up losing out too. And every digital sale results in a higher profit margin for the publisher than physical sales so it's to their benefit to drive consumers to the digital download.

I get my games wherever I get the best offer/price. Most retail stores don't offer shit for prices or extras like Steam does for PC games.

I also say "Fuck that" to any PC game sold for 60 dollars unless I know for a fact it has extensive content to justify it. EA needs to stop this 60 dollars digital PC game bullshit. Even Ubisoft is doing the right thing and selling them for 10 dollars less. UBISOFT!

Strain42:
You used not only Persona, but the FIRST Persona game as an example.

Jim...thank you.

And yeah, I agree. I admit I'm one of those "but I like the way the games look on my shelf" type of people, but if we ever actually do hit a point where digital downloading becomes the smarter, move effective, and cheaper option...so long shelf.

If I remember... Atlus wanted it cheaper digitally but Sony said no.

Steam sales!, problem solved!.

Seriously though, that's one of the biggest gripes I have with this generation, I've already fully embraced digital distribution and I'd love to see it happen in consoles and handhelds, but just as the righteous man-god führer Jim said, publishers are too afraid of change.

Deutschland Jim Sterling Uber Alles!

It is a problem with publishers. I saw FIFA 12 for £50 on psn. 50 GOD DAMN QUID! It's laughable that they think they can charge this, though that will be the problem if publishers get a monopoly on digital outlets.

Even the argument that its the same price as retail because it has a premium for the convenience of not leaving your house is stupid as it is often still cheaper to get the bus to the into town and buy the game there. And plus it waste more time anyway as you wait for the thing to download. Seriously I live 20 minutes from the nearest game shop I could hop there and back and be playing the game in the hour, even if stop for something to eat on the way.

Even steam is not immune to this problem as I believe retail outlets threaten not to stock pc games if they are sold cheaper cheaply. I don't why developers/publishers don't look at the advantages of exposure on steam against the limited shelf space now given to pc games and tell retailers to stick their self space up their arse.

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