Jimquisition: Don't Charge Retail Prices For Digital Games

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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.

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.

Really, you're using small indie games as an example? The ones that couldn't even afford to set up a physical distribution, and all the prices associated?

It's not about them. It's about the powerhouses of the industry, the non-indie developers and publishers. And THEY want nothing more than to see the physical retail market stay, while the digital prices are the same, all this WHILE PROMOTING DIGITAL SALES. Because then they can just add all that margin into their profits. They win, consumers get butt-ache.

this is just full fletched retarded. the practice that is. No matter what way you look at it the money that goes to paying the guy behind the counter, the owner of the shop, the guy driving the truck, the disc and it's creation.

That now all goes to the publisher. Cutting out those, what, 5 middle men should make it cheaper to get the product to you so paying the same is just them getting more.

shops should be able to compete with stuff like soundtracks and books with art and all that included in the purchase. I used to, and still do, love reading through the books with all the art and backstory in it.

Asking same prices for digital and hardcopy is like demanding supermarkets charge restaurant rates for beef. It's by it's very concept, stupid.

Jimothy Sterling:

Don Reba:
God, I wish there was a way to remove Jimquisition from my latest videos page.

Perfectly understandable. I realize that for some, it is difficult having my face appear in their feeds because any passing girlfriends and boyfriends will fall in love with it and leave you in order to seek my hand (my own wife, upon seeing one of my videos, actually divorced me in order to marry me again. It was very troublesome).

I assume this is the problem anyway, since it's the only logical one I have as to how simply seeing the existence of a video in a feed is a problem to anybody. In any case, you can let your significant others know that I am off the market and so they should probably stick with whoever they settled for.

What would be really funny and quite in line with the current style is to use goatses for video thumbnails. Thankfully, I won't find out, if you have taken up on my advice, because:

escapistmagazine.com##div.filmstrip_video > a[href*="jimquisition"]

Yay, my wish came true.

Good Hitler. I'll use that one. Good point on the marketing too.

BooTsPs3:
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

Quantity does not trump quality as far as I'm concerned.

Ha! I started this topic yesterday, L2Serch, Jim =D

JK, obviously. But question, has

Owyn_Merrilin:
snip

seen this video?

ResonanceSD:
Ha! I started this topic yesterday, L2Serch, Jim =D

JK, obviously. But question, has

Owyn_Merrilin:
snip

seen this video?

Yes, but not until after the thread you're referring to had hit three or four pages XD

Jim seems to be good at keeping up with what the community is talking about. Wasn't it just yesterday there was a thread talking about this very thing?

Irridium:

Petromir:

Irridium:
So, people are saying that if publishers price their digital games lower than retail, retail won't stock them. Since this seems to be primarily for PC games, I say... so? Isn't PC at retail all but dead? The amount of people who got to a store to buy PC games is very, very few. Most use Steam now.

If Sony can charge less for their digital Vita games and have stores still stock the physical copies, I don't see why publishers can't do the same with PC games.

Besides, PC gaming at retail died completely, would it really make much of an impact? Is the retail PC games market really such a huge market that they won't risk losing it? Considering PC sections in retailers are really small and out of the way and getting smaller, I highly doubt it.

It's not the stores pulling their PC stocks that publishers are worried at, its pulling ALL a publishers games across ALL platforms due to pc dd pricing. Consoles are still massive in bricks and mortar.

I seriously doubt retailers would stop stocking titles from the large and profitable console market to try and keep the really small and barely profitable PC market.

captcha: market forces

haha

The thing is there is no risk to their console market. The Publishers cant afford to risk it, if they did, and the retailers arent bluffing then they'd not take long to cave in and the retailers would still get the sales when the publishers did.

It's no coincidence that the majority of games that start outside the standard retail RRP price point are DD exclusives.

Is it the sole reasons, no but the famous Steam sales suggest that publisghers have of problem with the idea that discounting gains them loads of sales thats worth it even on newer games, so lets charge almost twice the price because we not the 3rd party retailer is setting it doesnt add up that well.

Without a anti-competitive practice lawsuit with some serious power behind it then only the rumour of consoles going dd exclusive next gen will likely break this status quo. Publishers just dont have the incentive to take the risk so they wont.

ThePS1Fan:
Jim seems to be good at keeping up with what the community is talking about. Wasn't it just yesterday there was a thread talking about this very thing?

Not to promote my own thread, but it literally just slipped onto the second page in the last half hour or so, assuming it's the one you're referring to XP

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.374224-Games-are-a-luxury-item-So

ThePS1Fan:
Jim seems to be good at keeping up with what the community is talking about. Wasn't it just yesterday there was a thread talking about this very thing?

Yes. Me.

EDIT: And I was inb4 this pretender.

Owyn_Merrilin:

ThePS1Fan:
Jim seems to be good at keeping up with what the community is talking about. Wasn't it just yesterday there was a thread talking about this very thing?

Not to promote my own thread, but it literally just slipped onto the second page in the last half hour or so, assuming it's the one you're referring to XP

ResonanceSD:

ThePS1Fan:
Jim seems to be good at keeping up with what the community is talking about. Wasn't it just yesterday there was a thread talking about this very thing?

Yes. Me.

EDIT: And I was inb4 this pretender.

Owyn_Merrilin:

ThePS1Fan:
Jim seems to be good at keeping up with what the community is talking about. Wasn't it just yesterday there was a thread talking about this very thing?

Not to promote my own thread, but it literally just slipped onto the second page in the last half hour or so, assuming it's the one you're referring to XP

Yeah, I realized just a short time ago that this was the thread in question, not my thread. To be fair, it was that thread that got me thinking about it. For the record, your use of the "games are a luxury item" argument wasn't the only thing that lead to that thread, it was just the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak; I see the bloody argument all over the place.

Jim Sterling:
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.

Watch Video

While you raise good points and I agree with you for the most part, I do have one thing I've just got to ask you: What's with all the bloody shrimp pictures in your last couple of videos? Are you trying to make a reference that's just going right over my head, or is it some kind of weird symbolism, or is it just a random thing you latched onto?

"Digital Games"??

Does Jim think that the games that come on disc are analog or something? Can he hear the "warmth" and the crackle of games sold on a disc?

The games sold on disc at retail are already digital! This is such a bizarre and inaccurate use of terminology. Retail vs Digital is not the issue, since GameStop, etc., are already in the business of selling digital games.

This is just like book retailers selling e versions of their books for full price...Oh, but they say, "printing the book is the cheapest part"...

Sure, sure it is.

Look, companies bend you over a barrel, that is what they do. Might as well get some lube.

carpathic:
This is just like book retailers selling e versions of their books for full price...Oh, but they say, "printing the book is the cheapest part"...

Sure, sure it is.

Look, companies bend you over a barrel, that is what they do. Might as well get some lube.

To be fair, at least in the game industry, printing the disc really is one of the cheapest parts of development. With industrial-grade machines, you can print millions of copies of a disk in a matter of weeks, for approximately $0.20 USD per disc.

The expensive bit is the 3-5 years before that with a couple hundred people working 60 hour weeks to get it done.

Edit: To be clear, I agree with Jim that digital games should cost less than from retailers, because there's definitely less overhead involved in selling them, but that doesn't mean the production of the discs themselves is a substantial cost.

Aardvaarkman:
"Digital Games"??

Does Jim think that the games that come on disc are analog or something? Can he hear the "warmth" and the crackle of games sold on a disc?

The games sold on disc at retail are already digital! This is such a bizarre and inaccurate use of terminology. Retail vs Digital is not the issue, since GameStop, etc., are already in the business of selling digital games.

He is talking about distribution methods and pricing. So there is the Retail vs Digital methods, aka Distribution. It is not inaccurate at all when said within the context that it was said.

Alexander Cunningham:

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.

You have a stonger will than me.

It's because I'm not really a fan of the Elder Scrolls series. Not exactly my cup 'o tea, you see.

Agayek:

carpathic:
This is just like book retailers selling e versions of their books for full price...Oh, but they say, "printing the book is the cheapest part"...

Sure, sure it is.

Look, companies bend you over a barrel, that is what they do. Might as well get some lube.

To be fair, at least in the game industry, printing the disc really is one of the cheapest parts of development. With industrial-grade machines, you can print millions of copies of a disk in a matter of weeks, for approximately $0.30 USD per disc.

The expensive bit is the 3-5 years before that with a couple hundred people working 60 hour weeks to get it done.

Yes, it is cheap to print onto the disc. But the disc's dont all walk on down to their respective Retail outlet to be sold at no extra margin do they. Digital distribution has its own costs that Retail does not have. What is very annoying is that DD is much cheaper from dev to customer than Retail distribution.
Server costs + Online store maintence/Online store margins on sales < Disc manufacture + Distribution + Retail markup.

Edit: replied before your edit clarified your post.

This time I do fully agree with Jim. That doesn't happen very often. There really isn't any excuse to sell the game for cheaper over digital over physical. You could complain about costs like bandwidth, which is a valid point. But it isn't valid enough to excuse the fact you're saving a decent amount more by not having to deal with production. You do still have to deal with distrubution depending on what company you are (any besides EA or Valve really). I'm sure whatever place you are takes a not-insignificant cute off the profits. But I still doubt it's enough to justify not lowering the price.

AhumbleKnight:

Aardvaarkman:
He is talking about distribution methods and pricing. So there is the Retail vs Digital methods, aka Distribution. It is not inaccurate at all when said within the context that it was said.

He says "Digital Games" in the very title of the video! He also says it many times during the video, and displays it as a graphic. Not "Digital Distribution," but "Digital Games."

Aslo, "Digital Distribution: itself is a stupid and inaccurate term. Selling a disc at retail is a form of digital distribution. I don't care if that's a term that the industry uses, it's still stupid. It should be "online" distribution or something similar. At one time, people thought that the Earth was flat. It doesn't make it any less wrongheaded and stupid that everyone was doing it at the time.

Poor use of words leads to poor thinking, and vice-versa.

Don Reba:

Jimothy Sterling:

Don Reba:
God, I wish there was a way to remove Jimquisition from my latest videos page.

Perfectly understandable. I realize that for some, it is difficult having my face appear in their feeds because any passing girlfriends and boyfriends will fall in love with it and leave you in order to seek my hand (my own wife, upon seeing one of my videos, actually divorced me in order to marry me again. It was very troublesome).

I assume this is the problem anyway, since it's the only logical one I have as to how simply seeing the existence of a video in a feed is a problem to anybody. In any case, you can let your significant others know that I am off the market and so they should probably stick with whoever they settled for.

What would be really funny and quite in line with the current style is to use goatses for video thumbnails. Thankfully, I won't find out, if you have taken up on my advice, because:

escapistmagazine.com##div.filmstrip_video > a[href*="jimquisition"]

Yay, my wish came true.

And your self control can breathe a sigh of relief! We are all pleased.

YOU SIR. ARE HITLER.

Aardvaarkman:
"Digital Games"??

Does Jim think that the games that come on disc are analog or something? Can he hear the "warmth" and the crackle of games sold on a disc?

The games sold on disc at retail are already digital! This is such a bizarre and inaccurate use of terminology. Retail vs Digital is not the issue, since GameStop, etc., are already in the business of selling digital games.

Sir, digital distribution is a game industry term for the sale of non-physical product. Come on sir, you know that. I did not think I had to spell it out, especially since everyone else seemed to get it. Sir. Sir?

Jimothy Sterling:

Sir, digital distribution is a game industry term for the sale of non-physical product. Come on sir, you know that. I did not think I had to spell it out, especially since everyone else seemed to get it. Sir. Sir?

Yes, I know, but as I said, that doesn't make it any less stupid. If a company works in the business of "refrigerator distribution" it means they distribute refrigerators, not that they transport products via refrigeration.

In any case, Jim didn't just say "digital distribution" - he said "digital games." Which is at least 10x as stupid as the "digital distribution" term.

Thank god for Jim, and thank god for Steam. Thanks to their sales I'm able to keep myself well stuffed on a large volume of high quality games from the money I scrounge up from between my cushions. As I type this I have two trilogies and both modern Batman games that I haven't even touched because I'm still being entertained by the games I bought for 15 bucks months ago. As long as Steam is up I will never need to by another game at full retail price again.

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.

You know I never buy games at full retail, be it $60 or $50 but Skyrim I did. I am a big TES fan and have played the hell out of the last two games so I knew I wanted to play it on release.

Still, most games I will only buy at the $20 or lower point. I have still managed to buy about 250 games on Steam and ~40 on GOG.com.

I think they like to get as many people to buy at $60 as they can, knowing that a lot of people will buy it further down the road when the prices drop. I think that is a mistake though, as sales fall drastically the further away from release you get. Sure, you may have a sale where your game is $30 six months or a year later, but by that point your game is old news, there has been no marketing for it for ages and there are a lot of new titles competing for gamer's attention.

Jeez, Jim should start advertising himself as a marketing consultant for video games. He'd make EA or Activision landfills of money.

Yup Steam continues to be the sole digital platform that sells games at the prices they should be sold at (well most of the time anyway). It really is mind boggling that so many idiots in the industry don't seem to understand why steam is as successful as it is.

SELL OUR PRODUCTS FOR LESS? BWUUUUH ME BRAIN NO LIKEY THAT! >_>

ZeZZZZevy:

FelixG:

The real big issue is for multi platform games

Say Activision wants to sell MW:whatever for 45 dollars on steam, but Gamestop doesnt want to be undercut, they wont just say "Fine we arent carrying your PC version!" they will say "You are undercutting us with another retailer, we are not stocking PC, Xbox, or PS3 versions."

That is why pure PC games do release more often than not with much smaller price points than games with console players in mind.

It is very important to note that they can try to drive all they want, but not everyone is capable of getting a PC to take advantage of digital distribution, as far as I know it is impossible to buy Gears of War, Modern Warfare, Skyrim, and Uncharted for the Xbox or PS 3 respectively through digital distribution.

When the next generation of DD game consoles are released we will likely see a heavier push. Because then if Gamestop whines and says they wont stock the game in their stores they can go "lol fuck you" and get people to buy it on their boxes.

You can actually buy games from Xbox Live (it was implemented a while ago, but I'm not sure if it's available at the same time as retail) and I'd assume the PSN works the same way. The whole system is still fairly rudimentary, but it is there.

Ah I see! I was unaware of this development!

Thank you for informing me!

While I'm not a fan of digital copies of games (too easy for the publisher to keep control of the game, and too easy to put in a clause in the EULA that the publisher can prevent you from using your game under circumstances they set, for one. Don't want to have to go to a site to download all of my games again if my hard drive/game system crashes is another reason. And there's just something fun about having a physical cartridge or disc in my hands.) I'm totally on the side of Jim on this matter.

But I didn't hear Jim mention three subjects that jump out to me whenever digital media is mentioned - the cost to produce the physical media, the cost to transport the physical media and the amount it costs the reseller to actually sell the game. IE: the cost to print the discs and packages then to ship those discs and packages to retailers for resale, and the cost the reseller incurs simply to stock the game on the shelf then sell it to a customer. I can't imagine that any of these are negligible; it may cost less to create and package 1 million games on DVD than if you were to only create 10,000, but the amount is far more than $0. Ditto for shipping the games to resellers. And no reseller is going to sell a game without at least recouping the costs of doing business; they aren't going to eat the cost of selling the game for a publisher. Business that create the DVD's, the packages and the resellers who sell the actual game are in this to make a profit too, so that $60 game has to cover these costs as well.

So three questions related to the $60 game price:

1) How much of that cost goes to cover the creation of the discs/cartridges?
2) How much of that cost goes to the creation of the packaging for the game?
3) How much of that cost is the profit margin for the retailer?
3a) How much is break-even margin for the retailer?

Common sense tells me that the answer to all three questions is "A noticeable amount.".

And now the flip side of those three questions:

1) How much does it cost to store the game on a server?
2) How much does it cost the host of that server to allow a game to be downloaded from that server?
3) How much does it cost to own, run and maintain that server?

Common sense tells me that if the sum of the answers to the second set of three questions are less than the sum of the answers to the first set of three questions... then the digital games should be less than the physical copy.

So anyone out there know what the answers are?

/will also rewatch this video when not trying to entertain a 2month old baby in case I missed these points being raised.
//will also go through the rest of the thread for the same reason.

Aardvaarkman:

Jimothy Sterling:

Sir, digital distribution is a game industry term for the sale of non-physical product. Come on sir, you know that. I did not think I had to spell it out, especially since everyone else seemed to get it. Sir. Sir?

Yes, I know, but as I said, that doesn't make it any less stupid. If a company works in the business of "refrigerator distribution" it means they distribute refrigerators, not that they transport products via refrigeration.

In any case, Jim didn't just say "digital distribution" - he said "digital games." Which is at least 10x as stupid as the "digital distribution" term.

It was a turn of phrase that was easier than saying, "A game distributed through an online storefront such as Origin or a similar virtual goods purveyor" and worked within the context of the video. Everybody knew what was meant because it was established in the parameters of the video. You're getting very hung up on a turn of phrase that really didn't matter.

so true. but steam at times is cheaper with some games then the retail version and most of the time they have 10% discount before the game comes even out.
i live in hong kong, and actually the retail version is cheaper then some games on steam. so already there you save up to 15USD or more.
i payed for the retail version of AC brotherhood 280HKD (around 35USD)wile on steam it was nearly 45USD. at the time of release.
even for portal 2 i saved up over 10$ and no, the games are all original, imported from the US.

wile €As games on origin charge exactly the same price as the retail versions. so when i got my self the retail version of ME 3 and BF 3, it was the same price as on origin.
of course im not one bit surprised about €A, they would never think of making their games cheaper for download.

Video game Hitler is right, about every bit of this. I completely agree Jim! The best thing I can possibly do is avoid as many of these companies games as possible.

Jimothy Sterling:
It was a turn of phrase that was easier than saying, "A game distributed through an online storefront such as Origin or a similar virtual goods purveyor" and worked within the context of the video. Everybody knew what was meant because it was established in the parameters of the video. You're getting very hung up on a turn of phrase that really didn't matter.

It does matter. The accurate use of words is one of the most important things modern humanity has. Using words poorly leads to poor thinking - it muddies waters where they need not be muddied.

The abuse of words means that the actual issues become confused. "Digital" has nothing to do with this issue. By inserting "digital" so frequently into this commentary, he misses what the actual issues are, which has nothing to do with digital or non-digital nature of media or distribution. The same issues would exist if we were talking about direct distribution of an analog medium in physical format from publisher to customer via trucks. The digital format and technology involved are irrelevant.

Jim could have made some solid points here, but his misuse of words ruins it.

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