Nintendo Explains Why Digital Games Aren't Any Cheaper

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I've been annoyed at the fact that they don't have cheaper prices for digital versions of retail games for months now, I've run out of energy to complain about this. Sometimes, the games cost MORE than they do at retail, why?

all comments about the resale and preservation of physical copies aside, I find that my willingness to buy a physical copy of a pc game has declined since they stopped packaging most of the actual game in the physical game, so if this is what it takes for nintendo to continue leaving its games as complete as possible, I'm not going to look down on it as long as the price points are realistic

Eh, to be fair, at least they are honest about it. The statement boils down to "They cost that much because we want them to cost that much." and yeah, it's straightforward. They are fucking idiots and I won't buy anything from them ever, but yeah, kudos on being honest.

shrekfan246:

Dragonbums:

I didn't say they weren't being stupid, but the way comments on this thread is going is less of just being genrally tired of digital copies being the same as retail copies and more or less being like "X company is stupid for doing this what clowns" like they are the only company doing it.

Doesn't make it better, but considering how they are basically reinforcing the standard mentality it doesn't even surprise me at all.

You realize that's because this is a thread about "[X Company]", right?

If "[X Company]" happened to be Ubisoft instead of Nintendo, most of the responses would still be "[X Company] is stupid for doing this, what clowns", because regardless of the state of the rest of the industry, [X Company] is the only one being shown under the spotlight here.

Besides, not being surprised by something doesn't mean you can't be disappointed by it. I'm not surprised; It still annoys me that Nintendo has the gall to just say "Yeah, we're going to keep them full-price because we want all of the money". Especially since, as you yourself stated, Nintendo titles are notorious for staying full-price years after their release.

Exactly. Which at this point why is this even news anymore?

Every company on the planet refuses to reduce the price of digital games.

And no Valve doesn't count because outside of their sales, they do the same thing. Portal 2 if I remember was a hearty $60.00 when it first released.

I'd rather see news of a game company not following the norm. As opposed to following the crowd.

Dragonbums:
I didn't say they weren't being stupid, but the way comments on this thread is going is less of just being genrally tired of digital copies being the same as retail copies and more or less being like "X company is stupid for doing this what clowns" like they are the only company doing it.

Doesn't make it better, but considering how they are basically reinforcing the standard mentality it doesn't even surprise me at all.

Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, any company is stupid if they seriously claim that digital copies somehow must be the same price when they cost them less to produce.

Nintendo's mistake here was commenting on something that is clearly a cash grab by publishers. You're quite right that this is the status quo though. But what does it being normal have to do with us not ridiculing them on it? As long as we're equal opportunity ridiculers then let us do that all day long.

Lightknight:

Dragonbums:
I didn't say they weren't being stupid, but the way comments on this thread is going is less of just being genrally tired of digital copies being the same as retail copies and more or less being like "X company is stupid for doing this what clowns" like they are the only company doing it.

Doesn't make it better, but considering how they are basically reinforcing the standard mentality it doesn't even surprise me at all.

Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, any company is stupid if they seriously claim that digital copies somehow must be the same price when they cost them less to produce.

Nintendo's mistake here was commenting on something that is clearly a cash grab by publishers. You're quite right that this is the status quo though. But what does it being normal have to do with us not ridiculing them on it? As long as we're equal opportunity ridiculers then let us do that all day long.

In general, I honestly felt it was beat to death overall.

Not this particular thread with Nintendo, but the whole thing in essence.

It's like "X company not reducing price of digital games" and at that point I'm just like whoopee, what else is new.

As I said to another user I'd be more interested in them reporting on game companies that do indeed release their digital versions cheaper. See how much more successful (or not you never know) they are doing that, as opposed to doing the norm.

Hype that up a whole lot (and we are really good with causing shit storms so this not working would all be on us) and eventually one of those studios are going to say "okay, let's actually try that out"

At this point it's like another article stating that EA is trash.
Yeah we all get angry about it, but honestly what is the big deal anymore. EA did a stupid. Move along to the next article.

Dragonbums:

Lightknight:

Dragonbums:
I didn't say they weren't being stupid, but the way comments on this thread is going is less of just being genrally tired of digital copies being the same as retail copies and more or less being like "X company is stupid for doing this what clowns" like they are the only company doing it.

Doesn't make it better, but considering how they are basically reinforcing the standard mentality it doesn't even surprise me at all.

Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, any company is stupid if they seriously claim that digital copies somehow must be the same price when they cost them less to produce.

Nintendo's mistake here was commenting on something that is clearly a cash grab by publishers. You're quite right that this is the status quo though. But what does it being normal have to do with us not ridiculing them on it? As long as we're equal opportunity ridiculers then let us do that all day long.

In general, I honestly felt it was beat to death overall.

Not this particular thread with Nintendo, but the whole thing in essence.

It's like "X company not reducing price of digital games" and at that point I'm just like whoopee, what else is new.

As I said to another user I'd be more interested in them reporting on game companies that do indeed release their digital versions cheaper. See how much more successful (or not you never know) they are doing that, as opposed to doing the norm.

Hype that up a whole lot (and we are really good with causing shit storms so this not working would all be on us) and eventually one of those studios are going to say "okay, let's actually try that out"

At this point it's like another article stating that EA is trash.
Yeah we all get angry about it, but honestly what is the big deal anymore. EA did a stupid. Move along to the next article.

I understand that this issue is beat a lot. But we need to keep doing it. If we buy games digitally then we deserve to have a price reduction. The publishers and the platform get to have a much higher cut and have much lower distribution costs.

This is the number one reason I buy dozens of more games on Steam than I do on consoles.

bdcjacko:

Chaosritter:

bdcjacko:
Why do people get outraged the games cost money?

Because you pay the same and get less, that's why.

What do you get less of, do they withhold the last level if you buy a digitial copy?

You get no disc, case or manual. You get no option lend, resell or give the game away at any time. And the part that Nintendo fuses the game to the device it was downloaded onto has already been explained.

And despite all this, you pay the very same (and probably even more after a month or two) as you would in the store. Sounds like a bad deal to me.

chikusho:

Sheo_Dagana:

chikusho:
A practice that's well researched, tested and proven to work if pulled off correctly?

Yeah! 'cause charging retail price for digital content is working out great for EA Origin.

So... You're using an unsuccessful execution of a pricing strategy in order to, what.. disprove the successful ones?

MrHide-Patten:
So translation; we are charging retail price because we know you're going to buy it anyway, so we might as well as get the most cash out of you as possible. That and we'll be pushed even further to the back of gamestop if we make it cheaper.

More like: We are charging retail price because if the games were cheaper they would be perceived as less valuable, which would hurt the product and/or our brand.

I'm saying that it's the exact same model. People level all kinds of complaints at EA Origins, but because Nintendo is Nintendo, they can get away with doing what they're doing. They aren't really doing anything different at all. So why is one succeeding where the other isn't?

That's the problem with assuming that we will value games less if we pay less for them, because you can't arbitrarily assign 'value' to a game based on it's dollar amount. That's like saying Call of Duty would be a worse/better game that's valued among gamers less/more just because it's now $40/$100.

I paid $60 for Batman: Arkham Origins recently and the game was absolutely awful. It in no way shape or form has the same level of value I placed on Batman Arkham City, a game that I once paid $60, but can now acquire for less than $20. It will always be superior to the higher priced game. And what of games like The Walking Dead or Gone Home? Gone Home only set me back $20, but I would have gladly paid $30 or $35. The Walking Dead is cheaper digitally, costs less than a normally priced game, and guess what, it was being compared to most AAA titles from last year. But you're saying it should be valued less because Tell Tale didn't charge more for it?

You might not agree, because (spoiler alert) people have different values. It's not rocket science - if I'm not getting a box or instructions or anything extra with the game, I shouldn't have to pay as much. If I value the game more, I'm going to want all the trimmings, so I'll pay more for a physical copy. That's it.

The consumer should decide what the value of a game is worth - either by waiting for it to go on sale, paying full price, or just not buying it at all. The retailer can charge whatever they want, 'cause I get that 'companies exist to make money', but just call it what it is, rather than acting like you're doing us a favor by lining your own pockets.

RT:
Eh, to be fair, at least they are honest about it. The statement boils down to "They cost that much because we want them to cost that much." and yeah, it's straightforward. They are fucking idiots and I won't buy anything from them ever, but yeah, kudos on being honest.

Pretty much my sentiment(that has been happening alot lately, actually). This is the fancy way of saying "We like money and we can get away with it." Though now that I think about it, I can't think of a major publisher that doesn't go full retail price with their digital games.

Chaosritter:

bdcjacko:

Chaosritter:

Because you pay the same and get less, that's why.

What do you get less of, do they withhold the last level if you buy a digitial copy?

You get no disc, case or manual. You get no option lend, resell or give the game away at any time. And the part that Nintendo fuses the game to the device it was downloaded onto has already been explained.

And despite all this, you pay the very same (and probably even more after a month or two) as you would in the store. Sounds like a bad deal to me.

I didn't realize that Nintendo doesn't allow you to move your digital copy. Also what probably isn't being said is that they are also probably contractually obligated to keep the digital price the same as retail so they can stay in the walmarts, best buys and targets.

I kinda feel dirty for buying Etrian Odyssey IV now on the eShop, but at the same time it was on sale.

bdcjacko:

Chaosritter:

bdcjacko:

What do you get less of, do they withhold the last level if you buy a digitial copy?

You get no disc, case or manual. You get no option lend, resell or give the game away at any time. And the part that Nintendo fuses the game to the device it was downloaded onto has already been explained.

And despite all this, you pay the very same (and probably even more after a month or two) as you would in the store. Sounds like a bad deal to me.

I didn't realize that Nintendo doesn't allow you to move your digital copy. Also what probably isn't being said is that they are also probably contractually obligated to keep the digital price the same as retail so they can stay in the walmarts, best buys and targets.

And what those stores drop the prices of those games, e-shop is still expensive

http://www.gamestop.com/nintendo-3ds/games/etrian-odyssey-iv-legends-of-the-titan/105993

The e-shop right now is 29.99 (it's on sale), why hasn't the e-shop price dropped yet to match?

Let me paraphrase it as best I can. "It's not cheaper because we like your money." Way to at least be transparent about it...

Who's he trying to kid? This bullshit excuse is up there with his nonsense on why they region lock systems. Nothing but claptrap that will be hurting business.

chikusho:

More like: We are charging retail price because if the games were cheaper they would be perceived as less valuable, which would hurt the product and/or our brand.

CORPORATE SHILL!

Kidding aside, I think a legitimate question is, between the consumer and the industry, who should determine value? Or reworded, whose measure of value weighs more?

Left to the consumer, many factors are considered (price, features, quality, etc.). They often tell a truer story than marketing, and out of experience, have to be after the game releases. No one goes around thinking that because a game costs less, it's less enjoyable. Normal people don't go into stores intending to buy the most expensive products, and if the price could be lower for what they've intended to purchase, they'll take that.

Left to the industry, determining value only serves them only; as long as units are moving at any period of time, they'll keep the price up. Since I'm not part of the industry, I'll surmise that if 'value' to them was simply the having standard price, it only serves those with some optimal level of interest in the game; we consumers have to drag ourselves up to pay the standard price of a game, or find a cheaper alternative (which doesn't serve the industry at all). That's it; this seems to be all the responsibility that industry wants to take in garnering interest in their titles, or growing the mindshare that it can take up.

The part I have with the industry, or particularly Nintendo, is that they now have two methods to distribute their product, but take no responsibility in growing either's use. Standard pricing is fine, when a game is fresh and relevant, and there's not much you can do about standard retail price fluctuations. But Nintendo controls their digital distribution; shouldn't they be trying to properly incentivise it's use? If retail can get continued sales by lowering prices, why does Nintendo, or even most other DD from publishers stand to not learn from this?

But I think you were just rewording Iwata's statement, right?

Putting aside their BS reason (whatever they said would have been bullshit) I am glad they are the same price. That ensures Physical copies will always do great, and that's the world I want to live in. Once it gets to the point that digital is doing so well physical is being phased out, I'm out as well. That's not a gaming environment I want any part of.

There's no excuse to price a digital version equally as their retail counterparts, or worse, there's no excuse to price a freaking SNES game to $10 and don't tell me your "but servers are expensive" bullshit. I'm sorry, but no, you're full of shit Ninty.

BTW, who the fuck is giving you that "info" that digital versions are going to devaluate retail versions!?, you haven't tried it yet and there's no single trace of info telling otherwise!.

And while we're at it, could you please stop charging $77 for Mario Galaxy 2 and every other "high profile" Wii game here in Mexico?, that's kinda ridiculous and one of the main reasons I haven't bought a Wii U yet and I'm having my doubts for 3DS games prices too :/

SupahGamuh:
There's no excuse to price a digital version equally as their retail counterparts, or worse, there's no excuse to price a freaking SNES game to $10 and don't tell me your "but servers are expensive" bullshit. I'm sorry, but no, you're full of shit Ninty.

BTW, who the fuck is giving you that "info" that digital versions are going to devaluate retail versions!?, you haven't tried it yet and there's no single trace of info telling otherwise!.

And while we're at it, could you please stop charging $77 for Mario Galaxy 2 and every other "high profile" Wii game here in Mexico?, that's kinda ridiculous and one of the main reasons I haven't bought a Wii U yet and I'm having my doubts for 3DS games prices too :/

On the SNES comment, I rather pay 10 dollars for a game that works on a current system, then 30+ for a used copy that might not work.

SupahGamuh:
There's no excuse to price a digital version equally as their retail counterparts, or worse, there's no excuse to price a freaking SNES game to $10 and don't tell me your "but servers are expensive" bullshit. I'm sorry, but no, you're full of shit Ninty.

BTW, who the fuck is giving you that "info" that digital versions are going to devaluate retail versions!?, you haven't tried it yet and there's no single trace of info telling otherwise!.

And while we're at it, could you please stop charging $77 for Mario Galaxy 2 and every other "high profile" Wii game here in Mexico?, that's kinda ridiculous and one of the main reasons I haven't bought a Wii U yet and I'm having my doubts for 3DS games prices too :/

Those prices probably have a lot more to do with your country than Nintendo itself.

Just speculating on that.

xPixelatedx:
Putting aside their BS reason (whatever they said would have been bullshit) I am glad they are the same price. That ensures Physical copies will always do great, and that's the world I want to live in. Once it gets to the point that digital is doing so well physical is being phased out, I'm out as well. That's not a gaming environment I want any part of.

Why does your post smell of the "Don't care got mine" attitude? When companies like Atlus does incentives to buy physical I don't honestly see a worry about that format going away. Besides outside of reselling the means to play the game (because even if you own a physical copy of a game you don't own the rights to it) I don't see a benefit over physical anymore unless your a collector.

LetalisK:

RT:
Eh, to be fair, at least they are honest about it. The statement boils down to "They cost that much because we want them to cost that much." and yeah, it's straightforward. They are fucking idiots and I won't buy anything from them ever, but yeah, kudos on being honest.

Pretty much my sentiment(that has been happening alot lately, actually). This is the fancy way of saying "We like money and we can get away with it." Though now that I think about it, I can't think of a major publisher that doesn't go full retail price with their digital games.

Valve anyone?

"[Digital games aren't cheaper] because we want consumers to value software as highly as possible and because we have been trying to heighten the value of our software whenever we produce it," Iwata said during an investor Q&A, adding "We decided that, since the contents are the same, the company would offer the software at the same price, be it the packaged version or the digital version."

Was that a mistranslation or something? I mean, technically if you sell a product at the same price but don't lose out on expenses that come with physical retail, then yes, you've heightened the value of your software since that version is worth more to you.

I don't think that's how he wanted to come across....

"Digital games aren't cheaper because we want gamers to value software as highly as possible."
That sounds remarkably similar to Sony when they tried to justify the PS3's rather expensive release price point:

Sony's PS3 strategy is "for consumers to think to themselves 'I will work more hours to buy one'. We want people to feel that they want it, irrespective of anything else."

http://www.1up.com/news/ps3-job
http://www.joystiq.com/2005/07/06/sony-wants-you-to-earn-that-playstation-3/

And we know how well that worked out for them.

What nonsense. Arrogant nonsense too.
It was a bloody stupid thing to say back then, and it's moronic now. I mean really. At least be honest, or don't say anything at all if honesty is going to cause a PR scandal.

Nonsense. Disk + packaging costs money and is factored in the retail price. Digital games need neither, but they cost the same because... apparently they want us "to value software as highly as possible"? Fuck you Nintendo and fuck your corporate parlance.

Alright Nintendo, have it your way, just don't ever count on getting a digital sale out of me. Digital games should cost less, digital games have no manufacturing costs, don't have to be distributed by third party retailers, physical games often come with bonuses/extras that you DON'T get with digital copies, physical games can also be traded in or sold, digital can't... do I need to go on?

If you want digital games to stay on par with physical copies, then depreciate the games prices accordingly! When a games physical price has a permanent drop (not counting things like sales) then adjust the digital price to match, otherwise you're just driving people to get physical copies. Also, why are Nintendo games that are over 4 years old still $80+ here?

Don't pee on my head and call it rain!

Isalan:
Didn't this industry used to be about producing fun entertaining software for the delight and wonder of the general public?

When was it ever about the general public? It's always been about the bottom-dollar, and games and game consoles have been getting cheaper anyway.

Damnit Nintendo, I know that this is the attitude of every other damn corporation, but come on. I want to like you, but this has got to be the third or forth time you proved that you are just as capable of the same bullshit everyone else is.

Seriously, couldn't you have just kept your mouth shut? We didn't need to hear your half-assed excuse to cover the fact that you just want more money (that everyone knew already). Thanks for insulting my intelligence just for the hell of it.

Oh, and where I live (NZ), I pay MORE online than in the stores.

Eri:
Digital should be cheaper by virtue of no box, no manual, and no 3rd party selling it. Period. End of fucking statement. Charging the same is absurd and I will never buy a digital copy over a boxed copy if the price stays the same. Ever.

This.

Where do these fuckwits get off on lying to their customers like this?

This is almost as audacious as Kit-kat downsizing their chocolate bars and telling consumers it reflects a 'healthier option'.

If you make something interesting and it fades away, maybe it's not that interesting.

They've said some amazingly dimwitted things after the Wii was released. My favourite is still "but if we release too many good games straight away, you won't want any more", something like that.

Walmart is popular among the poor and lower class income families.
Walmart is therefore conveniently located in poorer neighborhoods, because when every dollar counts, there's nothing like near warehouse prices for foods and other sundries.
Walmart, because of this popularity they have among the poor, the lower class, the working poor, basically any demographic that might qualify for food stamps, chooses to increase the prices of a large portion of their food items on around the first of the month.

Why does Walmart do this?
They do it because at around the first of the month is when food stamp recipients get more food stamps, and they can therefore exploit this timing to optimize profits by taking advantage of people who usually do not have the ability or the will to not buy food on or near the beginning of the month.

Walmart has freely admitted to this.
Walmart is unashamed of it's ability to turn a larger profit at the expense of the poor and the disadvantaged.
Walmart sees this as just pragmatic business sensibility and practices.

What do Walmart and Nintendo have in common?
It's actually what they do not have in common, because at least Walmart is willing to admit when it's just about the dollars.

Thank you, and good day.

I also want to note on my 3ds the bought goods are saved to your device, not your account, so if the device goes - bye bye game. I don't agree on the price being the same for many reasons, but this is the elephant in the room for me. I can at least pop a physical game into a diff. system.

Sheo_Dagana:

I'm saying that it's the exact same model. People level all kinds of complaints at EA Origins, but because Nintendo is Nintendo, they can get away with doing what they're doing. They aren't really doing anything different at all. So why is one succeeding where the other isn't?

It's the exact same principle, what differs is the products, the execution, the demographics, the branding, etc.
Why it works so well for Nintendo? That's something you should ask an economics professor or a business analyst, really, but I think that a lot of it comes down to Nintendo games mostly competing against other games on their system. If a certain kind of game, like "wave your arm at sports 3!" is usually priced $10, and a major Mario title is usually priced $60, selling the Mario game for $10 could make a consumer equate it with $10 quality and pass it over.

EA on the other hand, competes with Steam as a service, which has already established a standard of insanely cheap game sales. Also EA's catalogue is far less unique and recognizeable, and speaks to a more hardcore and knowledgeable consumer base.

You might not agree, because (spoiler alert) people have different values. It's not rocket science - if I'm not getting a box or instructions or anything extra with the game, I shouldn't have to pay as much. If I value the game more, I'm going to want all the trimmings, so I'll pay more for a physical copy. That's it.

Personally, I'm an educated consumer and know enough about games and my tastes in them to not equate the price tag with the actual quality and/or my enjoyment of a product. But Nintendo isn't using this strategy to sell games to me, because I'm likely a part of a small minority of their customers. (actually, I haven't owned a nintendo product in 10 years, but you get my point).

Ipsen:

chikusho:

More like: We are charging retail price because if the games were cheaper they would be perceived as less valuable, which would hurt the product and/or our brand.

CORPORATE SHILL!

Kidding aside, I think a legitimate question is, between the consumer and the industry, who should determine value? Or reworded, whose measure of value weighs more?

I mean, on the one hand, it's always the consumer who determines value, because if the perceived value doesn't equate with the price then they won't buy it.

Left to the consumer, many factors are considered (price, features, quality, etc.). They often tell a truer story than marketing, and out of experience, have to be after the game releases. No one goes around thinking that because a game costs less, it's less enjoyable. Normal people don't go into stores intending to buy the most expensive products, and if the price could be lower for what they've intended to purchase, they'll take that.

I'm guessing their market research suggests otherwise. Besides, if a game is usually priced a certain thing and you see it somewhere for less, you'll jump at it to make a good deal. That won't happen if it's cheap to begin with. Most of Nintendos consumers aren't educated or interested enough to really know everything about every game, so the price tag may very well be a label of "higher quality game".

Well the thing is Satoru Iwata, that digital software is actually less worth then boxed/retail software. It's because of the fact that when I have a CD in my possession there isn't a god damned thing you can do to it. Which simply isn't the case with digital-only distribution models for software.

But there are ways you can change that, one way is to completely remove all DRM from the software, which would allow us users to write our own disks for safekeeping. Another way would be to be completely legally liable for providing access to the digital software at all times for all time.

But we all know that neither of these is ever going to happen for Nintendo, so Digital software will always be less valuable to your customers. I'm not going to insult your intelligence, you know this, you would not accept this kind of shit if it was you on the receiving end of this kind of bullshit.

But at least he's somewhat honest about it, he wants our money, buyer be damned.

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