Microsoft "Testing" Better Deals on Xbox One Digital Content

Microsoft "Testing" Better Deals on Xbox One Digital Content

Studio manager Mike Ybarra says that Microsoft is "testing" ways to offer "better deals" on its Xbox One digital offerings.

One of the problems that many people have with the way companies often handle digital distribution is the fact that there's often little incentive purchase games digitally outside of pure convenience. After all, if you're paying a price that the same or similar, why not just buy a disc copy? That being the case, Microsoft has recently confirmed that it may be in the process of "testing" new schemes to help make the Xbox One's digital offerings a better bargain for its customers.

The reveal came via studio manager Mike Ybarra who commented on digital pricing earlier today over Twitter. "[A] lot of people asked for better deals on our digital marketplace, so we're testing some," he said. He then went on in a follow up Tweet to raise the example of a planned sale (2/18-2/24) of the digital version of Ryse: Son of Rome that would drop its price down to $39.99. "That's far better than the used price at GameStop and others! Go digital!"

While the Ryse promotion is certainly a welcome discount, what remains to be seen is how far these sort of deals could extend. Regular sales could go a long way toward convincing consumers to go with digital over retail. That said, if the Ryse tests result in promos that are insubstantial or few and far between, then we could see holdouts opting to stick with their physical copies

Source: Twitter

Permalink

"Hey, guys, I have an idea: Let's test the viability of digital discounts by reducing the price of a game no one wants. If this doesn't see any results, we're quitting this whole idea because the customers have spoken!"

Why not just copy Steam and GoG to the bloody letter? Seems like a flawless victory to me...

@Alpha Maeko : Speak for yourself. I see nothing inherently bad about Ryse. Its a console exclusive (unfortunately) but a relatively stable and well made game, for all it is.

Alpha Maeko:
"Hey, guys, I have an idea: Let's test the viability of digital discounts by reducing the price of a game no one wants. If this doesn't see any results, we're quitting this whole idea because the customers have spoken!"

Exactly what I was thinking. Ryse was little more than a tech demo, good for showing off the graphics of your nice, new console, but with no real gameplay to speak of.

Until digital prices are ALL consistently lower than retail prices, there's really no reason to buy digital exclusively.

I feel like someone should just post a meme to Microsoft that says meanwhile at Valve. I mean if they haven;t figured it out yet they never will.

You dont need a trial to see if people will buy games when they are cheaper. Its common sense, we love cheaper games - and digital games should be atleast 60% cheaper than those bought in stores. :-)

MinionJoe:

Alpha Maeko:
"Hey, guys, I have an idea: Let's test the viability of digital discounts by reducing the price of a game no one wants. If this doesn't see any results, we're quitting this whole idea because the customers have spoken!"

Exactly what I was thinking. Ryse was little more than a tech demo, good for showing off the graphics of your nice, new console, but with no real gameplay to speak of.

Until digital prices are ALL consistently lower than retail prices, there's really no reason to buy digital exclusively.

But Ryse isnt exactly a game that "no one wants", its at the same level of Knack as it is kind of a crappy exclusive but its far from being a game that no one wants. If they did it with Lococycle then that complain would have been valid but for Ryse I really dont see it.

OT: Microsoft can have some cool deals from time to time but its very hit or miss, especially when they hype the sale (its usually a bad sign), the recent Ubisoft sale was great and I have already got some good games out of it for less then 5$ (every Far Cry has been for less then 5$ already, both the Rainbow Six Vegas games too).

Translation: Since our console is selling two times worse than our competitors, we are now resorting to damping game prices, since digital distribution costs next to nothing anyway.

MinionJoe:

Alpha Maeko:
"Hey, guys, I have an idea: Let's test the viability of digital discounts by reducing the price of a game no one wants. If this doesn't see any results, we're quitting this whole idea because the customers have spoken!"

Exactly what I was thinking. Ryse was little more than a tech demo, good for showing off the graphics of your nice, new console, but with no real gameplay to speak of.

Until digital prices are ALL consistently lower than retail prices, there's really no reason to buy digital exclusively.

The way I see it they're testing with an unpopular game first, both to peak interest at a game not quite worth $60, but also to see how pissed retailers get when physical copies are devalued. Using a non-vital game minimizes the butt hurt, so if retailers don't raise a stink over that then Microsoft can point to it as precedent when they make a sweet deal for something like Titanfall. "You didn't care when we did it for that game, you should treat all games the same."

It's all about stepping stones, and I personally think using something like Ryse is a very smart decision.

I'm glad that Microsoft is taking this bold and unique step forward. Maybe in a year or two we'll start to see real digital deals on games. I think we could start seeing 50%+ off discounts on digital games, and maybe some sort of revolving daily deals system. Possibly even the occasional giant sale where every game in the system gets heavily discounted.

It's a good thing we have Microsoft to think of these new and innovative ideas that no other company anywhere has ever considered or implemented.

Hmm. But while i still have friends that arent entirely imaginary, its a heck of a lot easier to take my 'totally not stolen or pirated' game discs to their homes for a gaming sesh, instead of lugging around the whole fecking console that is rapidly running out of memory for all the digital content on there.
However, if it IS cheaper...that would be what i like to call an 'incentive'. Also, how much profit do they make from these digital purchases, without production and shipping costs to account for?

josemlopes:
But Ryse isnt exactly a game that "no one wants"...

True, true... I'm just having trouble trying to think of who'd want Ryse that doesn't already have it. It was one of the handful of release titles, and it seems like a lot of people have picked it up already.

Besides, lowering the price on a months-old title is little different than putting a retail copy on sale. It's not going to give them a meaningful retail-v-digital comparison.

TiberiusEsuriens:

It's all about stepping stones, and I personally think using something like Ryse is a very smart decision.

Market testing is understandable, but unless you're pioneering new territory, it's really just a waste of time and resources.

I recall retailers like Best Buy and GameStop being ruffled as Steam gained more and more popularity. But today, both of those retailers stock Steam cards. It's actually worked out very well for them as they don't have to stock a lot of bulky, retail boxes. One peg of cards can hold as much retail profit as an entire aisle of jewel cases.

But Microsoft has always been a company that preferred to do things themselves rather than look at the work others have already done.

Whats with this testing non sense!? Either make special deals a part of your system or not, you can't just plop your feet in the pond.

Copying steam is not a bad idea for M$ have special timed deals that vary from day to day, forcing players to check in daily if they want to get the cheapest price. They already have the damn xbox plastered with ads might as well throw us a (x)bonus and get some fans for the first time since ever.

But I should probably disclose that I don't intend to buy any of the new consoles, I have my windows PC's that's all the xbox I need.

Have I missed something? Steam is only cheaper when its one of their (rather good) weekly sales or one of their (excellent) holiday sales. The rest of the time the titles cost more from steam than they do from a bricks-and-mortar store.

Put simply - all the money that goes as a cut to the retailers, the money in shipping, manufacture and distribution, any other money that goes to a third party should be taken off the digital distribution method. This is a transaction between the shopper and the distributor / publisher so lets price it accordingly, especially as this is the "way of the future" that so many of the companies want us to embrace.

Just realistically set the prices and see what happens rather than cut the price on one title that has hardly set the world on fire.

I was kind of expecting Microsoft to have a meeting like this:

MS Exec: We need ideas on this digimal dizzy-bution thing. People aren't buying our games.
MS Drone: We could have regular 50% off sales. It works for Valve.
MS Exec: WHAT! DISCOUNTS? You're fired. Ideas people!
MS Drone 2: We could maybe put the prices... up?
MS Exec: Explain.
MS Drone 2: If it costs more then that must mean it's more valuable?
MS Exec: Brilliant. Cigars and brandy all round!

I mean really, how much 'testing' did they need to do? Gamers buy stuff if it's cheap enough even if they are on the fence about it, ask any average Steam user how many games they bought in sales and how many of those they have actually gotten around to playing more than once.

Zipa:
I feel like someone should just post a meme to Microsoft that says meanwhile at Valve. I mean if they haven;t figured it out yet they never will.

Escapist special delivery!

I think that will suffice.

Hero in a half shell:

Zipa:
I feel like someone should just post a meme to Microsoft that says meanwhile at Valve. I mean if they haven;t figured it out yet they never will.

Escapist special delivery!

I think that will suffice.

Either that or this one, it might make Microsoft particularly salty to see a former employee like this.

quit making this so damn difficult... the answer is right in front of you, ms. what does it cost to create and ship the physical copy of a game? subtract that from the $60 price tag and sell digital. profit.

Zipa:

Either that or this one, it might make Microsoft particularly salty to see a former employee like this.

My god, that cracked me up.

OT: So...Microsoft! Welcome to several-years-ago, I guess. Let me introduce you to your two opponents: Gog and Magog Valve.

I like how these large companies will create huge anti-consumer policies on completely untested ideas and just role them out instantly to all their titles, like all games requiring Uplay, or always on connections, or in game microtransactions on AAA titles: policies that can turn an entire game unplayable or really negatively affect the customer.

but when it comes to something as innocuous as selling a product slightly cheaper because it's created on a cheaper medium. Oh boy, that needs 'testing schemes' and market analysis and research.

Bollocks. They're just trying to benefit from the positive effects of digital distribution sales while putting off actually selling anything at those prices for as long as possible.

They should atleast pretend they are doing this to offer a better customer experience, instead of just taking another shot at the evil used game market for more $$$.

I'm not sure that discounting a nearly 4 month old game by $40 counts as doing a test. It's pretty standard operating procedure. In fact, Amazon offered me a wildly successful game for that exact price this weekend (COD: Ghosts for PS4).

How is doing that with a digital download anything unique?

It's hilarious to me that Microsoft is so inept they need to "Test" lower digital prices. Hey geniuses, here's a good yardstick, if a game is a month old, drop it's price by ten bucks, then drop it by five bucks every month after that until it's six months old, and leave it at 19.99$ for the rest of it's life as a product, you'll make bank without even trying. You leave a digital game 60$ for over a year, and you make nothing as people buy it for 5$ in a used games bargain bin at Gamestop.

A couple of things wrong Microsoft.

1. I can get Ryse used for 39.99... and sell it again. As its a relatively short game, I wouldn't be surprised if this were the case in general.

2. With a small hard drive and mandatory installs, if I beat the game and then want to play something else (deleting it for space) and then want to play again, I have to waste another 35 to 50 GB of bandwidth. No thanks.

$39.99 for Ryse? Let's see, that's about 8 dollars per hour of content.

Keep 'testing', Microsoft.

I dont think following the Valve model of gouge your customers most of the year, then heavily discount them throughout the year, is a good model.

Would rather just see lower prices overall.

Yeah, I'm surprised they didn't make digital a better deal by raising the physical price...

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here