Why are digital games...

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Priced at the same levels as physical games? Surely all the costs involved with distribution are lower as there isn't any physical media to be shipped.

Note: this isn't an issue of digital game pricing issues per region. I'm Australian, so I automatically win that contest.

Because people will still pay that amount, presumably because they believe the trade-off of physical packaging is worth the convenience of just downloading it.

They're not allowed to undercut the physical retailers for new games because those retailers would throw up a stink and refuse to stock it at all, and the dev/publisher would lose sales.

People are also just used to paying x price for a new game, when you buy a game you don't really think about factoring in how much of your money is translated into the actual disc's value or the space it took up in transport or in a store or these other costs.

An added factor is that digital games go on sale much more frequently than their store bought counterparts, so for digital distribution users it is usually just a waiting game till the thing you want is on sale.

Also, the boxing and shipping and all that is a minuscule expense, compared to everything else that goes into a game.

Server costs?

ResonanceSD:
snip

1. They can get away with it
2. Retailers threaten not to stock the game if DD undercuts them

evilneko:
Also, the boxing and shipping and all that is a minuscule expense, compared to everything else that goes into a game.

Wrong, if you look it up they make a lot more profit on a DD version than a boxed version.

darkstone:
An added factor is that digital games go on sale much more frequently than their store bought counterparts, so for digital distribution users it is usually just a waiting game till the thing you want is on sale.

Im not so sure they do, on PC I would say that it is possible but lots of online stores have games on sale almost all the time the selection just rotates while games on PSN or XBOXLive almost never go on sale and when they do the price is almost always far in excess of what you would pay at a store for the same game.

I am not sure why they price digital download games almost the same (and in some cases more) than their boxed counterparts seems a bit stupid really most of the time I can go to the shop buy the game (console game) cheaper than I could by downloading it get back and even possibly complete it if its quite short all before my digital game downloaded.

I think what it is they want as much money as possible and dont want to start a precedent of lower prices for digital especially if they get a bigger slice of the money through digital sales (which I am unsure if they do) and if they dont then they obviously arent going to charge less.

dimensional:

darkstone:
An added factor is that digital games go on sale much more frequently than their store bought counterparts, so for digital distribution users it is usually just a waiting game till the thing you want is on sale.

Im not so sure they do, on PC I would say that it is possible but lots of online stores have games on sale almost all the time the selection just rotates while games on PSN or XBOXLive almost never go on sale and when they do the price is almost always far in excess of what you would pay at a store for the same game.

I am not sure why they price digital download games almost the same (and in some cases more) than their boxed counterparts seems a bit stupid really most of the time I can go to the shop buy the game (console game) cheaper than I could by downloading it get back and even possibly complete it if its quite short all before my digital game downloaded.

I think what it is they want as much money as possible and dont want to start a precedent of lower prices for digital especially if they get a bigger slice of the money through digital sales (which I am unsure if they do) and if they dont then they obviously arent going to charge less.

My comment was pretty much pointed at pc digital distributors, xbla and psn games are pretty much owned by microsoft and sony, they don't need to put things on sale because you can only get their games through their service, unlike on the pc where you have several digital distribution services all competing for the consumers money.

darkstone:

dimensional:

darkstone:
An added factor is that digital games go on sale much more frequently than their store bought counterparts, so for digital distribution users it is usually just a waiting game till the thing you want is on sale.

Im not so sure they do, on PC I would say that it is possible but lots of online stores have games on sale almost all the time the selection just rotates while games on PSN or XBOXLive almost never go on sale and when they do the price is almost always far in excess of what you would pay at a store for the same game.

I am not sure why they price digital download games almost the same (and in some cases more) than their boxed counterparts seems a bit stupid really most of the time I can go to the shop buy the game (console game) cheaper than I could by downloading it get back and even possibly complete it if its quite short all before my digital game downloaded.

I think what it is they want as much money as possible and dont want to start a precedent of lower prices for digital especially if they get a bigger slice of the money through digital sales (which I am unsure if they do) and if they dont then they obviously arent going to charge less.

My comment was pretty much pointed at pc digital distributors, xbla and psn games are pretty much owned by microsoft and sony, they don't need to put things on sale because you can only get their games through their service, unlike on the pc where you have several digital distribution services all competing for the consumers money.

There isn't that much competition between dd companies. Steam is king. There should be more competition between game publishers. I now get my games from an importer which gets me cheaper prices than steam does + a box -_-.

Uh.. what?

I'm from Australia too, and the downloadable prices (at least on Steam) are often significantly less that what I see in stores.

They also go down faster.

ResonanceSD:

There isn't that much competition between dd companies. Steam is king. There should be more competition between game publishers. I now get my games from an importer which gets me cheaper prices than steam does + a box -_-.

Steam, gog.com, gamersgate.com, d2d(gamefly direct download), desura, impulse, origin, greenmangaming.com, getgamesgo.com, onlive(debatable), amazon direct download.

There's plenty of competition on pc, you just have to look and some of them are arguably better than steam since they allow you to download your game without drm masked as a download client.

darkstone:

ResonanceSD:

There isn't that much competition between dd companies. Steam is king. There should be more competition between game publishers. I now get my games from an importer which gets me cheaper prices than steam does + a box -_-.

Steam, gog.com, gamersgate.com, d2d(gamefly direct download), desura, impulse, origin, greenmangaming.com, getgamesgo.com, onlive(debatable), amazon direct download.

There's plenty of competition on pc, you just have to look and some of them are arguably better than steam since they allow you to download your game without drm masked as a download client.

Yes, but as steam is also a social hub, im fine with its drm capacity.

Zhukov:
Uh.. what?

I'm from Australia too, and the downloadable prices (at least on Steam) are often significantly less that what I see in stores.

They also go down faster.

I just saw MW3 in a JB hi fi for 99.

I'll wait till you check the price on steam.

retailers wont stock games that are cheaper digitally and/or the games of the company who owns the digital distribution service unless the game is ridiculously crucial in a eventually futile attempt to keep the soon to be redundant retail space going.it wont last forever as we will one day go fully digital but it sucks while its happening.every game bought hard increases the market dominance of retailers and prolongs this farce.

ResonanceSD:
Priced at the same levels as physical games? Surely all the costs involved with distribution are lower as there isn't any physical media to be shipped.

In my opinion, it's simply because they can. There's no rule saying you have to lower the right just because you distribute it via the internet.

Skyrim is still at like 35 on Steam.

I got it off Amazon for 20 a month after release.

From a PR perspective?
You can access it without the disc, and you can download it from anywhere, and it's more convenient then finding a disc when you want to install.
From a more reasonable perspective?
The price of digital games has already been standardized, so customers are used to it. Basically, because they can do it largely unchallenged because of grandfathering.

Because there are laws in order to make sure no-one gets an unfair advantage. A few years back Intel was actually sued for giving customers too much discount on CPUs causing AMD to lose a lot of money because they couldn't keep up.

MicroSoft has had a few similar lawsuits over such matters too. Yes, even though the profit margin is higher with digital distribution they have to follow certain guidelines for pricing. That means they have to keep their prices around the same level as physical retailers or get their ass sued.

apart from silly things like the cod franchise where activision charge what they want for such a long time i buy things digitally for at least half of what walking into a store would cost me. im australian and usually use gamergate or steam

There's not much I can say that others haven't already.

I've found a few games on PSN that cost as much as a new copy and whenever I go over them I can't help but wonder why they don't try to at least rival used prices. I rather pay less cash for the physical product, specially as a collector.

darkstone:

ResonanceSD:

There isn't that much competition between dd companies. Steam is king. There should be more competition between game publishers. I now get my games from an importer which gets me cheaper prices than steam does + a box -_-.

Steam, gog.com, gamersgate.com, d2d(gamefly direct download), desura, impulse, origin, greenmangaming.com, getgamesgo.com, onlive(debatable), amazon direct download.

There's plenty of competition on pc, you just have to look and some of them are arguably better than steam since they allow you to download your game without drm masked as a download client.

And how many of those offer sales as often and as cheap as Steam does?

Loop Stricken:
Because people will still pay that amount...

^ this. Exactly this. If companies charged what things were actually worth instead of what people were willing to pay, the prices of just about everything we buy would be different :P

ResonanceSD:
Priced at the same levels as physical games? Surely all the costs involved with distribution are lower as there isn't any physical media to be shipped.

Producing physical copies of CDs from a fixed matrix is actually extremely cheap, once that matrix is created. The discs are just "stamped" and all the data is on there. The rest is mostly printing, and since most modern games don't include a decent manual anymore, that is not much.

In digital distribution, although there are no physical media or transport costs involved, there still are some overhead costs to be considered, like the internet connection required for the distribution servers, the servers themselves, managing everything...

Also, the physical component of the game publishing process is probably the lowest cost factor of the whole process.

Cavan:
They're not allowed to undercut the physical retailers for new games because those retailers would throw up a stink and refuse to stock it at all, and the dev/publisher would lose sales.

Partly this and just like DLC gouging is that publishers will charge as much as they think they can get away with.

Also there is less competion between digital stores especially when a game is exclusive to one store. XBLA, PSN, Origin.

On the other hand you have retail with brick and mortar and online and used sales which lowers the price quickly, also publishers manufacture x amount of copies based on how many they think they'll sell and there is a big difference between a run away success and a flop. Sometimes publishers get it very wrong like with Ubisoft with Child of Eden and Sega with Binary Domain.

On the other end of the scale you have the odd niche console game and handelds which have low number print runs and are successfull which keeps prices up. Nintendo's 1st party games are usually evergreen titles thats why they tend to stay near RRP

Da Orky Man:

darkstone:

ResonanceSD:

There isn't that much competition between dd companies. Steam is king. There should be more competition between game publishers. I now get my games from an importer which gets me cheaper prices than steam does + a box -_-.

Steam, gog.com, gamersgate.com, d2d(gamefly direct download), desura, impulse, origin, greenmangaming.com, getgamesgo.com, onlive(debatable), amazon direct download.

There's plenty of competition on pc, you just have to look and some of them are arguably better than steam since they allow you to download your game without drm masked as a download client.

And how many of those offer sales as often and as cheap as Steam does?

Quite often, as a matter o'fact I was able to get saints row 3 for 1/2 price on getgamesgo, when it was normal price on steam.

every single one of those sites has discount sales all the time, you just have to check them regularly.

ResonanceSD:
Priced at the same levels as physical games? Surely all the costs involved with distribution are lower as there isn't any physical media to be shipped.

Note: this isn't an issue of digital game pricing issues per region. I'm Australian, so I automatically win that contest.

Because they want to make their cake and eat it too.

They will complain about the pricing of used games at Gamestop and then turn around and offer pre-order incentives for buying at Gamestop. They will complain that their games are "intellectual property" and that they should be treated differently then physical media. But they want the same control over their games as physical media and control how and when and where it comes out. They want to make the most money possible as cheap as possible with as little work as possible thus comes DLC nickel and dime strategies. For the same reason making games in "the next gen" cost $10 more per game, even though we're not getting games that are "worth" $10 more content-wise (and in many cases less).

Because they are all hypocrites.

Because why settle for trillions when you can have...

Billions?

They can get away with it, because the only alternative is paying to a store anyway.

Thaliur:

ResonanceSD:
Priced at the same levels as physical games? Surely all the costs involved with distribution are lower as there isn't any physical media to be shipped.

Producing physical copies of CDs from a fixed matrix is actually extremely cheap, once that matrix is created. The discs are just "stamped" and all the data is on there. The rest is mostly printing, and since most modern games don't include a decent manual anymore, that is not much.

In digital distribution, although there are no physical media or transport costs involved, there still are some overhead costs to be considered, like the internet connection required for the distribution servers, the servers themselves, managing everything...

Also, the physical component of the game publishing process is probably the lowest cost factor of the whole process.

Pretty much this. Its the same reason why a lot of Kindle Books seem to be only slightly cheaper, or the same price, as their physical counterparts. (at launch day, they go down later, like everything else)
Its because the vast majority of the money that you spend on a game goes towards paying the developers, the publishers and the retailers, not for paying the costs of production and shipping- because on a per-unit basis, those are relatively small (not sure how much, but its definitely less than 1 per unit, with each unit being 45 new.)

While it might be cheap to produce lots of copies for the game there is still a lot companies involved.
First we have the producer company, then the retail company, then any license fee they have to pay, the shipping cost and then split the money that is over to the company.

Most of those companies ain't gotta settle with 5$ for each copy, they put money on the line and they want it back so they most likely gonna take more than normal.

I know on games on demand for the xbox 360 a lot Digital copies are usually between 10-30 dollars cheaper only few crappy games are 10 dollars.

But a lot new release games don't get a digital copy of that game at least 9 months later. But you have to buy all the DLC separate(for example Fallout 3,new vegas,oblivion,mass effect 2 etc..)

Because retailers would throw a bitch fit if they were undercut. The advantage of DD is that they can have sales constantly.

ResonanceSD:
Priced at the same levels as physical games? Surely all the costs involved with distribution are lower as there isn't any physical media to be shipped.

Note: this isn't an issue of digital game pricing issues per region. I'm Australian, so I automatically win that contest.

Where does this happen? Where I've been finding them, they've been a lot cheaper. I saw Batman: Arkham Asylum for, like, ten bucks. And it WASN'T one sale. Meanwhile, in stores, it was still, like, $30-$40.

Because people will still pay it, games will charge as much as they can, I'm a bit surprised that cod isn't going for $70 at this point. It would certainly hurt sales so I guess activision does have a lil foresight.

Da Orky Man:

darkstone:

ResonanceSD:

There isn't that much competition between dd companies. Steam is king. There should be more competition between game publishers. I now get my games from an importer which gets me cheaper prices than steam does + a box -_-.

Steam, gog.com, gamersgate.com, d2d(gamefly direct download), desura, impulse, origin, greenmangaming.com, getgamesgo.com, onlive(debatable), amazon direct download.

There's plenty of competition on pc, you just have to look and some of them are arguably better than steam since they allow you to download your game without drm masked as a download client.

And how many of those offer sales as often and as cheap as Steam does?

Amazon offers sales quite often. For instance, tight now, Deus Ex: HR is only $10 on Amazon, and the Augmented Edition for $15. They're $30 and $40 on Steam right now.

Buretsu:

Da Orky Man:

darkstone:

Steam, gog.com, gamersgate.com, d2d(gamefly direct download), desura, impulse, origin, greenmangaming.com, getgamesgo.com, onlive(debatable), amazon direct download.

There's plenty of competition on pc, you just have to look and some of them are arguably better than steam since they allow you to download your game without drm masked as a download client.

And how many of those offer sales as often and as cheap as Steam does?

Amazon offers sales quite often. For instance, tight now, Deus Ex: HR is only $10 on Amazon, and the Augmented Edition for $15. They're $30 and $40 on Steam right now.

You sure that Amazon offers that in all countries? Try as I might, I can't find any reference to any direct download service, at least on the UK site.

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