I wanted the game so desperately. I knew I’d have to play my cards right in the weeks leading up to Christmas to be sure I’d get it. I got along famously with my brother. I kept my room tidy. I gave the dog baths. And then the moment of truth … Christmas morning the tell-tale package shape was there, under the tree, among the other gifts.
My brother and I pounced upon it immediately. And there it was. Dragon Warrior II, the most anticipated game for the NES that season – at least it was for my brother and me. And it was one of the most expensive at around $50. That was why it was not guaranteed to be under the tree, as back in 1990, $50 was a lot of money, especially for what was widely perceived as a child’s toy.
Now, 15 years later, another hotly anticipated title hits the shelf for Christmas – Peter Molyneux’s Fable. It’s debut price? $49.99.
Wait. What was that?
Yes, we have found the one sector of the economy that is, apparently, outside the influence of inflation. Either that, or perhaps there’s more to the economics of gaming than box price.
This issue of The Escapist, “Dungeons and Dollars,” allows our writers to explore the various aspects of the economics of games. Greg Costikyan speaks to the serious issues facing the development community presented by the current structure of the production process. Mark Wallace delves into virtual commerce and why virtual is perhaps not the best term to describe it. Enjoy these articles and more in this week’s issue of The Escapist.