Games Should Not Cost $60 Anymore – Inflation, Microtransactions, and Publishing – Extra Credits



為什麼那些售價60美元的遊戲嘗試販賣寶箱? 為什麼那些售價60美元的遊戲要針對它們的DLC販售季票? 為什麼那些售價60美元的遊戲少不了微交易? 為什麼那些售價60美元的遊戲在首發日就販售DLC? 或許還有其他種類,但這些問題的根本是相同的: 為什麼他們嘗試要讓我在這款遊戲上花費超過60美元? 今天,我們就要來回答這個問題。 3A遊戲不該再賣60美元了。 剩下的片段我將解釋原因。 3A遊戲的價格在第一代高畫質主機發售時被設定在60美元, 這裡的高畫質主機指的是Xbox360和PS3。 那時是2005年,之後價格不曾變更過。 但美元的價值改變了。 最近十年,每年的平均通貨膨脹大約是2%。 根據我能找到的最佳圖例,這代表60美元的遊戲,其價值提升了25.34%。 為了方便計算,我們把那個值訂成25%。 所以只考慮通貨膨脹時,3A遊戲現在應該要賣75美元。 但事實很明顯,通貨膨脹並不是唯一因素。 3A遊戲在市場上是最有賣像的。 每次新世代主機的發售,導致畫質上的軍備競賽,造成遊戲更加昂貴。 沒錯,我們找到很多提升效率的方式來降低成本。 也就是說,我們把第三方遊戲引擎當成中介軟體使用,可以大幅節省成本。 但即使有這麼多的省錢之道,我估計現在3A遊戲的成本相較2005年時大約是三到四倍。 所以,這代表遊戲定價應該落在225美元到300美元之間嗎? 幸運的是,並非如此。事情並不如此嚴峻。 或許很難得知確切的數字,不過相較2005年時,玩家的數量有大幅的成長。 或許有數倍之多。 這代表可能購買的玩家變多了,有助於彌補增長的生產成本。 如果大賣,也可以創造更高的利潤。 不幸的是,當你期望大量的銷售數字能幫你創造巨大利益時,如果這時你的遊戲銷量很差… 你的損失將會無比巨大,甚至大到可能得把工作室關閉。 但是,因為我們的重點是要探討遊戲的平均售價,所以我們把風險增加的因素排除吧。 根據我們在產業中得到的第一手資料來看… (不幸的是,許多都在保密協議之下) 如果我一定要預估的話–而且這只是很粗略的猜測… 在不考慮額外收入的支撐下,我會說現代3A遊戲真正的售價… …應該要提高到85至90美元。 顯而易見的是,這數字會使遊戲產業崩潰。 誰會在遊戲上花90美元? 我的意思是,看看Neo Geo的下場吧。 這種恐懼也因為手機遊戲市場的成功而加重… …造成某些老經驗的消費者認為遊戲應該非常便宜。 我的意思是,對平板遊戲來說,10美元就已經感覺到貴了。 甚至相同遊戲在DS會賣30美元,Steam會賣40美元。 而且,Steam的促銷也讓我們學會等遊戲便宜點再出手。 所以遊戲業始終將價格維持在60美金。 也就是說,或許他們是對的。 在2005年時,遊戲價格漲到60元這件事讓許多人感到沮喪。 對於70美元這數字的感受就像這樣… [咬緊牙關呼吸] 唉!這價格太高了。 在這個點上,產業的智慧或許是對的。 也許把標準價格提高到超過60美元會導致銷量衰退。 但是,不調漲價格的話,我們是處於絕境之中。 假如我們要抵銷開發成本,減少巨大損失的風險… …並達到股東們所期望的回饋率,我們必須有所作為來增加收入。 我們已經嘗試用不同的方式來達到目的,但效果不一。 首先,我們試著用DLC增加收入。 但如果在遊戲發行當天就發售DLC,粉絲會生氣,如果晚點發售又可能不會購買。 所以下一步,我們試著讓遊戲往持續性體驗的方向發展。 也就是那些你會玩整年的遊戲。 因為這樣,我們就可以因為更長的遊戲周期名正言順的販賣地圖包和擴充包。 但長時間支撐這些遊戲的成本也很昂貴,而且無法在每種遊戲上實現。 另一方面,玩家只能同時玩一定數量的持續性體驗遊戲。 所以,這些持續性體驗的遊戲需要相互競爭以博取消費者的目光。 這就像MMOROG再次百家爭鳴。 因此,我們嘗試了新的東西:寶箱。 我們會在幾個星期後針對寶箱這題目深入探討,這裡就先點到為止。 所以現在,身為玩家的我們必須決定我們想要什麼。 我們能忍受在零售遊戲上付出更多錢嗎? 70美金嗎? 還是80美金? 甚至更多? 資料給我們的答案是否定的,但假如是這樣的話… 那,我們必須學習去習慣寶箱或是微交易或是其他遊戲業或許會發展出來的類似東西的存在。 說到學習去習慣這件事,我的意思並不是忍受它們。 我想說的是,我們必須找到管道來回饋那些創造好的額外收入系統的開發者… …我指的是那些不過份激進或是不會在任何方面造成比較心態的玩法。 那些讓你滿意的交易系統,確實地在你數以小時計的遊玩時間增加你的遊戲體驗… 即使你只選擇花點小錢。 但別搞錯了:現在我們只有兩個選項。 原因正如同我開頭所說的:3A遊戲不該再賣60美元了。 下周見!

38 thoughts on “Games Should Not Cost $60 Anymore – Inflation, Microtransactions, and Publishing – Extra Credits

  1. Lootboxes, microtransactions, paid DLC–the question remains the same: why are "they" trying to make me pay more than $60 for this game?

    We have a community code of conduct, and we enforce it in our YouTube comments. There's lots of good ways to disagree with us, but threads that are encouraging attacks or devolve to insulting will be removed. https://becausegamesmatter.com/extra-credits-community-code-of-conduct

  2. All while all these CEOs makes the most overpaid CEOs list. Yeap. Games definitely shouldn't cost $60 anymore.

  3. I know it's been a year and all… but I wanted to say, stunning video… because everyone else is focusing on the negative. you did an awesome job covering this ^ ^

  4. As the person stated in the video, each generation adds more and more gamers. Moreover, just like with movies, they spend MILLIONS, yet they don't just expect consumers to pay more, even if their movie isn't profitable. Sure, there are more people who buy movies, but that can't be said for every new movie that is released.

    There is honestly NO reason why games should cost as much as they do now, aside from a few. And there is NO reason why every game has to have DLC either. Consumers will pay for something that is of value, but sooner or later, they catch on when they are being duped and being given less than they pay for.

    If movie industries can sell me a 4K movie for $25 to $30, that they used ultra expensive cameras on, and spent millions on for the cast, crew, and so on, then…. video game developers can make due with $60. My advice.. Make better games, and make them with less glitches, less bugs, andjust better overall, and your game will sell a lot. If the games are really good, then consumers will actually WANT DLC. Its as simple as that.

  5. I love EC but they seem to have ignored how economics work. There's a far greater supply of good games now than there was in 2005. Almost none of them cost $60. Seriously guys, come on.

  6. I'm not gonna pay more for games, with companies saying they need higher prices to meet costs, until CEOs stop lining their pockets with solid gold and rewarding themselves for squeezing every penny out of modern games. I won't pay more until I see companies stop laying off entire studios even after posting record profits. I know if games are more expensive that money will just go right to the top, and developers won't see wage increases, because their wages have already remained stagnant while the CEOs rake in millions each year. The blatant defense of the worst practices of the industry here is sickening.

  7. Would absolutely love a raise in base game prices, so that core gamers can be the focus again instead of casual gamers on console.
    I don't see many casual gamers forking $85-90 for games new, and developers will have to worry less about appealing to 'as many people as possible.' Just focus on your core audience: we'll pay more for games if their cost is justified.

  8. It's bullshit they charge $60. They should be charging A LOT less. Not more than $30. And they need to quit fucking with people who sell used games. In no other segment of the economy is the maker entitled to any money when the product is re-sold, yet video game makers think they should get more money after they have already earned all the money from the product they sold.
    Can you imagine if the people who built your house wanted a cut when you sold that house, or your car, or ANYTHING?
    Do movie studios go under because they make one movie that no body want to see? And they sure don't charge you $60 just to see a movie. Hell, you can buy a new DVD or Blueray for about $30. Even if the movie is a super expensive mega blockbuster.

  9. Counter question: Have films, both home media (DVD's Blu-rays) and well as cinema tickets, increased in price? Movies are definitely costing more to work on nowadays too, but has that affect the prices?

  10. Seeing the number of comments in disagreement with the video, I'll add my two cents.
    First, there's something to be said for counterarguments about the improved margin of digital sales, improvements in distribution, middleware for faster (or no) engine development, etc.

    But I think the inflation argument is basically still true and games that people want to buy are inherently more expensive (in terms of literal dollars) to make on average now. I mean, it's all labor and labor costs have certainly gone up. The thing to remember about inflation is it's referring to a specific kind of good relative to the consumer demand. So while it's true that laptops have gone down in price since 2005, smartphones have not (and if it looks like they have, it's because they're subsidized). So I think we basically are expecting the same or more out of each game we buy as we did in 2005, which means "they" can't just ship games that cost less to make $60 without additional revenue reasonable. At least not generally.

    All that said, microtransactions and DLC and such are neither just a cash grab from companies, nor are they begrudgingly doing it just because they can't make a game for $60 any more. It's a combination of both. They want more money in general, and they're also forced to get creative with moneymaking strategy because their margins have gone down due to increasing costs and expectations outpacing the improved revenue from a larger player base, reduced overhead, etc.

  11. Prices dont scale with inflation. They scale with supply and demand. There is more games than ever and the demand is high so prices are gonna be about average which is 60 dollars.

  12. I think that the biggest problem is that there is only one price for everything more or less. Where is the not so costly AAA games that are just 50 bucks or even less. Sometimes you'll get family games for 40 or remakes, but if there's any thing that has proven true, How is it anyone should be paying 60 bucks for a sport title that has few changes and tons of extra methods of getting cash as there can't be much to tweek after the second or third year in a generation. Those should start at half that, it would encourage more to take on the yearly up date and let those that want to pay into the extras continue to be the main revenue source like they have been. I'm not big on any of the extra revenue methods that games ask for, I usualy have a hell of a time to free up the cash for games that have been about for years, but I don't tend to care much about them when there put in as well. It's there and I just move on.

  13. Minor correction to your math, $60 in 2005 is worth $79.17 today, and we've had a new generation of consoles since then, so call that another $6 per game to account for costs, video games could and should easily cost $85 per game.

    Now, games were much more complete back then, that is to say, we got a lot more game for $60 than we do for $80-$85 today. I would be okay with paying $85 per game IF they were complete and without a need for season passes or extra story based DLC.

  14. "These games cost ungodly amounts of money to make, and the amount they cost to make is only increasing as time goes on, so just maybe, the price should be higher"

    INDUSTRY SHILL! SELL OUT! IDIOT! PAID OFF BY EA! (obvious /s)

    Seriously, it's not a radical concept. As things get fancier and more complicated, they will cost more to make and will end up costing the consumer more to buy. The same things happen in cars- yes a modern car, even adjusted for inflation, is more expensive than an old one- but that's because they have so many more safety features and better engineering behind them….

  15. Games do cost more than 60 bucks. If anything 60$ is the basic flat fee for admittance. If you wanted to experience the true version of a game you’d have to cough up more for the myriad of special editions… I’m sure someone has already covered this, like Jim Sterling…

  16. There's a simple solution.
    STOP MAKING HUGE FUCKEN GAMES THAT CAN MAKE OR BREAK YOU.

    Game companies are already crazy rich, and are trying to profit further to the point of unsustainability.

    We should not have to pay for DLC that is story essential. End of story.

    We shouldn't be tolerating malicious practices that target compulsive gamblers.

    And we shouldn't be encouraging live services that are crafted as nothing but grindy time sinks. Games should be well crafted, 6-8 hours on average, with a budget that won't break a company if it performs 'under expectations.'

  17. Felt I should come back here a year later and point out that Activision doesn't even pay it's taxes they had a -55% tax rate the year this was made because of foreign tax dodging. Their CEO is THE most overpaid CEO in America and gets paid over 300% more than his Employees. This Extra Credits video disgusts me.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRWCr90Lhxw

  18. "Who outside Australia would pay 90 dollars for a game"
    We don't pay 90 we pay a lot more no. FIFA was selling for 150

  19. I would absolutely support a rise in game prices to $90 new. Communities would be smaller, but they'd also more dedicated to playing the game. 
    As a result, game designers won't have to appeal to casuals who pay $60 for a game and move on to something else within a week. They'd already make their money from the dedicated gamers who actually care to play for extended periods.
    If gamers truly cared about no longer having dumbed down games, they'd speak with their money. I would've gladly paid $90 for a Fallout 4 with the complex design of New Vegas, instead of the dumbed down, casual friendly FO4 that we actually got.

  20. Nnnno. The industy's over-developed games are not my responsibility to pay for. They can scale back some of their costs and stop trying to make every game a block busting best seller, or they can make quality, genuinely fun, well polished content. I do not and I WILL NOT tolerate the defense of these spineless swine. EA, Activision, Ubisoft, these companies do not deserve defending. Shame on you.

  21. Who out of Australia? What does that mean? Also I recognise you continues lay using tf2 char, love it

  22. Good episode but just, greedy companies won't simply stop the micro-transactions simply because their game costs more then $60, AAA games should be Free then they can use the micro-transactions (*The f2p economy*) (Watch Jim Sterlings video)

  23. Maybe instead of making each game more and more realistic, companies should focus on how to produce a game with good graphics for less. I'm not saying they should pump out the same regurgitated games over and over, but I'm they should work on making a game more cost efficient. Like how the printing press made books a lot more easy to produce, or the internet made ideas easier to spread. Of course those are rough analogies, but you should still get the point.

  24. I look at this from a different perspective. If I buy goods, it would be great if they retain some value. Games mostly lose it over time. If I buy a 60$retail and it´s 35$ next month for a physical copy, that´s a bad deal for me. Not to mention buying stuff digital. So I wait, 2 years. 3 years. I usually don´t care about the hype. 60$ for NMS back when it came out? I was waiting 3 years for that game and actually really liked it. Now it´s this huge completely different game pumping out free DLCs… Witcher 3 was worth the 60$, great game. They even left a thank you note for buying the game. IMO, big publishers have the obligation to make games for mass appeal. There is no room for experiments. Well, thank god for indie developers then, because they definitly cater that love for freshness and for a completely different price point.

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