Justify Your Game Price Increase, Don't Just Raise Itby@josephocasio

Justify Your Game Price Increase, Don't Just Raise It

by Joe OcasioAugust 19th, 2021
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Games are increasing price, but they haven't been in value.

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I bought the new Ratchet and Clank for around $65. I had an extra GameStop Coupon and didn’t want to spend $70 for a new game. But it’s what I’ll be doing for games from here on out. As much as it’s convenient to download a game directly from the digital storefront of you’re choice, there’s not much in the way of getting a discount on day 1.

It’s becoming harder and more difficult to buy a game on release. The second that 2K announced that the next-gen version of NBA 22 would be getting a $10 price increase, other publishers jumped at the chance. EA, Sony, Activision, and more decided to get in the game to squeeze out even more cash from consumers and have gotten away with it. Sure, some gamers voiced their concerns, but it wasn’t enough to change publisher’s minds on what to do when pricing their games. Going forward, it looks like most publishers will follow suit and charge their games an extra $10.

But, the problem that I’ve had with these price increases is the lack of justification. I have no problem buying a game with an increased value, as long as it is justified. The first time I can remember when I did so was with Gears of War 4. The game's standard version launched on a Tuesday at $60, while the special edition launched at $100. That’s a lot of money, but Gears 4 also contained a season pass, and it was released on Friday before the standard version was released.

Gears 5 made a similar move where the special edition, which contained early access for some Terminator skins and launched on a Friday, cost a reduced $80. The last two main-line Gears of War titles attempted to justify the increased price tag by allowing early access and gave early adopters some extra bonuses for their dedication.

While Sony’s track record with price increase seems to do so for the sake of it, they have made some strides in justifying the additional price tag with Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Ghost of Tsushima. Miles Morales could be purchased at $50 or the Ultimate Edition at $70.

The latter gave you access to a remastered version of the 2018 Spider-Man game, giving you an incentive to pick up this version of the game. Ghost of Tsushima, while originally a PS4 title, will feature a brand-new location, a new storyline, and multiple graphical improvements. Yes, it is still annoying that previous owners still have to pay an extra $10 if they just want the upgrade, but Sony is at least making a case for those who have yet to play the game.

People have a right to complain about game prices increasing, as It’s anti-consumer to demand extra for the sake of money. Yes, games used to cost much more back in the ‘90s, but that doesn’t mean we should go back to that point, especially when we’re still in the mists of a global pandemic and the biggest recession since the Great Depression.

But, if publishers gave a reason for it, whether it be extra content or a way to reward customers, there’s a good chance that audiences wouldn’t mind too much if the games were charged a little more. Make your product worth the asking price, don’t just slap up for the sake of doing it. If you want people to shut up and give you their money then earn it.

This article is part of The Gaming Metaverse Writing Contest hosted by HackerNoon in partnership with The Sandbox.

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