Games and the Price of Value (RPS)

1:52 pm - 04/12/2012
This is part of an interview with the people at Good Old Games/CD Projekt RED or the people who work on the Witcher series. I think it brings an interesting discussion to the state of sales of digital distribution.

RPS: CD Projekt co-founder Marcin Iwinski recently said that GOG’s goal is to avoid devaluing games. So do you believe that things like Steam sales ultimately hurt more than they help? What about indie bundles?

GoG: Selling games at too high a discount – one often sees discounts above 80% off here and there -sends a message to gamers: this game, simply put, isn’t worth very much. Of course you make thousands and thousands of sales of a game when it’s that cheap, but you’re damaging the long-term value of your brand because people will just wait for the next insane sale. Slashing the price of your game is easy. Improving the content of your offer when you release your game, that’s more ambitious.

Our industry failed to provide gamers with a fair and attractive offer on day one and therefore convince them to buy games when they are released, which is the best way to support a publisher or developer from a financial standpoint. GOG has always been trying to add as much value as possible into their offer; and we hope more gaming companies will follow this direction.

Heavy discounts are bad for gamers, too. If a gamer buys a game he or she doesn’t want just because it’s on sale, they’re being trained to make bad purchases, and they’re also learning that games aren’t valuable. We all know gamers who spend more every month on games than they want to, just because there were too many games that were discounted too deeply. That’s not good for anyone.

There’s a counter argument to that, of course, which is that sales encourage people to try games that they’re not sure about. And there’s a certain truth to it, but I think that you need to reach a happy medium between giving someone a chance to take a risk without feeling like they’ve gotten a bad deal, and pricing things so cheaply that you tell gamers, “this game I made isn’t worth very much.”

Nathan Grayson of RockPaperShotgun

Personally very few game should cost $60 that's way too much for many games that can be completed in 10 hours or fewer. I do think most games shouldn't be around $5-$15, unless it's either an indie game, or a really terrible wii shovelware game. Most retail stores will drop it down because they have to get more inventory for new shipments, however for digital it does not have to be real low. Though I love Steam I am guilty of waiting until it's half off or more before getting a game, unless it's an indie game in which case it's already 10 of 15 bucks.
So for better discussion view what's the price point for something that starting off would entice you into a game, digital or retail, genre based or otherwise?
For most games $40-$45 retail is what would get into a lot of games day one, and probably $35-$40 for digital releases.
myrasis 12th-Apr-2012 10:35 pm (UTC)
Ah, another reason why I stan for CDPR.
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