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4. Re: Evening Consolidation Feb 25, 2013, 20:57 killer_roach
Beamer wrote on Feb 25, 2013, 20:39:
I've speculated on pricing here a ton, and I'm 100% certain the publishers are investigating it.

I'd agree for the most part, speaking as an MA in Applied Econ with some research focus in price theory.

If anything, current prices for the "blockbuster" "tentpole" titles like a new Halo, Diablo, CoD, or the like are lower than the market could support. Possibly significantly so. However, there's enough alternatives to make being the first mover a bit gutsy. CoD is about the only one with the draw to try something like that and get away with it right now.

The problem for publishers right now is in terms of pricing their product at retail. Online, they can pretty much name their price and change it at will. Brick and mortar retailers will likely try to get their own pound of flesh out of such short-term sales, asking for things like refunding the difference on outstanding inventory or a window of exclusivity on a sale, things that you don't see as issues online presently. As a result, a publisher is likely forced to stick with frequent price drops throughout a game's life cycle, using time as a mechanism of price discrimination, but will have the benefit of being able to make such changes on a somewhat random basis such that consumers don't get caught in a habit of "waiting out the next sale".

I think going forward we're more likely to see moves toward maintaining (or possibly lowering) launch MSRP for many titles and then trying to upsell on various packages with preorders and launch copies (at the front end) and a steady stream of DLC (at the back end, especially so with games that have a following either in their multiplayer or in their single-player storylines).

However, the "frequent random sales" strategy is one that you'll likely see adopted as another way of coaxing out marginal buyers as more and more game sales move online.
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