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26. Re: etc., etc. Jun 8, 2012, 23:32 Ant
 
I miss old EA and other companies.  
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25. Re: etc., etc. Jun 7, 2012, 17:05 Beamer
 
As others have said, too, these sales capture fewer genuine customers than they do pirates. Well, maybe not fewer, but they certainly capture a good chunk of pirates.

For $5 people will impulse buy almost anything, and to many that price is well worth avoiding the possible hassles of piracy.
 
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24. Re: etc., etc. Jun 7, 2012, 16:10 Flatline
 
Prez wrote on Jun 7, 2012, 04:15:
If, hypothetically, you end up selling 3 times as many at $30 as compared to what you sell at $60, does it really matter if you aren't getting what you personally believe your property is worth? Bottom line - your revenues are higher. As it is, I think developers get too emotionally involved with correlating asking price with how hard they worked on a game. It should simply be a matter of economics; if market data says you have the real potential to make more money at a lower asking price, then the decision is an easy one. The ultimate goal is make a return on that investment of that time, talent, and money after all.

Agreed.

I'll add one more thing and one more prediction.

First, part of the deal with price point and sales is that there's a perceived "I'm getting a bargain" psychology going on. The drop from 60 to 30 dollars is a *powerful* motivation that might not be there if you price point at 30 bucks to begin with.

Anyway... My prediction is that Origins is going to offer a subscription based library of old games based on this:

Without revealing too much, what I’ll say is one way to deal with aging inventory is you do deep discounts like that. There are other ways, which I can’t really talk about, of dealing with product as it ages over a period of time, where you present a value to the customer and you engage them in your service on a going-forward basis… We’ve got something else that we do believe in that we’ll be rolling out. But I absolutely understand your point, and I’m not not-hearing what you’re saying.

That screams "subscription model" to me. The problem is, it's *so* easy to pirate old/dead games, the *only* way you're going to really monetize them is if you either sell them for peanuts or actually make them compatible for modern machines without having the user jump through hoops.

Which is what gog.com originally was supposed to do. They kind of bailed on that promise sadly.
 
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23. Re: etc., etc. Jun 7, 2012, 09:41 Cutter
 
hjkar wrote on Jun 7, 2012, 01:08:
While I generally dislike EA and David DeMartini came off as a bit of an ass in the interview. I do think steam sales cause people to devalue games much like piracy does. One can argue the sales try to profit on the fact that the value of games are already devalued due to piracy but I believe it also perpetuates a lower value. The cost of making games risen but the prices haven't, contrary to most other industries. I recall being a child and buying a new copy of Secret of Evermore for the SNES for 74.99$. That was just the plain game, no collectors edition. Using a simple inflation calculator I could expect to pay 113.05$ for the game assuming inflation of 2.44%. If the average price of a big company game was 50$ in 1995 then it would be 75.37$ now.

The price is wrong, Bob! Seeing as there are no real numbers on piracy you can't claim it devalues shit. And piracy does not equate to a lost sale. If piracy were impossible it doesn't mean people would be buying the games they pirate. How these publishers can cry poverty when something like COD does a billion in sales in just over 2 weeks only shows how laughable this arguement is. Fact is, for most games, most people find them to be drastically overpriced at $50-$60 which is why they wait for for them to hit the $20 or less point. And as others have pointed out the sheer volume of sales at a lower price point makes up for it anyway. So long as you're turning a profit instead of a loss, who cares? The problem with assholes like DeMartini is they're just greedy and feel that a 100% return isn't good enough and they should be making at least 300%+ ROIs. Steam and gamers aren't the problem here.
 
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22. Re: etc., etc. Jun 7, 2012, 07:55 Beamer
 
As an aside, we have a GM in our company that's not overly creative. The only thing he can come up with to increase customer counts is cutting prices.
But again, digital doesn't really have many other options. Not ones that are meaningful, at least. These stores are, at best, commoditized.


Also, annoyingly, the sales thing works. I kind of hate the sales/coupons model over the everyday low prices model, but just look what happened to JC Penny's this last quarter, when they cut all coupons and instead put prices down where coupons would bring them. Every day. Customer comps plummeted.
 
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21. Re: etc., etc. Jun 7, 2012, 07:52 Beamer
 
Shok wrote on Jun 6, 2012, 22:14:
From the article, another classic:

...we're not trying to be Target. We're trying to be Nordstrom.

Keep on dreaming and stay an inch or two outta kicking distance.

There are really two big issues here:
1) Nordstrom distinguishes itself primarily on service and experience. By and large online digital stores have no service and little experience difference, and what little there is edges towards Valve
2) Nordstrom also carries brands and quality you can't find elsewhere. The clothing at Nordstrom is far more expensive than Target because it isn't stupid shit that's poorly designed and falls apart on you. The games in Origin are the games on Steam. If Target sold the same stuff as Nordstrom most buyers would end up there. Not all, due to the service and experience difference, but most.


I completely agree with the dude that these sales are damaging initial buyer counts, as well as some of the tail buying counts. But they're also stretching that tail out super long, it's getting a lot of would-be non-buyers, and the only buyers you aren't getting at full price that you would have are those that were on the fence. I can't think of a single game I've really wanted that I thought "I'm waiting until a Steam sale." I've thought of plenty that I've said "Holy shit, $5!" that I've never played and likely never will. But I bought it.
And, lastly, I can think of a billion games that I wait until the price drops B&M, and more than a few that stop at $20 when they're worth more like $10 to me.

So maybe Valve cuts down to 75% off too rapidly, but I really doubt they're hurting sales figures. And I know they're not huring IP.
 
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20. Re: etc., etc. Jun 7, 2012, 07:12 Dades
 
hjkar wrote on Jun 7, 2012, 01:08:
While I generally dislike EA and David DeMartini came off as a bit of an ass in the interview. I do think steam sales cause people to devalue games much like piracy does.

Steam sales don't cause anything, intellectual property devalues as it ages according how to consumers perceive its value. This is why Blizzard games are often more expensive for longer periods of time while other titles hit the sales bin no time flat. It has nothing to do with a particular seller, it is the market.
 
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19. Re: etc., etc. Jun 7, 2012, 07:03 MattyB
 
Prez wrote on Jun 7, 2012, 04:15:
If, hypothetically, you end up selling 3 times as many at $30 as compared to what you sell at $60, does it really matter if you aren't getting what you personally believe your property is worth? Bottom line - your revenues are higher. As it is, I think developers get too emotionally involved with correlating asking price with how hard they worked on a game. It should simply be a matter of economics; if market data says you have the real potential to make more money at a lower asking price, then the decision is an easy one. The ultimate goal is make a return on that investment of that time, talent, and money after all.

You should be head of Origin, then maybe I'd feel more inclined to actually buy from there.

This hits the nail on the head, and I'm under the impression that Valve has already proven this point, and it's undoubtably why Steam continue to do this. And surely they have to get the consent of the developers to discount their games anyway? If it didn't work, neither Valve or the developers of the game on sale would agree.

He's an article from Penny Arcade that understands that, although it seems that GoG feel the same way as the EA goons:
Penny Arcade article clicky

And anyway, people tend to wait for the sales if the game isn't that great - if you've done your job right and created a triple-A title, people will buy it at full price. End of.
 
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18. Re: etc., etc. Jun 7, 2012, 05:23 CommunistHamster
 
hjkar wrote on Jun 7, 2012, 01:08:
The cost of making games risen but the prices haven't, contrary to most other industries.
Only due to ludicrously bloated AAA title development. It is still quite possible to make great games with early 2000's sized teams. The increased team sizes add almost no value (except in cases like GTA4, with all the writing).
 
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17. Re: etc., etc. Jun 7, 2012, 04:15 Prez
 
If, hypothetically, you end up selling 3 times as many at $30 as compared to what you sell at $60, does it really matter if you aren't getting what you personally believe your property is worth? Bottom line - your revenues are higher. As it is, I think developers get too emotionally involved with correlating asking price with how hard they worked on a game. It should simply be a matter of economics; if market data says you have the real potential to make more money at a lower asking price, then the decision is an easy one. The ultimate goal is make a return on that investment of that time, talent, and money after all.

It probably wouldn't have made a difference in the studio's demise, but I think that 38 Studios releasing Kingdom of Alamur at $60 was a disastrously bad decision. An unproven freshman studio making an original IP no one knows a thing about simply cannot ask 60 bucks for their game. If they would have just released at 40, maybe even 50 bucks I'm betting overall revenue would have been considerably higher, if still not enough to avert the studio's implosion.

The gist of the comments made by Origin's DeMartini in this interview is that EA is basically trying to lure developers away from relying so heavily on Steam and start adopting Origin a little more by tapping into an emotional topic for most developers and publishers: what they feel is a fair price for the property on which they worked so hard. Not a bad pitch really, but it will fail I think. Steam sales generally help developer revenues greatly from everything I've read, regardless of how deep the discounts and what that might mean as far as a property's worth.

This comment was edited on Jun 7, 2012, 12:21.
 
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16. Re: etc., etc. Jun 7, 2012, 03:09 Draugr
 
hjkar wrote on Jun 7, 2012, 01:08:
While I generally dislike EA and David DeMartini came off as a bit of an ass in the interview. I do think steam sales cause people to devalue games much like piracy does. One can argue the sales try to profit on the fact that the value of games are already devalued due to piracy but I believe it also perpetuates a lower value. The cost of making games risen but the prices haven't, contrary to most other industries. I recall being a child and buying a new copy of Secret of Evermore for the SNES for 74.99$. That was just the plain game, no collectors edition. Using a simple inflation calculator I could expect to pay 113.05$ for the game assuming inflation of 2.44%. If the average price of a big company game was 50$ in 1995 then it would be 75.37$ now.

And yet somehow, despite there being free content (legal or otherwise) to watch all over the internet, Film and TV industries still manage to make loads of cash. It's almost like the value of the product has nothing to do with how much money people are making off of it, and everything to do with the perceived quality of what is on offer.

While prices have gone down on games, and costs have gone up there has also been a meteoric rise in the number of consumers of these products, just one of the factors we need to take into account when looking back. Digital distribution also plays a factor, as would a larger pool of skilled workers to pull from (USUALLY resulting in cheaper labor.) It's important to note that correlation does not equal causation. Just because prices have gone down and piracy exists does not mean that prices have gone down because of piracy.
 
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15. Re: etc., etc. Jun 7, 2012, 02:55 J
 
EA? Sounds familiar from somewhere... oh... I think I used to buy their games in the last century. Origin? Don't know what that is.  
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14. Re: etc., etc. Jun 7, 2012, 02:03 Matshock
 
hjkar wrote on Jun 7, 2012, 01:08:
While I generally dislike EA and David DeMartini came off as a bit of an ass in the interview. I do think steam sales cause people to devalue games much like piracy does. One can argue the sales try to profit on the fact that the value of games are already devalued due to piracy but I believe it also perpetuates a lower value. The cost of making games risen but the prices haven't, contrary to most other industries. I recall being a child and buying a new copy of Secret of Evermore for the SNES for 74.99$. That was just the plain game, no collectors edition. Using a simple inflation calculator I could expect to pay 113.05$ for the game assuming inflation of 2.44%. If the average price of a big company game was 50$ in 1995 then it would be 75.37$ now.

ROM cartridge<>digital distribution-

Most of the games we download now don't even come with a .pdf manual.

In a time of 24/7 bandwidth and pennies per GB HDD storage volume should be king or pretty close thereto.

I think Bethesda is doing a brilliant job in pricing out Skyrim- a slow decline marked only by the introduction of viable competition.

But, at the end of the day some folks aren't going to buy it until it's sub- USD $30.00 or even sub $20.00- that's profit left on the table when we're talking about digital distribution.

I didn't pick up Mass Effect 3 until it was USD $26.00 AND I wasn't going anywhere for a holiday weekend. It wasn't worth a penny more to me, and EA would have gotten nothing from me for it at any higher a price. Should they have told me to pound sand and not taken my $26.00?

 
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13. Re: etc., etc. Jun 7, 2012, 01:55 PHJF
 
Secret of Evermore was (and still is) worth $75. The average EA game isn't worth $20.

In fact I almost never buy anything at release because $50+ is almost always simply too much money for not enough product.
 
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12. Re: etc., etc. Jun 7, 2012, 01:21 jdreyer
 
All I know is that Steam has sucked so much of my cash away on games I'll probably never play because I bought them on sale. With 160 or so games in my Steam queue, I'll just never get to them.

Oh, and hey DeMartini, you know what got me to break down and install fcking Origin? Yeah, a goddamn fire sale on BF 2142 a few weeks ago. Picked it up for $7 or whatever.
 
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11. Re: etc., etc. Jun 7, 2012, 01:08 hjkar
 
While I generally dislike EA and David DeMartini came off as a bit of an ass in the interview. I do think steam sales cause people to devalue games much like piracy does. One can argue the sales try to profit on the fact that the value of games are already devalued due to piracy but I believe it also perpetuates a lower value. The cost of making games risen but the prices haven't, contrary to most other industries. I recall being a child and buying a new copy of Secret of Evermore for the SNES for 74.99$. That was just the plain game, no collectors edition. Using a simple inflation calculator I could expect to pay 113.05$ for the game assuming inflation of 2.44%. If the average price of a big company game was 50$ in 1995 then it would be 75.37$ now.  
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10. Re: etc., etc. Jun 7, 2012, 00:29 Matshock
 
ASeven wrote on Jun 6, 2012, 22:21:
EA doesn't understand shit about price and demand elasticity. Holy fuck, having read that torrent of shit coming from EA I can safely say that interview harmed my intellectual properties.

Yep, like I mentioned in other threads companies like EA think that behaving like a government is the business model of the future. They're stuck in 2008.

Of the three econ classes I took only microeconomics hasn't been discredited since I graduated- good on Valve.
 
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9. Re: etc., etc. Jun 7, 2012, 00:29 WarpCrow
 
That's okay. The way it looks, by the time Battlefield 4 comes out they'll have ruined the franchise completely and I won't have to give Origin a second thought anymore. I guess I'll just have to settle for Target.  
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8. Re: etc., etc. Jun 7, 2012, 00:13 ^Drag0n^
 
This coming from the guy running the US equivalent of IP sweatshops.

News flash, EA: most gamers shop at Target, not Nordstrom.
 
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7. Re: etc., etc. Jun 6, 2012, 23:00 Silicon Avatar
 
Soo... Origin guy thinks I'm going to buy games from Origin because they have more cachet?

Really?

Good luck with that, pal.
 
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