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20. Re: Valve Counters EA Jul 13, 2012, 07:47 jdreyer
 
Bhruic wrote on Jul 12, 2012, 17:32:
jimnms wrote on Jul 12, 2012, 13:17:
Would you rather sell 100,000 games for $50 each or 1,000,000 games for $10 each?

Are we playing the making up numbers game? Ok, let's play: Would you rather sell 500,000 copies for $50 each, or 600,000 copies for $10 each?

It's pointless to speculate on the numbers - Valve believes they are good enough to justify the sales, which is why they do them, EA believes they aren't. It's worth pointing out that Valve's argument does seem to rely on brandname recognition (ie, people buying a game for $5 seem more likely to buy the sequel at full price), so there might be a tacit agreement that they don't make as much money purely on the sales price.

Either way, as a consumer, I'm fully happy to see frequent sales. What EA thinks about them isn't very relevant. If they don't discount, I won't buy from them.

It's true we don't have access to the statistical data. I can only point to my own admittedly anecdotal evidence. Before Steam came along I bought games at full price ($50) or, if I was lucky and the game was older, half price ($25). Until about four years ago, those were the two basic options. As a result, I bought very few games, since a $50 investment had to be made very carefully with lots of research.

FF to today, where I buy games on a whim with very little research. As a result, I'm spending much more money on the games industry (as my wife is fond of pointing out to me) than I ever did in the past. A $5 or $10 expenditure doesn't warrant a lot of research. So, I end up with a lot of games I don't play much. The up side is that I can buy several games with the chances that I like one a lot and really put a lot of time into it. I spend more money, it's more evenly distributed, and I find more games I like, so I'm motivated to spend even more. It's win-win-win.
 
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19. Re: etc., etc. Jul 12, 2012, 22:45 jdreyer
 
Exactly, Prez. I own 1 game on Origin that I bought last month (BF 2142) and have played about 5 hours. I have more than 200 games on Steam and have about 1000 hours logged. They're not even on the same planet, never mind league.  
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18. Re: Valve Counters EA Jul 12, 2012, 17:32 Bhruic
 
jimnms wrote on Jul 12, 2012, 13:17:
Would you rather sell 100,000 games for $50 each or 1,000,000 games for $10 each?

Are we playing the making up numbers game? Ok, let's play: Would you rather sell 500,000 copies for $50 each, or 600,000 copies for $10 each?

It's pointless to speculate on the numbers - Valve believes they are good enough to justify the sales, which is why they do them, EA believes they aren't. It's worth pointing out that Valve's argument does seem to rely on brandname recognition (ie, people buying a game for $5 seem more likely to buy the sequel at full price), so there might be a tacit agreement that they don't make as much money purely on the sales price.

Either way, as a consumer, I'm fully happy to see frequent sales. What EA thinks about them isn't very relevant. If they don't discount, I won't buy from them.
 
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17. Re: etc., etc. Jul 12, 2012, 14:44 Veterator
 
Or put it this way. If you are going to spend 500 bucks on video games a year. At full price you're going to see 9-10 games.

So, that's only 9-10 games you might be interested in looking into next year when you have another 500 dollars to spend for sequels, DLC, expansions, etc.

Ignoring MMOs and what not.

Now if you buy 9-10 games and you're disappointed in 8 of them, you just pissed away 400 bucks.

So, there's a line where that full price has to be worth full price for people to keep buying your shit. If you keep pumping out stuff worth less to them than full price but charging full price, they are going to wait for pricing appropriate to the worth.

When they wait, they have more disposable income to spend on games that you get little to no money on, and they might find out that your games are worth even less to them seeing what they can get elsewhere.

This is what EA should be concerned with, and probably IS concerned with. But misrepresent it as people undervaluing their stuff, when it's probably the exact opposite. EA overvalues their products compared to what used to be had for the same money or found elsewhere.


And that really is none of the consumers concern, you're selling them something. Instead of hyping it and advertising it, spend money on making it worth it to the consumer for the price you are asking. Instead of what amounts to tricking them via deceptive advertising and falsely hyped up excitement.

They want it both ways, they want people to pay full price for less and less and keep the price up longer because they want more profits on less. Everyone would like to be able to do that, rarely is it going to happen for very long. People do eventually wise up, might take them a decade of being abused (RIAA, MPAA, etc) but they eventually start to realize they are being fucked.

 
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16. Re: Valve Counters EA Jul 12, 2012, 13:24 Beamer
 
Sepharo wrote on Jul 12, 2012, 13:20:
jimnms wrote on Jul 12, 2012, 13:17:
Would you rather sell 100,000 games for $50 each or 1,000,000 games for $10 each?

Both.

And this is what stops pricing innovation. Right now devs/publishers can have both. They can sell 100,000 first week at $50, then slowly drop the price in sales and do some big $10 Steam Sale after a year and move 500,000 units (though I doubt it's that big a figure...)
 
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15. Re: Valve Counters EA Jul 12, 2012, 13:22 Beamer
 
jimnms wrote on Jul 12, 2012, 13:17:
Bhruic wrote on Jul 12, 2012, 10:26:
That's fine if you assume you are the only one they care about. But the problem with that scenario is that once you start offering the game for $10, people are going to wait to buy it at the price - and not just the people who wouldn't buy it at $50. There are plenty of games that I might have bought previous at full price that I now wait for a Steam sale for - knowing that one is almost always right around the corner.

How many people do you have to get used to the idea that the price of a game will very quickly drop into the $10 range before you aren't selling very many copies at full price? Or, to put it into your example, EA would rather have $0 of your dollars and $50 of the next guy's rather than $10 from both of you.

Would you rather sell 100,000 games for $50 each or 1,000,000 games for $10 each?

If retail, those units cost something. They must be printed, shipped, retail must be paid, etc. So while those $10 games will be cheaper, due to economies of scale, you're still making little on them.
If digital, it's 30% regardless, so you have more freedom to play with price to maximize income. Whether you sell 10 $10 units or 1 $100 unit you're still making $70.
 
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14. Re: Valve Counters EA Jul 12, 2012, 13:20 Sepharo
 
jimnms wrote on Jul 12, 2012, 13:17:
Would you rather sell 100,000 games for $50 each or 1,000,000 games for $10 each?

Both.
 
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13. Re: Valve Counters EA Jul 12, 2012, 13:17 jimnms
 
Bhruic wrote on Jul 12, 2012, 10:26:
That's fine if you assume you are the only one they care about. But the problem with that scenario is that once you start offering the game for $10, people are going to wait to buy it at the price - and not just the people who wouldn't buy it at $50. There are plenty of games that I might have bought previous at full price that I now wait for a Steam sale for - knowing that one is almost always right around the corner.

How many people do you have to get used to the idea that the price of a game will very quickly drop into the $10 range before you aren't selling very many copies at full price? Or, to put it into your example, EA would rather have $0 of your dollars and $50 of the next guy's rather than $10 from both of you.

Would you rather sell 100,000 games for $50 each or 1,000,000 games for $10 each?
 
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12. Re: etc., etc. Jul 12, 2012, 12:15 Beamer
 
Verno wrote on Jul 12, 2012, 11:54:
Honestly I like PA but I find the PA Kickstarter to be offensive and a total violation of the spirit of the site. In fact I hope people report it as illegitimate and it's forced down.

Couldn't agree more.
 
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11. Re: etc., etc. Jul 12, 2012, 11:54 Verno
 
Honestly I like PA but I find the PA Kickstarter to be offensive and a total violation of the spirit of the site. In fact I hope people report it as illegitimate and it's forced down. These guys already make a decent living doing what they like, they don't need what are essentially crowd sourced start up funds.

Most sites solve this with an ads and no-ads option, asking for a large lump sum with the caveat that its every year is just shitty.

On the other topic, I really liked what Valve had to say and it makes a lot more sense than EAs perspective.
 
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10. Re: Valve Counters EA Jul 12, 2012, 10:26 Bhruic
 
jdreyer wrote on Jul 12, 2012, 00:54:
So it comes down to this: Does EA want $10 of my dollars, or $0? That's the question.

That's fine if you assume you are the only one they care about. But the problem with that scenario is that once you start offering the game for $10, people are going to wait to buy it at the price - and not just the people who wouldn't buy it at $50. There are plenty of games that I might have bought previous at full price that I now wait for a Steam sale for - knowing that one is almost always right around the corner.

How many people do you have to get used to the idea that the price of a game will very quickly drop into the $10 range before you aren't selling very many copies at full price? Or, to put it into your example, EA would rather have $0 of your dollars and $50 of the next guy's rather than $10 from both of you.
 
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9. Re: etc., etc. Jul 12, 2012, 10:12 Rhino
 
Prez wrote on Jul 12, 2012, 07:54:
That article was the first I've seen that mentions actual numbers concerning Origin. 11 million users as compared to Steam's 40 million. On the surface I'd say that's fairly impressive given Origin's relative "newness", but the term "User" is very vague. Technically I could be counted as a User because I redeemed the game key for Star Wars:ToR my friend bought me through Origin, but I did not and will not use it again once I realized (more like verified; this IS EA we are talking about...) what a disaster of a service it is and how terrible ToR actually is. I have a feeling EA will continue to count me as a user folr some time to come however. Likely Valve counts their users similarly.

Also to take into consideration are all of those Sims players who are forced to use Origin for patching. Rarely do they release manual patches, save for instances where something went horribly wrong with the auto-patch that was released through Origin.

As you noted, "user" as a term in this context is vague, and I would add that it is so vague that it becomes almost meaningless when one considers the franchises that force users to at least register an Origin account, even if they don't use it regularly, at all, or for any other reason than patching.

This comment was edited on Jul 12, 2012, 10:50.
 
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8. Re: etc., etc. Jul 12, 2012, 10:11 Sepharo
 
Dades wrote on Jul 12, 2012, 07:14:
Penny Arcade: "What we're asking for is fair"…

You make a web comic, have some perspective.

This doesn't make any sense. Beyond charities and scientific research you might as well say that to anyone seeking compensation. It's just a video game, have some perspective. It's just an iPhone connected watch with a display, have some perspective. Also if you watch PATV you'll see that making the comic is probably only 10% of their work day. And that's just for Mike and Jerry, the other 12 people who work there have nothing to do with the comic.

I'm more interested in PATV, PA Reports, Tycho's blog post, PAX, and Child's Play these days than the actual comic but I still enjoy reading 5 or 6 in a row when I do finally check it.
 
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7. Re: Valve Counters EA Jul 12, 2012, 08:45 nin
 
jdreyer wrote on Jul 12, 2012, 00:54:
I was listening to the PCG podcast (UK edition) and they were talking about Spec Ops: The Line. And it sounds pretty good. And I realized, I'd never pay $50 for a game like that. I just never would, b/c I wouldn't play it enough to justify the price. So, if it never came down in price, that company would be getting 0 of my dollars. I just don't play shooters that much.

However, if it comes down to $15 or $10, I would buy it. The amount I would play it would then justify my spending that money. For example, COD games take forever to come down, so I only own the older ones. I just don't buy them.

So it comes down to this: Does EA want $10 of my dollars, or $0? That's the question.


I think that's it exactly. For $5 or $10, I'll take a chance on something I wouldn't go near for $60. If I don't like it, I'm only out $10, and it's not that big of a deal. And if I do like it, I'm a lot more likely to check out that devs other titles, and possibly preorder (and pay full price for) the next in the series or from that dev.

 
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6. Re: etc., etc. Jul 12, 2012, 07:54 Prez
 
That article was the first I've seen that mentions actual numbers concerning Origin. 11 million users as compared to Steam's 40 million. On the surface I'd say that's fairly impressive given Origin's relative "newness", but the term "User" is very vague. Technically I could be counted as a User because I redeemed the game key for Star Wars:ToR my friend bought me through Origin, but I did not and will not use it again once I realized (more like verified; this IS EA we are talking about...) what a disaster of a service it is and how terrible ToR actually is. I have a feeling EA will continue to count me as a user folr some time to come however. Likely Valve counts their users similarly.  
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5. Re: etc., etc. Jul 12, 2012, 07:14 Dades
 
Penny Arcade: "What we're asking for is fair"…

You make a web comic, have some perspective.
 
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4. Re: etc., etc. Jul 12, 2012, 06:41 Veterator
 
Comes down to exposure. Selling things at a discount is going to get you more exposure than advertising the hell out of the game before it's released. Yes advertising drives a lot of sales, the more expensive day one/preorder sales in particular.

However only so many people are going to pay that price. And if some of those don't like the game, your sequel is going to have a harder time if it never picks up any additional players via sales and discounting the game as time goes on.

So when the second game comes out, you've whittled your possible market down by excluding everyone else but the day one buyers...who some of which have already decided they just don't like that series.

This is pretty much what authors say all the time, write a lot and sell them cheap at times to pick up potential fans. Then they might go and buy some of your slightly more expensive books (like 5 dollar difference, sometimes maybe 10). You make more money, they find an author they like when they never would have looked otherwise due to your stuff being a little too costly to find out they don't like it.

Some authors don't have to care, like Stephen King. But EA is not the Stephen King of game producers/creators, and Valve probably isn't either. They just don't seem to be full of themselves (yet) versus EA.

But.......let them keep believing that shit because it's costing them at many levels. Makes them look like even bigger assholes, says they won't sell games cheaper (so why bother looking?), says they'd rather paying a bajillion dollars on advertising to try to get you to buy a full priced game instead of bringing it down to reflect what people actually want, spend less, ask less, but sell more.
 
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3. Re: Valve Counters EA Jul 12, 2012, 03:06 killer_roach
 
jdreyer wrote on Jul 12, 2012, 00:54:
So it comes down to this: Does EA want $10 of my dollars, or $0? That's the question.

Exactly. I'd expound on this further, but I'm pretty sure that the average person on here would be less than inclined to read a bunch of economic arguments.
 
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2. Re: Valve Counters EA Jul 12, 2012, 02:40 Wowbagger_TIP
 
jdreyer wrote on Jul 12, 2012, 00:54:
I was listening to the PCG podcast (UK edition) and they were talking about Spec Ops: The Line. And it sounds pretty good. And I realized, I'd never pay $50 for a game like that. I just never would, b/c I wouldn't play it enough to justify the price. So, if it never came down in price, that company would be getting 0 of my dollars. I just don't play shooters that much.

However, if it comes down to $15 or $10, I would buy it. The amount I would play it would then justify my spending that money. For example, COD games take forever to come down, so I only own the older ones. I just don't buy them.

So it comes down to this: Does EA want $10 of my dollars, or $0? That's the question.

Pretty much. These guys are usually republicans, hard core capitalists, you know? They talk a good game about "growing the pie" rather than re-dividing it, but they're apparently too stupid to recognize when they actually see a case of that happening rather than it just being smoke they're blowing up someone's ass.
 
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1. Valve Counters EA Jul 12, 2012, 00:54 jdreyer
 
I was listening to the PCG podcast (UK edition) and they were talking about Spec Ops: The Line. And it sounds pretty good. And I realized, I'd never pay $50 for a game like that. I just never would, b/c I wouldn't play it enough to justify the price. So, if it never came down in price, that company would be getting 0 of my dollars. I just don't play shooters that much.

However, if it comes down to $15 or $10, I would buy it. The amount I would play it would then justify my spending that money. For example, COD games take forever to come down, so I only own the older ones. I just don't buy them.

So it comes down to this: Does EA want $10 of my dollars, or $0? That's the question.
 
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