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27. Re: etc. Nov 22, 2017, 22:02 Eirikrautha
 
Beamer wrote on Nov 21, 2017, 18:03:
Want to reiterate, in general, that I'm not arguing that I want games to be more expensive (and no one seems to think I am, but that surprises me.)

I just feel like we're on borrowed time with this pricing and recommending people enjoy it. It's one of those times where you realize you're kind of getting away with something and it won't last.

Nah. Games are a luxury good. This is why the price for them is less, comparatively, than in the past. There is far more competition for the entertainment dollar than ever before. Beyond a certain price-point, consumers will find another good they feel is more economical and stop buying games. This is the reason for "collector's editions," etc. Gamers expect additional content to justify expenses beyond the standard $60 they pay (in the US).

In fact, game prices are not going to go up for the foreseeable future. At the most, when the economics no longer support a "AAA" game at $60, you will see the death of the "AAA" game before you see the increase in standard price.

AAA game companies are still making gigantic profits from the $60 price points. But they'd already charge you $100 a game if they thought you'd buy it. If you won't buy it at $60, they'll either start selling it at $40, or they'll stop making it. This is why games go on sale way more often today than in the past.

All this talk of game value structure borders on economic illiteracy. Game prices will be the maximum the market will bear. And if they can nickle and dime you with loot boxes, too, they will...
 
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26. Re: etc. Nov 22, 2017, 03:02 jdreyer
 
William Usher wrote on Nov 21, 2017, 18:06:
jdreyer wrote on Nov 21, 2017, 15:38:
Games are also orders of magnitude more expensive to make. In 1995 the gaming press was astounded by the cost of making Wing Commander IV: $10M. Today, AAA games are much more expensive: a Call of Duty costs around $100-150M to make, Knights of the Old Republic cost $200M, Battlefield 4 cost $100M, etc. And none of those numbers includes marketing, which typically double the cost.

Not necessarily true. Some games are more expensive to make now than before. Other games are far cheaper. Shiness was made for under $200,000 while Final Fantasy VII was made for $45 million and both of them are large-scale RPGs. Shiness had a tiny team and managed to make a fairly impressive looking game.

Tech has gotten way cheaper, licensing has gotten cheaper, distribution has gotten cheaper. Thanks to advancements like photogrammetry and 3D scanning you can create photorealistic graphics with a few tools and a small team, as evident with games like Obduction and Hellblade (the latter of which only had to sell around 50,000 to break even).

Also, Call of Duty's $100 million budget isn't all in the game production. Activision spends between $50 and $100 million to market the game. Same thing with EA and Battlefield. Back in 2011 both companies spent upwards of $100 million to market Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3. There's a Forbes article that breaks down the financials.

Most mid-budget games that are still magnitudes bigger and better looking than games made back in the 1990s can be made for anywhere between $1 million and $10 million. A lot of games reaching up into the $50 million+ territory are oftentimes leveraged by Hollywood talent, expansive marketing budgets or pure mismanagement like in the case of Mass Effect: Andromeda.

My original comment specified AAA games. Sure, mid tier and lower tier games are going to cost less. Shiness is a solid midtier game, and definitely not in the same class as a modern FF. Also, don't be fooled by a $200K kickstarter. Game companies often use KS as a marketing tool, and to garner a bit of extra cash to pay debt and facilitate polish during beta. I'm sure Shiness cost much more than $200k TO MAKE.

Also, I specifically said "cost of making" to delta the development costs from the marketing costs. Here's a nifty wikipedia page that lays out the development costs and marketing costs for a bunch of fairly recent games. Some examples of development only (sans marketing):
Destiny: $140M
GTAV: $137M
Red Dead Redemption: $100M
Too Human: $100M

There are some noticeable recent games missing from this list: FF 15, CoD: Infinite Warfare, any Battlefield or Battlefront game, Destiny 2, any Dragon Age game, The Division, Overwatch, any Assassin's Creed game, etc. Battlefield 4 cost $100M to make, and it's pretty safe to assume that any one of those missing games cost $80M - $150M to make given their scope, fidelity, and massive team size in the 100s of developers.

Bottom line: when you're making a modern AAA game, it takes hundreds of people years to build. That can run to $100M easily.
 
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25. Re: etc. Nov 22, 2017, 02:31 jdreyer
 
El Pit wrote on Nov 21, 2017, 18:16:
jdreyer wrote on Nov 21, 2017, 15:38:
Knights of the Old Republic cost $200M

REALLY? They must have paid $190M for the license back in 2003. I doubt this number.

I was talking about the SW:tOR MMO. And yes, production alone cost $200M.
 
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24. Re: etc. Nov 21, 2017, 23:01 Numinar
 
And I would pay those higher prices if the product is worth it. With boardgames, there are products in the more premium range that go for triple or more the standard price.

Though to get away with it, production value, content and quality need to be through the roof.

Games like Kerbal and Factorio have given me thousands of dollars of entertainment, on the other hand I don't buy COD because even when I like the campaign, it's lucky to last a weekend.
 
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23. No subject Nov 21, 2017, 21:56 Mashiki Amiketo
 
Beamer wrote on Nov 21, 2017, 10:32:
When you consider that some NES and SNES games sold for $80, which is the equivalent of ~$110-$130 now, yeah, AAA games have actually become a real value.

Those games were $110-130 up in Canada and pretty much everywhere else outside of the US when they were released. Digital distribution did cut around 25% of the costs out of release prices. I77 for example was $92.99. IWAR(Independence War) was 99.99 when it was released up here. Figuring in inflation that would put them in the $145 range pretty quickly.

But let's keep something in mind with this article: The guy is an investor, and he's working from the premise for the company he's working for to try and make EA charge more for the investors represent. Never mind that EA has an excellent market cap and payout.
 
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22. Re: etc. Nov 21, 2017, 18:58 Slick
 
El Pit wrote on Nov 21, 2017, 18:16:
jdreyer wrote on Nov 21, 2017, 15:38:
Knights of the Old Republic cost $200M

REALLY? They must have paid $190M for the license back in 2003. I doubt this number.

I think he's thinking of the Star Wars MMO (can't remember the name), which I think was indeed around 200m. It was the largest voice-over project in history I believe, something like 20-30,000 recorded lines.
 
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(Regarding SW:Battlefront II) Frostshite is a horrible piece of shit engine that makes games look artificial as if you were playing on a movie set instead of the actual location. -CJ_Parker
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21. Re: etc. Nov 21, 2017, 18:26 Pigeon
 
So this wall street analyst has stock in EA, and is trying to convince everyone what a bargain SW-BFII is so people will run out and buy it. Thus preventing it from being a huge flop, and his stocks won't suffer. Seems about right to me

Kidding aside, the development and marketing cost of games these days is insane. But it's not as though companies like EA are keeping prices down out of the goodness of their hearts, they know there's a pretty steep sales precipice nobody is eager to explore the edge of. That's where all the loot boxes, battle packs and micro-transactions come in; one might call it Trojan Horse Armor. It's the same way with airlines, tickets are relatively inexpensive, but if you don't want to be miserable, and actually want to take things with you, you're gonna pay extra.

Maybe it's because there are only a handful of AAA games I'm interested in, but I wouldn't be heart broken if annual releases of Battle Duty Need for Madden disappeared.
 
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20. Re: etc. Nov 21, 2017, 18:16 El Pit
 
jdreyer wrote on Nov 21, 2017, 15:38:
Knights of the Old Republic cost $200M

REALLY? They must have paid $190M for the license back in 2003. I doubt this number.
 
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19. Re: etc. Nov 21, 2017, 18:06 William Usher
 
jdreyer wrote on Nov 21, 2017, 15:38:
Games are also orders of magnitude more expensive to make. In 1995 the gaming press was astounded by the cost of making Wing Commander IV: $10M. Today, AAA games are much more expensive: a Call of Duty costs around $100-150M to make, Knights of the Old Republic cost $200M, Battlefield 4 cost $100M, etc. And none of those numbers includes marketing, which typically double the cost.

Not necessarily true. Some games are more expensive to make now than before. Other games are far cheaper. Shiness was made for under $200,000 while Final Fantasy VII was made for $45 million and both of them are large-scale RPGs. Shiness had a tiny team and managed to make a fairly impressive looking game.

Tech has gotten way cheaper, licensing has gotten cheaper, distribution has gotten cheaper. Thanks to advancements like photogrammetry and 3D scanning you can create photorealistic graphics with a few tools and a small team, as evident with games like Obduction and Hellblade (the latter of which only had to sell around 50,000 to break even).

Also, Call of Duty's $100 million budget isn't all in the game production. Activision spends between $50 and $100 million to market the game. Same thing with EA and Battlefield. Back in 2011 both companies spent upwards of $100 million to market Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3. There's a Forbes article that breaks down the financials.

Most mid-budget games that are still magnitudes bigger and better looking than games made back in the 1990s can be made for anywhere between $1 million and $10 million. A lot of games reaching up into the $50 million+ territory are oftentimes leveraged by Hollywood talent, expansive marketing budgets or pure mismanagement like in the case of Mass Effect: Andromeda.
 
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18. Re: etc. Nov 21, 2017, 18:03 Beamer
 
Want to reiterate, in general, that I'm not arguing that I want games to be more expensive (and no one seems to think I am, but that surprises me.)

I just feel like we're on borrowed time with this pricing and recommending people enjoy it. It's one of those times where you realize you're kind of getting away with something and it won't last.
 
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17. Re: etc. Nov 21, 2017, 17:56 Slick
 
Lots of thoughtful replies in this thread. Pretty much already made all the points I was going to make... So I'll play Devil's advocate a little responding to this:

Beamer wrote on Nov 21, 2017, 11:51:
When games are taking 100x the amount of people to create, and it's the manpower that's the primary expense...

You're right, Assassins creed games rely on like 8 global studios, and a network of producers in many countries, the end-credits sequence never ends. BUT I still don't think this is the #1 cost in AAA games nowadays.

If I'm paying all my employees $100,000 per year, and it takes 2 years to make a game. If it takes 300 people to get it done, that's $60 million in development costs. For a game like CoD, Battlefront, Battlefield, Destiny etc.

I posit that the marketing costs are definitely higher than that, probably 2x as much. 120 million for a game that will generate a billion in sales seems about right. Advertising is FUCKING expensive but does translate into more revenue.

Still, it's hard to argue that games are a lot better nowadays, they're comparatively cheaper, and people are disproportionally angrier. I can only imagine how HAPPY the bloke who was paying $3 a move to play an e-mail game was. I doubt any modern gamer will ever get that feeling of pure happiness from a game.

 
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(Regarding SW:Battlefront II) Frostshite is a horrible piece of shit engine that makes games look artificial as if you were playing on a movie set instead of the actual location. -CJ_Parker
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16. Re: etc. Nov 21, 2017, 17:12 Squirmer
 
“Despite its inconvenience to the popular press narrative, if you like Star Wars and play video games at an average rate, you’re far better off skipping the movie and playing the game to get the most bang for your buck.”

Nice example of how disconnected these analysts are from how people actually live their lives and make decisions. Who the fuck calculates price per hour before deciding whether to see a Star Wars movie.
 
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15. Re: etc. Nov 21, 2017, 17:06 Tipsy McStagger
 
Burrito of Peace wrote on Nov 21, 2017, 16:19:
HoSpanky wrote on Nov 21, 2017, 15:38:
Burrito of Peace wrote on Nov 21, 2017, 15:07:
Tipsy McStagger wrote on Nov 21, 2017, 13:15:
I mean, name me something else that you get 100+ hours of enjoyment out of that's 60$.

I can pick up a lot of books for $60 at a second hand bookstore that will provide me with 100+ hours of enjoyment easily.

$60 is the introductory price for most games. The books you’re talking about sell for $15 or more brand new. Let’s not compare used, older titles to brand new.

Now you're moving the goal posts. You said "...name me something else that you get 100+ hours of enjoyment out of that's 60$". So I did.

Moreover, I can pick up several used console titles (but not from Gamestop) for that $60 that will deliver more hours than most new single titles will.

I don't read for enjoyment/fun anymore so I'll give you that answer as true... I read all day at work, 400 page engineering documents, 100 page measurement manuals, 100's of emails.. I don't want to read books when I go home.

Also, I don't remember the last time a book made my heart pound or my hair stand on end...

But it's still a valid response.. I prefer audio/visual to just plain visual.
 
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14. Re: etc. Nov 21, 2017, 16:19 Burrito of Peace
 
HoSpanky wrote on Nov 21, 2017, 15:38:
Burrito of Peace wrote on Nov 21, 2017, 15:07:
Tipsy McStagger wrote on Nov 21, 2017, 13:15:
I mean, name me something else that you get 100+ hours of enjoyment out of that's 60$.

I can pick up a lot of books for $60 at a second hand bookstore that will provide me with 100+ hours of enjoyment easily.

$60 is the introductory price for most games. The books you’re talking about sell for $15 or more brand new. Let’s not compare used, older titles to brand new.

Now you're moving the goal posts. You said "...name me something else that you get 100+ hours of enjoyment out of that's 60$". So I did.

Moreover, I can pick up several used console titles (but not from Gamestop) for that $60 that will deliver more hours than most new single titles will.
 
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13. Re: etc. Nov 21, 2017, 15:38 HoSpanky
 
Burrito of Peace wrote on Nov 21, 2017, 15:07:
Tipsy McStagger wrote on Nov 21, 2017, 13:15:
I mean, name me something else that you get 100+ hours of enjoyment out of that's 60$.

I can pick up a lot of books for $60 at a second hand bookstore that will provide me with 100+ hours of enjoyment easily.

$60 is the introductory price for most games. The books you’re talking about sell for $15 or more brand new. Let’s not compare used, older titles to brand new.
 
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12. Re: etc. Nov 21, 2017, 15:38 jdreyer
 
WaltC wrote on Nov 21, 2017, 11:38:
Games certainly should be less expensive because the market for them is at least 20x bigger than it was in the 90's--maybe 50x. Duh. "Analysts" seem to understand less and less as time moves on. Back then 100,000 copies sold was a giant blockbuster--today it isn't unheard of to see a game sell 5,000,000 or more copies. I guess this "analyst" isn't familiar with the term "economies of scale"--which is the whole story behind all computer tech.

Games are also orders of magnitude more expensive to make. In 1995 the gaming press was astounded by the cost of making Wing Commander IV: $10M. Today, AAA games are much more expensive: a Call of Duty costs around $100-150M to make, Knights of the Old Republic cost $200M, Battlefield 4 cost $100M, etc. And none of those numbers includes marketing, which typically double the cost.
 
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11. Re: etc. Nov 21, 2017, 15:07 Burrito of Peace
 
Tipsy McStagger wrote on Nov 21, 2017, 13:15:
I mean, name me something else that you get 100+ hours of enjoyment out of that's 60$.

I can pick up a lot of books for $60 at a second hand bookstore that will provide me with 100+ hours of enjoyment easily.
 
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10. Re: etc. Nov 21, 2017, 13:41 Beamer
 
BIGtrouble77 wrote on Nov 21, 2017, 13:21:
Beamer wrote on Nov 21, 2017, 10:32:
When you consider that some NES and SNES games sold for $80
Trying to think what games I bought back in the day for absurd prices... I know I got Sword of Vermillion for the Genesis for $70 and Ultima VII for $70. SNK released their games for the "hundreds of dollars" on the Neo Geo.

The reality is that the game industry in monumentally larger today, so even at lower prices there's much larger profits to be made.

For some. Games are also monumentally more expensive to make. Here are the credits for the original Doom. 14 people, I think. Here it is for Doom 2016. Hundreds. Hundreds!
Anecdotally, I'm pretty certain games also go on sale and have price drops more frequently now, too, but I have zero data for that.

I'm not saying that we need lootcrates, or that we should be paying $90. But we're definitely enjoying games being cheaper than ever, and it's bound to be corrected at some point. Loot crates were an awful way to do that. Beyond awful. Companies are afraid to increase prices, though. $70 is bound to happen at some point. Hell, the next Elder Scrolls can probably pull it off (or it will just get ported to every single console for two generations, getting people to buy it multiple times at full price, haha.)

 
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9. Re: etc. Nov 21, 2017, 13:21 BIGtrouble77
 
Beamer wrote on Nov 21, 2017, 10:32:
When you consider that some NES and SNES games sold for $80
Trying to think what games I bought back in the day for absurd prices... I know I got Sword of Vermillion for the Genesis for $70 and Ultima VII for $70. SNK released their games for the "hundreds of dollars" on the Neo Geo.

The reality is that the game industry in monumentally larger today, so even at lower prices there's much larger profits to be made.
 
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8. Re: etc. Nov 21, 2017, 13:15 Tipsy McStagger
 
Beamer wrote on Nov 21, 2017, 10:32:
When you consider that some NES and SNES games sold for $80, which is the equivalent of ~$110-$130 now, yeah, AAA games have actually become a real value.

Some will argue distribution has gotten easier and cheaper (though development on AAA titles has gotten exponentially greater), or that they'd never buy if games kept with inflation, but the simple point is that games have become significantly cheaper now than the late 80s and early 90s.

Hell, check out this issue of CGW from 1990. Some games are $59.99, which is $116 today. Most are more $39.99 or $49.99, which is $75 and $96 today. Older games are regularly $33, which is $61 today.

There's an online game, playable via email, on page 61, which charged $3 per turn. PER TURN! I get that playable via email was mind-blowing back then, but $3 per turn. That's $6 now. How much would Civ cost you if you had to pay $6 per turn?

This October 1997 one is fun, too. An ad for Interstate 77, which I don't think ever came out, for $47, or $72 today. Microprose's Magic: The Gathering, then 6 months old, was $51, or $78. Unreal is a $60 preorder, or $92.

We're definitely paying way less. People will also argue they're getting less out of the games, and I'm not certain that isn't rose-colored glasses from people who are no longer the target audience.

Good points all around for everyone, games do take way more people to make these days so it does cost more.

But, Video games are under priced.. we're just used to 60$ basically and most hardcore video gamers are poor and sometimes unemployed so lots of room for bitching.

I mean, name me something else that you get 100+ hours of enjoyment out of that's 60$. It costs me 100$ to cab from my house to downtown and back again to go out with my buddies for drinks/football/etc. Parking downtown is 26$ a day, 32$ if you get there past 7 am.

I'll tell you right now, the 90$ price tag for some of these games is well worth it for my canadian ass.
 
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