videogame priced expectations

  • free-mium game is free but handicapted without further purchase
  • $~1 – shitty little mini-game. virtually no narrative, flat characters, flat/simple mechanics.
  • $5-10 (5x previous teir price) small game. likily with minor backstory, focusing on one or two major mechanics or minigames for personlity. also the value of one play through of any more expensive game. thus capable of having a niche with the game auto-delete during the credits.
  • $20 (notice that it is 4x the previous price) an indie game. has a couple realy well developed features but may not have everythign wanted but everything it has is polished.
  • $60 (notice 3x) large or franchise/branded game. generally graphicly beautiful. lots of play testing and polishing also focusing on story and character. rarely innovative, to deliver through hype and demand. large indie games are often modable, or customizable.
  • $60+ (notice <3x) AAA game. rarely innovative, generally just larger more expensive sequels with polishing of previous games

see you can sell people games of various qualities pretty easy, you just have to make sure the price point of the sale matches with the perception of acceptable and expected value. as you get closer to free, you get more deperate and thus more artistic and innovative works. but as you get mroe expensive you get more limited and beureaucratic and popularly styled works, focusing more on mass appeal than on significance.

and that is the problem with companies who don’t know their value. the original XBONE policy was a fine approach IF they recognized that they were forfieting all copyright by rendering having a copy of the product without any value. this shift of feature is fine but it reduces the value of the game from $60 to between $5 and $20. which is fine for a portion of the market. but you have to check to see if it is significant. and you will find it isn’t.

see shifting from the concept of a game as a product to a service isn’t horrible, as long as you price it as such. but if you ask people how much a product is worth, and sell the service at product pricing, you’re going to get backlash. and so you have to evaluate the value of the product relating to markup.

selling someone a game for $60 and allowing them unlimited playthroughs and multiplayer is a different market from trying to rent a game to them, you can’t get the same $60. so you have to evaluate if there is replay value in it. if there isn’t you should sell as a product because the shoddy product won’t be competing with your next one for player attention. if there is replay value maybe shifting to a handicapt version would be more profitable- but- you have to make it competitively priced.

so what you are evaluating is, would you rather aim for selling more than 12X the number of copies? or would you rather allow others to try doing that for you? 

the problem is that companies like EA deliver attrocious experiances at the $60 price point which are $5 of value, and no replay value- and arguibly not even any value to play through an entire first time. mass effect 3 was maybe a $5 game, and solely because it was pretty. but the story telling made me glad i didn’t spend money on it. and to get the $60 you need basicly a good story as well as the good graphics, and decent gameplay. you don’t have to innovate but you do have to keep the player around to finish the game while wanting to be part of the game world. now if you have a product that doesn’t meet that, then you have to sell it bargain bin. cashing out on a brand where you inappropriately price, just once, will kill your reputation/brand. IE i won’t buy anything associated with EA, including xbox-one

and that is the key, you want possitive associations, not negative ones. and once you get negative associations due to ignorance about pricing, you will have a hard time digging yourself out. and if you are trying to be greedy and get a better deal, concede something. the reason most disliked the xbone was that the market strategy was attempting to move to a different model of content provision without changing pricing accordingly.


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