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Analysts: Some Publishers May Slash $59.99 Software Price

Given the current economic downturn, many people have to curtail their luxury spending, and unfortunately, that includes cutting into our leisure activities. However, one analyst believes we may enjoy temporary relief with a software price cut.

As GameDaily reports, Signal Hill analyst Todd Greenwald hinted that the standard $59.99 price point for next-gen software may be in danger. This could be construed as good news from a consumer's standpoint, but from the publisher's perspective, this could be a devastating move. The profit margin on new software isn't that great to begin with, and says Greenwald:

"To us, the biggest risk facing all publishers is the demise of $59.99 pricing for front-line 360 and PS3 software titles. With all of the price-reductions made during the holiday season, funded jointly by both retailers and publishers, there is obviously a concern that $59.99 goes away, which would be fairly devastating for margins, as development and publishing costs would stay virtually flat, while sales would take a 20% hit."

However, despite all this, publishers really aren't having any trouble selling new games (well, provided the game is good). Last year's financial numbers showed a 20% growth and most analysts are predicting that the slumping economy can't really hurt the "cocooned" game industry. Until the $59.99 price point becomes a legitimate drain, we can't really can't see an across-the-board price cut on software. You might see more retail sales, but that's about as far as things will go...we're not analysts, though. What do we know?

2/3/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (66 posts)

NoSmokingBandit
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 10:22:52 PM
Reply

$60 is fu**ing ridiculous for a game anyway, especially when dev's are getting paid to put ads in...
Far Cry 2 featured some very tasteful Jeep logos on the vehicles, but did that save me any money?" Of course not! Did it make the game any better? According to a GameInformer interview, Far Cry 2 is missing alot of the 'polish' they originally intended.

Several of the THPS games had ads and they still cost normal price (i cant even remember what i paid for them, haha).

Burnout Paradise, however, got it right. I can pick it up for $20 now, and im ok with ads for a game priced that low.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 2/3/2009 11:34:17 PM

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englishgolfer
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 1:00:01 AM

i'd love to pay $60 for a game. here in sweden gamestop takes $85 for a new ps3 game. ouch! (lucky me i buy from amazon in england...)

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SarahPalinMILF
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 9:27:21 AM

you're really getting screwed man...that sucks

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NoSmokingBandit
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 9:42:38 AM

Yeah, but whats the exchange rate? You cant just compare raw numbers.

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englishgolfer
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 9:56:09 AM

i took today's exchange rate (8kr = $1).... of course it does go up and down. when the exchange rate was at it's worst then games were costing $116! (6kr = $1)still you can't really compare these prices as i get a salary in kronor. like i wrote i get most of my games via amazon in england (but will be picking up kz2 here as it comes out 2 days before england). anyway, the moral of the story is if you're ever in sweden don't buy games as a souvenir!

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YesterdysRising
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 10:36:11 PM
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That would be sweet but honestly, I don't mind paying 60 bucks for a good game. It's well worth it to me. Although, there are some games that definitely don't deserve a $59.99 price point.

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rell
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 7:50:21 AM

Crh7386 and thats what I don't understand boring and corny games cost $60 thats crazy.

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K ASH
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 10:36:31 PM
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You guy there in europe & NA are lucky, you have more sales on games and most game dont take 3-4 to go into the bargain bin. I dont mind if games were sold 4 less though im not sure if it going to affect us here in South Africa. If any of u guys r from SA drop me some mail.

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Schmitty
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 10:43:03 PM

im south african :) born there living in new york though, where you at?

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eLLeJuss
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 10:42:39 PM
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59.99 is too much.. Great games doesn't need to be expensive like SSBB. it wasnt $59.99 and it was great :). And there are sucky games out there too.. so yeah. they should cut it to around 49 or something

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laxpro2001
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 11:29:10 PM

I agree with you that great games don't need to be expensive and Brawl was amazing IMO... however 50$ is the standard price for a wii game. Had SSBB have sold for 40$ this your statement I felt would have applied better.

Now if companys began to publish games at a lower price range people might be suspicious. However if the publisher did this for all games they published I feel consumers wouldn't suspect anything of lesser quality.

So basically they can't price games they publish differently otherwise it will drive consumers away from the lower priced one.

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blitz30952
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 10:48:20 PM
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New games here in NZ cost about $120.. but in NZD :P

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Banky A
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 11:40:36 PM

Yeah. Fallout 3 and Call (co*k) of Doody: World of Whores are still $128 NZD in someplaces.

And 5 days ago I got Resistance 2 for $70NZD, a deal which I couldn't refuse.

;)

Last edited by Banky A on 2/3/2009 11:40:57 PM

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coverton341
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 12:01:06 AM

Wow what is the exchange rate over there to USD?

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cadpig
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 10:48:58 PM
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I would gladly welcome a price cut on my games.

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GuernicaReborn
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 10:49:23 PM
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The price is fine where it is now. If development costs come down, I think that a $10 price drop may be in order, the same way we had it last gen when games went down to $40 near the beginning of the current gen. I think it took 4 years for that to happen.

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Blaiyan
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 11:02:58 PM
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Every games is not worth the same imo. There are alot of games i'd never buy at $60. Sports and racing games should be $40.

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isaya85
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 11:04:35 PM
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$49.99 was a decent price for a game i would happily pay that

PSN ID Biggest_GMoney

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somethingrandom
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 11:04:59 PM
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If the price cuts in the US, I doubt it will in Canada as the canadian dollar is about 80cents to the american dollar as of now. Our games will likely stay at $59.99.

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Tristan
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 11:07:01 PM
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Times like these, I'm not gonna buy games that's just going to end up in the shelves after a few hours of playing.

I haven't bought any new game this year. Since I'm not really into the first-person shooter/action genre then it'll be months from now til I'm buying a new game (Depends on when Square-Enix' gonna release FF13 outside Japan).

Last edited by Tristan on 2/3/2009 11:07:46 PM

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hart_attack
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 12:58:00 AM

april 2010

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Tristan
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 4:55:35 AM

Oh gosh that's really a long time

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hart_attack
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 10:29:49 AM

ya i know. but it'll be out late 2009 in japan

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LCF
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 11:29:06 PM
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The Dreamcast was the 1st to set a standard price of $50 U.S. So for this HD era of gaming, It's only right for it to go up $10. The technology involved takes alot of money and TIME. I'd rather pay $60 for good quality game, then some half-ass shovel-ware. The problem that I have seen this gen most of all is the impatience of this gamer generation. So inturn publishers push the developers to get the product out the door.

As a result you get games out the door with bugs. Or they could be like Epic and microsoft and don't believe in testers. Then it ends up with alot of patches.

So like I said, I don't mind paying the $60 for a game as long it's a good quality game. But on that token this gen has just been riddled with bugs. I blame the general gaming community on this one for having no patience.

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KevinCairo
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 11:29:33 PM
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$20 or even $10 would definitely have me increasing the size of my games-to-be-played stack quite a bit. I'd honestly be surprised if the increase in sales couldn't justify a $10-ish price cut.

When places like Gamestop sell used games, do the publishers get a cut? If not, a price cut would definitely sway people towards buying new and could be potentially helpful.

Last edited by KevinCairo on 2/3/2009 11:31:15 PM

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hart_attack
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 12:59:36 AM

no publishers dont see any money of used game sales, that is straight into gamestops pockets

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 11:35:05 PM
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I would like to point out to all the YOUNG people here that video game cartridges 15-20 years ago cost what games cost NOW.

...considering inflation and the VAST difference in games now and then, I'm not entirely sure anybody should complain. By all rights, they should cost close to a hundred bucks apiece.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 2/3/2009 11:35:27 PM

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KevinCairo
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 11:37:01 PM

Can't argue with that, but if they're deciding to cut prices, who am I to complain? Well, unless you wanna protest a price cut and insist they raise it instead!

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LCF
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 11:47:18 PM

Some N64 carts were high as $80. Like I stated Dreamcast set the standard of $50.

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Renck
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 11:49:26 PM

Reducing prices means less revenue for developers and they will be forced to reduce costs (less people, less quality). Therefore even if as customers we are thinking it will be good for our wallets at the end the gaming community will be impacted by poor games. That is without taking in considerations that developers will stop taking risks with new IPs.

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coverton341
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 12:03:59 AM

You know what Ben is damn right about that. I opened up a bag full of old SNES games and found a receipt in one of the booklets that said $64.72

Didn't say what game just said video g: but that goes to show that like was said with inflation games are cheaper today. I would love to find out how much a 2600 cart costs in the Atari hay-day but for the life of me I can't find one receipt from then

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Aftab
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 12:38:48 AM

Not to sound cliche (like "back in the day, we use to walk backwards, against the wind, barefoot in the snow from school in our underpants, uphill bothways while enduring radiation, fallout and aftershock from nukes"), but I remember when they use to stock nintendo games in those jewel, glass shelfs in stores like Marshalls. $50 was a lot of money those days, so even getting a couple games in the year was jackpot.

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KevinCairo
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 1:37:19 AM

You say they make less money if they charge less, but that's not exactly true. Consider $50 vs. $60:
-Seeing the price drop is a good incentive to buy new games more readily
-Takes from used game sales
-More sales at a slightly lower price COULD potentially turn out a similar profit as selling slightly less at a slightly higher price

I'm not saying it would be a success, but it's not out of the question. Seriously, manufacturing the blu ray disk and case isn't very costly so moving more units that are still at a good profit could bring in a greater net profit if it really stimulates sales enough.

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recks1jtp
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 7:42:20 AM

You're totally right Ben. I remember paying $50 for a new copy of the original Metroid for the NES back in the day! I have no problem paying around the same for such high caliber games these days.

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NoSmokingBandit
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 9:49:18 AM

15-20 years ago video games were still a bit of a niche market. Today almost everyone has some form of game console in their home. The demand has gone way up so the prices should go down, in theory that is.
If a game cost $40 im am convinced their profit margins would go up a bit. I am very picky about what games i buy (i only have about 1 dozen ps3 games) becuase nothing pisses me off more than spending $60 for a game that sucks. If they were $40 i would be willing to buy more games that im unsure about because i wouldnt have wasted so much on it if i end up not liking it.

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Wage SLAVES
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 5:31:42 PM

A game over a year or so should standardly be cut just to compete with new titles. That is why some gems like Uncharted get left behind. I still haven't played it...

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Renck
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 11:43:26 PM
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Nice to have GameFly, I can play several games without killing my budget. Of course, when you have games like MGS4, Killzone 2, Uncharted 2 and what about God of War 3, man 60 bucks is not much. If I take my family to watch a movie it will cost me a lot more!

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Itdoesntmatter
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 12:12:30 AM
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Sports games need to be $40...new installments come out yearly....no gaming piece of software should cost $60 a year

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migabyte
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 12:23:28 AM
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Man, I remember paying 100$ (CAD)for Mario 3. I also remember N64 games costing like 120$ (CAD). Right now I live in South Korea, games are reasonably priced, but very difficult to find PS3 games. It's not that popular. All PC gamers.

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daus26
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 12:50:39 AM
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Like some of u guys say, some are worth 60 bucks, some are not.

I say developers should just honestly sell games based on what they're worth. I sometimes feel like they sell games at 60 bucks just because the standard price point is that. However, I also believe there r publishers honest enough to release a game less than 60 dollars.. e.g: Ferrari Challenge n Kung Fu Panda. I also even believe some games are actually worth more than 60$.

So, 60 dollars is definitely the reasonable price point especially considering how some N64 games were at the same price. No complain here. Besides some stores give discounts to games sometimes, n if u guys dont know, the standard price for next gen games at costco is 54.99 so a 5-10 bucks incease from last gen's standards can only make sense.

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Gabriel013
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 1:24:24 AM
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I'd like to see a price cut and would buy more games if they were cheaper thus they would make less profit per game but they would sell more games. There is definitely room for movement in the pricing.

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BigBoss4ever
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 2:24:38 AM
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i already saw some price cut in EB games Canada today, lots of new games become 49.99 and some are at 39.99 with one trade in game.i.e. a new MGS4 is only 29.99 with one trade in game, resistance 2 is 39.99 with one trade in game, as well as other big titles. it is good for gamers like me, however, if such reduction render the developer incapable of even "break-even" in the long run, then the whole industry will suffer, which in turn will make gamers suffer. THAT is not wut I want to see.

Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 2/4/2009 2:26:35 AM

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realmadpuppy
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 2:24:41 AM
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I really like to support my favorite developers but, I will only buy new if the game is exceptional. otherwise I just wait and get it on the used market from places like goozex or gamefly.

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dveisalive
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 3:15:26 AM
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They need to put it back to 50 bucks by now, 2 games and thats way over 100 plus dollars etc...

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OriginalSin
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 4:39:42 AM
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You guys are still very lucky... I live in South Africa and our exchange rate is insane. So were you pay $60 per game we pay about R900 per game, that is crazy.... hehehe if you then think about Zimbabwe you'll actually pay about Z$ 5 000 000 000 000 (5 trillion Zim Dollars per game), imagine that....

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skoda
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 5:01:32 AM
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Ok i know im probably not the only one to think this but theres this whole discussion of old school cartridges compared to the price of current day media well theres a reason they got away with it "back in the day" thats because legitametly it costs about 3 times to produce a cartridge then it does to produce a dvd/bd so that whole point is useless technically current day games should be significantly cheaper.

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noshownogo
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 5:11:04 AM
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i pay $450TTD per game at the exchange rate of $1USD = $6.30TTD we rarely benefit from any reductions.

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fundando
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 5:29:59 AM
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$49 would be nice. Maybe then I could afford the special edishes that I want priced at $69 since $79 is just too damn close to $100

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fundando
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 5:29:59 AM
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$49 would be nice. Maybe then I could afford the special edishes that I want priced at $69 since $79 is just too damn close to $100

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Geobaldi
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 5:41:58 AM
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Another reason I try to get the PC version of a game if possible. Usually they are $20-30 cheaper than the console version.

Except EA titles. EA has been screwing the PC players for the last few years. All of their sports series, for example.

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Alienange
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 6:01:27 AM
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I just bought Unreal Tournament III for 9.99usd at TRU. Other games (Fallout 3) are worth 60usd on day one. I'd be happy if F3 was cheaper but I didn't think twice about paying for a good game. Anything MORE than 60 would make me think twice though. Like Bioshock, got that one for 30 because of the waiting game (which wasn't long at all).

Last edited by Alienange on 2/4/2009 6:02:03 AM

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Sir Shak
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 6:06:32 AM
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I for one would be glad, due to the high price of the dollar in the recent months video game prices have gone up by almost 20%.

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Naga
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 7:24:06 AM
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If EA sports slash thier prices then I could buy my first NHL game ever (even it doesn't have English & Irish teams (Belfast Giants FTW!!)

But $60 or £50 for a game is best for great games that last for months like R2 etc

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Gabriel013
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 7:46:32 AM
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Someone mentioned only buying full price if exception otherwise going for preowned. That is a great point to make. Many who resort to preowned (no money to devs) may stump up for the brand new game if it was cheaper than the current $60 price tag. I know I'd be tempted.

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Driven2Decay
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 8:29:51 AM
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Just like others have said, $59.99 is reasonable for most games, but others not soo much. I can't really say much because that is exactly why I have Gamefly. I rent 'em and if they're decent the "keep it" price is usually somewhere around $40 anyway. It kinda softens the blow to the wallet.

Last edited by Driven2Decay on 2/4/2009 8:32:10 AM

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Scarecrow
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 8:35:31 AM
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YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!

I will finally be able to at least buy two games at a time.

Now don't come with a $54.99 price, I'll still only buy one dammit!

Now if it's down to $49.99 then I'll accept
Even better if its $45.99

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CH1N00K
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 8:37:52 AM
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If the game is a good and has lots of playability to it, I don't mind shelling out the 60 bucks, but that price for a game that has only a few hours of gameplay just isn't worth it to me. I don't care how pretty the graphics are.

One that kind of bugs me though is the high price of some of the handheld games. 40 to 50 bucks for a DS game is a bit steep IMHO.

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Diggity Dan
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 8:39:12 AM
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I doubt the $59.99 price point is going anywhere anytime soon.

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cegmp
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 8:59:51 AM
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A price cut in games does sound great! It would be nice if the prices of games were determined by the quality of the game.

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PS3_Wizard
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 11:06:48 AM
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I got something to cook your noodles. Do you think we'd be paying anywhere near $60 a game if there was no gamestop or EB games?

Its because of companies like that, who cut into developers profits by selling used games, that we are forced to pay that much for a new game. And its also the reason most games stay at max price longer than in previous generations.

I for one don't see how companies like that can even sell the used games without giving some profit to the developers. Whats the point of copyright? Whats the point of putting the disclaimers in the back of instruction booklets, stating that its "illegal to distribute" their product?

I know some developers are speaking out about it, but alot more needs to be done. Many of you know that I work for Gamestop, and I'm proud to say that I quit 3 days ago (not before preordering all the blockbusters I could so my employee discount could take effect).

If all the developers could somehow stop the sales of their product, or atleast require a fee for re-selling it, then I think prices will level out for all (except gamestop, which should see some major profit losts).

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Robochic
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 2:18:05 PM
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I'm ok with the prices right now, as long as they are good games i do agree their are some games that by no mean should cost 60 bucks.
IE:lord of the rings conquest (so not worth the 70 bucks i paid CDN)
Hey off topic anyone notice that ebgames has a lot of pre-order deals where if you take it home don't like it or played through the game you get you're full amount you paid for back as instore credit? i've been pre-ordering and it was offered on LOTR conquest (thank goodness) so i got my money back as a instore credit of 82.99 and preordered Resident evil 5 and they have the same deal? Not sure why that is.

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ZubraZap
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 2:33:12 PM
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Just keep buying used games people thats why they can't afford this MSRP of 59.99 no longer. People just wait for price drops or rent new games.

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ShamRock
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 2:59:55 PM
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I remember buying Street Fighter2 at K-Mart when i was 12 and that cartridge cost me 50 bucks and some change. The price of game has stayed within the 50 to 60 price range not too concerned with the price now.

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Diggity Dan
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 3:34:20 PM
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@PS3_Wizard

While some people who'd otherwise buy a new game go ahead and buy it used (forgoing some profits to the developers), there's an important 2nd effect: The fact that people know they can unload their used games after they'be bought them new actually *increases* the demand for new games. Removing the used game market wouldnt be in developers' best interest either. They only do that with PC because it's nearly impossible to stop pirating.

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Zaben
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 3:58:11 PM
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I think $60 is an amazing price for the amount of gameplay we get out of games nowadays.
I mean, back in the N64 days (I don't know about before that) games would cost $50 new.
Considering how much progress has been made in the gaming industry, up $10 really is incredibly cheap.

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LightShow
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 5:24:38 PM
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$60 makes sense for a brand new game, but the prices STAY at 60, even 3 years later. I can go to Target and find old copies of LAIR still selling for $60, which is just weird.

These prices should decay over time, like maybe $5 a month.

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