Namco Bandai: Selling Games At Full Price Is No Good
The debate concerning the cost of video games is ongoing. Both gamers and game makers alike have differing opinions on the issue, too.
While Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has been quoted as saying he'd charge $100 per game if he could, other publishing heads are saying quite the opposite. Take Namco Bandai head of sales Oliver Comte, for instance: he recently spoke at the Level Up Conference in Spain, as he voiced the thoughts of CEO Shukuo Ishikawa.
"Selling a game only once for $70-$80 [typical Japanese prices] is no good at all. If you sell it for $25, or even give it away free, then you can sell episodes and items online. They’ll soon be dropping $10 or $20 on these, and you can also do monthly charges."
This tends to be the viewpoint of a company when they post $350 million in losses and are forced to slash 10% of its workforce. That being said, the Codemasters CEO says something similar, although he actually proposes the selling of incomplete games; after which, they'd sell the consumer the "full experience" via "multiple micro-payments." Some companies do quite well with episodic content only, but they're hardly the big hitters in the industry. ...no offense to either of those guys, but it does seem that if you produce a very popular title, gamers will absolutely pay $60 for it. That seems fairly obvious.
But would you rather pay half the price for an extended sample, then continue to pay in small increments to open up the full game? Episodic content is an interesting idea, but we get the feeling that many gamers are already a little upset that some publishers keep certain content out of supposed "final" titles. But maybe if they weren't $60 apiece...oh, who knows? It's complicated.
7/18/2010 8:47:26 PM John Shepard