Price tags and the value of videogames

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Warrior of Light
Making games is not cheap, it takes effort, time and resources to make one, all the work put into is then mesuare and given a value in $$ at which the game will be sold to the consumers and then comes this issue that some consumers might have with it.

You often hear them complaining saying something along the lines of "what a rip off, this can´t be a xx$ game!!" or something similar. Some of the reasonings behind said complaints are mostly the followings:
  • This game lacks X gameplay features.
  • It´s short/not long enough.
  • It´s production values don´t justify its price
  • Not "enought content"
However, how true are these complaints? Is there some correlation between price and any of the 4 reasonings above?
What´s your take on the price tag of videogames? When is and when is it not justified? and How should it be mesuare?


Just to give some more food for thought:

We have a game that is innovative in tons of areas of game design, breaking conventions and dogmas and overall a very well crafted and thought game that will influence many games to come in the future. Said game price is 60us$ (or more if you want) but the game is short, doesn´t have many gameplay features, not too much content overall and overall the mechaniques are very minimal and simplistics BUT is still innovative in the way I previously described. A game that would possibly describe most of what I said above would be ICO

Would the price of 60us$ (or higher) still be justified?
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I'll start by saying that I live in Canada, where the cost of brand-new console games ranges from $70-$80, with handheld games usually being around $50, because our dollar is doing poorly and shows no signs of recovering any time soon. This unfortunate reality has forced me to be very choosey about what games I buy at launch. For instance, I would have bought Dark Souls 3 by now if I could've gotten it for $60 like my American friends, but that $80 is hard to justify for me considering I love Dark Souls but don't consider myself a big enough fan to invest that much into it, so I'm going to have to wait months for a sale or price drop. Basically I'm only buying games as soon as they come out now if I'm just beyond excited to play them (like I plan to do with Final Fantasy XV) or if it's a smaller indie game that's caught my attention and will have less impact on my wallet than the beefier releases (Oxenfree's PS4 port is the latest example of this).

That said, I think the value of a game is entirely subjective. I don't factor in the length of a game when I'm deciding whether or not to buy it; I care infinitely more about the quality of the experience and there are as many ways to determine this as you can think of. Not only that, but as someone with finite time for games, I don't always want to dive into something huge that's going to dominate my play-time for months while I internally cry for the rest of my backlog.

I can see why people argue that the amount of playtime a game can deliver is a major factor for determine the game's worth, but it's honestly also the one I'm the most annoyed by. I'd rather have a game be short yet meaningful and stay in my mind than a simple time-sink.


Stiltzkin's Apprentice
Jul 21, 2016
Guys price will always be determined by the marketplace. It doesn't matter how much blood swear or tears you put in. If the market thinks it's worth a certain price, they will pay that. Welcome to the world of business.


Warrior of Light
Mar 18, 2016
Guys price will always be determined by the marketplace. It doesn't matter how much blood swear or tears you put in. If the market thinks it's worth a certain price, they will pay that. Welcome to the world of business.
I'm 99% with you, in that I've always been a firm believer that something is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it.

The issue with gaming is that for the most part, sales are final and there's not always a reliable way to tell if it's going to be actually worth it to you until after the sale. It's always a bit of a gamble. Some standards on what a game company or consumer would consider "worth" xx amount of dollars can be an interesting topic.

That said, 99% of the people who complain about not getting their money's worth are, IMO, entitled whiners. Because on the supply part of the equation, the company needs to make a profit to bother making the game in the first place and there are a ton of people out there with incredibly unrealistic expectations.

Helps to think of something like FFXV. This is an obvious bit of an exaggeration, but kind of paints the picture a little bit. This game took 300 people 10 years to make (I know I know, just roll with it) and there are people out there freaking out because they can't understand why they could possibly add optional DLC for additional money.

So, the is what it is thing works both ways, but frankly, at this point in time, IMO, the market favors the consumer by quite the margin. Honestly, I think pricing games out at $59.95 is killing the industry.