Video gaming is one of the most popular past times in the world. Currently, it is estimated that there are nearly 3 billion active video gamers across the globe, generating revenue for an industry that hopes to reach $337 billion USD by 2027.
For decades, newly released video games typically released at a suggested retail price of $59.99 USD. However, with the launch of the next generation consoles PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, most new games now go for $69.99 USD. This bump in the price has been justified by developers to cover higher development and marketing costs on the more powerful hardware.
Masahiro Sakurai, famed creator of the Kirby and Super Smash Bros. franchises, has recently said on his new YouTube channel that in his personal opinion, video games are actually quite cheap. His reasoning is that, for an adult, there aren’t too many other activities that offer the same amount of enjoyment for the same or smaller price. Indeed, getting food and drinks with friends, going on vacation, gambling, and attending concerts, sporting events, and the like are all rather expensive activities, plus many offer only a few hours or entertainment at most.
Video games on the other hand often provide a dozen or more hours of enjoyment at a minimum, with some games offering hundreds of hours of things to do. Furthermore, these are experiences that can be repeated at no extra cost. Theoretically, a single video game can have endless appeal for someone who truly loves the game.
There’s also the cost of creating a video game to consider in their pricing. For Triple-A titles, which are the most likely to be full priced, countless man hours are spent designing and testing the game. Major studios employ teams of hundreds of individuals, and some games may even require more than one team to see it to completion. Every single one of these people have to be paid for their contributions to the product. Marketing also comes at a pretty penny, with major titles needing commercials, trailers, demos, print ads, interviews, and more to ensure the game is exposed to as many potential customers as possible. All of these have to also be designed and tested/edited, and can take time away from delivering the final product.
Still, the global economy has been struggling, with many expecting a global recession is not far ahead. This is largely caused by the continuing effects of Covid-19, as well as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Prices and inventory for important products and resources such as oil, computer chips, copper, plastics, and more have been effected, sending a shockwave that is felt in nearly every home in the civilized world. When key items such as these become hard to obtain, prices across the board rise. Video games are a leisure luxury of course, so when necessities like food, housing, fuel, water, and electricity rise in price, everything else has to be examined with this in mind.
Where do you stand? Is the recent price bump to video games warranted? Were games already too expensive before? Or are in you the camp that believes that, in all honesty, video games aren’t expensive enough to cover their increasingly high costs of development? We want to know what you have to say both in the comments section below and on our social media platforms!
Source: Masahiro Sakurai on Creating Games
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