Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 6th Feb 2013 13:29 UTC
Games "Sources with first-hand experience of Microsoft's next generation console have told us that although the next Xbox will be absolutely committed to online functionality, games will still be made available to purchase in physical form. Next Xbox games will be manufactured on 50GB-capacity Blu-ray discs, Microsoft having conceded defeat to Sony following its ill-fated backing of the HD-DVD format. It is believed that games purchased on disc will ship with activation codes, and will have no value beyond the initial user." Crap like this should be illegal. If I can't buy second-hand games at my local favourite game store, Microsoft can shove this new Xbox where the sun don't shine. Which it obviously doesn't do in Redmond if they can come up with this kind of user-hostile bullshit. You can pretty much guarantee that they have made a silent agreement with Sony to implement similar anti-user feature on the next Playstation.
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reduz
Member since:
2006-02-25

Nintendo has the same problem.

Games are expensive because they have to be printed on media, packaged and distributed. Add to that the fact that retailers will take a cut.

Nowadays, digital publishing allows for much cheaper distribution and Steam has shown that this is a success.
It would completely make sense that digital versions of games cost significantly less.

The problem is that retailers have made very clear that they won't sell physical goods if a digital version is available for less than the retail cost. They boycotted the PSPGO for this reason, and would have happily boycotted Apple except for the fact they have their own retail stores.

While the balance is shifting towards digital distribution, retail still accounts for the larger part of the income of Publishers. Until this changes, games will be expensive and people will have to resort to purchasing second hand goods.

In any case, I think Valve is going the right way with Piston and I'm sure that model will be the doom of Sony and Microsoft.

Reply Score: 2

ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Games are expensive because they have to be printed on media, packaged and distributed. Add to that the fact that retailers will take a cut.

You are absolutely wrong. Manufacturing full retail-ready packages is dirt cheap -- literally a buck and some change. Retailers have low margins. Games are like movies.. Some cost an insane amount to make, some not so much. But they all aren't cheap. Couple that with MAP pricing and there you have your $59.99 retail price.

Nowadays, digital publishing allows for much cheaper distribution and Steam has shown that this is a success.
It would completely make sense that digital versions of games cost significantly less.

You're greatly over-estimating the cost of physical distribution. That is simply not where the bulk of the cost comes in so no, digital versions aren't and won't be significantly less.

While the balance is shifting towards digital distribution, retail still accounts for the larger part of the income of Publishers. Until this changes, games will be expensive and people will have to resort to purchasing second hand goods.

Again, retail packaging and distribution is not where the majority of cost comes from. Look at what has happened with music. Is an mp3 album significantly less than buying the physical cd? NO, and often times the digital version is more expensive. For albums where the digital version actually is cheaper, it isn't by much -- typically a couple bucks at most.

People are going to continue paying a lot for games whether they buy a physical or digital copy because how the game is delivered is the smallest piece of the puzzle.

Reply Parent Score: 4

ze_jerkface Member since:
2012-06-22

Games are expensive because they have to be printed on media, packaged and distributed. Add to that the fact that retailers will take a cut.


That isn't true at all. Games are expensive because of development costs, production and distribution are a minor factor. Retailers add to developer profits by advertising and distributing games. They're partners, not the enemy.


Nowadays, digital publishing allows for much cheaper distribution and Steam has shown that this is a success. It would completely make sense that digital versions of games cost significantly less.


Steam has shown what I predicted would happen which is that they still sell digital games like Black Ops 2 for $60 and keep the difference. We're heading towards a future where Steam, Microsoft and Sony will have no reason to discount games. Black Ops 5 will be $75 everywhere and not transferable or worth any material value after purchase. They won't care and will laugh in your face when you ask where the retailer's cut went.

Oh and thanks a lot Steam fans for cheering on a business model that results in a market with less pricing pressure. Thanks a lot.

Reply Parent Score: 4

snowbender Member since:
2006-05-04

Oh and thanks a lot Steam fans for cheering on a business model that results in a market with less pricing pressure. Thanks a lot.


Why would a business model like Steam result in a market with less pricing pressure?

I don't like the DRM on Steam, but it's not really bothering me, because Steam just works and I think it's really easy and handy.

Aside from that, they have regular sales on games, and if you can live with waiting a bit before getting the newest games, you can get big discounts on games. The standard price on Steam is similar as the price in regular shops. However, I think that probably 90% of my Steam games was bought at 75% or 50% off. For sure a better deal than in regular shops. In the end I might have spent the same amount of money, as I would spend in a regular shop, but I end up with more games.

Another thing that I like about Steam, is that they make indie games more accessible. In my experience, it's easier to find out about indie games, and it's easier to buy them.

Reply Parent Score: 4

looncraz Member since:
2005-07-24

Games are expensive because they have to be printed on media, packaged and distributed. Add to that the fact that retailers will take a cut.


Game production is where the expense comes in, distribution barely plays a role in the direct costs.

Where digital distribution has the potential to help is in increasing the number of impulse purchases.

This is risky for the publisher, though, because they need to lower the price in order to help encourage impulse buying on the internet and this means less profit per sale, so they need to hope that the tactic is successful.

The real problem publishers have is when they cease to support older, but still relatively popular, games.

These include games like Age of Empires and Battlefield 2. These games are still HEAVILY played - even though both require extra trickery to get them to work properly with Windows 7/8. Battlefield 2, in fact, can be quite tricky to get running on Windows 7 x64 - and is probably the last quality FPS capable of being played on the LAN without an internet connection... granted you need to use tricks to do that.

I can buy either of those games for $5 today, but I'd GLADLY pay $20 for an updated version that had the latest patches incorporated as well as proper patches for the compatibility issues - and I'm certainly not alone.

Publishers are losing out on additional revenue because they want everyone focusing on The Next Big Thing...

--The loon

Reply Parent Score: 5

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Heroes of Might & Magic 3!

Reply Parent Score: 2