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EA Planning On Raising The Price Of Next-Gen Games

According to a Q&A from video game retailer GAME, EA is currently planning to retail their next generation console games for £54.99. If the report is accurate, EA is the first third-party publisher to announce a price point for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One games. Both Microsoft and Sony have indicated that they are not planning on altering the standard price of games for their respective consoles but that doesn’t mean that other companies can’t raise the price on their own.

It is still not completely clear whether this will apply to all EA games or just the bigger more popular franchises such as Battlefield. So far there isn’t any information on what other third party companies plan to retail their games for. However, it would be extremely risky on EA’s part to price their games higher than competitors such as Activision and Ubisoft. If this turns out to be the case, then it wouldn’t be surprising to later find out that other publishers will be upping their prices as well.

Cliff Bleszinksi, former designer for Epic Games, in recent months has been trying to warn consumers about the collapse of the current price model for games. The cost of a producing a AAA game is so astronomical that these games usually need to sell in the millions in order to be successful. This is why many companies have been trying different price models such as free to play (with micro transactions) and pushing unpopular practices such as DRM in order combat used games and piracy which eat away at the profit needed to sustain the AAA market. To put this in perspective, the critically acclaimed reboot of Tomb Raider released this earlier year has sold over 3.4 million copies but was considered a failure by publisher Square Enix.

This increase in price might be just another way that publishers such as EA are trying to rescue the AAA market. Perhaps the extra profit created by the increase in price will offset enough of the losses produced by used game sales and piracy. With the new generation of consoles incoming, now would be the opportune time to try something different before gamers come to expect the same prices as the current generation.

It remains to be seen what will happen to the smaller A-AA titles. While self published indie games and smaller mobile type games continue to grow, companies such as Atlus that produce smaller scale and more niche types of games are growing fewer in number. Maybe there will be a new strategy for these types of games going forward, or maybe not and we will be left with higher priced AAA titles and budget priced indie and mobile titles.

What do you think the prices of games should be going forward? Is the increase in cost a small price to pay to sustain the AAA market or will you not support companies that try alter the current price model? Share your ideas and comments below.

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  1. This is actually why EA was on board with the whole DRM issue because they are losing money, a lot of it to the used game market. It’s not that EA is making terrible games really but because big publishers like EA would of been able to pull in more for the titles by selling directly with digital keys. With the cost going directly to EA because you would have to pay EA directly for the use of the game, they still make their money. Games like Darksiders 2 and Tomb Raider were fantastic games, but they didn’t sell well in the overall retail market where more people waited until used copies of the game were available and the publisher does not make money on what game stores sell as used. That is where the game store makes their money because even though someone would return a game that was only released a week ago is only 5 bucks less and most consumers are looking for anyway to shave a buck off the price. All it really does is save the person on the tax, but 5 bucks is 5 bucks.

    Personally, I was all for the DRM restriction. I get hazed about it because it makes seem like someone who is for big business but thinking about the production costs of these games as I have seen, some with budgets of $100 million dollars, I think I’d be mad too as a business owner if 20% of that was cut away from me just on pirated games. Most AAA titles do end up making their money back such as Call of Duty and Battlefield as its a highly competitive game, but there are a lot of smaller studios that depend on that money to fund their next project. For studios, they get a lesser percentage of the profit as the majority goes to the publisher and its understandable as the publisher endures much more of the responsibility. It just sucks that the economy both here in the States and the UK is as slow as it is.

    • Also possibly explains why they pulled “project 10 dollar” since every game is going to be a little more expensive anyway.