Games are getting cheaper as publishers explore different price points

With the Gears of War: Ultimate Edition being priced at $40, could we see more mid-tier games priced below $60?

During E3, Xbox announced that the original Gears of War would be remastered for Xbox One. This was not terribly surprising.

What was a little bit surprising to me was the remaster's price point of $40. The remastered game, which also touts a Gears of War 4 beta, is a much more inviting proposition at $40 as opposed to $60.

In the past year, Nintendo has also explored various price points for their games. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker was $40, Mario Party 10 was priced at $50, and Kirby and the Rainbow Curse was priced at $40.

This is an interesting trend, as it could mean we are entering a period where AAA console games will be $60, and smaller titles will see $40-$50 prices.

This would introduce more mid-tier games, or perhaps more aptly named AA games. Additionally, the Gears of War: Ultimate Edition being priced at $40 could set a precedent of remasters being priced below the customary $60. This would certainly sell more people on purchasing a game they are on the fence about, and would likely persuade gamers to purchase remasters of titles they already have in their libraries. 

It's obvious that these new price points are a response to complaints from the gaming community that some games are just too expensive. How is it fair to make gamers fork over the same amount of money for a 6-hour game as they would a 30-hour game?

But here's the kicker: even though games seem expensive, they're actually cheaper than ever.

Most console games retail for $60 in the US. Steam and PC gaming in general provide an abundance games going for much less than that, especially indie games. During sales, gamers can often snag AAA titles for less that $10. Which makes $60 seem pretty steep. But if you adjust for inflation, games across the board (even the AAA ones) are very cheap now compared to the earlier console days.

The Legend of Zelda on NES, for example, retailed for $49.99 in 1986. Seems like a reasonable price, right? But once you adjust for inflation, you realize the game would cost $108.47 today. $60 isn't looking so bad now, is it?

So console games have gotten cheaper over time, coming down to the $60 price point has been the industry standard for quite some time. And maybe we shouldn't complain about that. In regions outside the U.S., games are much more expensive. This primarily has to do with demand - some areas buy games more than others.

Do you think this trend of games below $60 in the U.S. will continue, or will it simply remain a rare occurrence for bigger games to receive a price below $60? Should we be happy that games aren't costing us more? Let us know in the comments below!

Published Jun. 21st 2015
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  • The Soapbox Lord
    Featured Contributor
    Releasing games below the current high point has been a trend for some time now, we just have releases nowadays taking advantage of this.

    While games themselves are cheaper than in the past, we are also in an age where $40 for a season pass of DLC we know nothing about is acceptable practice.
    We are also at a point where some publishers are nickle-and-diming us for DLC which should not be DLC in the first place.
    Yes, we get cheaper games, but not all of the games we buy are necessarily complete experiences.

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