Retailers and publishers warn that gaming prices are on the rise

Thursday, 16 July 2009 15:32 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


With Activision pricing Modern Warfare 2 at £/$54.99, retailers have been informed that other publishers are likely to raise princes as well, thanks to sinking pound and US dollar values.

“Exchange rates between the Euro and the pound are making it very difficult for publishers to show an acceptable operating margin in the UK,” THQ’s Ian Curran told MCV. “You can’t continue to trade as normal when the biggest territory in Europe has seen cost of goods increase by 30 percent due to the strengthening of the Euro.

“Publishers somehow need to offset this drastic increase in costs. I’m not surprised to see the [Modern Warfare 2] SRP go up and I feel this will continue across more key titles.

“Also, development costs for next gen software has increased at a time when the take-up on these machines is slower than expected and therefore the opportunity to sell more units is limited. The increase in cost of goods due to the weak pound has added to this burden, and therefore something has to happen to ensure publishers’ return on their investment.”

In response, a games buyer at one of the UK’s largest retailers told MCV that because of the climbing Euro, publishers were having to raise prices.

“A couple of months ago a few publishers mentioned that they were being hammered because of the Euro. To combat this they decided that certain titles would have a higher RRP,” said the unnamed source. “You can guess the reception this got from retail.

“The fundamental problem is that the customer will feel conned that the latest triple triple-A is £50 at retail when last year it was only £40.”

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  1. Syrok

    Games have been very cheap in the UK compared to the rest of Europe for a long time now.

    #1 6 years ago
  2. Hunam

    Yeah, fuck off with this bullshit.

    #2 6 years ago
  3. Blerk

    I will not pay more than £30 for a game. Ever. In fact, it’d have to be really fucking special for me to fork out £30. I prefer sub-£20. And if that means waiting for it to hit the bargain bin then so be it.

    #3 6 years ago
  4. blackdreamhunk

    I said this would happen didn’t I. Oh guess what consoles are going to get rented more. The used game market is going to boom more as well.Piracy on consoles is going to get larger. The console marke decline is going to get even bigger now.

    #4 6 years ago
  5. blackdreamhunk

    Oh one more thing looks like the NWO is going to happen.

    #5 6 years ago
  6. Stephany Nunneley

    Gasp. Don’t SAY that bdh!

    #6 6 years ago
  7. JesteR

    Raise game prices and you get more people downloading from torrent. Its very simple but the games industry is not gettng it. Oh well its the same as with the music industry.

    #7 6 years ago

    Nah, people will pay the prices, I’m sure.

    #8 6 years ago
  9. Syrok

    Many will, but there may also be a few Europeans who will stop importing from the UK.
    I for one won’t be importing them if the price is similar, I will just buy second hand copies from my local store.

    #9 6 years ago
  10. reask

    I will just buy used.
    No game is worth forking out 70 Euro in my book.

    #10 6 years ago
  11. blackdreamhunk

    it’s cheaper to buy pc games online or retail. However i have feeling some pc games retailer are going to push prices up.Then there is the fact of free online games on pc.

    It’s why it’s so good to be a pc gamer

    #11 6 years ago
  12. reask

    I hear what you are saying about PC gaming.
    Problem is the average Joe like me knows shag all about specs required.
    At least with a console you go in and buy the game made for it without the hassle of wondering will your PC be able to run it.

    I am not putting down PC gaming as I have played PC games and enjoyed them.

    #12 6 years ago
  13. blackdreamhunk

    @Stephany Nunneley

    I beleave US is losing it’s power and the NWO is rising. The 4 aeras of the world to watch very carefully is the EU,USA,the middle east and the vandican(rome church).

    Lets just pray that Obama can turn around the economy fast.

    #13 6 years ago
  14. El_MUERkO

    For games like CoD the publishers might get enough sales to make it look like a good idea but over time it’ll do more harm than good with launch day sales dropping (particularly for new IPs) and people turning to the secondhand market and piracy to get new games.


    #14 6 years ago
  15. freedoms_stain

    Specs aren’t very confusing at all, it’s pretty much a case of looking at the numbers and seeing if yours are higher or not.

    My machine is approaching 2 years old and I’m only now thinking of upgrading anything – and with the cash I’ve saved on software I can afford those upgrades.

    #15 6 years ago

    I dunno, I reckon that if you don’t even know what a graphics card is, and you just bought a ‘PC that plays the latest games’ from Currys, and you read “GPU: NVIDIA 7800GT or higher”, you’d probably find it quite confusing.

    #16 6 years ago
  17. deftangel

    Like most UK gamers I very rarely pay RRP for something. I would imagine this move is partly to raise trade prices so as to avoid people like Tesco’s et al selling it as a loss leader.

    However, $50m development costs or no, I can’t imagine that Activision would lose money on the likely 1m+ sales of this game in the UK if it was RRP £49.99 so IMO it’s a bit oppourtunist because they know it’ll still sell. I bet Blur, for example ain’t £55 quid.

    #17 6 years ago
  18. No_PUDding


    Watch me not buy any games over £40. Makes me miss Woolworths, if they were still about… Man.

    Just to give a bit of perspective, I got Assassins Creed on launch day, for £35 in Woolworth. I miss them :/

    #18 6 years ago
  19. freedoms_stain

    @16 It’s not really that hard to find out what that means though, is it? Or what card you have.

    #19 6 years ago

    It’s not for you or me, but your average casual gamer probably wouldn’t have a clue where to start looking.

    First they’d need to find out what they had, then they’d need to find out if it’s better or worse than the min spec… That’s like brain surgery to the computer-illiterate.

    ‘What’s this?? 240GTX 2 gigarom what???’… It’s all gobbledygook geek speak to some.

    Which, as Reask pointed out, is probably why consoles are so much more appealing to casuals as a gaming platform.

    #20 6 years ago
  21. blackdreamhunk

    here is a video of the econmy

    #21 6 years ago
  22. The_Deleted

    It’s never worth the risk. Would anyone be happy forking out £50 for a game like Wolverine or Wanted?

    I’ll stick to the sales and bargain bins thanks.

    #22 6 years ago
  23. freedoms_stain

    @20, You can find your gpu, processor and RAM all in the one place, and a quick google would sort you out. This is far from an insurmountable barrier and <10 mins research gets you good.

    #23 6 years ago

    I know how to do it!

    I’m saying that there are people who don’t!

    Like a middle aged person who doesn’t even know how to send an email. He just wants to play a game.

    #24 6 years ago
  25. reask

    I reckon Gig summed up my thoughts exactly Freedom.
    Again I am not putting down PC gaming.
    It just seems like unnecessary hassle for guys like me.
    And trust me we are not in the minority.

    For me PC = PC. Console equals hassle free gaming.

    #25 6 years ago
  26. Enkeixpress

    If retail games reach £50.00 in the UK, Then I won’t be buying new released games.

    Thats right.

    #26 6 years ago
  27. BraveArse

    Well there’s an opportunity for PSN and the XBL one ( is it Games On Demand now?) to step in and undercut the retailers right there.

    #27 6 years ago
  28. SunKing

    Well, guess what, it’s not going to make a blind bit of difference because retailers will just continue to keep on slashing prices three months after a game releases, and I’ll keep on waiting until then. And the people who buy games at the point that they just come out? They’ll keep on buying, as before, because they want to get the game as soon as possible, price be damned.

    #28 6 years ago
  29. fearmonkey

    Keep it up industry!! Pass along higher costs to your customers, and see what happens. games should be dropping in price, not raising them.
    I’m in the states, and after doing some talking with many gamers, i’ve concluded that $24.99 is a new game sweet spot.
    The 20 or so gamers I questioned all agreed that they would take a chance on a game they normally might rent or buy used if it was $24.99 or less. Games $29.99 or more are still looked at as a major purchase, and the gamers i talked to would have probably purchased it fora higher cost anyway.
    It would be interesting to see a publisher start releasing decent games new for $24.99 and see how many people buy it.
    Apple sells a ton of games once the price dips under $5 on the iphone, anything over that, people wait on it except the ones who would have bought it at a higher price anyway.
    Dead space was this type of game for me. If I could have picked it up new for $24.99, i would have bought it right away. Instead I rented it, and bought it used later, and the publisher didnt get my money.
    Restricting us to digital distribution isnt going to help either, unless they drop the price. we will just buy less games.

    #29 6 years ago
  30. Psychotext

    Can RRP at whatever you want games industry. I still wont buy your games until I can pick them up for less than £30.

    …and it never takes long. God bless being old, jaded and patient. :)

    #30 6 years ago
  31. fearmonkey

    Another note while im thinking of it.
    Those silly burger king games sold like crazy for $5, and burger king made a good bit of money off them.
    I think the new battlefield 1943 is a good example of this, sold a ton for $15.
    If they would have released it as a standalone title, with more maps, and extras for new at $24.99, i think it would have sold very well too. Maybe not as well as for $15, but certainly better than $49.99 or $59.99.
    The stupid $10 dollar console tax per title should end as well. PC games being cheaper isnt fair, and its just stupid. Publishers should stop blaming gamestop and others, and understand why we buy used games. I would rather give my money to the devloper than gamestop anyday, but the pricing of most titles doesnt give me much choice.

    #31 6 years ago
  32. fearmonkey

    Lastly, If everyone would take a stand and vote with their wallet, publsihers would be forced to take notice.

    #32 6 years ago
  33. freedoms_stain

    from 31 “The stupid $10 dollar console tax per title should end as well. PC games being cheaper isnt fair, and its just stupid.”

    Are you prepared to pay the actual cost of a games console? Because that’s why that “tax” exists, so that the console manufacturers can sell the console at enormous loss during its early and mid life. Therefore it’s entirely fair.

    #33 6 years ago
  34. theevilaires

    then fuck you, we need to take a stand now gamers!!!! this is bullshit.just because most of us are willing to buy the prestige edition of cod mw2 doesn’t mean devs need to start coming up with excuses to charge for more. Especially when they lay off their workers left from right to receive bigger bonuses for themselves.

    #34 6 years ago
  35. theevilaires

    where the fuck is Shatner!?

    #35 6 years ago
  36. reask

    where the fuck is Shatner!?
    Banned. And yes I fully agree with your thoughts.

    #36 6 years ago
  37. fearmonkey

    “Are you prepared to pay the actual cost of a games console? Because that’s why that “tax” exists, so that the console manufacturers can sell the console at enormous loss during its early and mid life. Therefore it’s entirely fair.”

    Thats a crap answer….The cost is there because they can charge extra and thats all there is. When they first announced it, it was per EA and Activision “that development costs were so high”, they didnt say anything that the $10 was for the hardware. If you truly believe that the $10 is justified, and that it’s to compensate for the console hardware’s costs, then your pretty damn gullible.

    Even MS didnt initially charge $59 for its own games, they charged $49.99. MS said that it was up to their PUBLISHERS on how THEIR games were priced. IF it was a console hardware tax as you stated, then why wasn’t MS on the bandwagon at the beginning.
    It was only after MS saw that everyone else was charging $59 that they decided to do the same.

    #37 6 years ago
  38. Psychotext

    Well, technically there is part of that cost that goes directly to the console manufacturer (the licensing fee)… so it’s not entirely crap.

    #38 6 years ago
  39. fearmonkey

    I thought of that, its not the same as a hardware tax though. Thats just the publishers passing off MS’s licensing costs to their customers.
    The thing is with MS, they dont have to pay themselves licensing fees, yet their games are still $59.99.
    I truly wish more gamers voted with their wallets, and weren’t lemmings, but its too much to expect i guess.
    Instead gamers setup an online petition, and those usually work out so well……..

    #39 6 years ago
  40. Phoenixblight

    I just use Gamefly, its very nice service just 20$ a month a rent two games a month for the games I really want I buy those but those that are “meh” or unsure of I just add them to my GameQ. Has saved me quite bunch vs buying blindly…

    #40 6 years ago
  41. theevilaires

    shatner was banned are you serious for what

    #41 6 years ago
  42. theevilaires

    fearmonkey said: Even MS didnt initially charge $59 for its own games, they charged $49.99. MS said that it was up to their PUBLISHERS on how THEIR games were priced.

    thats right man for some reason i feel like all this is M$ fault

    #42 6 years ago
  43. Psychotext

    For some reason? :D

    #43 6 years ago
  44. No_PUDding

    Just to reiterate my sentiment, fuck this.

    I might formulate an arson attack on every major Activision Head Quarters in the UK.

    #44 6 years ago
  45. theevilaires

    yes psycho why didn’t M$ keep their word about their first party titles, because they knew if ppl would spend $60 on crap like Vampire Rain,and other 1st year games for 360 they would be pissed losing a potential extra $10 on Halo3.

    I’m not saying this is their fault in total but what ass holes to go back on their word to their loyal customers. I fucking HATE LIARS.

    #45 6 years ago
  46. Psychotext

    I’m strugging to find where they promised not to increase their prices.

    But I don’t really care either way. I just thought it was funny that you didn’t know why you felt like it was “M$”‘s fault. I figure that would be pretty clear. :D

    #46 6 years ago
  47. theevilaires

    i never said they promised but clearly you haven’t seen the 2005 E3 press conference (maybe cause sony murdered them that year) but they clearly said we will be charging $50 for first party M$ titles. They said nothing like, oh yea we might decide to charge $60 when Halo3 comes out.

    Sony said Psn will be free but MMORPG will charge a fee and that one day psn may have to charge. you see they warned their consumers. M$ woke up one day and said you know what we need bigger bonuses lets charge our stupid consumers who pay $50 for live an extra $10 for our games too.

    then you (the stupid loyal M$ consumer) said sure why not. I loved paying $110 plus tax for playing the full exp of COD2 at launch. I’m willing to do it for Halo!!!!! YAY!!!! M$ RULES!!!!! SONY SUX!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!….hey whats this red light blinking on my console. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!

    M$ has gotten away with everything this gen, even almost murder Just because they have tons of money and you geeks dream of being Gates is the reason this company gets away with screwing the consumer. Vista is shit, the xbox360 is a pile of shit cheap plastic, and the head guy at M$ is nuts. WTF man wake up people :P

    #47 6 years ago
  48. Psychotext

    I specifically mentioned promised because you said they went back on their word…

    Also, you’re blaming Microsoft because a kid threw a pan of water over his 360? Good god man.

    #48 6 years ago
  49. fearmonkey

    @theevilaires – I blame EA and activision. They were the ones that were touting the huge increase in development costs for this new generation. MS decided, and I can’t honestly blame them, that after seeing every other publisher get away with $10 more, that they should too.
    Sony came out with all their games at the higher price point too after seeing how that price point went.

    This sad truth is that it’s gamers themselves that are to blame. Were the idiots that keep buying the games at $59 price point. Unless the publishers are made to see otherwise, it will continue, and possibly go up.

    I have really cut back on new game purchases, I purchased one game at full price this year, Sacred 2, with Birthday money I got. Last year I bought like 5 new full priced titles.
    I own about 30 to 40 360 titles, and bought 60 to 70 percent used or much cheaper at retail.

    Im a member of gamefly too. I sometimes buy used titles from them. If publishers want that used game money, then drop the damn prices on new games, otherwise gamefly and gamestop get it, and too bad for you.
    Going all digital wont fix it either if its not cheaper, as ill play older games mostly, or play PC games.
    Bethesda and Steam recently had the right idea, dropping fallout 3 to $24.99, at least for a bit. sold really well!

    #49 6 years ago
  50. theevilaires

    i understand your point FearM.

    psycho if M$ had built the damn machine right this kid would have never went on the internet, went to one of the many sites and forums that are pouring with victims of the RROD to learn how to fix an already defective machine that came off the belt.

    anyway lets see the next gen games become $70 at retail. see what happens. G1ga some people will still buy them but i be damned if i will. its fucking principle that once a game engine is built and ready for updated sequels the price of the game should drop at least $10. they cry about how much time it takes to make their engines and new tech. well once you’ve perfected it why should it be harder to make the sequel to a game like uncharted. uncharted should be $50 because its built on an engine from 3 years ago (not two trust me). Now new ps2 games are released at $40 -$20 brand new WTF. and don’t tell me the reason is because the engine was built already cause you failed about 4 sentences ago.

    #50 6 years ago
  51. Scyrenn

    i miss the nwo days…

    anyway there are cheaper drugs than videogames anyway, fuck off… :)

    #51 6 years ago

    It’s about simple capitalism and money making, TEA.

    It’s the company heads, the CEO’s and the guys who know nothing about how to make an actual game, but they know how to run a successful company.

    Their friends and the guys who live on their street and share a villa next to their holiday home are bankers and other people who like to flaunt their six figure income.

    So you can pretty much guarantee that they’re going to do their best to make as much money as they can.

    So with Gamestop etc making record profits last year and probably all of the consumer research telling them that people will be prepared to pay $10 more, you can see why they’ll have no problem doing it.

    Probably the only way to stop it from happening is for people to stop buying games.

    But you’re right as well, as I’m sure that there are other people like me who will just buy the games even with a $10 or $20 price rise…

    #52 6 years ago

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