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Kotick: I would raise game prices even further

Thursday, 6th August 2009 14:30 GMT By Patrick Garratt

bobbykotick2

Forgot about this last night. In the Q&A part of the Acti Blizz earnings call, Bobby Kotick said he’d like to see game prices raised even further.

The response came after Mike Griffith answered an analyst question on price points. Here it is in full:

Michael J. Griffith

And then on the second question, Tony, on the pricing, we’ve had for all of our launch titles in the back half of this year, some of which contain peripherals, as you point out, very strong retailer acceptance and support for all parts of our plan, including our merchandising plans, our marketing programs, and our price points.

Robert A. Kotick

And Tony, you know if it was left to me, I would raise the prices even further.

Here’s the Seeking Alpha transcript. After he said it, all the execs started laughing and there was a pause before the next question.

So there you go. £70 here we come!

Thanks, Psychotext.

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57 Comments

  1. No_PUDding

    Take him out the back and hang him.

    /South African accent

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Psychotext

    My momma told me if I don’t have anything nice to say… not to say anything at all.

    /zips lips

    #2 5 years ago
  3. No_PUDding

    Your momma never knew Bobby Kotick (or did she?).

    #3 5 years ago
  4. No_PUDding

    Bobby “the milkman” Kotick

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Johnny Cullen

    Ehh, joke or no joke, it makes me sick hearing that.

    Even EA weren’t that arrogant when they were shit as far as I remembered.

    #5 5 years ago
  6. No_PUDding

    Psycho is Kotick’s lovechild

    #6 5 years ago
  7. No_PUDding

    No… I shant slow down, posting comments VG247!

    #7 5 years ago
  8. Artheval_Pe

    Yeah, Activision, continue to raise prices until gamers go buy their games elsewhere. Say what you want against EA or Ubisoft (bad DRMs, poor ports, shallow games), but a least they’re not such douchebags.

    #8 5 years ago
  9. Patrick Garratt

    hahaha

    #9 5 years ago
  10. Harry

    I wonder when exactly EA managed to offload the cursed monkey hand onto Activision.

    #10 5 years ago
  11. SunKing

    Hah, I bet you would, Kotick.

    #11 5 years ago
  12. JesteR

    And then they will whine that people will download the games of torrent….. Really wtf i guess they are just greedy bastards like the rest of the human race. But seriously game prices are already high enough.

    #12 5 years ago
  13. justiceblob

    @Harry probably about the second that Actiblizz came into fruition.

    Kotick is taking this too far now, surely he realises that COD is activisions only CONSOLE franchise that people are so rabbid about that they would pay any price for it, everything else they put out these days just screams, ‘meh’

    #13 5 years ago
  14. Whizzo

    That’s some very strong crack they’re smoking in the ActiBlizz boardroom.

    #14 5 years ago
  15. dirigiblebill

    Hopefully this is one of those “harmless joke out of context” situations, because I for one have never bought a game at the current “standard” RRP, let alone 70 quid.

    /rifles through old trade-in vouchers

    #15 5 years ago
  16. No_PUDding

    That’s not even true Whizzo.

    I mean, they almost have complete carte blanche to do what they like, with the stregnth of their IPs.

    And the fact they KNOW the mainstream consumer can afford upwards of £100 on just one game (Guitar Hero) means they can be very confident, it applies to other games.

    Perceived value involving the guiatr itself is nothing. If people WANT a game, they are willing to pay upwards of £100, and that is why there is no crack being smoked.

    Activision are just the top dogs of the moment, and are flexing their muscles. Nothing more.

    #16 5 years ago
  17. Freek

    I woulden’t want to be working at Activisions PR departement at the moment. Everytime this guy opens his mouth bad press comes out.

    #17 5 years ago
  18. No_PUDding

    I would… I bet the bonuses are huge.

    #18 5 years ago
  19. Whizzo

    Raising prices during the worst economic situation for generations requires either insanity or the use of recreational pharmaceuticals, I look forward to their profits warning next year.

    #19 5 years ago
  20. No_PUDding

    All it means is that they will be buying Modern Warfare 2 and nothign else.

    Or DJ Hero and nothing else.

    There’s nothing crazy about it. People want the game, they buy the game.

    #20 5 years ago
  21. haliotis81

    Just cut Robert A. Kotick’s salary. Stop indirectly asking for more salary.

    #21 5 years ago
  22. joshua nash

    holy shit, this now makes him the biggest fucking tool in all creation, the fucking arrogances he has is disgusting and disturbing all at the same time

    #22 5 years ago
  23. freedoms_stain

    “Hey, lets drive all our business away” that’s a sound business model if ever I’ve heard one.

    #23 5 years ago
  24. SticKboy

    His eyes are *awfully* close together.

    #24 5 years ago
  25. Lutz

    Prices do need to rise. I think £70 is pushing it mind.

    #25 5 years ago
  26. El_MUERkO

    i’m buying the PC version of CoD … when i feel like it

    £20 December Steam Sale here we come!

    #26 5 years ago
  27. Psychotext

    “Psycho is Kotick’s lovechild”

    That’s why I must destroy him in epic battle (possibly after losing my hand or something).

    #27 5 years ago
  28. No_PUDding

    I think that sounds fitting xD

    #28 5 years ago
  29. tont

    Properly offensive pricing – of course retailers love it, as it’s more margin for them.

    The interesting thing about MW2 is it’s the only top-tier franchise Activision has that doesn’t rely on a fancy peripheral. Even Tony Hawk has gone down that route, presumably in some facile belief that adding pretend toys to games is what constitutes progress, rather than making them look like lazy bodges, leading to the creative bankrupcy (and diminishing returns) that licence-heavy, low-creativity iterative IPs like GH actually represent.

    Adding approximated real-world peripherals really saved the arcade industry from stagnating into a mire of hideously-overpriced, contiunally recycled ‘experiences’ rather than actual games, didn’t it?

    The horror for me is that MW3 *WILL* have its own range of plastic guns. You can pretty much bet on it, as well as a £100+ price tag. FUCKERS.

    #29 5 years ago
  30. SticKboy

    Shit tont, I think you might be bang on the money with that. If not MW3, then certainly MW4. Still, if it turns out to be anything like the old SEGA Menacer, would that really be so bad?

    #30 5 years ago
  31. SunKing

    The thing is, with a higher price comes a perception and expectation of a higher quality product. In the long run they could be setting themselves up for failure.

    #31 5 years ago
  32. Lutz

    Well yeah, cos the Menacer was fucking shit.

    #32 5 years ago
  33. Armitage

    A face only a mother could.. barely resist punching.

    #33 5 years ago
  34. theevilaires

    greedy american pig+small penis=bad economy

    #34 5 years ago
  35. deftangel

    The boy’s been on a real charm offensive this year hasn’t he? Raising prices, threatening to pull PS3 support, attempted block of Brutal Legend and general dropping of anything they can’t “annualise”.

    More to the point, Modern Warfare 2 at £55 is one thing. Music games are in a pretty sharp sales decline and practically none of them got canned to Q1 so the there is plenty of scope for cannibalisation.

    As for Tony Hawk? How many people are *really* going to buy it? For £99? Both that and DJ Hero may well be pretty good games but have limited appeal in mass market terms, IMO.

    I’d like to see if he thinks Blur is going to fly out at £55 quid.

    #35 5 years ago
  36. Robo_1

    Bobby endearing himself further to the people who keep him in a job I see.

    Will you look at that shit eating grin though… Just for once I’d love to see him post disastrous results.

    #36 5 years ago
  37. theevilaires

    Tony Hawk+Ride=Epic Fail

    #37 5 years ago
  38. Peffy

    Ohhh…my god! My godness! £70?!It’s too much… :’(

    In Hungary: £70 = ~20.000 HUF, and the minimal wage is 71.500 HUF (avarage wage 80-90k HUF)…

    £70? It’ll be rubbish… I do not work for a game(s)…

    *(Sorry for my bad English)*

    #38 5 years ago
  39. Syrok

    No one forces you to buy games as soon as they come out. For all I care they can demand €140 for it. :)

    #39 5 years ago
  40. G1GAHURTZ

    Bad PR

    #40 5 years ago
  41. BraveArse

    @G1GA – Astonishingly so. Tbh it’s pushed me from wavering over the buy btn to pretty much only buying Acti games from the secondhand section. I can wait quite happily.

    #41 5 years ago
  42. G1GAHURTZ

    Yeah. Tbh, if Acti didn’t have the CoD games, I probably wouldn’t buy a single product of theirs just because of their ever growing arrogance…

    #42 5 years ago
  43. fearmonkey

    I’m glad that while i enjoy Infinity ward’s games (Dont care for the COD’s they havent developed), im not so addicted i cant wait to get the title at a used cost. I think that i’ll plan on getting this one used just to spite Activision.
    If this was Bethesda and Zenimax saying this crap, then i would be upset.

    #43 5 years ago
  44. Morrius

    Dear Bobby Kotick.

    You’re a cunt.

    Sincerely,

    Everyone else.

    #44 5 years ago
  45. SticKboy

    I too will be breaking the habit of a lifetime and opicking up CoD:MW2 second hand, only so as to deprive Activision of sales.

    Maybe British gamers should start a campaign to get more people involved.

    #45 5 years ago
  46. freedoms_stain

    Raising the price to £70 won’t increase their profits, because only a small percentage of gamers are willing and/or able to cough up that much cash with any degree of regularity, thus all they’ll achieve is excluding the majority of their audience from launch day titles with little/no financial benefit to themselves.

    #46 5 years ago
  47. Galactic_Barret

    I like the sound of that. Boycotting a game sounds so stupid; If you were ever that much of a fan in the first place to be angry over a business decision (L4D2), chances are, you’re going to break down and get it anyway.
    However, if you were to petition something like purchasing their games used, you would get more traction; You’re still getting the game, cheaper even, albeit later than some other early adopters. The positives greatly outway the negatives for the consumer, and the publisher gets the worst of it. I would never outright boycott any game from a publisher, but I could definitely get behind buying all of their games used. If anyone deserves that right now, its the voice of Activision.

    #47 5 years ago
  48. frostquake

    Remember my young ones, not long ago a company called NEO GEO released a revolutionary console! To play such a wizard system, one must shell out $199.99 to $249.99 pure gaming cartridge for the premium of playing actual arcade titles at home! You could even take your memory card from the Neo Geo and place it in the memory unit at the arcade, plunk in a quarter and pick up where you left off! They believed their was a Niche for those who wanted true arcade games, a small niche that bathed in pregnant mothers milk and fetal leavings, and they were right! But sadly they only could find a 1000 who would buy and as the SUPER WEALTHY typically do, they became bored and invented a drink called Patron and now they sit by a pool full of jelly and gold caps on their teeth and drink the elixir of the devil and the memory of those ghostly $199.99 cartridges are left like skeletons picked clean by the buzzards of life…AWWWW HELL NO I AM NOT PAYING $70.00 for a freaking game!!!

    #48 5 years ago
  49. frostquake

    Oh and here is how it goes…
    1. Games for the Rich
    2. Games for Everyone
    3. Games for the Rich…I think we are getting to this part quickly!

    #49 5 years ago
  50. BraveArse

    So how do we start a little experimental “Fuck You Kotick” movement then? via twitter maybe? Could use a hashtag for posts regarding it if i knew how to do that…

    #50 5 years ago
  51. BraveArse

    I just twatted the following tweet:

    “#buymw2used #activision Very unimpressed with recent pricing strategies. So I’m going to wait for MW2 second hand thankyou Mr Kotick.”

    If we can get some retweets or just disgruntled posts using the same hashtags then who knows? Maybe it’ll take off. maybe it’ll be a damp squib though.

    my Twitter = @BeardyBrave

    #51 5 years ago
  52. bugmenot

    in all seriousness game prices are due a rise, since sony set the standard for disc based releases in 1994(about £40-£45) we’ve had 15 years of inflation, 10-20 fold rise in development cost, the rise in crippling high street used game trading, online rentals/swapping. If we dont want to quality taking a nosedive prices must rise a little, theres too much pressure on developers at the moment to produce multi million sellers or face doom

    #52 5 years ago
  53. fearmonkey

    @bugmenot yeah, thats complete baloney.
    Glad you buy into it, you can pay the higher prices, while the rest of us wait for used copies.
    If they kill the used market with digital distro and use higher prices, watch the industry take a nose dive.
    Look at the apple store, 99 c titles sell like crazy while the more expensive titles do ok. I truly believe that for publishers to kill the used market, the need to offer titles at lower prices. In my little gamer survey i have found that gamers will buy on impulse a title up to $24.99, anything from $29.99 and up seems like a major purchase.
    If publishers want to charge higher prices fine, but they better drop them later to much lower prices for them to sell at all. All higher prices will do is make our purchases more selective, so games like singularity and Borderlands will die as everyone will only buy COD and Halo, and thats happening right now at the current price, but it will be much worse if they raise them.

    #53 5 years ago
  54. Phoenixblight

    I Agree with Fearmonkey. They want to raise the prices as they do that my Gamefly list gets bigger

    #54 5 years ago
  55. bytemap

    What’s interesting is that not many realized that Genesis, NES, SNES games were at $40-$50 already for new copies and this is about 10-20 years ago.

    So, all that BS talk about development costs is just trying to sway the consumer mind thinking they deserve it. If that’s the case, they should keep Mirror’s Edge at $60, but after time, it dictated it wasn’t selling, so it’s reached a price point of $20 now.

    They will make enough money from quantity sold cheaper, but what to skin us alive in prices. To be fair though, a HUGE majority doesn’t care because they WANT their game NOW. If not, they’ll die or something.

    I don’t doubt they’ll raise the price, probably stick the term, “Limited Collector’s Prestrige Ultimate Finally Edition” and everyone will flock to it. Some to resell at a higher point and some to just purchase.

    #55 5 years ago
  56. Lutz

    Bytemap, so are you saying that costs haven’t increased substantially? That games prices should stay the same?
    And games selling at $20 will, probably, be making a loss. But it’s better to make a loss at $20 than a loss at $0.

    Quantity sold cheaper doesn’t quite qork either.

    Games sold on Apple Store for 1/40th of the price of an RRP highstreet game (£1 comparred to £40) do not cost 1/40th the price to make, nor do they sell 40 times as many.

    #56 5 years ago
  57. bytemap

    @Lutz: Wow, I don’t know if you joking or if you are serious, but I’ll address the questions you mentioned. Oh, and so that everyone knows, I’m just trying to inform as many people as to how some businesses do their thing, because they don’t care about us (at least most of them, not all). They just want our money. ;)

    Now onto the questions.

    1) Yes, game prices from before weren’t substantially cheaper. If you want proof, see if you could ask a video game collector about the old game prices were when they were sold as new.

    2) Game prices shouldn’t stay the same as they are now, but should be cheaper. I say it should be 50-65% off what it is now, but that’s me.

    3) Companies are all about the numbers. The more they sell, the quickest, the happier they are with their IP. So if they have to discount the game, to make a not so stellar selling period, they will. That high price gives them enough room to still make a NICE profit.

    4) I’m glad you brought up the Apple Store. You just prove the point further. I mean I thought we were only talking about PS3/360, but this is great as well. If you produced a game or app for a small mobile, then Yes the production cost of it will not equal the price it’s being sold. But are we just counting ONE unit? I don’t believe most developers/publishers just think ONE unit is being sold.

    No, they know thousands upon thousands, if not MILLIONS are being sold. So for little development costs on the iPhone, they make more in the SHEER quantity of purchases. It would be absurd to ask for a HIGH price for that medium, just because Apple wants your business as quickly as they can with no hesitations.

    If you still believe that the prices should stay the same, that everything is fine with any more price increases to “cover development costs” ***COUGHbsCOUGH***( it will happen LOL), and that the way business is done is for OUR benefit, then my hats off to you, my friend. More power to you.

    :D

    #57 5 years ago

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