After putting up with it for the last few months, I have decided to put my foot down. $60 is too much for a videogame, especially one that comes on the exact same media (DVDs) as the last generation. It was somewhat acceptable back in the SNES/N64 days when games would cost $60-70 because it cost quite a bit more to make cartridges. Now, though, when games can be mass-produced for very little there is no real reason to charge us so much.
I know, the argument is that game development costs are rising so publishers have to charge more to make money, but I dont really buy it. If games were sold at $40 or even $50 I can absolutely guarantee that more copies of each game would be sold and, thus, the money would work itself out.
$60 Is A Big Investment
As a reviewer, it is a heck of a lot harder to recommend a game for $60 than it was for $40 or $50. The game has to truly be something special to warrant that big of an investment and, sadly, most of the Xbox 360 games so far havent been worth it. There are great games available (Fight Night Round 3, Call of Duty 2, Project Gotham Racing 3, Dead or Alive 4 ), but it is absolutely unreasonable to expect gamers to pay $60 for Gun or Tony Hawks American Wasteland or Ridge Racer 6 or EAs half hearted sports games that were released for the 360 launch. These games, my friends, are a rip off at $60. Im not saying they are bad, in fact I really like Ridge Racer 6 and the 360 version of THAW is definitely my version of choice, Im just saying that you arent getting your $60 worth.
And the sales numbers for these games have shown this. If these games were $40 they would be flying off of store shelves but at $60 sales have been sluggish. And, honestly, games like Gun and Full Auto that got lackluster review scores at $60 would have probably gotten at least a point higher from pretty much every reviewer at $40. Better reviews = more sales = more money for publishers/developers = no need to charge us $60. I dont want to just pick on the mediocre games, I dont want to pay $60 for DOA4 or PGR3 or COD2 either, but at this point we have no other choice. And not only that, but we have limited editions of games too. After shipping and taxes, the limited edition version of Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion comes to over $75. I don't care how good a game is, that is absolutely ridiculous.
What Can We Do?
We can vote with our wallets and not buy games until the price drops (which happens anywhere between two weeks after launch to six months or so) which will, hopefully, help publishers get the picture that we dont want to pay so much, but who knows if it will do any good. Or we could embrace seeing more ads in games (someone else pays for the development so publishers can pass the savings on to us!) but ads leave such a bitter taste in gamers mouths that this wont be happening any time soon.
My point is this - Gamers, let your voices ring true We dont want to pay $60 for Xbox 360 and PS3 games.