Should a Game’s Price Matter?

Sun, May 23, 2010


Over at SlidetoPlay, Nadia Oxford wrote a column about downloadable game prices and their seemingly upward slope recently. (Both on console and mobile platforms)

However, her most interesting question is: Should it matter?

“The pricing of online game is obviously an issue of increasing importance for people who frequent the App Store and similar online retail spaces. Should game reviewers discuss the “value” of a game alongside its graphics and gameplay? Again, it’s a tough call, but for now I vote “No”– except in special instances,” Oxford writes.

She continues:

“I shelled out close to $115.00 for my copy of Final Fantasy III/VI for the SNES (the Canadian dollar wasn’t worth much in 1994, and cartridge-based RPGs often touched the hundro mark). Final Fantasy III/VI still ranks amongst my favorite games; I would never dream of holding its sky-high price against it. Similarly, even if I doled out more than the usual amount for a downloadable game, I’m pretty okay with that as long as I have a good time.”

While I agree with Oxford that a good game is a good game, price elasticity of demand still exists for good reason. A great game doesn’t look so great when you have to shell out a disproportionate amount of money to experience it, after all, and that is why you see people quibbling over whether a mobile game should be $10 or $15. These are smaller, compact experiences, and no one, as Oxford puts it, likes to get fleeced.

What about you? Does pricing matter?

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- who has written 186 posts on Frisky Mongoose.

Art is a Weekend Editor at Frisky Mongoose focusing on video games and the social media that surrounds them.

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