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Default Game Prices Aren't Dropping

June 17th, 2017, 06:39
A few years ago, games on Steam would start to drop in price about six months after being released. After a year and certainly after two, the majority of games would drop to half price. A few really popular games (e.g. Skyrim) stuck to the high price but they were popular enough to keep selling copies that long.

That phenomenon is gone. Or at least it isn't nearly as common. Games stay at full price for a long time now.

My guess is that it's a sale thing combined with more competition for Valve. Now there always seems to be a sale somewhere. If it isn't on Steam then it's on GOG or Bundlestars or Green Man… somewhere there's got to be a sale! Thing is, people are funny with sales. They are much more likely to buy a $60 game for 66% off than a $30 game for 33% off. If people are mostly buying games in sales, it's best to keep your base price up so you can give everyone "a better deal."
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June 17th, 2017, 07:08
It's mostly irrelevant though with how many third-party digital stores exist now. Chances are, whatever game you want is going to be significantly discounted at at least one of them at any given time.

Besides, we should consider ourselves lucky that inflation has barely touched gaming prices over the last 20+ years.
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June 17th, 2017, 07:42
Yeah, why would prices drop?

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June 17th, 2017, 08:13
Maybe this is a good thing.

We'll actually start completing games instead of increasing our backlog!
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June 17th, 2017, 14:38
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Besides, we should consider ourselves lucky that inflation has barely touched gaming prices over the last 20+ years.
No inflation?
A full AAA game is now set on $100, but is halved into impaired version aka base game and season pass, $50 each. Some publishers like Ubisoft make several different packages with lesser the price you pay, more cut outs you get.

A few years back I happily added any freebie or a few dollars game in my library. Recently I just stopped with it. As I'll never play any of those. So now, if I want something desperately, I'll buy it at any price no questions asked. If it's a massacred game with cut out content, I'll wait till the complete edition is discounted. Half a year, whole year, doesn't matter, as in the meantime I have plenty of nonscams to play.
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June 17th, 2017, 16:02
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
It's mostly irrelevant though with how many third-party digital stores exist now. Chances are, whatever game you want is going to be significantly discounted at at least one of them at any given time.
Yeah, which you then need to go out and hunt for - hunting outside of Steam. That's not particularly terrible for us but shouldn't Steam be getting upset? We keep going out and buying games from other stores then using Steam's facilities to download/chat about the games.
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June 17th, 2017, 16:08
I often thought that the reducing of the costs of leaving out big handbooks and even not selling at retail anymore would show at one point.
How much naive I was !
I guess they're putting that into graphics development now.
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June 17th, 2017, 17:37
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
No inflation?
A full AAA game is now set on $100, but is halved into impaired version aka base game and season pass, $50 each. Some publishers like Ubisoft make several different packages with lesser the price you pay, more cut outs you get.
Nah.. games in general don't have less content than they did 20 years ago. In fact, I'd say they have more, and that's not counting the DLC.

Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
Yeah, which you then need to go out and hunt for - hunting outside of Steam. That's not particularly terrible for us but shouldn't Steam be getting upset? We keep going out and buying games from other stores then using Steam's facilities to download/chat about the games.
Valve is one of the richest companies in the world, so I'm sure they'll be just fine. I also don't think they expected that everyone was going to buy from them.
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June 17th, 2017, 20:17
Two marketing methods in retail are having sales or "everyday low prices".

The problem with a company that has regular sales (JC Penny) is your customers get used to them and time their purchases for the sale date. It works well for your employees because they can gear up their business for the sales peaks.

The problem with this system obviously is as a manager you end up feeling like you are leaving money on the table. That and you are paying the same rate to the same employees during fixed periods of no sales, and you can only really gear up your staff with part time workers at Christmas.
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June 18th, 2017, 00:15
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
My guess is that it's a sale thing combined with more competition for Valve.
For the gazillionth+n time … Valve does NOT, repeat N-O-T… make the prices on Steam. Only the publishers themselves determine at what price they want to sell a game. Valve only provides counseling mostly for indies (Greenlight / Steam Direct) to find an appropriate price but the final decision is always up to the publisher.

That said, I think that there has simply been a very natural process over the last few years. We had a time (Steam early days) of relatively high and constant prices where retail was usually cheaper, then we had a short era of crazy Steam sales with 75% to 90% discounts on flash sales, then we had publishers complaining about the low prices because the (too) deep prices literally devalued the product too much and then everyone came to their senses again so now we have more moderate discounts as a balanced result because even those publishers who went for the 90% marker finally realized that it is actually nicer to make than to lose money.

Some people (like Zloth) have apparently been spoiled by that period of super-low sales so they can no longer appreciate today's discounts and feel a need to complain about high prices.
Personally, I think it is healthier for the industry and for PC gaming in particular (especially the indies) if the big publishers do not effectively "give away" their games.

Sure, nowadays you might have to wait a little longer than back in the flash sales era if you want to buy a game in the sub $10 region but I have a backlog that easily dates back to that flash sale era so it's not like I don't have anything else to play while waiting for prices of certain games to come down .

At closer inspection, it also depends a lot on the individual publisher.
EA, for example, have been discounting their games quite quickly and substantially on Origin (ME:A is on sale for $29.99 less than 3 months after release right now) over the last couple of years.
Ironically, EA was among the most vocal parties when it came to complaining about deep discount flash sales.
Or, if you look at Warner Bros, they have also continued to discount heavily.
Other publishers not so much… Bethesda, Ubi, Take2, yeah, they rarely do 75%+ anymore.

On a whole, I definitely think the current environment is healthier for the market. When the big guys try to one up each other with flash sales then the ones who suffer the most are the smaller publishers and indies who need to sell their games for more than five bucks.
It's been nice for us as consumers, of course, when the big guys tested the waters how deep they could go and what kind of demand the low prices would generate but it was inevitable that things would bounce back to a more normal climate.
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June 18th, 2017, 12:03
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
EA, for example, have been discounting their games quite quickly and substantially on Origin (ME:A is on sale for $29.99 less than 3 months after release right now) over the last couple of years.
Yeah, but not in retail. Not at all. At least regarding the SIMs. Here in Germany they were milking 40 Euros from an SIMs 3 "Starter Pack" LONG after SIMs 4 had appeared at retail !
Plus, only several months ago we FINALLY got the (more or less) FULL SIMs 2 package which the English-speaking market knows for YEARS !

EA is very keen on milking everything SIMs related herfe in Germany. Price drops there ? None at all !

On the other hand, they are still selling that Darkspore game for 2,99 Euros at Retail (Saturn chain), and that even although the servers required to play it are said to have been shut down …
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June 18th, 2017, 13:19
Stop buying sims physical packs.
Sims 3 and it's expansions are frequently discounted through sales on Steam and it's always set to -75% off.
Starter pack is crap - it includes a stuffpack DLC (props), you don't want to buy stuffpacks but only expansions that add actual gameplay content.
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June 18th, 2017, 13:40
I never buy on Steam, only on GOG. And because of EA's pricing policy at retail - I *always* try to buy at retail ! - I just never bought any SIMs game by them, only SIMs Medieval.
I'm very much focused on retail, with few exceptions.
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June 18th, 2017, 15:58
Jeff Vogel from Spiderweb Games who did the amazing Avadon and Avernum games recently did a blog entry back in 2014 about this topic as he actually increased his prices again after he was dropping them first.

http://jeff-vogel.blogspot.fr/2014/0…d-pain-of.html

For a long time, our new RPGs were $20.

But then something happened I would never have predicted: The Indie Bubble. Almost overnight, there was a massive increase in demand for games like mine, and there weren't many good titles. All of a sudden, my games were getting the sort of placement on places like Steam we could never get in a normal environment.

So we reacted accordingly. We lowered our prices on Steam and similar services to $10, a price low enough to motivate people who stumbled on us on the front page of Steam to give us a try. Tons of people were seeing us for the first time, and we tried to take advantage.

Things have gotten back to normal. We are back to getting a modest amount of visibility and press, and most of our sales are from fans and members of our particular niche. Our last game, Avadon 2: The Corruption, sold a reasonable number of copies, but the $10 price didn't generate enough revenue to make writing the game worthwhile. We can’t run a sustainable business on $10 games.

So we're going back to the old days. Our new games, going forward, are back to being $20. We have to count on existing fans and retro RPG gamers to provide enough sales to stay in business.
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June 18th, 2017, 17:04
Well, maybe Vogel isn't the best example - as he's remaking nearly identical games every 6 months.

Yes, I know fans think they're super different - but from the outside, all his games look pretty much the same.

You can't expect a big audience to keep buying games just because you make them cheaper - you have to make your games compelling to non-fans as well.
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June 19th, 2017, 02:04
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
For the gazillionth+n time … Valve does NOT, repeat N-O-T… make the prices on Steam. Only the publishers themselves determine at what price they want to sell a game. Valve only provides counseling mostly for indies (Greenlight / Steam Direct) to find an appropriate price but the final decision is always up to the publisher.
Yeah? So? I'm saying the fact that Steam has competition now means that sales *somewhere* are a lot more common which means it's best for the publisher to just keep the price steady while offering larger and larger sales. If they lower the regular price then they can't post a big, 75% off sale. Basically, I'm saying they've given up on trying to sell games outside of a sale.

Some people (like Zloth) have apparently been spoiled by that period of super-low sales so they can no longer appreciate today's discounts and feel a need to complain about high prices.
Personally, I think it is healthier for the industry and for PC gaming in particular (especially the indies) if the big publishers do not effectively "give away" their games.
Some people (like Moriendor) seem to just assume they know what is in somebody's head before even bothering to read their posts.

I'm NOT COMPLAINING! I'm just noting that something interesting has been happening over the past year or two. The model of REGULAR prices going down over the years is vanishing.

If you ask me, we should be paying way more for games. Basically: give me two or three games with the full "Witcher 3 Game of the Year Edition" level of quality but charge me at least $100 per game.
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June 19th, 2017, 04:08
Regarding the subject "Game Prices Aren't Dropping", I have both Hearts of Iron IV and Tiranny on my Steam wishlist and I only realized few days ago both games had their prices increased.

So I found this out.

And the countries affected by this price increase promoted by Paradox are listed on thread's opening post.

The official Paradox explanation: "As you have noticed prices for our products have increased in certain regions around the globe and this is something we've intentionally done. The reason for this is to make our prices match the purchasing power of those areas, as well as create a more equal price point for our products across the globe."

Now I just want to know who the f… dumb person told Paradox my (Brazilian) purchasing power increased lately? Where do they gather this kind of information? Actually that statement made by Paradox doesn't apply here since our real purchasing power here decreased.

Ok, Paradox! Your titles can sit a little more on my wishlist. I can properly answer you by not opening my wallet.
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June 19th, 2017, 07:16
The issue with Brazil (and a couple of other countries) is that the prices there are extremely cheap compared to the rest of the world due to the decrease of worth of the currency.

Of course this sucks, but that's exactly the unavoidable result of having gray area markets which buy keys from these countries to sell them for lower prices to the rest of the world.

Around the same time as this posting though steam/valve also changed their policy of gifting so that you can 1. no longer gift games which have a huge price difference in two different countries and 2. can no longer send gifts via e-mails so that gifts have to be activated directly on the account.

So these decisions might have been parallel to each other, or this might have been a reaction in order to actually use this feature implemented by valve (I am not sure of the technical details).

Just One example:
GTA5 in Europe: 59.99€ (includes taxes)
GTA5 in Brazil: 99.99R$ = 27.27€ (not sure if it already includes taxes)
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June 19th, 2017, 09:04
Game Prices Aren't Dropping
Discounts on GoG are your friend.
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June 19th, 2017, 13:42
Assuming Kordanor is correct, then Paradox should have stated their price increase is due to the game prices here being too low when compared to the rest of the world INSTEAD OF saying the reason is to match the blah-blah-blah purchasing power, when we know that is not true.

On the other hand, since 9th June 2017 Bethesda reduced the prices of Fallout 4, Doom and Dishonored 2 on Steam and Nuuvem. I found this article (in Portuguese only, but the article is not lenghty ) which contains a table showing the old and the new prices (in BRL) of those games. The original prices, all of them BRL 229.99, were way higher than the USD price.
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