Weeks after research firm IDG Consulting revealed that several publishers were considering increasing the price of their games in the next gen, God of War director Cory Barlog has said that he prefers an initial increase in game prices over “always-on, cash-grab, microtransaction-filled hellscape that some games have become.”
According to Barlog, games need to go up in price – an opinion shared by a significant number of fellow developers and publishers who have long said that the current AAA development and pricing models are not sustainable.
games need to go up in price. I prefer an initial increase in price to the always on cash grab microtransaction filled hellscape that some games have become.
— Cory Balrog (@corybarlog) July 8, 2020
Former Sony executive Shawn Layden previously pointed out that the base price of video games has remained the same his entire career in the games industry, which spans 25 years.
“It’s been $59.99 since I started in this business, but the cost of games have gone up ten times,” Layden told Games Industry. “If you don’t have elasticity on the price-point, but you have huge volatility on the cost line, the model becomes more difficult. I think this generation is going to see those two imperatives collide.”
Layden argued that game development won’t cost less going forward, especially considering labor costs.
“4K, HDR art, and creating worlds don’t come cheap,” Layden continued. “All the costs around gaming are labor costs, right? You don’t have to build a factory. You don’t have to turn sand into glass. It’s just creativity and your ability to bring like-minded people together to accomplish something, but it’s all based on the people.”