Do people perceive $39.99 games as being of lesser quality

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#1 Posted by r-teest (947 posts) -

Every now and then a game is released with a $39.99 price and I remember one time when my non gamer friends asked "why is it ("it" being some game...") cheaper than other games; is it not as good...?" or something along those lines. After Titanfall's lack of a single player campaign I read comments stating that if the price of the game was $39.99 they would buy it. I was thinking, perhaps it wasn't priced as such because the game wouldn't be seen as "AAA" or may be mistaken as having less content than $60 games. It'd be perceived differently.

What do you think?

#2 Posted by Garfield360UK (19689 posts) -

I think there can be an issue with price perception. Some gamers will feel that if the game is not full price then it is not very good/low quality. However, some will go on the other side of the coin and feel that cheaper games tend to be better as they serve more niche audiences (I am thinking of Counter Strike Global Operations, Fez, games that tend to be around the £15 price point or a little higher/lower). However, it depends on what the supply and demand will be as a basic rule. Companies will price it at the point that they feel will maximise profit (i.e. if we charge $50 we will sell 10 million copies, if we sell it for $60 we will sell 9.5 million copies in which case they would sell it for the higher price as it would generate more income although that over simplifies it given the fixed and variable costs associated and things like tax).

I think with Titanfall the vibe is it will sell even without the multiplayer. The first wave of players will get into it and then when sales slow down, EA will drop the price and thus more people will play it at the price cut. It all depends on the end user and what the market research suggests. There is a science to this but it is not 100% accurate (such as what we saw with Tomb Raider and its over the top sales numbers needed to be profitable) so sometimes this causes studios to be closed or games to not be profitable as the budget to make the game strips what the actual net sales income is.

But back to what you asked (sorry I went off on a different tangent), I do think some people would say the game is not as good due to the price and thus would not buy it. But on the other hand, some would say "well its multiplayer only so it should be cheaper, so now I will buy it because it is cheaper". There is no right or wrong answer to this one as both seem to work (Titanfall seems to be selling well, and as previously mentioned, Counter Strike seems to do well for Valve at a discounted rate, so both models can work).

#3 Posted by marcheegsr (2723 posts) -

Well when I see a game that's priced $39.99 when it first comes out, I do think why is it cheaper? Less content? Not a really good game?

It's just a natural reaction for me.

#4 Posted by Stinger78 (5826 posts) -

A release at $39.99 retail, I think of as more a budget title, but better than $19.99 budget titles, or they're older games.

Now, for digital services like Gamefly digital, Steam, or Origin, well, I've gotten new games for similar to that.

#5 Posted by Wild_man_22 (609 posts) -

It's the idea of price perception among consumers. It's an interesting thought process, because even if publishers wanted to lower the retail price of an game. They wouldn't, because they've set the standard of full retail games and know that this perception does exist.

yet at the same time some gamers want cheaper games. Even though some look at lower price point or non retail as instantly lower quality.

I am guilty of this perception too though at times. A good example would be an anarchy reigns.

#6 Posted by turtlethetaffer (16758 posts) -

The issue with your question is that most handheld games are 39.99 when they come out and I love handheld games. I play them more than console games these days.

#7 Edited by Black_Knight_00 (18477 posts) -

I see it as an implicit admission that the game is low budget or scarce in content

#8 Posted by Bigboi500 (29915 posts) -

Not to me. I see it as a better value.

#9 Edited by thereal25 (443 posts) -

Depends on the game.

#10 Edited by Minishdriveby (9979 posts) -

I tend to seek out the prices lower than $39.99. When I walked into a GameStop the other day for the first time in many months, I was kind of shocked to see the sticker prices on many games.