Why am I paying $60 to download new games?

#1 Posted by darkphoenix5926 (6 posts) -

Sorry if this is an old topic. I searched the forums before posting and couldn't find an answer.

I've purchased two games by downloading them (GTA V & Watchdogs) and I paid $60 for each title. When I go to my local store and pay $60 for a game I'm paying for the packaging that I can display with my other games and any paper inserts or ads that may or may not (looking at you "The Last of Us Remastered") be in the packaging as well as minor things like shipping costs from the manufacturers to the distribution centers to the stores.

So, back to my original question. Why am I paying the same amount to download the game but getting less. Yes, I know you can argue I'm not spending gas money and putting wear and tear on my car driving to the local store but It still feels like I'm missing out on something. Anyone else feel this way?

#2 Edited by Black_Knight_00 (18285 posts) -

Not to mention console physical copies don't come with DRM and digital copies do. Also, you lose your digital purchases in case of service shutdown (read your EULAs, people) and you can't loan, borrow and resell DD copies.

In short, yes, DD copies should cost less, but as long as people keep buying them at the current price, they never will.

#3 Edited by PapaTrop (498 posts) -

You pay that price because of retailers such as Walmart, Best Buy, Gamestop, etc. who match the prices of other retailers which includes digital stores.

Walmart is huge when it comes to the idea of "not letting other stores charge lower prices". If Walmart is selling a game for $60, and that same game drops in price to $40 at another store (digital included), then Walmart will drop their prices to $40 to match it.

That's why often times publishers will offer a 10-20% discount on new games if you preorder a digital copy (assuming you use a PC), and of course all the large sales throughout the year.

tl;dr price matching is why digital games cost the same as retail

#4 Posted by turtlethetaffer (16675 posts) -

Why are you personally paying 60 bucks for a digital game? well TC, I guess it'd be because you're a sucker.

#5 Posted by Archangel3371 (15362 posts) -

Well I prefer to purchase the physical copies of my games. Even if digital was significantly cheaper I still prefer physical. Personally I think that console games are the same price for digital and physical, especially when a game first launches because retailers are still very important so companies don't want to piss them off by under-cutting them.

#6 Edited by BARRICADE_28 (147 posts) -

@Black_Knight_00 said:

Not to mention console physical copies don't come with DRM and digital copies do. Also, you lose your digital purchases in case of service shutdown (read your EULAs, people) and you can't loan, borrow and resell DD copies.

In short, yes, DD copies should cost less, but as long as people keep buying them at the current price, they never will.

Quoted for truth! I have, and never will (unless forced to), bought a digital game at full-price. The digital copy would have to be $40-$45 or less for a regular $60 game before I'd even consider it.

#7 Edited by Ish_basic (3999 posts) -

retailer's take about 20% of the sale from a new game. Packaging, overhead, etc costs the publisher maybe a few dollars.

There's no doubt that a DD sale directly from Sony or MS or the game publisher itself should be cheaper than retail and that when it's not, those companies are actually making more money off the sale than if you bought it through a store or a 3rd party distributor like Steam. But those companies can't really match the presence of 3rd party retailers, especially when there's still high demand for physical copies. And those 3rd party retailers knowing this, can always retaliate to their prices being undercut by threatening to refuse to carry that company's products. This actually happened before when Wal-Mart and KB refused to carry Sega products because of some of Sega's launch practices with the dreamcast. They literally just boxed up all of their Sega stock and did away with it.

#8 Posted by Zen_Light (1231 posts) -

Not to mention console physical copies don't come with DRM and digital copies do. Also, you lose your digital purchases in case of service shutdown (read your EULAs, people) and you can't loan, borrow and resell DD copies.

In short, yes, DD copies should cost less, but as long as people keep buying them at the current price, they never will.

So a magic leprechaun finds his way in to my console and deletes my digital games when a digital service shuts down? Good to know.

#9 Edited by Black_Knight_00 (18285 posts) -

@Zen_Light said:

@Black_Knight_00 said:

Not to mention console physical copies don't come with DRM and digital copies do. Also, you lose your digital purchases in case of service shutdown (read your EULAs, people) and you can't loan, borrow and resell DD copies.

In short, yes, DD copies should cost less, but as long as people keep buying them at the current price, they never will.

So a magic leprechaun finds his way in to my console and deletes my digital games when a digital service shuts down? Good to know.

You must have that 99TB hard drive that NASA has if you can keep all your games installed at the same time ;)

You know what I mean: if the service shuts down, you can no longer download your games.

#10 Posted by firefox59 (4361 posts) -

It's because MS tried to fix this and all the naive people completely lost their shit and rebelled against it. Now you have to pay full price for digital and can't trade your digital licenses.

#11 Posted by Planeforger (15535 posts) -

Why are you paying $60 for a digital download?

It's simple. You're not a PC gamer.

#12 Posted by mgools (892 posts) -

As long as they charge full price for a digital download I won't buy. No option to sell or trade. Cost for distribution is much less via digital purchases, but they never pass that savings on to us.

#13 Posted by pyro1245 (559 posts) -

h

@Zen_Light said:

@Black_Knight_00 said:

Not to mention console physical copies don't come with DRM and digital copies do. Also, you lose your digital purchases in case of service shutdown (read your EULAs, people) and you can't loan, borrow and resell DD copies.

In short, yes, DD copies should cost less, but as long as people keep buying them at the current price, they never will.

So a magic leprechaun finds his way in to my console and deletes my digital games when a digital service shuts down? Good to know.

You must have that 99TB hard drive that NASA has if you can keep all your games installed at the same time ;)

You know what I mean: if the service shuts down, you can no longer download your games.

yeah, because games are like 500GB.......

Are you really worried about the service shutting down without any warning, like if we have a zombie apocalypses scenario or do you just like to touch the shiny, shiny discs?

#14 Posted by Black_Knight_00 (18285 posts) -

@pyro1245 said:

yeah, because games are like 500GB.......

Are you really worried about the service shutting down without any warning, like if we have a zombie apocalypses scenario or do you just like to touch the shiny, shiny discs?

Would having a warning make any difference? If a service shuts down you lose your purchased licenses, period. You can keep your games installed in an HDD, sure, but that's not really the point, is it?

#15 Posted by PapaTrop (498 posts) -

@mgools said:

As long as they charge full price for a digital download I won't buy. No option to sell or trade. Cost for distribution is much less via digital purchases, but they never pass that savings on to us.

They CAN'T pass the savings on because of price-matching. Only with sale prices can they do that, but the game publishers can't change the MSRP of digital games to be lower than retail.

But in my experience, on the PC at least, I think the benefits of digital downloads outweigh the cons. Firstly, there tend to be pretty huge sales on games, but there are lots of bonus features like cloud saves, auto updates, and there's no hoops to jump through to play games across any number of PCs around the world.

#16 Posted by TheDarkWolf86 (236 posts) -

Well I prefer to purchase the physical copies of my games. Even if digital was significantly cheaper I still prefer physical. Personally I think that console games are the same price for digital and physical, especially when a game first launches because retailers are still very important so companies don't want to piss them off by under-cutting them.

@Archangel3371 I like purchasing/renting physical copies of the games as well. Yes, we do pay $60 for a disk, but the best thing about a physical game is the ability to take it back for a full refund. I even have the option to sell it...if I really want to. I think the main reason why downloadable games are the same price as the physical copies is because of profit. Its as simple as that. If you look at statistics, they would get a lot less money if the game was $10 cheaper to download, rather than going to the retail store. Even at the store they still need to pay for shipping, stock, etc. To conclude, when developers focus on profit instead of the players...we will always have this issue. At the original poster: We can make a petition via www.change.org if it truly bothers you that much?

#17 Posted by mgools (892 posts) -

@papatrop said:

@mgools said:

As long as they charge full price for a digital download I won't buy. No option to sell or trade. Cost for distribution is much less via digital purchases, but they never pass that savings on to us.

They CAN'T pass the savings on because of price-matching. Only with sale prices can they do that, but the game publishers can't change the MSRP of digital games to be lower than retail.

But in my experience, on the PC at least, I think the benefits of digital downloads outweigh the cons. Firstly, there tend to be pretty huge sales on games, but there are lots of bonus features like cloud saves, auto updates, and there's no hoops to jump through to play games across any number of PCs around the world.

So they are price fixing?

#18 Posted by wiouds (5065 posts) -

I do like physical copy of games. Less hoops when going from one system to another. You can keep the game around longer.

There are just too many con in DD for me to want any of their games at full price and also more risky.

#19 Edited by geniobastardo (1294 posts) -

Why are you paying $60 for a digital download?

It's simple. You're not a PC gamer.

#20 Edited by PapaTrop (498 posts) -

@mgools said:

@papatrop said:

@mgools said:

As long as they charge full price for a digital download I won't buy. No option to sell or trade. Cost for distribution is much less via digital purchases, but they never pass that savings on to us.

They CAN'T pass the savings on because of price-matching. Only with sale prices can they do that, but the game publishers can't change the MSRP of digital games to be lower than retail.

But in my experience, on the PC at least, I think the benefits of digital downloads outweigh the cons. Firstly, there tend to be pretty huge sales on games, but there are lots of bonus features like cloud saves, auto updates, and there's no hoops to jump through to play games across any number of PCs around the world.

So they are price fixing?

No, because price fixing implies that digital and retail stores are cooperating to drive up the price of all games in order to make more money, but what's happening is the exact opposite.

Most devs/publishers would be more than happy to lower the price of digital games if they could, but doing so would mean they also have to lower the price of their retail games because retail stores are competing against digital stores to sell games; not cooperating.

#21 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (10284 posts) -

If you want them to cost less than stop buying them.... Even better, stop buying and playing on consoles all together.

#22 Posted by experience_fade (259 posts) -

I haven't read a comment in this thread, but if you want to know why digital games retail at $60, it's because of the relationship Sony and Microsoft have with brick and mortar stores like Best Buy and Wal Mart. Essentially, Wal Mart/Best Buy won't allow the prices to drop. These establishments have all the power because at the end of the day, a bulk of a game's sales (and thus success) come from purchases made at these retailers.

Until the majority of gamers buy digitally, this will never change. Can't piss off your primary source of sales.

#23 Posted by udUbdaWgz1 (631 posts) -
#24 Posted by Senor_Kami (8336 posts) -

I've purchased two games by downloading them (GTA V & Watchdogs) and I paid $60 for each title.

So, back to my original question. Why am I paying the same amount to download the game but getting less.

You pay that because you're willing to pay that. Why would they charge less when there is an audience willing to pay more? If yourself and others stop paying that price, publishers will react and either launch games at lower prices or drop prices quicker.

Things like this are where phrases like vote with your wallet come from. When you buy a game at $60, no matter how much you say otherwise, you cast your ballot in the I'm totally willing to pay $60 for a digital game box.