As many of you have probably heard or seen on the Steam store page, the War of the Chosen DLC now has a price of $40 and you are able to pre-purchase it as well. At a glance, this seems like a lot of money to ask for an expansion, though I'll refrain from judging until the DLC actually drops because it sounds pretty substantial. However, one issue presents itself when looking at the base game you need before you even think of looking at the expansion. The base XCOM 2 game is 1 year and 5 months old, yet it is still being sold for its original price of $60. Now, this is before you also factor in the $20 Season Pass which does not include the new WotC expansion.
Things are getting a little expensive now see? For those of us who own the base game already, $40 is a little easier of a pill to swallow, but imagine if you were looking at this game with a real intention to buy after passing it up the first time around, only now you have a $100 barrier staring you in the face if you want the complete experience (Tack on an extra $20 for the less substantial DLC packs too). I'll be honest, the new expansion looks essential, and if I didn't have the base game already, I would think hard before even considering spending money on anything having to do with XCOM 2 for fear that I would be obligated to sink serious money into this game or miss out on the best parts. In short, either the base game needs a price cut or the new DLC needs to come down in price if Firaxis wants this endeavor to succeed. I have some reasons listed below for why I think something's gotta give:
1.It turns away potential new customers
As stated above, a $60 base game + $20 Season Pass + $40 expansion = troubled wallets. A newcomer to XCOM may want to pick up XCOM 2 because it's starting to look irresistible with that new WotC hotness on the horizon, yet the base game is still full priced more than a year later and the new expansion is nearly as expensive. Imagine I'm a potential customer, and all of a sudden, my excitement to play XCOM 2 has now turned into resentment that Firaxis is asking the moon for it's XCOM 2 opus. I'm a gamer with some pride and more important things to spend money on, and being yanked around doesn't sit right with me, which leads me into the next point:
2. It alienates gamers
Gamers aren't your average consumer. We can be fiercely loyal to a brand or developer, or we can band together, torch in hand, to slay the fowl abominations of the gaming industry. When we see a developer who is charitable and reasonable with their customers, we are lavish in our praise and supportive with our hard-earned dollar. Looking at a glowing example of symbiosis between consumer and producer, CD Projekt RED was generous with their offerings, and in turn, gamers elevated them to a near god-like status in the industry. It helped that their games were good, but in the collective memory of gamers, we wouldn't care half as much if they had price-gouged us and gotten on our nerves. I'm not saying that's what is happening in the case of XCOM 2, but the perception is definitely there, and that's already not a good thing, which is why my next point is a genuine concern:
3. It's a reasonable request
Like I've said before, the base game is over a year old. With most other games, this is the time to think about cutting the base price, if not by a purely business standpoint of bringing in new attention, but because the product is getting older and less desirable to the public (Losing "new" factor). I can't imagine before this DLC was announced that a year-old game still at full launch price was selling very well. I know the developers put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into making their game, and the new expansion feels every bit as valuable as their $40 asking price to them, but people aren't made of money and we can only be reasonable in reasonable situations. Asking $60 for a game that's over a year old? Not reasonable. Asking $40 for highly desirable DLC on top of the base game to a potential new customer? Not reasonable.
As for a reasonable solution to all of this, and my personal choice, I believe the best decision would be to cut the base game price to $30 and the season pass down from $20 to $10. You can keep the expansion priced at $40 because it is content-rich and new, and aside from maybe some initial belly-aching, if it stands up to the asking price with quality content, then gamers will embrace it.
Lets face it though, the base game needs a reasonable price cut because your target audience for it is new customers. Keeping it at $60 does nothing for current owners, but it certainly dissuades new customers considering all of the DLC they'll need to purchase afterwards. Dropping the price down to $30 gets their foot through the door, and raises the potential of more sales for the WotC expansion. As for the season pass, the consensus among gamers is that the quality and quantity of content is nowhere near the asking price of $20. You also have to consider that this DLC is old now as well, so a more reasonable price of $10 or even $15 for the season pass would bring in sales and garner some good will with gamers, most of whom thought the season pass was lacking, what with its basic offerings of a single new mission, some boss enemies, and accessories to dress your team with that free mods already have covered.
Recalculate the whole package now though, and you get $30 base game + $40 WotC expansion + $10 season pass = XCOM 2 complete experience for $80. Still a lot of money, but infinitely more enticing to consumers and a hell of a lot more reasonable considering the old content is showing its age. Firaxis wants to support the new expansion with a premium price for their hard work, so at least concede to gamers that the base XCOM 2 is too expensive currently. Everybody wins; gamers get to play this great game with all of its bells and whistles without breaking the bank, and Firaxis still makes a lot of money accounting for new sales of the base game along with sales of DLC, but most importantly, they win back a little respect from gamers for showing some humility. After the rocky launch of the base game (Bugs, performance issues, etc.) and the season pass' lukewarm reception, this could be a very wise move.
What do you think? Is XCOM 2 getting long in the tooth and in need of some industry standard price cuts? Is Firaxis getting greedy?