The Price and Value of Games Part 2
In Part 1 of The Price and Value of Games, we discussed how games are cheaper for consumers, while being more expensive to make than they have ever been. We also delved into the additional DLC that overall raises the price and value of a game, despite giving you more content post launch.
Here in Part 2, we will be looking into what designates the value of a game, as well as the heated debate of time and value.
What determines the value of a game?
In an age where the value of games ranges from free-to-play to hundred dollar collector’s editions, it is hard to determine how much a game is actually worth at first glance. Humble Bundles and Steams sales alike, we are often given low prices for games, to the point where people hold off on buying games full price.
But how does this affect how a game is valued. With people deciding what a game is worth to them before playing it, what is the true value of a game? Should a game’s value be based on what the player deems it is, or should the people making and publishing the game decide?
People vs. publishers
So who should decide the price of a game? On one hand, you have the people who spend so much time making the game and have every right to decide how much their hard work is worth. On the other hand, the audience and consumers are the one’s spending their money and are the one’s going to be playing the game.
Both sides of the argument are valid, so there may not be a clear and concise answer to which one is correct.
My take? Consumers have the right to wait for a sale, and both artists and companies have the right to charge what they like for their hard work. But, business is business, and both sides should look at each other more carefully to best decide what is best for everyone’s interests.
Time and Price
One of the often debated topics is how much a game should cost compared to how long it takes to beat it. Should a game cost less if it is shorter in length? And if that is true, should games cost more if they take a longer amount of time to beat? Where do multiplayer games that do not have a set length fit in this debate?
This is where this debate gets tricky. Because prices on games have been so fluid over the course of several generations, there is no exact way to price a game based on length. Value based on length does not work. As hardware becomes more powerful games are constantly becoming larger in scale. Games like Fallout 4 and The Witcher 3 would cost a lot more as they are much larger than an average game.
Where does this leave us?
Games are constantly changing. Prices change alongside them. When people pay too much attention to the pricing of the game, it is easy to overlook the game itself. It is easy to let a price of game act as a way to judge a game before you play it. So research a game. Figure out if what you want to buy is worth the cost. Just don’t judge a game by its price.