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Are video games underpriced? | Gamasutra

There is an intense debate in the gaming community at the time of writing over the price of AAA games, which has been stable at the %50 – $60 range for more than two decades. In those two decades, the gaming industry and the economy have changed considerably, and even our expectation as gamers of what an AAA game should be has grown.

Those that believe that games are underpriced point out at increasing development costs, studio closures, and the cumulative effect of inflation as critical signals that the industry needs to raise revenues to survive.  Indeed, the rise of microtransactions as a source of income is seen by many financial analysts and gamers as both a proof and a sign that the industry should raise prices.

An example of this KeyBanc Capital Markets Analyst Evan Wingren wrote: “Gamers aren’t overcharged, they’re undercharged (and we’re gamers) …” And “If you take a step back and look at the data, an hour of video game content is still one of the cheapest forms of entertainment,” he wrote. “Quantitative analysis shows that video game publishers are actually charging gamers at a relatively inexpensive rate, and should probably raise prices.” [1]

On the other hand, those who argue that games are overpriced mention the decrease of publishing costs, the emergence of the budget-priced or free hit, and the growth of the industry.

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Gamasutra: Leonard Perez’s Blog – Are video games underpriced?.