Have video games become expensive now?
from VanHalbgott@lemmus.org to retrogaming@lemmy.world on 11 Feb 19:35


Bronzie@sh.itjust.works on 11 Feb 19:40 next collapse

I don’t really think so.

If you adjust for inflation, historically, it’s very cheap.
If you compare it to movie tickets, which in essence is 2-3 hours of entertainment for $25, it’s the same story.
Some games can give you hundreds of hours for close to the same price.

This excludes games with monthly fees or predatory in-game systems.

bobs_monkey@lemm.ee on 11 Feb 21:08 next collapse

AAA titles have been $60 since the 90s iirc. The difference now, though, is the addition of paid DLC, micro transactions, etc that historically didn’t exist, so I’d say it’s a little bit of a toss up.

Peffse@lemmy.world on 11 Feb 22:32 next collapse

I always saw the higher $60 games were cartridge-based games, while the CD-ROM equivalent was cheaper. When everybody switched away from cartridges it dropped back down to $50 being the norm until around 2005-2006.

bobs_monkey@lemm.ee on 11 Feb 23:08 collapse

Really? I could swear that the top PS1 games were around $60. Granted this was about 30 years ago when I was a kid, so I could easily be mistaken, I just remember my parents bitching about them being expensive lol

TheRealLinga@sh.itjust.works on 11 Feb 23:34 next collapse

Shout out to my millennial homie!

Peffse@lemmy.world on 11 Feb 23:41 collapse

<img alt="image" src="https://i.imgur.com/2szNfvr.jpeg">

bobs_monkey@lemm.ee on 11 Feb 23:52 collapse

I stand corrected, thanks for the nostalgia

otp@sh.itjust.works on 12 Feb 13:36 next collapse

I think “around $60” is still accurate. They’re above $50, and they still say that’s the price “*after coupon”.

Blackmist@feddit.uk on 12 Feb 17:45 collapse

In fairness that looks quite late on in the lifecycle of PS1.

I remember games coming down in price later on, like they were around £45 and came down to about £30 for new ones.

bobs_monkey@lemm.ee on 12 Feb 20:18 collapse

I remember the greatest hits (green sidebar label) ones being about $25-30

Blackmist@feddit.uk on 12 Feb 20:33 collapse

Yeah, they were called Platinum over here. £20 each. Ideal for a younger me, who could never justify full price games and frankly wanted to play the older ones first anyway.

waybackguy@lemmy.world on 20 Feb 05:21 collapse

Yeah I remember Donkey Kong Country cost like $60 back in 1994 when it first released. That’s like $100 today adjusted for inflation. Nowadays DLC, the cloud, hardware and the like adds to it, although hardware has always been pricey to an extent.

helloharu@lemmy.world on 12 Feb 09:24 next collapse

This is the comparison I end up making. Is it more up front? Yes, but will I get more hours out of it? Yes. Can I pick it up again without any additional cost? Yes. Can I be a goblin and not leave the comfort of my own house? Yes.

smeg@feddit.uk on 14 Feb 09:52 collapse


You mean $2.50, right? That can’t be how much you pay for cinema tickets!?

Bronzie@sh.itjust.works on 14 Feb 20:15 collapse

Our currency has taken a bit of a hit since covid, so I guess it’s more like $20 today.
210 NOK when I checked my local price for Dune 2 just now.

Add in some snacks and we’re way over $30, so hopefully my point still stands.

smeg@feddit.uk on 14 Feb 21:15 collapse

That’s mad, I can’t remember the last time I paid more than £5 to see a film

Telodzrum@lemmy.world on 11 Feb 19:42 next collapse

Not at all. $:hour it’s the most cost efficient form of entertainment in most cases.

AlternatePersonMan@lemmy.world on 11 Feb 19:45 next collapse

For games that actually come with all of their content? Not at all.

For games that have pay to win, scummy dlc, etc. Extremely.

B0NK3RS@lemmy.world on 11 Feb 19:56 next collapse

Yes and no. It’s a detailed topic but for me personally yes it has become more expensive. Especially for collecting older stuff and is also one of the main reasons for moving more to PC gaming. On the plus side though my backlog has seen some action!

RightHandOfIkaros@lemmy.world on 11 Feb 20:02 next collapse

Yes. (To clarify, I consider any AAA game who’s base price is above $60 USD to be too expensive).

Development tools are easier than ever to use. Video games make more profit now than they ever did before, and that has nothing to do with the price. The number of people playing games has increased exponentially.

Development team sizes have become bloated and publishers are spending way too much on marketing rather than actually paying the developers well. Executives are siphoning more and more money to pay themselves day by day.

By all means, the prices of games should be going down. But with companies expecting growth year after year, they can only make so many cuts before they look to increase the price of games. But the quality keeps going down for most studios because theyre not getting paid properly according to the profit they’re making.

yamanii@lemmy.world on 14 Feb 00:56 collapse

Also considering that gameplay systems are becoming more simple instead of more complex, at least on AAA games anyways, the armies of devs seems to be mostly the artists making the photorealistic graphics.

RightHandOfIkaros@lemmy.world on 14 Feb 03:27 collapse

I have experience in game dev and I can absolutely tell you that the large majority of work done for most games is asset creation. Models, textures, sound, etc. The actual programming and writing usually take less than 50% combined of total development time.

simple@lemm.ee on 11 Feb 20:10 next collapse

Compared to what? Video games have gotten historically cheaper if you factor in inflation.

cestvrai@lemm.ee on 11 Feb 20:13 next collapse

I play mostly single player indie games and feel like it’s great value for the money. In a ome games I have over 1000 hours playtime for 20-50 bucks.

Ashtear@lemm.ee on 11 Feb 20:42 next collapse

While the software for current games is substantially cheaper, the hardware is more expensive at this point in time. The Switch is spendy for a nearly 7-year-old system. The PS5 has had a price increase, when we saw a big price cut for the PS2 at two years in. Accessories, depending on where you live, are up 25% or more from retro eras (especially Joy-Cons).

PC prices have come back down to earth now, but during the GPU shortage, it hadn’t been more expensive to put together a gaming PC since the 90’s/2000’s.

Krudler@lemmy.world on 11 Feb 21:17 next collapse

Hell no.

In 1980s I used to have to go to Adventure Games in downtown Winnipeg to pay $50 for a mediocre (at best) game on two floppies.

In today’s money, it would be about the equivalent of $150 plus tax.

When you consider how much pleasure and value we get from a modern game, we’re actually paying the less thana 1/10th what we used to, per hour played.

runjun@lemmy.world on 11 Feb 21:18 next collapse

There’s some decent arguments in here about how it is cheaper than it ever has been. But I can tell you that even though I make more money than I ever have in my life, I haven’t bought a brand new game in about 4 years because of how much it costs to just live now.

Go ahead and adjust games price to account for inflation, at least $90+, and see how many new games just flop. People will prioritize living over gaming. If suddenly people can only buy half as many games then you will see half the sales.

soloner@lemmy.world on 12 Feb 00:57 collapse

Well there’s also just a lot more games now, and even retro games that have been around are competing (I’m playing RE1 for example, bought it recently cuz I’ve never played it before)

So I don’t think it’s intrinsically due to other life costs being high. When you have games like battlebit and palworld and lots of ftp games just saturating the market it’s hard to justify charging so much. People literally don’t have the lifespan to play all the games that exist and will continue to be created over time.

jordanlund@lemmy.world on 11 Feb 21:24 next collapse

Been buying games since the Atari 2600 days.

I remember the creep from $35 to $50 to $60 and now $70.

The 16 bit era did have the rare $70 game, but they weren’t the norm.

Quazatron@lemmy.world on 11 Feb 21:46 next collapse

I don’t pay more than 20€ for a game.

I have a very long backlog to play and feel no pressure to play the very latest releases. Being a patient game does have some perks. One of them is that I get to buy a lot more games (ence the backlog).

yamanii@lemmy.world on 14 Feb 00:52 collapse

<img alt="" src="https://lemmy.world/pictrs/image/2b08c26b-ae4a-45d2-9883-6f550bab824e.png">

Tarquinn2049@lemmy.world on 12 Feb 00:07 next collapse

When I look back at what a Game boy game costed, and scale it up to today money(as much as $60cad, equivalent to $120cad in today money)… I feel so bad for my parents. I know they had a bit more spare money back then even being considered poor than what people have now. But it’s pretty crazy how much they costed. And our first family computer was over $3000cad in 1990, which would be more than $6000cad today.

Despite how it feels, gaming is pretty cheap now. The prices may be close to the highest number they have ever been, they are not close to the highest cost they have been.

TwistedPear@lemmy.world on 12 Feb 01:36 next collapse

Not to pile on, but print ads from the 90’s are wild to look at. Sonic 3 launched at $70. You know, games that require a couple of hours to complete casually. Stuff got replayed a LOT.

<img alt="1000035421" src="https://lemmy.world/pictrs/image/1f0d1246-ef6f-460e-86e1-2b42bd0e48a7.jpeg">

Ashtear@lemm.ee on 12 Feb 05:57 next collapse

Some Nintendo 64 games got up to the $80 range in the late 90’s before PlayStation really started taking off.

What made matters worse was the publishers didn’t have as much price control as they do now, so game and accessory prices would vary store to store as retailers tacked on additional margins.

otp@sh.itjust.works on 12 Feb 13:33 collapse

Controllers were a lot cheaper back then, too!

fidodo@lemmy.world on 12 Feb 03:22 next collapse

Not only is it cheaper than in the past, if you just wait a little it costs barely anything to get great games.

Treczoks@lemmy.world on 12 Feb 10:02 next collapse

There are several approaches to this. What is “expensive”?

First, there are the costs of a game in relation to ones enjoyment in playing it. This is hard to measure, as it is an individual question. But one key factor in this is “duration of play”. Imagine a game that you play for many, many hours, either by binge-playing it, or slow playing over a long time. We paid 60 or 70 Euro for Animal Crossing back then, but we easily sunk 1000+ hours into that game, as it is very relaxing and de-stressing after work. At 6 or 7 cent per hour, this is cheap entertainment. On the other hand, if you buy any title at AAA costs and throw it into the corner after a few minutes, the costs per hour are way worse.

Then: Some games take more development effort than others, and thus cost more. Whether the level of detail or whatever caused the increase in effort is worth it is another question.

Another cost-driving factor are IP costs. You can get a simple jump-and-run game for e.g. €10, or essentially the same game with Pokemon or Micky Mouse for €50.

In the end, if a game is too expensive, vote with your wallet and don’t buy it. It’s not an essential thing, it is just a game.

NOOBMASTER@lemmy.ml on 12 Feb 14:58 next collapse

Sure, but you can always patiently wait for -90% on Steam.

Mango@lemmy.world on 12 Feb 21:10 next collapse

No. They’ve become free and bad with no option of making them better with money.

Kolanaki@yiffit.net on 12 Feb 21:13 next collapse

They’re more expensive than they were 15 years ago, but are not more expensive than they were 30 years ago.

I remember my dad paid like $120 for fuckin’ Dr. Mario on the NES when it was brand new. Meanwhile, up until a few years ago, I had enjoyed spending no more than $50 for a brand new title. Now, depending on platform, it’s between $60 and $70. Though I see the new NHL game is $99 and as far as I could tell, that was the base game not even a collector edition thing. It also shows NHL23, one I own, for the same price. I got it for $10 at GameStop used lol

SoleInvictus@lemmy.world on 13 Feb 15:30 collapse

Same, my parents forked out $85 for Final Fantasy 6. That’s nearly $180 US now when adjusting for inflation.

Crystal_Shards64@lemmy.world on 13 Feb 00:44 next collapse

Compared to how little my salary increases each year? Yeah they sure feel that way

yamanii@lemmy.world on 14 Feb 00:49 collapse

In brazil it’s been a steady increase since forever, the last game I bought day one was Persona 5 on ps3, now I can only buy AAA when they get deep discounts.

It’s ironic to think that when console piracy was easier, original games were cheaper, but now that it’s a pain the ass to crack a PS4 and 5 (don’t even know if 5 is cracked), they are more expensive than ever have been; and on xbox hackers just gave up, microsoft locked it down GOOD after the 360.