Video Games Should Be More Expensive.

The ongoing debate over the price of video games is often embittered by a bizarre level of saltiness. Why are video games so expensive, though, and why should you pay so much for them?
Video games expensive column
Let's talk about the price of video games. | © Sony Interactive Entertainment

Okay, I'm probably about to p*** you off.

I seem to have the habit of holding opinions that result in at least a bit of irritation from our readers. As usual, I won't apologize for this, in fact I will continue to double-down on these opinions, but I will suggest a little theory that I have about this whole phenomena: all you readers know I'm right, but don't like to admit it. Look, that's okay, it really is. I understand the frustration, no one likes being proven wrong. All you need to do is listen to Episode 10 of The EarlyGame Podcast to hear two blokes, who are completely wrong about PlayStation Plus, try to convince me that my opinion is incorrect. They failed, of course, but I've been thinking: what's the most controversial – but true – thing that I could say right now? Well, how about this: video games are too cheap.

Yes, that's right, I want to pay more for video games. Crazy, right? Well, here's the caveat: I don't really want to pay more myself, but I do think that games should cost more. I say this in response to the insane outpouring of hate that has come from fans over the last few months and years, as more and more publishers have begun to increase the cost of their games. Look, enough already. Enough hate in general, what is it with the gaming community and people wanting to either emulate five-year-old children whom seem to really dislike mashed peas, or deciding that said five-year-old should actually be campaigning to end world hunger? You're a racist, baby, you're a racist. Honestly, calm the f**k down. Jesus. They are video games. The only think about them that's satanic is Bobby... okay, I probably shouldn't say that. Again, enough freakin' complaining.

So, let's talk about it like this...

Generally, most of these "evil, demonic companies" are proposing a price increase of about $10 USD, which is about $13.70 AUD, 8.73 Euros, or 7.46 Great British Pounds. Now. What else can you buy for that money? Considering the ridiculous price of Beer in Australia, you could probably by one, maybe two beers with that money. You could buy maybe a pizza and a beer in Italy, you could buy... probably nothing in Britain. That country is bum-f**k expensive. Jesus, guys, get your s**t together. Oh, and speaking of countries that need to get their s**t together, the USA has a drinking age of 21, so most of the little American idiots who feel the need to complain about this miniscule price increase can't even purchase beer yet.

My point? I'm kind of going on a bit of a rant right now, but I think I have made my point pretty clear. For those of you who are too dumb to get it: this is not a huge price increase, and honestly, what's the big deal? How many times do you head out each month for a wonderful, albeit expensive, night on the town? How many times do you order takeaway when you could have easily cooked your own pasta, and it would have been not only better, but cheaper and healthier at the same time as your takeaway option? How much money do you spend on idiotic f**king microtransactions, just so that you can make your Call of Duty Operator look just a little bit more stupid? Probably more than $10.

Now, let's flip this equation...

Far Cry generally has a budget of between $80-130 Million USD, Assassin's Creed Odyssey reportedly cost $50-80 Million USD. GTA 5 cost like $250 Million USD, and Tomb Raider 2013 cost like $100 Million USD. Are you seeing any similarities here? Video games are f**king expensive to make. Now, say that Far Cry 6 cost $130 Million USD (we don't know the exact number), and it sells at $60 USD. Not all of this money will go to the developer, with some going to the distributor, the platform (Xbox, PlayStation, etc), or the retailers. The cost is spread out across a variety of different entities. Ignore that, though. If every penny of that $60 USD went straight to Ubisoft (which, again, it doesn't), then the game would need to sell more than two million units before it breaks even.

Video games now cost as much, if not more, than big budget films, with development teams that are hundreds of people strong. Yes, they are made by huge, multi-billion dollar transnational corporations, and often have millions of users. I am not justifying some of the shocking business practices that go on. Things like microtransactions, the shift to absolutely horrific free-to-play models, and the general "Fortnitification" of gaming are all huge problems that desperately need to be addressed. As is the growing influence of massive Chinese companies like Tencent, who directly influence what can be included in the games we love, and have a devastating effect on creative freedom. There are tons of problems that need to be addressed when it comes to ethics and business practices in the video games Industry.

The thing is, the actual price of new-release video games is not one of those problems.

Let's talk about the Activision Blizzard sexual discrimination scandal, let's talk about the utterly depressing state of games journalism, let's talk about how games are now just cookie-cutter shells of their former selves. There is so much to talk about, so let's stop talking about GTA VI, and more importantly, let's stop talking about how video games are "TOO EXPENSIVE"! Honestly, it's old, boring, stupid, makes no sense, and people need to shut up about it. If you don't like that, then fine. Chill out, bro, I don't care if I hurt your feelings. Chill. Seriously. See you next week.


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