While some developers believe that the development costs of “next gen” games are going to skyrocket, others don’t believe there’ll be a significant increase in costs. Still, there’s a pervasive fear that increased development costs will lead to an increase in the cost of games, with the $60 standard price going up – possibly to $70. In South Africa, we already pay higher prices for games, and that could see us paying up to R750 for console games. Thankfully, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.
SCEA president and CEO Jack Tretton has said that he doesn’t expect games for the PlayStation 4 to cost any more than the $60 we’re already paying for games, saying that games for the PS4 will cost from $0.99 to $60 – in addition to a number of free-to-play titles.
Responding to CNBC’s question about the willingness of gamers to pay for fully-fledged titles in the face of low-cost gaming apps, he said that "People are willing to pay if they see the value there and I think there’s more choice than ever before for consumers. We’re going to welcome free-to-play models, games from $0.99 up to those $60 games."
"If you really see where the heat is for the true gamer it’s on the console and it’s still that big-form experience that typically runs upwards of $50 million to develop and we’ll justify that $60 price point and we’ll give people hours and hours of gameplay on a daily basis for months and years to come," Tretton added.
He says that real gamers aren’t the sort to look towards getting their gaming fixes via smaller mobile games by “migrating down the food chain other than to maybe kill some time or to complement that core gaming experience." Conversely, he believes that mobile and smaller games could convince more casual gamers to eventually move towards proper gaming via consoles.
If Tretton’s cost prognostications are true, it would mean that video games will have managed to bypass inflation – staying at the same base price since 2006. Of course, that’s largely mitigated on publishers’ end by selling you half games and charging you more for complete games via DLC.