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Bethesda claims "games are too expensive", announces $150 Skyrim Collector's Edition

by Stephen Coleman on 8 August 2011, 11:40

Tags: Bethesda Softworks, RPG

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In the latest issue of PSM3 (via CVG), Bethesda designer Todd Howard argues that $60 is "a lot of money for entertainment" - but insists that the developer's upcoming The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is one title that truly delivers, making sure gamers get their money's worth.

"I've thought for a long time that games are too expensive," claims Howard, before adding "I don't put us in that category of course - for what we give you, for sixty bucks or however many 'quid' it is."

"That's a lot of money for entertainment, so I think the good news is that in certain markets - PC, iPhone, mobile - we can see prices coming down."

"But I do think industry-wide we would benefit from more games out at $19 or $29. I would try more games. Because I'm not going to try a game for $60. It's a tough decision."

"That's why people read reviews and previews, because it's not only a money decision, it's a time-investment decision. It's not like going to a movie."

Mr Howard's comments will be encouraging to consumers who're struggling to keep up with the costs of gaming, but it seems as though Bethesda is willing to continue attaching premium price tags to its own products. Earlier this week, the company announced a Skyrim Collector's Edition that will fetch a staggering $150 (£130) at retail. In addition to the $60 (£40) game, the Collector's Edition bundle will include a model of the game's Alduin the World Eater dragon, a 200-page art book and a "making-of" DVD.

All irony aside, Bethesda isn't alone in purportedly seeking lower price points. In recent weeks, Namco Bandai vice president Olivier Comte has said: "I am convinced that in the future we must change the price of video games - they're too expensive for the audience. With the cost of development and the retail margins, £40 is a fair price [to us], but for the consumer it is too much."

"From September to December there are three new blockbusters every week, and consumers just can't afford to buy all that."

"A good price of a game should be around £20 – but for this price we can’t make a ten to 15-hour adventure. So for £20 we should offer consumers four to five hours of game play, then after that we can make additional money with DLC."

Is the cost of the industry's blockbuster titles affecting your purchasing decisions? Let us know in the HEXUS.community forums.

HEXUS Forums :: 32 Comments

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Compared with the £45 games of old, a typical £28 for a new, epic, PC game these days is fantastic value, or you don't mind waiting (the games don't go off or anything!) bargains are even better with sales.

The CE is a way to allow fans to increase their market power - without them games will be produced for the lowest common denominator - but if a minority are willing to pay more to gain equivalence then they'll be listened to more carefully.
The Basic Editions should be lower in price, i think that is what he is getting at, CE/SE/LE can be priced appropriately taking into consideration what they include.

How does $150 work out as £130, shouldn't it be more like £90-95?
I am not going to pay 20 quid for 4-5 hours play (That isn't even an evenings enjoyment). Got to love how 40 for 10-15 get you more game for your money. So what they are saying is they want to charge even more for games.

It really annoys me the way games are feeling incomplete these days, rush it out the door / fix it later… no content… fine we will sell you more later. The burn off period were it goes from premium to budget is getting smaller and smaller. I shall continue to wait 6 months after release before buying “new” games…
The Basic Editions should be lower in price, i think that is what he is getting at, CE/SE/LE can be priced appropriately taking into consideration what they include.

How does $150 work out as £130, shouldn't it be more like £90-95?

The UK price includes VAT. Still, should be more like £110 or so, though compared to the EU price it's about right, so maybe some cost for EU logistics, given they're an american company.
I'm all for cheaper entry price and then DLC, if you like the game buy more until you're bored of it… extra zones, new missions, new units etc.

Of course some games are better value than others, the Total War series has endless replay. Steam clocks me at 340 hours for Empire, and 120 and counting for Shogun II.