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Economics of Game Prices


JackKieser
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This is off topic, but intresting.

I decided to tally up my MMO expenses with WoW. Mind you, I believe I've gotten every dollar's worth out of the game.

Subsciber since July 2005 = about 68 months * $15 = $1020

Base game = $60. All three expansions at launch = $120 ($40 each).

One Character race change = $25

Grand total on one game? Approximately $1225, probably less because I tend to pay by the 3 month block, which comes out to closer to 14 a month.

This does bring up an interesting point with the MMO market. $15 a month for progressive, never-ending gaming. For 1/4th of a single, new game, you get unlimited playtime in most MMOs. I'd willingly spend that much for something I'd continually have fun with. Even with micro-transactions becoming more and more prominent in the MMO market, many are even offered as free to play. While the games may not be as top tier as many AAA dev games, they do provide a hell of a good time regardless without the issue of "replay factor".

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II don't care if games are cheaper NOW than they were THEN (with inflation); they're still too expensive. Really, everything is, with few exceptions, but we're talking about games here.

According to whom?

Originally posted by thephoenix

I'd willingly spend that much for something I'd continually have fun with.

*snicker*

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Honestly, since MMORPGs are so time-consuming, I'm willing to guess that most people who play them "seriously," however you want to define that, are less prone to buying higher quantities of other games, and probably spend less money on all games overall.

If you play consistently a MMORPG that follows the standard $15 per month pricing scheme and you buy one new console title (say $50) every two months, that's (($15 * 12) + ($50 * 6)) = $480 over the course of one year. For a non-MMORPG player who buys one console title every month, thats $50 * 12 = $600 over one year.

Obviously that's based on an assumption and the ratios were just pulled out of my ass, but it seems fairly logical.

Honestly, $1,200 over the course of five years, which is a very long time, is all but negligible.

Also, has anyone brought up to those who are denouncing game prices as "too high" that that opinion is probably heavily influenced by your income? Someone must have, but I only skimmed the past 21 heated pages. In any case, $60 may seem like a fortune to, say, a college student who's scraping by, but to someone who makes $150,000 a year (definitely not me!), it must seem a perfectly reasonable price.

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That's not really the argument, though. MMOs, in terms of price-to-value ratio, are probably the most efficient way to spend your money... IF you have a lot of consistent time to spend playing. The issue is with the price relative to the cost of producing the game. After all, when Blizzard is asked why they have a subscription model at all, they "claim" it's to pay for server maintenance and game world upkeep... but between 2004 (the year the game launched) and 2008, a whole four years, Blizzard only spent a TOTAL of $200 million maintaining the game... and that might include ALL expenses, including CEO pay, for instance, so who knows how accurate that really is and what they mean by "upkeep" (for instance, Bobby Kotick made over $900,000 in salary ALONE, not including bonuses and options... just in 2009).

Meanwhile, as I said earlier in the thread, Blizzard made $745 MILLION just in ONE QUARTER in 2010. One quarter.

So, while $15 MAY be a good deal, in and of itself, taken within the context of WHY you're supposed to be paying a subscription at all and just how much money those subscriptions are bringing in, it's painfully obvious that Blizzard makes the price 15$ because they are greedy, and because people are willing to pay it (probably because they don't know how much Blizzard is making off of them and how ripped off they are getting, in the big-picture sense). It COULD be cheaper, as cheap as 3$, potentially, and it SHOULD be cheaper, if Blizzard cared at all about its consumer base in a real, significant way. It SHOULD be cheaper, and people should be fighting to MAKE it cheaper.

But, hey, people don't care if they're getting boned by Blizzard / Bobby Kotick. What do I know; I'm just presenting the cold, hard numbers.

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That's not really the argument, though. MMOs, in terms of price-to-value ratio, are probably the most efficient way to spend your money... IF you have a lot of consistent time to spend playing. The issue is with the price relative to the cost of producing the game. After all, when Blizzard is asked why they have a subscription model at all, they "claim" it's to pay for server maintenance and game world upkeep... but between 2004 (the year the game launched) and 2008, a whole four years, Blizzard only spent a TOTAL of $200 million maintaining the game... and that might include ALL expenses, including CEO pay, for instance, so who knows how accurate that really is and what they mean by "upkeep" (for instance, Bobby Kotick made over $900,000 in salary ALONE, not including bonuses and options... just in 2009).

Meanwhile, as I said earlier in the thread, Blizzard made $745 MILLION just in ONE QUARTER in 2010. One quarter.

So, while $15 MAY be a good deal, in and of itself, taken within the context of WHY you're supposed to be paying a subscription at all and just how much money those subscriptions are bringing in, it's painfully obvious that Blizzard makes the price 15$ because they are greedy, and because people are willing to pay it (probably because they don't know how much Blizzard is making off of them and how ripped off they are getting, in the big-picture sense). It COULD be cheaper, as cheap as 3$, potentially, and it SHOULD be cheaper, if Blizzard cared at all about its consumer base in a real, significant way. It SHOULD be cheaper, and people should be fighting to MAKE it cheaper.

But, hey, people don't care if they're getting boned by Blizzard / Bobby Kotick. What do I know; I'm just presenting the cold, hard numbers.

Your lack of understanding of the business economics of a game company are showing. While game upkeep, which includes staffing to keep the game running, server costs, and so on, may only have been $200m, nowhere in the entire article does it talk about development costs, which I guarantee are MUCH higher than that. Not only that, consider things like marketing, promotion, payroll (there are more people than just those keeping servers up and running), and so many other things that do cost a damn decent amount of money. It even says in your posted article the following:

"Sure there's plenty of other revenues - and expenses - that factor into the equation..."

This is merely for upkeep. You may want to read through the entire article next time. Either way, Blizzard came across an endless gold mine and charged the base price that almost every Pay-to-Play MMO has charged since before it even existed. That profit they make is what allows them to expand, to have more freedom in the business, to bring us previously canceled titles like Diablo 3 and StarCraft 2.

By the way, your cold, hard numbers are appearing a bit soft. Do your research a bit better next time.

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So you REALLY think it took OVER $7 BILLION to develop WoW? Because that's the income I got from WoW subscriptions, assuming a quarterly average of $250 million per quarter for 7 years (admittedly, a number I pulled out of my ass to illustrate a point)?

There's NO WAY even ALL of the dev costs for designing the game from scratch totals that... and even if it DID that article only talks about PURE SUBSCRIPTION PROFITS, not even taking into account money made from sales of the game discs / expansions / in-game items.

Yeah, I think Blizzard has covered their expenses.

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But, hey, people don't care if they're getting boned by Blizzard / Bobby Kotick. What do I know; I'm just presenting the cold, hard numbers.

you're also being a condescending fuckstick. you jump from one topic to another, and when people prove you wrong you backpeddle and say "well maybe it's cheaper NOW, but EVERYTHING IS STILL TOO EXPENSIVE"

it sounds like you're on the outside looking in on this situation (ie, you have never REALLY lived on your own and never REALLY had to pay for anything with the sole intent of having to be 100% independent and survive on your own). no, college loan money/financial aid doesn't count as paying for something yourself.

as someone who has been in a shitty situation and is now financially comfortable to enjoy pretty much anything I want (within reason), it sounds as if you just have a lot of growing up to do. not the fake kind of growing up that you think you did when your college professors ingrained their thinking into your brain, but the kind of growing up that can only come from having your back to a fucking wall and having to make huge sacrifices just to survive.

tldr; if you disagree with the price of a videogame do not buy it. it is a videogame. it is not a necessity. bitching about it will not change the mind of the executive (and that you know enough to name executives in the video game industry that aren't the big obvious ones ie miyamoto/wada/nomura/meier etc, shows you have way too much time on your hands and take this RECREATIONAL HOBBY too seriously.

wtldr; stop posting

in unrelated news, for some reason I googled "gay pose" and this image came up:

zidane5.jpg

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So you REALLY think it took OVER $7 BILLION to develop WoW? Because that's the income I got from WoW subscriptions, assuming a quarterly average of $250 million per quarter for 7 years (admittedly, a number I pulled out of my ass to illustrate a point)?

There's NO WAY even ALL of the dev costs for designing the game from scratch totals that... and even if it DID that article only talks about PURE SUBSCRIPTION PROFITS, not even taking into account money made from sales of the game discs / expansions / in-game items.

Yeah, I think Blizzard has covered their expenses.

I'm sure all businesses around the world don't actually look to make a profit, they're just looking to break even. Bravo. Let me know when you pass 8th grade economics. I figure it'll be a few years.

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In the interest of listening to DS and NOT getting onto tangents, I'm going to ignore that. Would anyone like to address the point that Blizzard has made enough in 7 years in subscription fees that they CAN, indeed, afford to lower the price of subscription to WoW? In fact, that they have made SO much and have SO many subscribers, that they can lower the price and STILL make an obscene profit?

And that PLAYERS should want them to do so, because it is in their best interest?

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In the interest of listening to DS and NOT getting onto tangents, I'm going to ignore that. Would anyone like to address the point that Blizzard has made enough in 7 years in subscription fees that they CAN, indeed, afford to lower the price of subscription to WoW?

And that PLAYERS should want them to do so, because it is in their best interest?

Ignoring it? We're just presenting the cold, hard facts.

I love getting to use phrases people use against them.

Either way, look at the obvious things that just outright scream how wrong you are. Most MMOs do a base of $15 a month. Hell, many go BEYOND that. FFXI charged people an extra $3 for each character they had. $15 a month is extremely reasonable, considering what you get out of it. Lets say you play 40 hours in a month, which is small compared to most playtimes. That means that every hour you play, it costs you 37 cents. A 2 hour movie costs almost 25x as playing most MMOs. Oh, and the note of movies, really good ones tend to rake in millions, if not billions, over cost. I guess we should bitch that bigger, better movies that make more profit should lower their ticket prices because we're getting "boned".

As well, again, companies have a bottom line of profit they have to reach. If Blizzard has something they supply for a very paltry amount, and still can make massive bank on it, good for them. I make $15 in less than an hours worth of work. Even on minimum wage, you're covered for an ENTIRE MONTH with 3 hours of work.

You're right, they should lower it to $10, lose out on numerous profits, stint growth, and so on, just to save everyone an extra $5 a month. Great business plan. You should consider opening a game company, you'd do amazing with your "lets just break even" strategy!

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In the interest of listening to DS and NOT getting onto tangents, I'm going to ignore that. Would anyone like to address the point that Blizzard has made enough in 7 years in subscription fees that they CAN, indeed, afford to lower the price of subscription to WoW? In fact, that they have made SO much and have SO many subscribers, that they can lower the price and STILL make an obscene profit?

And that PLAYERS should want them to do so, because it is in their best interest?

For the 500th time, businesses will always seek to make the most profit they can. If the market allows $12/mo, they will keep charging it. You think they're making "too much profit", but we don't have any laws for companies making "too much profit".

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Zircon, hes pulling his ultimate technique on you: ignoring what other say when it doesn't fit his plan for how the conversation goes. There is no weakness, there is no defense against it.

I wonder if Jack should have gotten a law degree of some kind instead, as he could have actually done something about this instead of complaining.

Seriously, if you really believe it so much, then why aren't you working on a practical solution of some kind?

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Meh, I'll join in the fun again. Why not? It's good practice,

That's not really the argument, though.

What are you talking about?! You weren't even a part of this discussion before this very post - of course it's the argument. Everything you brought up has nothing to do with what the last page was talking about - as far as everyone is concerned, you're telling Davidoff that he is wrong in bringing that up (deny it, if you want, but that's how it is interpreted by most people). You then follow it up with a red herring.

To be fair, MaxFrost did make this statement off-topic, so you could've been trying to reintroduce your original points, but you then follow this statement up with MMO details and statistics that make me doubt this is the case.

MMOs, in terms of price-to-value ratio, are probably the most efficient way to spend your money... IF you have a lot of consistent time to spend playing.

An example of an incomplete comparison. You are throwing that out there without anything to compare that against. Not only that, you ignore an important premise brought up earlier by MaxFrost claiming that because it's the only game the person buys, it is therefore cheap. You're simply disregarding the premise, here.

The issue is with the price relative to the cost of producing the game.

No, it is not, it never was, and it never will be. The 'issue' is with how to set the price so that the most profit will occur. That is a balance of exactly how high you can cap the price before the price will not justify consumer purchasing. Anything other than this point makes absolutely no sense to the company, so why would you demand them to stab themselves in the eye for you? Of course, Zircon already explained this to you, so i won't get into the details of economics.

This egocentric outlook on the subject is an example of the psychologist's fallacy, since you are only viewing the outcome from your eyes, not from the eyes of anybody else (business, other consumers, etc., unless they conform to your belief). In order for your logic to work at all you must assume that everyone else has the same worldview as you, no matter how illogical that is.

After all, when Blizzard is asked why they have a subscription model at all, they "claim" it's to pay for server maintenance and game world upkeep...

Which makes perfect sense. Before you go on, look at the question again and realize that their maintenance could not reasonably be kept if they sold the game the traditional way. Let's see, from your statistic there, and a rough guess of how many players there were at that time (about 7 million), 30$ per game, and that comes to... 210$ million. A ten million profit. Yay, until you realize that other games that don't need maintenance make 200 million more dollars, if they were sold at that rate. That equates to roughly a 200 million dollar loss, for the privilege.

but between 2004 (the year the game launched) and 2008, a whole four years, Blizzard only spent a TOTAL of $200 million maintaining the game... and that might include ALL expenses, including CEO pay, for instance, so who knows how accurate that really is and what they mean by "upkeep".

You're marching in with that theory again that people shouldn't charge more than precisely it's own worth, just because... it's bad that they make money. You know that your argument is really a thinly veiled appeal to wealth, right? That's another fallacy, by the way - there's no reason to be upset at the fact that they are making money other than the fact that they are rich and are making money.

Meanwhile, as I said earlier in the thread, Blizzard made $745 MILLION just in ONE QUARTER in 2010. One quarter.

So what? I think you're missing a HUGE detail, here.

So, while $15 MAY be a good deal, in and of itself...

And there it is. It is a very good deal to the people who buy it and get into it, since it's a cheap alternative to buying many games a month. The fact that Blizzard makes a lot of money on it has absolutely no bearing on the quality of the deal the person is getting, unless they, for some reason, don't like Blizzard getting money. Unlike you, most people do not care at all. In fact, many people are very happy that Blizzard makes money because that assures the people that Blizzard will continue to make games for them.

...taken within the context of WHY you're supposed to be paying a subscription at all and just how much money those subscriptions are bringing in, it's painfully obvious that Blizzard makes the price 15$ because they are greedy...

Considering the entire premise of capitalist economics, game theory, utilitarian theory and just about any other related theory is that people will always act in their own best interest (a.k.a. are 'greedy'), of course that's the reason they charge this. You are not going to get very far into academics until you understand that people act according to their own best interests, and nothing else (easily proven, by the way, by countless studies from Psychology, Sociology, Game Theory, hell, there are writings by Greek philosophers that go into detail on it... Plato, you might want to look up his 'Republic', for example). There's too many examples to count, but I listed at least one specific in there. Look it up.

By the way, this portion of the argument (you know, the one that claims that people should be upset because Blizzard could still lower the prices to make people happy) is a fallacy, itself - it's called the Nirvana Fallacy. Sorry, just because it isn't the absolute best deal that we could have doesn't mean we shouldn't be happy for what we've got.

...and because people are willing to pay it (probably because they don't know how much Blizzard is making off of them and how ripped off they are getting, in the big-picture sense).

People aren't that stupid. Sheesh, a gross over generalization, too... Wait, since there isn't even a subject to make that claim from, you're just pulling that out of your... er, a false attribution. That is a made up assumption. Stop that.

Why did I color my words? Because at this point I'm not really arguing a fixed point - I'm shooting down all of yours by simply presenting blatant fallacies, and I colored them because it'd fun to see how many there are at a glance. In that short post, I'd like you to see in detail the mistakes you're making. If I am wrong, tell me why (without resorting to equivocation or changing the goalpost). I colored it so it'd be easier to know what I want you to address.

Yeah, I know this is an 'old' post, but bear with me. I'm not going to chase the thread, because it moves too quickly.

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Ignoring it? We're just presenting the cold, hard facts.

I love getting to use phrases people use against them.

Yeah, I'm going to ignore Neko's post because the premise is how I'm a "fuckstick", not how my argument is wrong. Unless he can somehow mathematically deduce how I'm a fuckstick AND make it relate to the concept of game pricing, it's not worth responding to.

Next.

Either way, look at the obvious things that just outright scream how wrong you are. Most MMOs do a base of $15 a month. Hell, many go BEYOND that. FFXI charged people an extra $3 for each character they had. $15 a month is extremely reasonable, considering what you get out of it. Lets say you play 40 hours in a month, which is small compared to most playtimes. That means that every hour you play, it costs you 37 cents. A 2 hour movie costs almost 25x as playing most MMOs. Oh, and the note of movies, really good ones tend to rake in millions, if not billions, over cost. I guess we should bitch that bigger, better movies that make more profit should lower their ticket prices because we're getting "boned".

You're talking about a different thing than I am, as is Zircon below you (so, Zircon, I'm addressing you both here). You're talking about game price as a function of worth, which is valid, and in which case 15$ a month may very well be a perfectly reasonable amount to pay (I don't think so, but that's my opinion). What I'M talking about is cost relative to expense, which is MUCH more important to an educated consumer because it lets them know if they are being taken advantage of at all.

For instance, I'm buying produce at the supermarket. I see potatoes on sale for 5$ a bag (10 lbs per bag). To me, looking at other stores selling potatoes in comparable amounts for 7$, that's a good deal. However, I go home (with my new bag of potatoes) and see a report on 20/20 about how not only are the migrant workers farming the potatoes are getting paid .10$ a day for their work, but the company that sells the potatoes only has to pay 1$ total per bag to produce it, and just posted record profits the previous quarter.

Now, is it illogical to be upset about the amount I paid for my potatoes, even though they were the cheapest potatoes in my town? Wouldn't it be in my best interest, as a consumer, to complain and to attempt to force the potato company to charge me less for potatoes? And wouldn't it be illogical, to say the least, for me to not only argue that I shouldn't complain, or that I have no right to complain, but illogical (in terms of what's best for ME, the consumer) to say that the company is free to charge me MORE?

Because that's what you're doing in this thread. You're arguing FOR the people who are charging you out the ass (provably so, according to the numbers). You know who you are? You're the same people who are arguing that food companies shouldn't be required to put nutritional information on food packaging because it's bad for business. Dude, it's BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH; is business somehow more important than your health?

Well, are Blizzard's incredible 2010 profits more important than you being able to save some money on your monthly gaming?

As well, again, companies have a bottom line of profit they have to reach. If Blizzard has something they supply for a very paltry amount, and still can make massive bank on it, good for them. I make $15 in less than an hours worth of work. Even on minimum wage, you're covered for an ENTIRE MONTH with 3 hours of work.

So, do you not try to save money where you can? I mean, hey, if you make so much money that you really don't care about throwing it around, good for you, but are you seriously telling me that if I gave you the option of paying 15$ for something, or paying 10$ for the exact same thing, you'd WANT to pay 15$ because it's better for Bobby Kotick?

You're right, they should lower it to $10, lose out on numerous profits, stint growth, and so on, just to save everyone an extra $5 a month. Great business plan. You should consider opening a game company, you'd do amazing with your "lets just break even" strategy!

Well, for MMOs, it's a bit different, because stealing market share from WoW also has to do with their installed playerbase, as well as the fact that there is a social structure in place, so if I wanted to take away players, I'd need to supplant WoW's already existent social sturcture (friends playing and such).

But, assume that I was going up against Rockstar. Assume, for the sake of argument, that I could make a game that played JUST as smoothly as Red Dead Redenption, was just as fun, had just as good of a story, cost the same to make... but I sold it for 10$ less. Are you seriously asserting that I wouldn't totally outsell them, assuming all other things equal?

Yes, WoW doesn't have a competitor to lower prices against. But, AGAIN, you, AS A CONSUMER, should want them to.

And the fact that you don't astounds me. Maybe YOU haven't had to give up gaming in order to have enough money to buy food, but I have, and I guarantee you, I want lower prices for games. I want to save as much money as possible in ALL aspects of life. Because that's in my best interests, as a consumer.

EDIT@Gario: Ooooooooohhh, no wonder we're on different pages here; we're arguing about TOTALLY different things. You guys are just out-and-out defending companies. You don't care at ALL about the consumer perspective. Yeah, you guys aren't even figuring that in. No wonder there's a dissonance. Ok, I see now.

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You know who you are? You're the same people who are arguing that food companies shouldn't be required to put nutritional information on food packaging because it's bad for business. Dude, it's BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH; is business somehow more important than your health?

you really need to stop putting words in peoples' mouths

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Wee, this is going to be fun!

Yeah, I'm going to ignore Neko's post because the premise is how I'm a "fuckstick", not how my argument is wrong. Unless he can somehow mathematically deduce how I'm a fuckstick AND make it relate to the concept of game pricing, it's not worth responding to.

Just get to the "I know you are but what am I?" portion of this argument and get it overwith.

For instance, I'm buying produce at the supermarket. I see potatoes on sale for 5$ a bag (10 lbs per bag). To me, looking at other stores selling potatoes in comparable amounts for 7$, that's a good deal. However, I go home (with my new bag of potatoes) and see a report on 20/20 about how not only are the migrant workers farming the potatoes are getting paid .10$ a day for their work, but the company that sells the potatoes only has to pay 1$ total per bag to produce it, and just posted record profits the previous quarter.

Now, is it illogical to be upset about the amount I paid for my potatoes, even though they were the cheapest potatoes in my town? Wouldn't it be in my best interest, as a consumer, to complain and to attempt to force the potato company to charge me less for potatoes? And wouldn't it be illogical, to say the least, for me to not only argue that I shouldn't complain, or that I have no right to complain, but illogical (in terms of what's best for ME, the consumer) to say that the company is free to charge me MORE?

Because that's what you're doing in this thread. You're arguing FOR the people who are charging you out the ass (provably so, according to the numbers). You know who you are? You're the same people who are arguing that food companies shouldn't be required to put nutritional information on food packaging because it's bad for business. Dude, it's BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH; is business somehow more important than your health?

Well, are Blizzard's incredible 2010 profits more important than you being able to save some money on your monthly gaming?

So, do you not try to save money where you can? I mean, hey, if you make so much money that you really don't care about throwing it around, good for you, but are you seriously telling me that if I gave you the option of paying 15$ for something, or paying 10$ for the exact same thing, you'd WANT to pay 15$ because it's better for Bobby Kotick?

Holy shit, you made leaps that Evel Knievel would look at and go "oh fuck no". How do you go from being a thrifty shopper, to the price that immigrant workers get paid for a single portion of the necessary procedure to get it from potato to potato chip, bagged, shipped, in stores, ready to consume, to illegal business practices? Just...wow. No, I'm not even going to waste the time explaining how wrong this is. You should know better. Plus, again, way to look at a single point of production and compare it to total income. Keep it up, you're doing great!

Well, for MMOs, it's a bit different, because stealing market share from WoW also has to do with their installed playerbase, as well as the fact that there is a social structure in place, so if I wanted to take away players, I'd need to supplant WoW's already existent social sturcture (friends playing and such).

WoW was able to take from EverQuest, and other games have taken from WoW. WoW is just easily accessable. Who cares if it's got an installed player base? Hell, I know a lot of people that enjoy Coke products, that doesn't mean new soda manufacturers need to copy Coca-Cola's production line to get business.

But, assume that I was going up against Rockstar. Assume, for the sake of argument, that I could make a game that played JUST as smoothly as Red Dead Redenption, was just as fun, had just as good of a story, cost the same to make... but I sold it for 10$ less. Are you seriously asserting that I wouldn't totally outsell them, assuming all other things equal?

Well, you'd first off be running the risk of copyright infringement, but no, there's nothing saying you couldn't, nor that you wouldn't outsell them. However, it's about the bottom line. Sure, sell 1.5 million copies of a game at $50 and you end up with 75 million. However, sell 1.3 million at $60 and you end up with 78 million. It's the reason why the Wii sells more than most other consoles but PS3 and XBox 360 can still bring in more income.

Yes, WoW doesn't have a competitor to lower prices against. But, AGAIN, you, AS A CONSUMER, should want them to.

Have you seen the MMO market recently? With FFXIV, DC Universe, APB, League of Legends, MapleStory, and millions of free to play MMOs, there are tons of competitors, and many are holding their own.

And the fact that you don't astounds me. Maybe YOU haven't had to give up gaming in order to have enough money to buy food, but I have, and I guarantee you, I want lower prices for games. I want to save as much money as possible in ALL aspects of life. Because that's in my best interests, as a consumer.

So, in the end, you're just bitching because you don't want to pay more when they make more money for making a better product. WoW may have a huge player base now but it wasn't something they instantly gained. It built up, and did so because they found a working formula. They still price it the same as any other MMO, and again, sometimes cheaper. If it was $200 a month I'd be right along side you. But $15 is change. I have $15 probably in my car right now. You can blame it on the price, I blame it on insane popularity and the mass player base. They're a business, and businesses need money to grow. That's ok though, you can stick with your "immigrant worker" analogy all you want and ignore the entire rest of the game development side of things.

Maybe if they hired immigrant workers at Blizzard they could bring their costs down even more and go swimming in vaults filled with gold...

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Wee, this is going to be fun!

Just get to the "I know you are but what am I?" portion of this argument and get it overwith.

...there ISN'T one? When do I ever use that as a premise anywhere? Can you quote me saying that?

Holy shit, you made leaps that Evel Knievel would look at and go "oh fuck no". How do you go from being a thrifty shopper, to the price that immigrant workers get paid for a single portion of the necessary procedure to get it from potato to potato chip, bagged, shipped, in stores, ready to consume, to illegal business practices? Just...wow. No, I'm not even going to waste the time explaining how wrong this is. You should know better. Plus, again, way to look at a single point of production and compare it to total income. Keep it up, you're doing great!

Wait, potato chips? Also, illegal business practices? When did I talk about those? Also, I already figured in shipping, handling, bagging (for whole potatoes), the whole field-to-store process, by asking you to, for the sake of argument, ASSUME that the process cost 1$ per bag to produce. There were no logical jumps.

Product costs 5$ to buy.

Product costs 1$ to produce.

Company posts record profits.

Consumer thinks it's reasonable to be charged less.

Where, exactly, is the jump?

WoW was able to take from EverQuest, and other games have taken from WoW. WoW is just easily accessable. Who cares if it's got an installed player base? Hell, I know a lot of people that enjoy Coke products, that doesn't mean new soda manufacturers need to copy Coca-Cola's production line to get business.

At it's highest, Everquest had 450k subscriptions. As of October, WoW had 12 million. You can't really compare THOSE games. Also, what other MMO has ANYWHERE near 12 million players? WoW hasn't been anywhere CLOSE to losing the MMO top-spot in 7 years.

Well, you'd first off be running the risk of copyright infringement, but no, there's nothing saying you couldn't, nor that you wouldn't outsell them. However, it's about the bottom line. Sure, sell 1.5 million copies of a game at $50 and you end up with 75 million. However, sell 1.3 million at $60 and you end up with 78 million. It's the reason why the Wii sells more than most other consoles but PS3 and XBox 360 can still bring in more income.

Um, question: why would I ONLY sell 1.5 million copies? Who's to say I wouldn't appeal to other markets with a lower price? More casual gamers, or gamers that wouldn't usually try my game, but hey, the investment is less, so it's less of a risk.

You're pulling those numbers up like you plugged them into that magical economist-calculator that gives you most efficient selling point.

Have you seen the MMO market recently? With FFXIV, DC Universe, APB, League of Legends, MapleStory, and millions of free to play MMOs, there are tons of competitors, and many are holding their own.

I'm not saying they aren't succeeding. I'm saying they aren't succeeding from supplanting WoW as the dominant MMO. And, I even addressed that in the section you quote above by saying that WoW getting it's market share taken isn't the same as another game that ISN'T massively multiplayer because of social dynamics unrelated to game design (emergent gameplay stuff), because Guild Wars was free with BETTER production values than WoW and couldn't supplant it.

So, in the end, you're just bitching because you don't want to pay more when they make more money for making a better product. WoW may have a huge player base now but it wasn't something they instantly gained. It built up, and did so because they found a working formula. They still price it the same as any other MMO, and again, sometimes cheaper. If it was $200 a month I'd be right along side you. But $15 is change. I have $15 probably in my car right now. You can blame it on the price, I blame it on insane popularity and the mass player base. They're a business, and businesses need money to grow. That's ok though, you can stick with your "immigrant worker" analogy all you want and ignore the entire rest of the game development side of things.

Maybe if they hired immigrant workers at Blizzard they could bring their costs down even more and go swimming in vaults filled with gold...

What I'm saying is that I'm surprised consumers in general care so little about how much they have to pay. In a balanced market, the company tries its hardest to sell something at the highest price it can afford to, in an attempt to maximize profits... AND the consumer does what he can to make the company charge as LITTLE as possible because they don't want to pay a ton. If the company can AFFORD to charge less, the consumers should WANT them to charge less.

I'm just surprised that they don't, is all. They SHOULD. They ALWAYS should. They even have a good reason to, as I've illustrated (because Blizzard is kicking ASS). But they don't. Also, why is a consumer looking out for his best interests (paying the least possible for a good) bitching? Just because consumers want to pay as little as possible for a good or service doesn't mean they are "bitching". Again, they are looking out for their best interests, just like your companies supposedly are. If it's ok for Blizzard to, why isn't it ok for a consumer to?

Now, I'm REALLY surprised. I haven't even been remotely incendiary since DS told me to stop, and I'm STILL getting "fuckstick" and "you're a bad poster" and "you should stop posting" thrown at me. U MAD, guys? And if so, why?

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