Game prices to increase

BEGINNING with the era of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, video games started to cost US$60 (RM283) per game purchase. For almost 20 years, the price has stayed the same, pressed up against that cracked glass ceiling.

It is an industry-wide quandary. Game studios are taking longer to develop games, while development costs are ever increasing, but the end product in 2023 will cost the same as it did back in 2006. This changed last year when publishers began selling AAA-quality games for US$70 (RM330).

Despite many publishers adopting the higher price tag, Capcom has seemingly opted out by continuing to release games at US$60 (RM283), like the recent Street Fighter 6. However, recent comments by Capcom president Haruhiro Tsujimoto point towards a change by the company.

In a Sept 23 Nikkei report, Tsujimoto said video game prices are too low, with pricing standards not rising in tandem with development costs. He even suggested that increasing the price of games would be a “healthy option” for the industry.

“Development costs are about 100 times higher than during the Famicom era, but software prices have not gone up that much,” said Tsujimoto, referring to Nintendo’s massively successful 8-bit console from the 1980s.

“There is also a need to raise wages. Considering the fact that wages are rising in the industry as a whole, I think raising unit prices is a healthy option for business.”

Tsujimoto also believed that not even a recession would matter when it came to game prices, claiming that they have “little to do with the game industry”.

“Just because there’s a recession doesn’t mean you won’t go to the movie theatre or go to your favourite artist’s concert. High-quality games will continue to sell,” he said.

In Capcom-related news, the Resident Evil 4 remake that is coming to the iPhone 15 Pro will cost a baffling US$60 (RM283), the same price as the game’s console editions.

I am struggling hard to find justifications to spend that amount of money on a game ported from superior consoles to run on an Apple phone with just under 11 hours of battery life.

Even wilder, for the price of a single iPhone 15 Pro, you could just buy two PlayStation 5 consoles with two copies of the games instead.