When I had knowledge of how much things costs, we had a PlayStation. The very first one. Before that we had a Sega Megadrive but I had no idea to the value of money! Games were priced so differently to now. I don’t recall really any preorder bonus as such nor Limited Editions that were priced differently.
With the launch of a game this week that Hubby needed/wanted to have on launch day, this poses our family’s moral dilemma. How much do you want to pay for preorder/ a game that is in its first six months from launch? I remember getting games for the Playstation for ten pounds. Maybe twenty at most. Game prices slowly increased with each generation of consoles and with companies who thought they could get away with it. And they have. They went to around thirty pounds with the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, forty in some cases. And now, you’re looking at fifty pounds for a normal edition game. Companies get you to pay this by offering preorder bonuses such as in game items that you’ll maybe use once or you won’t use at all!
What’s worse is that with the invention of online stores for the Xbox and Playstation, the price is exactly the same as a boxed copy, you just end up paying ridiculously for your internet to download it or wait a few days for it to download.
For the average working Joe, even £50 is still a lot of money to spend on something that could realistically only be played for four hours (like some games I know!). But for parents, and with Miss being raised in a gaming family, this is a massive problem. My family were not well off when we had the Playstation One and the Megadrive, no body really was if I’m honest. We used to borrow games from friends at school, all the kids did this and were careful with them. If there was a game we wanted, my mother would order it through one of her many catalogues and we’d have to wait until such and such special occasion. But there was no need to worry because we could share all these games with friends.
Now? Fifty pounds is the equivalent of half our big shop. In the winter, that would be maybe three weeks gas for heating if we’re unlucky with weather. Kids do not understand, even as teenagers, how money and the world works. “Mum can I have £20? There’s a blah blah blah that my friend so and so has got that I want because they have it.” And this is pretty much the attitude of teenagers today. (Note- I’ve realised that makes me sound really old.. My generation weren’t great but they had some vague idea of how things worked!) Money doesn’t grow on trees, and I’ve seen and spoke to parents who let their kids stomp all over them when it comes to games and wanting them yesterday.
Like, what the hell Sony? This is after launch. Even on Game.co.uk it is £44.99 for a boxed edition of the PS4 “ Day One” edition. Amazon has it for £40, again for a boxed edition. If I was the mum of a kid who was old enough (yes, no child of mine shall play something like COD or MGS under the age if I didn’t think it was okay!) to whine and drive me bananas with wanting this game, I think as a mum I would probably cave. I’d personally hope I would have the sense to order a physical edition and teach the kid patience but, honestly a lot of parents would go for the more expensive download just so they would stop whining. And let’s face it, the kid will want the £59.99 one on the Sony Store. “Because it has stuff!”
And Limited Editions/Collector’s Editions are even worse! In the UK, Square Enix came under fire from angry consumers who wanted the physical collector’s edition of Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward. The collectors download was £44.99 on their store. The physical edition is a whopping £129.99! And this is purely for the statue that is no bigger than a DVD case! Check an unboxing on Youtube and you will see what I mean. You can not in the UK get the physical collectors from anywhere else. We were going to get one, but SE did not announce the price of the expansion for anyone until the day it went live on their site. We said hell no to that and brought physical standard copies from Amazon and eventually got the digital upgrade to collectors edition. And don’t even get me started on how the UK paid an extra £40 over everywhere else in the world that it was available for this edition.
It is like this for every major game that comes out. On PC, Playstation or Xbox. Doesn’t matter if it’s exclusive, it’ll be overpriced, have so called “bonuses” for preordering, and collector’s editions are overpriced more so than a normal edition. And why? Because we as the consumers allow it! We keep buying their games, preordering because hey that could be useful, and paying without thinking. This is wrong. I refuse to pay more than £40 for a game and it had better be boxed for that price. Why in the age of digital downloads are games above £30! We’re not paying for the box, for printing it on to a disk, for the cover print. No, you are paying for a single file (simplistically). This does not make any sense.
My thoughts? Do not preorder. Do not pay over the odds for a Collector’s edition if you can help yourself. Check Ebay later down the line for the price drop. And do not pay over the odds for something digital that you could have in your hands for £10 to £20 less if you shop around.The more we as consumers do this, the more we could have our prices lowered and more reasonable. Otherwise, next generation of consoles and games could be in the region of £50 standard boring copy to £60 up for “special” editions.
What about you? What do you think and do? Let me know your thoughts in the comments or tweet me!