Are Downloadable games too expensive?

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weapon of choice

With all of the community games now becoming available on Xbox live, we can get excited about playing some new and interesting titles, and at a reasonable price point of 400 or 200 MS points. But it seems not everyone is happy with the price point, in fact Nathan Fouts, ex-Insomniac employee and creator of Weapon of choice – by far the best game available so far – thinks that prices for downloadable games in general are too low.

Speaking to MTV Multiplayer, Fouts said,

“I want to go on the record and say I feel like most downloadable games are under-priced.” He added, “Paying only 800 Microsoft Points ($10) for a game as nice as Bionic Commando: Rearmed or 1200 Points ($15) for a game as big as Castle Crashers seems ridiculous to me.”

Fouts is not the first developer to go on record and complain about the pricing of downloadable games.  Bionic Commando: Rearmed producer Ben Judd also had something to say after Bionic Commando: Rearmed was released at 800 ms points. Judd in a post on the official blog wrote,

“Since the title will have to do quite well at this price point to break even (no, I’m not going to give you a specific number), I guess we have to roll the dice and see where they land.”

We all want cheap games, but I’m also sure a lot of money goes into making these games, as small as some of them may be, Castle Crashers could have easily retailed as a boxed product for R300 (with bugs fixed). And I would be happy to pay that but at the same time, the multiple re-releases of games and sloppy updates should drop in price.

I’m sure a lot less effort went into Galaga on Xbox Live Arcade than Galaga Legions. So how about Galaga Legions goes up to 1000 or 1200 points and Galaga gets dropped to 200 or 400 points. Seems fair to me, credit where’s credits due right? At the end of the day I doubt we will ever get to a common ground where both developers and gamers are happy about pricing. Lets just hope no one does anything stupid because I would hate to miss out on an awesome game because of a pricing issue.

Last Updated: November 25, 2008

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