Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Are gamers getting price gouged?

Rollin' in the dough - When I received the email from Microsoft Monday morning that Rez HD and Chessmaster Live were going to be available to download on Xbox Live Arcade this Wednesday, I was stoked. Until I saw the price. If I want both games, which I do, I'm going to have to drop 1600 Microsoft Points...$20?!? $20?!? That's 4 movie tickets at the cheap theater. That's 10 downloads of The Office from iTunes. That's an eighth of a tank of gas! To quote my inner Jerry Seinfeld, what's the deal with these $10 games on XBLA?
I get the idea that we live in a free market society and items only get sold for what people are willing to pay, but when will MS realize that they'd actually make more money selling more games for $5 than fewer games for $10. Not only would more games get sold, but $5 games and frequent free offerings (given out of good will, not guilt) would do nothing but help the image of a company that's sometimes viewed as a little cold.
But its not just Microsoft that's sticking it to us. Between microtransactions and the $10 bump in next-gen games (which doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon) gamers wallets are getting consistently emptied. Since we're being so generous with our money, gaming companies should show some gratitude and show us some love. Free gamer pics, classic arcade titles, multiplayer map packs, t-shirts...what would it hurt?

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