‘Blockbuster-led trade needs pricing revolution’

Industry stalwart Chris Deering has estimated that today’s triple-A video games need to be priced at 70 – if the trade’s current release cycle for ‘blockbuster games’ is to be maintained.

His comments come just two weeks after we revealed that Activision had raised the SRP of Modern Warfare 2 to 55.

Deering is once again acting as chairman of the Edinburgh Interactive Festival, which this year takes place on Thursday, August 13th and Friday, August 14th.

At the event, industry luminaries such as Deering, Sony’s Ray Maguire, EA Sports’ Peter Moore and Eidos’ Ian Livingstone will discuss ‘the future of the blockbuster game’.

Former Sony Europe president Deering  – who is on the board of Codemasters and IGA, amongst others, told MCV this week:

Before there can be as many successful blockbuster games as there were in the past, games have to be produced in a more efficient fashion.

In order to price these games at a level where they would support an industry [as strongly as] they did ten years ago, they’d have to be sold at 70. But people just don’t have that kind of money, there’s a psychological glass ceiling.

Consumers won’t spend more, but to write the game, publishers are having to spend more than ever before. That’s the key problem.”

MCV revealed that Activision had raised the trade price of Modern Warfare 2 by 10 to 55 a fortnight ago. The story has featured heavily in the national press this week.

Deering added: The cost of development is ten times what it was for PS2, and more like 20 to 50 times more than on PSOne. Yet there are lots of things you can get for less than the relative value of paying 50p an hour for a very high end game.”

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