Video game prices have largely stayed pretty consistent, though they’ve recently seen a price hike since the launch of the Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5. A new release will now likely come to $110AUD or $70USD. Of course, this doesn’t include special editions and the like. We’ve also seen price increases hit services such as the recently announced price hike for PlayStation Plus subscription tiers.
But have you ever wondered “hmm… I wish video games cost even more!”. If so, you must be Capcom’s President, Haruhiro Tsujimoto. In a report from Nikkei, as translated by Video Game Chronicle, Tsujimoto discussed the cost of video games. Video game development has risen in cost, thus, Tsujimoto mentions that the price of games should go up as well. Especially considering that these costs are “100 times higher than they were in the days of the Famicom (NES), but the price of software hasn’t risen so much.” He adds that the wages of developers need to be raised, saying “in order to attract talented people… I think the option of raising unit prices is a healthy form of business.” This is something a lot of people echo online, paying developers their worth is important.
However, when asked if the current economic situation is affecting the way people choose their entertainment, Tsujimoto stated that the 2007-2009 recession didn’t stop people from buying games. “Just as the recession doesn’t stop people from going to the cinema or going to their favourite artist’s concert, high-quality games will continue to sell well.” Of course, when the lockdowns started, most people had a bit more disposable income. Video games became accessible during those 2-weeks. It’s something people could spend more time on. Because of this, the games industry had a massive boom in 2020 helped by the likes of Animal Crossing. Even Australia’s gaming industry grew faster because of 2020.
Whilst Tsujimoto’s assessment may sound fair, it also must be mentioned that we’re in a cost-of-living crisis. General affordability is a challenge for much of the world’s population and gaming is a luxury. You also can’t ignore the additional charges including a monthly subscription for online play on consoles, additional services, battle passes, loot boxes, and the many more ways the players are being charged on top of the standard price for a video game.
Not only that, but the cherry on top of Tsujimoto’s comments is that Capcom’s stock prices hit a new all-time high of ¥5,270 ($55.39AUD) in May. And at the end of Q1 2023, Capcom sold 41.7 million games during the 12-month period. So while developers should be paid more, you also have to wonder how much of the money from that copy of Exoprimal is going to the executives at the top.