Friday Night Topic: Are $60 games too expensive?

— 7:26 PM on December 2, 2005

Development costs for next-gen console and PC games are spiraling upwards. Studios are adding extra artists, programmers, and other staff to ensure that titles not only take full advantage of the latest platforms, but also satisfy audiences that demand increasingly more from each new game. To subsidize higher development costs, publishers have resorted to higher prices. You can see those higher prices in action with most Xbox 360 games, which are selling for $60 a pop—$10 more than original Xbox titles.

In an interview with MTV, Epic's Cliff Bleszinski, lead designer of the upcoming Xbox 360 title Gears of War, suggests $60 is just too much for a video game. Bleszinski's solution to increasing development costs is to make games shorter and sweeter:

"I would kill to have a [top-quality] game that's jam-packed with an amazing story and amazing moments and four hours long and costs 20 bucks." He said it's possible, if only the industry cut costs by making games shorter and sweeter, but that too many gamers and publishers demand 20-hour games that are filled with the padding of having gamers repeat the same tasks again and again.
Would you rather pay less for a shorter, more intense gaming experience? Is $60 even all that unreasonable for premium titles that generally pack multiplayer components with decent replay value?


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