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Sunburn74
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COD series price fixing?

Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:50 pm

I noticed something I thought was odd this week. Pretty much at the same time, every major video game establishment that sold new copies of COD MW2 slashed the price from exactly 39.99 to exactly 19.99. I've been watching and waiting for COD MW2 to drop in price since its release. I find it interesting that MW1 and MW2 have been amazingly resistant to the same depreciation that affects video games. They say that the shelf life of a game is about 6 months and then it'll find itself soon in the bargain bin. This depreciation is usually slow and steady with games losing a dollar here a dollar there until they reach their final bargain price. For example, the witcher 2 has already dropped from 49.99 to 39.99 in the span of about a week or so. This effect does not seem to apply to COD at all. Only up until a couple of months ago, did MW2 drop from 59.99 to 39.99 and all of a sudden was slashed again in epic fashion. What makes me even more suspicious is that amazon refused to publish the listed price for a little while (a couple of days before the drop. I know because again, I've been waiting this game out) with a note saying the manufacturer put out restrictions requiring the new price to be only visible when the item was "added to cart". The next day when all outlets slashed their prices then amazon openly published the price of COD MW2.

Is there foul work at play here? How is it possible that the COD series games cost fullprice for so long and mysteriously avoid the slow steady depreciation other games seem to experience? I understand the games are popular but its hard to see how the laws of supply and demand managed to keep MW1 and MW2 at such high prices for so long without even a budge in price for amazingly long periods of time.
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MadManOriginal
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:01 pm

It's not anything conspiratorial, probably just MAP - Manufacturer's Advertised Price.
 
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:14 pm

If you think MW2 prices are bad, check out the price for the original Call of Duty game on Steam.
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:20 am

COD4 and MW2 are both on 'sale' on Steam, and both cost quite a bit more STILL than I'm willing to pay. They can keep their over-priced games.
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lethal
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:34 am

Considering that COD sells a bajillion copies at 60$, and a lot of those people buy the 15$ map packs, there's little incentive to drop prices. As far as I can tell Activision is the publisher that is least likely to have a sale/price reduction on steam, their prices are pretty much frozen all year round.
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tanker27
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:48 am

I call the CoD games, vapid games. The early iterations were quite good (Read: WWII battles) and I had high hopes for the modern update till I plunked 60 bucks down for one and the single player turned out to be the most atrocious thing I have ever seen or played. They couldnt be anymore Jerry Bruckheimer-esque if they tried. But alas, theres a lot of 13 year olds that like em; hence their popularity. And I do blame them for the pricing model of current games. Personally I think 59.99 is ridiculous. Even 49.99 is high. 39.99 I can live with.
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cjcerny
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:00 am

Being able to charge 2-3 times what most games cost once they are 3-4 years old is not price fixing. It's called success. They sell it at those prices because people are still willing to pay it. Look at Blizzard--they still want $30 (and get, by the way) for the Diablo II Treasure Chest. Diablo II is now 11 years old.
 
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:16 am

cjcerny wrote:
Being able to charge 2-3 times what most games cost once they are 3-4 years old is not price fixing. It's called success. They sell it at those prices because people are still willing to pay it. Look at Blizzard--they still want $30 (and get, by the way) for the Diablo II Treasure Chest. Diablo II is now 11 years old.


Points taken that they are successful and that the Diablo II Treasure Chest is still definitely worth $30 today; the point we're trying to make is that the COD games simply aren't to us worth what they're charging, which is why we still don't own them!
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:50 am

Sunburn74 wrote:
They say that the shelf life of a game is about 6 months and then it'll find itself soon in the bargain bin.


Who is "they?"

Sunburn74 wrote:
This depreciation is usually slow and steady with games losing a dollar here a dollar there until they reach their final bargain price.


This may be usual, but what about Call of Duty MW is "usual?" It is one of the best selling games of all time.

Sunburn74 wrote:
What makes me even more suspicious is that amazon refused to publish the listed price for a little while (a couple of days before the drop. I know because again, I've been waiting this game out) with a note saying the manufacturer put out restrictions requiring the new price to be only visible when the item was "added to cart".


Newegg does this all the time for hardware. It's not that surprising. Activision has multiple channels by which they sell their games, and so they make all of them sign an agreement which prevents them adjusting ADVERTISED pricing below a minimum. For a popular product like CoD, this makes sense because it's a VERY attractive candidate for a loss-leader. Retailers warring over getting customers through the door at the expense of Activision's flagship product is 1. undesirable to Activision 2. a race to the bottom for retailers.

What's suspicious about it? It's a relatively common practice. There are much more annoying ones involving AAA games. Like when retailers pay the publisher to include special launch DLC that only that retailer gets. Most recent example: LA Noire. When this happens, retailers have a problem. They're going to lose sales and customer opportunities unless they pay the publisher too or induce customers in other ways. I mean, I guess I'm glad that I got a 10 dollar gift card when I bought LA Noire from Best Buy, but the overall situation is beyond silly.

Sunburn74 wrote:
Is there foul work at play here?


Not really. I suppose customers would benefit from retailers having price wars over AAA games, but like I said, that's a race to the bottom. I think there's something wrong with the whole idea of loss-leaders, and since people have literally died because of them on Black Thursday, I'd hope everyone would agree they're at least fishy if not overly a bad idea.

Sunburn74 wrote:
]How is it possible that the COD series games cost fullprice for so long and mysteriously avoid the slow steady depreciation other games seem to experience?


1. They're popular 2. The publisher is afraid they'll cannibalize sales for the newer games.

Consider: the multiplayer, which is clearly the strongest attraction in the CoD series, is not THAT different between MW2 and BlOps. If selling MW2 at a vastly depreciated price means they might sell less BlOps at a higher price, they won't do that. And so they don't.

Sunburn74 wrote:
understand the games are popular but its hard to see how the laws of supply and demand managed to keep MW1 and MW2 at such high prices for so long without even a budge in price for amazingly long periods of time.


The entire market is demand-driven, suppply is basically non-consequential. They print a bajillion copies of the thing to make sure of full availability at launch, and then they slowly sell off the excess over time. They're not continually making new copies to match demand at all, they probably won't even do a reprint until it's "greatest hits" time.
 
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:13 am

lethal wrote:
Considering that COD sells a bajillion copies at 60$, and a lot of those people buy the 15$ map packs, there's little incentive to drop prices. As far as I can tell Activision is the publisher that is least likely to have a sale/price reduction on steam, their prices are pretty much frozen all year round.

This is the most accurate and succinct reply. The term "price fixing" is being used incorrectly in this thread.
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tanker27
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:31 am

cjcerny wrote:
Look at Blizzard--they still want $30 (and get, by the way) for the Diablo II Treasure Chest. Diablo II is now 11 years old.


your not looking hard enough.....Both Best Buy and Gamestop has it for 20. :wink:
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paulWTAMU
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:53 am

20 for COD 2 O.o WTH?
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:51 am

paulWTAMU wrote:
20 for COD 2 O.o WTH?

?!?!?!
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paulWTAMU
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Thu Jun 09, 2011 1:07 pm

ah. I was looking at Steam where it's apparently MORE expensive than MW1 right now.

Glad to see Amazon at least has dropped the price to reasonable levels :lol:
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Thu Jun 09, 2011 1:15 pm

tanker27 wrote:
cjcerny wrote:
Look at Blizzard--they still want $30 (and get, by the way) for the Diablo II Treasure Chest. Diablo II is now 11 years old.


your not looking hard enough.....Both Best Buy and Gamestop has it for 20. :wink:


That games is worth 30 bucks though. I'm afraid to even get it out of the box in my closet for fear of installing it.
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derFunkenstein
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:22 pm

Dancin' Jack is on point. I do not have D2/LoD installed because I know I won't get anything else done. I'm already addicted enough to Starcraft II, I don't need D2 back on my PC right now.
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:30 pm

DancinJack wrote:
That games is worth 30 bucks though. I'm afraid to even get it out of the box in my closet for fear of installing it.


Heroin is worth what it costs too. :wink:

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Sunburn74
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:28 pm

Just beat MW2 campaign. It was pretty bad. I would have been seriously ticked had I spent 59.99 on it.
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paulWTAMU
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:33 pm

yeah. It was...lame. Just lame. MW1 was pretty fun so I got mW2 around release date. Man was I pissed! I still haven't played black ops and don't plan to get MW3 (unless I cang et it for <20 bucks used)
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:43 pm

Conversely, I played through the MW2 campaign for the eighth or ninth time last month... still heckuva lot of fun. Easily worth $60.
 
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:25 pm

Activision just finally wised up to people like you and I. If you make your games require Steam or Battle-Net, then people can't sell them used. Consequently, there's never any pressure on the price of new games. This allows them to not have price cuts. After a long enough time without price cuts, consumers will realize that they just need to pay more for games.

Once that happens, people will buy fewer games with the amount being spent on games stays roughly the same. Consequently, a big publisher like Activision only needs to worry about putting out four or five big hits every year.

Basically, it's good for business, but bad for you and I.
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Sunburn74
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:28 pm

Conversely, I played through the MW2 campaign for the eighth or ninth time last month... still heckuva lot of fun. Easily worth $60

Well steam finished downloading at 12:30 PM. I beat the game at 4:30 PM... There were a lot of cheesy parts, especially at the end. Left a bad taste in my mouth.
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SPOOFE
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:23 pm

That's an impressive time for your first instance through; took me about nine or ten, but then I take it fairly slow (stop for smoke breaks, snacks, the occasional bowl, ya know).

Short for my tastes, and I get the Bruckheimer references; I just think ol' Jerry's style is better suited for video games than it is for movies.

I consider it comparable to God of War III.
 
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:44 am

SPOOFE wrote:
I consider it comparable to God of War III.
That's interesting, I got much more enjoyment out of God of War III than MW2. As basic as Kratos is with his hack/slash, hack/slach, the level design was darn good, the environments gorgeous, the cutscenes interesting, the story arc didn't make me puke, and when I finished it I found myself wanting for more....I found MW2 to be the exact opposite.
 
tanker27
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:32 am

I saw this on another article and it holds true for the recent CoD series:

Image
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:55 am

E1M6 - Central Processing.
And then of course I've got this terrible pain in all the diodes down my left hand side.
 
tanker27
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:30 am

Captain Ned wrote:
E1M6 - Central Processing.


Heh, I too recognized it but had forgotten the name.
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Vrock
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:52 am

You guys played waaaay too much DOOM. And that's cool.
 
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:08 am

Vrock wrote:
You guys played waaaay too much DOOM. And that's cool.

Played? I don't think you got the verb tense correct.
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Re: COD series price fixing?

Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:03 pm

I've never been able to beat Doom 2 without cheating. Doom 1, yes, but not Doom 2.

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