Games Need to Go Up in Price, According to God of War Director Cory Balrog

Games Need to Go Up in Price, According to God of War Director Cory Balrog - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 09 July 2020 / 1,772 Views

Publisher 2K Games earlier this month announced NBA 2K21 for the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 will se a $10 price hike with a launch price of $69.99. 2K Games says the "suggested retail prices for its games are meant to represent the value being offered."

God of War director Cory Barlog took to Twitter saying that the price of video games needs to be increased. He prefers the initial cost of buying a game be higher than publishers and developers add in microtransactions. 

"Games need to go up in price," said Balrog. "I prefer an initial increase in price to the always on cash grab microtransaction filled hellscape that some games have become."

Games Need to Go Up in Price, According to God of War Director Cory Balrog

The price of video games in the US have remained flat since 2005 and 2006 when they were raised from $49.99 to $59.99. While 2K Games will be increasing the price of their games for the next generation, it isn't known just yet if other publishers and developers will follow suit. 

Other game publishers are considering raising the price of their games for the PS5 and Xbox Series X, according to video games research firm IDG Consulting President and CEO Yoshio Osaki. 


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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32 Comments

hunter_alien (on 09 July 2020)

Yeah, I am more than willing to pay 70$ for a complete experience like GoW. The problem is that 99% of games will still maintain microtransactions when 70$ will become the norm...


SuaveSocialist (on 09 July 2020)

Games don't need to go up in price, studios need to budget better. And if a game uses the free-to-play business model of loot boxes and micro transactions, the game should be free. They can cry all they want about rising development costs and inflation, but it rings hollow when their profits are higher than they've ever been. AAA publishers can afford to lower the price of games and STILL be making record money. Given the state of the industry, the average game needs to go down in price.


Angelus (on 09 July 2020)

A lot of times, it's not even the studios that need to budget better, but rather, the publishers blowing way more than necessary on huge amounts of marketing.


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SanAndreasX (on 10 July 2020)

AAA games have far too much useless bloat and most of them are boring. For one thing, hiring celebrities. I don't give two shits about Norman Reedus or Keanu Reeves, so I don't want to pay the extra money to stroke the ego of a prima donna like Hideo Kojima so he can play with his favorite TV stars, for example.


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Chazore (on 09 July 2020)

I'm not willing to pay more if my experience is that of a lesser game, port job or a game loaded with MT's/artificial padding.


Cerebralbore101 (on 09 July 2020)

No, they fucking don't! Digital distribution has made games far more profitable than they were in the PS2 era. Back then you could only buy a game new at retail, so long as it was in stock. This cut the legs under from game sales. With digital distribution you can easily buy a game brand new years and years after it released, no matter how obscure the game is. Then you've got to add in that Digital distribution cuts out many of the middlemen such as retailers, and even publishers in some cases. The used games market has been pushed more and more out of the scene as well. Game prices may not have gone up, but the overall share of revenue that developers keep has definitely gone up.


TruckOSaurus (on 09 July 2020)

Jim Sterling is going to have a field day with this one.


Azzanation (on 10 July 2020)

No thanks. Game prices are fine. Budget better.


Mr Puggsly (on 09 July 2020)

They can charge whatever they want. I will wait for price cuts.


DonFerrari (on 10 July 2020)

I also prefer that there is no mtx and other silliness in games, GoW didn't had any of those, but also I don't want games to go up in price, even more when they are profiting more than before anyway. At least GoW is a game that I would have paid full price, but for most game that would just mean I would take longer to purchase.


Signalstar (on 09 July 2020)

God of War (2018) no add-ons, no microtransactions. A blockbuster and critical darling.


COKTOE (on 09 July 2020)

Yes! It had that fucking swearing dwarf. He swore juuusst enough. Didn't overdo it.


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SanAndreasX (on 09 July 2020)

Only good RPGs are worth more than $60. The rest of them can sit in the bargain bin until they're $10, and that includes the vast majority of “AAA” games.


freebs2 (on 09 July 2020)

I paid 20$ for that game, and I think it was a more than adequate experience for the price. So yes, probably I wouldn't mid pay an extra 10$...not that much at least.


Barkley (on 09 July 2020)

I mean. Video Games are the one product that has consistently been $60. While other products have increased with price due to inflation. Chocolate costs a hell of a lot more now than it did 15 years ago. But meanwhile the $60 you spent on game back in 2002 is equivelant to $85 today, yet games have remained at the same $60. People won't like the price going up, but why should games perpetually be $60 when those $60 are worth less and less with every passing year.


pitzy272 (on 09 July 2020)

Well said. Another good example is movie theatre ticket prices. They've more than doubled in price in around the same time that game prices have remained the same. And it's a double whammy, bc game development costs have increased much more, comparatively, than movie production costs have increased.


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Jranation (on 09 July 2020)

Maybe they should use Nintendo approach and not drop the price too soon.


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Chicho (on 10 July 2020)

Yeah but games have microtransation lootboxes season passes etc, in some games you end up paying hundreds overall.


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Barkley (on 10 July 2020)

Sure, but it doesn't matter whether the game has season passes or micro transactions, the appropriate price is still viewed as $60. So a game that gets a ton of money through MTX.... $60. A Game that has no MTX... $60. And if anyone dares go over that price people will be upset. Meanwhile as Pitzy said, prices are going up for all other forms of entertainment, such as the movie industry.


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SanAndreasX (on 10 July 2020)

A lot of people have also stopped going to movie theaters because they are too expensive, especially when there are other options. The largest movie chain in the US has been struggling for years.
Most games aren't worth $60, let alone $70.


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DonFerrari (on 10 July 2020)

And TVs actually came down in price. So inflation isn't something flat that affects all goods the same way.


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Hiku (on 09 July 2020)

While there will still be microtransactions in games, there are games with few to none (such as God of War) or more substantial DLC content, and since games have become more expensive to make, this will mainly help those publishers.


ARamdomGamer (on 10 July 2020)

Maybe not make games as expensive too could help, like the most interesting games mechanically nowadays are cheap indie titles and you have your Breath of the Wild here and there that actually tries to push the medium with gameplay depth, the game itself not being that expensive compared to the TrIpLE A INduStRy too. Visual fidelity and the like is just noise at this point when most stuff today can't reach the gameplay detail of something like the first Dead Rising, Half-Life 2 or the first Crysis from over 10 years ago. Or classic RPGs becoming more simplified by streamlining the role playing aspect of it like how Cyberpunk is shaping up, compared to cheaper projects with much more depth like Pillars of Eternity and Divinity. Bottom line for me is, if games are to become more expensive, actually make them better games, not just prettier.


Jranation (on 09 July 2020)

How about if they just keep the same price and use Nintendo approach. Dont drop the price so early on. Wait after 2-3 years.


ZS (on 10 July 2020)

While Nintendo does it and it works for them, it's anti consumer, you wouldn't buy a 1-3 year old “new” car for the same price as a brand new car. What goes up must come down.


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SanAndreasX (on 10 July 2020)

When you market your games like cheap garbage as EA and Activision do, consumers will treat them as cheap garbage.


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DonFerrari (on 10 July 2020)

It would be a better market practice, but for me it would be worse because the price would take longer to drop and so I wouldn't buy.


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Jranation (on 11 July 2020)

Yeah your right. The best way in buying games next gen is to wait for that price drop.


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padib (on 11 July 2020)

It's not anti-consumer if the product is of high-quality, as is the case for most Nintendo games. It would be like asking Ferrari to sell their cars cheaper than they price them. Ferrari prices high in line with their value.

Still, I agree with Don that I personally as a Nintendo gamer would prefer if the games were cheaper since I really only handpick my Nintendo games. For example, I really wanted to try Treasure Tracker. But it's a puzzle game and I don't pay above 30$ for a puzzle game. So I still haven't bought it though I had a WiiU for its whole lifetime.

So while I don't think it's anti-consumer, I personally dislike it because it means I get to play less Nintendo games. But then again, it might be a good thing because maybe Treasure Tracker just wasn't that good anyway and I get to play the really best of Nintendo like Zelda, Mario, Smash or Metroid.


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DonFerrari (on 11 July 2020)

Yep. It is important to separate what is good for the company, what is good for consumer and what is our individual preference.
I know I'm the odd on this one, but I would prefer to pay 1000 USD for the HW (that I buy once and use for 5 years) and 20 or less for the SW (that I buy hundreds and play for like 50h) because HW is limited by material cost and that define performance while software all the cost is really in the development so if they can sell more they profit more without extra cost so price can be a lot more flexible.


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DonFerrari (on 11 July 2020)

But I know that wouldn't happen and probably devs wouldn't profit enough and would break.


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