Does Price Matter in a Game Review?

August 15, 2011 -

The latest edition of Jumping The Shark (the official podcast for GameShark.com) tackles game pricing and if it should affect how a game reviewer evaluates a particular game. On the one side of the argument are those that think the price of a game matters and on the other are those that believe it should have an impact on how a game is scored.

Personally, I believe the value of a game is found (or not found, as the case may be) in its overall presentation and has nothing to do with how much it costs. Obviously a lot of people disagree, but some good points are made for both sides of this long-standing argument among reviewers in this podcast.

You can catch it here directly, or check out the official site here.

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Comments

Re: Does Price Matter in a Game Review?

Personally I think considering price into a game rating is a bad idea, but I think that a review that gives it's professional opinion on whether it is worth the price point is useful. I see a rating system such as this:

Highest to lowest:

Buy it new

Wait for it to go on sale

Rent it

Borrow it

Don't bother/It's broken

-Greevar

"Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

Re: Does Price Matter in a Game Review?

Should it affect the review? Beyond a blurb about the price being worth the look, no. It by no means should affect the final judgment of the game (aka "this game was really well crafted but because it's five dollars more than I care for I'm going to drop my opinion of it") as that's a judgment that's in the eyes of the consumer. I've seen some games that I felt were a steal at what I paid for while other people wouldn't't pay even close to what I did for the same title. It's subjective and a review should cover quality of the game, not perceived worth.

Re: Does Price Matter in a Game Review?

Price definitely affects my overall opinion of a game.  I'd like to think I could evaluate the game's quality without cost being a factor but whenever I end up paying "full price" for what is clearly a budget game, it really just ticks me off. 

Re: Does Price Matter in a Game Review?

The real question is do we need game reviewers telling us what our money is worth. The answer is no. Just review the game and we'll figure out if it's worth our money. 

Re: Does Price Matter in a Game Review?

A friend of mine does say "if it felt worth it to you, it was".

Re: Does Price Matter in a Game Review?

"On the one side of the argument are those that think the price of a game matters and on the other are those that believe it should have an impact on how a game is scored."

So, the people who think it matters, vs. the people who think it matters?  That ought to be a short debate.  ;)

Re: Does Price Matter in a Game Review?

Price matters to an extent, but it should not affect the scoring of a game.

Re: Does Price Matter in a Game Review?

I think whether price matters is the wrong question.

There are all sorts of things you could ask about a game. What's the difference between a 75 that's a magnificent endeavor but almost unplayable due to bugs, a 75 that works well but isn't hugely inspired, a 75 that plays well but is drowning in excruciatingly questionable ideology couched in pure jingoism, a 75 that's good but has only niche appeal... and a 75 that's good but too expensive?

There are already so many factors that impact the score that you can't really tell anything from it.

Re: Does Price Matter in a Game Review?

As a journalist, myself, I don't let the price of a game affect my review of it. A good game is a good game, and a bad game is a bad game, regardless.

On the other hand, however, I also believe that some games may or may not be worth buying at certain price points.

I believe a good example would be Venetica. It's not really a great game, but it's not horrible, either. It released at $40, but I personally wouldn't pay that much for it. If someone were to offer it for $10-15, then it's definitely playable.

Other examples would be Duke Nukem Forever, Chaos Legion, and Brink. All of them fit in the "Not quite perfect but still playable, and enjoyable" category, and people would be more inclined to buy them and give them chances at lower price points.

Long story short, price point shouldn't affect whether a game is good or bad, but it definitely factors into the enjoyability, especially for those who don't use services like Gamefly or Blockbuster.

Re: Does Price Matter in a Game Review?

This is basically exactly where I fall.  If the review score is supposed to reflect the quality of the game, then price shouldn't impact it.  However, the simple fact is that price does impact a game's overall value.  This is a combination of the quality of the game and the price point.  As a reviewer, I would say something like "This game is a 75, but the value for $60 just isn't there.  If this was a $20 game, then go for it."

 
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TechnogeekIn large part, though, that's an extension of the level of unjust deference given to police in general. Kind of hard to find any real grievances to defend against when the organizational culture views "complains about coworker" as worse than "murderer".07/07/2015 - 8:45pm
TechnogeekThat's a police union.07/07/2015 - 8:43pm
TechnogeekNo, police unions are worse by far. Imagine every negative stereotype about unions, then add "we can get away with anything".07/07/2015 - 8:43pm
Goth_SkunkeZeek: No, I do not agree they are union members.07/07/2015 - 7:48pm
E. Zachary KnightTeachers unions are just as bad as police unions, except of course you are far less likely to be killed by a teacher on duty than you are a cop. But they also protect bad teachers from being fired.07/07/2015 - 6:29pm
E. Zachary KnightGoth, so you agree they are still union members. Thankfully we have a first ammendment that protects people from being forced to join groups they don't support (in most cases any way.)07/07/2015 - 6:27pm
E. Zachary KnightAh, police unions. The reason why cops can't get fired when they beat a defenseless mentally ill homeless person to death. Or when they throw a grenade into a baby's crib. Or when theykill people they were called in to help not hurt themselves.07/07/2015 - 6:26pm
Goth_SkunkeZeek: Non-union employees have no right to attend meetings or union convention/AGM, or influence policy. The only time they get to vote is whether or not to strike.07/07/2015 - 6:24pm
Infophile(cont'd) about non-union police officers being given hell until they joined the union.07/07/2015 - 4:58pm
InfophileParadoxically, the drive in the US to get rid of unions seems to have left only the most corrupt surviving. They seem to be the only ones that can find ways to browbeat employees into joining when paying dues isn't mandatory. I've heard some stories ...07/07/2015 - 4:57pm
Matthew WilsonI am old school on this. I believe its a conflict of interest to have public sector unions. that being said, I do not have a positive look on unions in general.07/07/2015 - 3:59pm
TechnogeekWhat's best for the employee tends to be good for the employer; other way around, not so much. So long as that's the case, there's going to be a far stronger incentive for management to behave in such a way that invites retalitation than for the union to.07/07/2015 - 3:10pm
TechnogeekTeachers' unions? State legislatures. UAW? Just look at GM's middle management.07/07/2015 - 3:05pm
TechnogeekIn many ways it seems that the worse a union tends to behave, the worse that the company's management has behaved in the past.07/07/2015 - 3:02pm
james_fudgeCharity starts at home ;)07/07/2015 - 2:49pm
james_fudgeSo mandatory charity? That sounds shitty to me07/07/2015 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightGoth, if Union dues are automatically withdrawn, then there is no such thing as a non-union employee.07/07/2015 - 2:38pm
Goth_Skunka mutually agreed upon charity instead.07/07/2015 - 2:33pm
Goth_Skunkyou enjoy the benefits of working in a union environment. If working in a union is against your religious beliefs or just something you wholeheartedly object to, dues will still be deducted from your pay, but you can instruct that they be directed towards07/07/2015 - 2:33pm
Goth_SkunkBasically, if you are employed in a business where employees are represented by a union for the purposes of collective bargaining, whether or not you are a union member, you will have union dues deducted from your pay, since regardless of membership,07/07/2015 - 2:32pm
 

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