Epic: Console Makers Need to Let Developers Handle Game Pricing

October 26, 2011 -

In an interview with Develop Epic Games President Michael Capps says that console makers need to loosen the stranglehold they have on developers when it comes to pricing. Capps says they need to do this because game revenues have shifted to service and micro-transaction model. Currently developers can't decide what the price of their games on consoles should be because those prices are already set by the console makers.

"Right now we’re not even allowed to change the prices of virtual content," said Capps. "We’re not even allowed to set the prices. I just don’t think this protectionist approach is going to be successful in a world where the price of virtual items changes on a day-today basis."

Capps adds that mobile platforms allow developers to set their own pricing schemes and purchasing virtual goods within an app is much easier too. Finally, he notes that the only way for AA games to make a comeback is if manufacturers forget about a specific price point like $60. If they don't, he says, more developers will simply turn to the PC market - Steam, for example.

"The console manufacturers need to let this happen,” he said. "The best way of driving developers to PC is telling them they have no freedom in what prices they can set for virtual items. It would be great to have the level of freedom that, say, Steam gives you."

Source: Develop


Comments

Re: Epic: Console Makers Need to Let Developers Handle Game ...

Why wasn't this done sooner. Games tend to either be $15 or less and the $60. Why isn't there somewhere in the middle for games that fit in that category. I would go with Catherine, since I had to rent it because I heard it ws great, but not worth the full sticker price. Which I agreed with.

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Managing Editor at TheBestGameSiteEver.com

Re: Epic: Console Makers Need to Let Developers Handle Game ...

I thought game pricing was the publisher's call, not the console manufacturer's (unless they're the publisher).

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Epic: Console Makers Need to Let Developers Handle Game ...

I can certainly get behind this call for better pricing. There are a number of games that I would never buy at over $40. But if they were to drop to $20-30, I would certainly consider them. This especially helps with smaller developers which don't have name recognition already built up.

Re: Epic: Console Makers Need to Let Developers Handle Game ...

If I could figure out how to applaud over the internet I would

Re: Epic: Console Makers Need to Let Developers Handle Game ...

Oh yeah, the last thing we would want is for a developer to make something for PC.  That would be terrible!  Jesus, what happened to you, Epic?  Makers of Jill of the Jungle, Jazz Jackrabbit, and frickin' Unreal (Tournament!!!)!  What happened?

Re: Epic: Console Makers Need to Let Developers Handle Game ...

I've been waiting nearly 5 years for Heavy Weapon on XBLA to drop from $10. This is getting ridiculous.

http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/Product/Heavy-Weapon/66acd000-77fe-100...

(Btw, the pc version on Steam is awful.)

 
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NeenekoI keep forgetting we even have forums.10/02/2014 - 11:48am
ZippyDSMleeA shame we can't have good convos in the forums, seems to me its time to nuke and restart fresh on them.10/02/2014 - 11:45am
Papa MidnightOh, no problem! Just wanted to let you know that it's what we're discussing. By all means, join in!10/02/2014 - 11:36am
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, No problem. In juicy conversations, key points of discussion get pushed off quickly.10/02/2014 - 11:36am
NeenekoA rather scary censorship. I have known too many people and small companies destroyed by such pressure, so this unnerves me at a pretty personal level.10/02/2014 - 11:36am
NeenekoMy bad, I always have trouble working out what is going on in shoutbox10/02/2014 - 11:34am
Papa MidnightTo a point stated earlier, it very much is a form of indirect censorship. Rather than engage in rhetoric and debate, one side has instead chosen to cut-off opposing viewpoints at the knees and silence them via destroying their means of income.10/02/2014 - 11:28am
Papa MidnightNeeneko: the topic of Intel's dropping of Gamasutra is indeed part of this very ongoing conversation.10/02/2014 - 11:26am
NeenekoThis can't be good... http://games.slashdot.org/story/14/10/02/1558213/intel-drops-gamasutra-sponsorship-over-controversial-editorials10/02/2014 - 11:25am
Andrew EisenAnd there's also the consideration that the fact that a former IGN editor was one of the people who worked on the game's localization may be unknown (although in this specific case, probably not. Drakes been very visible at events IGN covers).10/02/2014 - 11:24am
Papa MidnightAlso, let's face it: people seem to believe that a conflict of interest can yield only positive coverage. Who is to say that Audrey Drake did not leave on bad terms with IGN (with several bridges burned in their wake)? That could yield negative coverage.10/02/2014 - 11:23am
Papa MidnightThat's a fair question, and it's where things get difficult. While Jose Otero may not have any cause to show favor, Jose's editor may, as may the senior editor (and anyone else involved in the process before it reaches publication).10/02/2014 - 11:21am
Andrew EisenWould such disclosure still be required if Fantasy Life were reviewed by Jose Otero, who wasn't hired by IGN until sometime after Drake left?10/02/2014 - 11:19am
Papa MidnightIn that case, a disclosure might be in order. The problem, of course, is applying it on a case-by-case basis; As EZK said, what's the cut-off?10/02/2014 - 11:19am
E. Zachary KnightAndrew, a disclosure would probably be in order as she likely still has a strong relationship with IGN staff. My follow up question would be "What is the statute of limitations on such a requirement?"10/02/2014 - 11:09am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, my hyperbole was intended to illustrate the difference and similarity between direct censorship and indirect censorship.10/02/2014 - 11:07am
Andrew EisenOpen Question: Former IGN Nintendo editor Audrey Drake now works in the Nintendo Treehouse. Do you think it's important for IGN to disclose this fact in the review of Fantasy Life, a game she worked on? Should IGN recuse itself from reviewing the game?10/02/2014 - 11:07am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, My thoughts on disclosure: http://gamepolitics.com/2014/09/25/what-your-gamergate-wish-list#comment-29598710/02/2014 - 11:02am
Sleaker@EZK - using hyperbole is a bit silly. I'm asking a serious question. Where's the line on disclosure as relates to journalistic involvement in the culture they report on?10/02/2014 - 10:59am
E. Zachary KnightSo a journalist reporting on general gaming news mentions a specific developer and their game involved in said news, and it is suddenly some nefarious conspiracy to hide a conflict of interest. I think someone is reaching for validation.10/02/2014 - 10:53am
 

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