When did PC games become so expensive?

I’m an irregular gamer, pretty much only purchasing something when it catches my eye, I haven’t bought a game for around five years. Today I came across this which looks very interesting: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/91F8HENvxzL.SL1500.jpg

However its being sold for £60 on Amazon and similar on steam, X COM 2 is also going for similar prices. In addition that’s for the basic game, if you want the add-ons and extras (which in my opinion really should be put in to the original game) then you are handing over more money for the whole experience.

I really can’t justify this sort of money for a game, and there doesn’t seem to be a second hand market either. Where am I going wrong, or are PC games really just this expensive these days?

That game seems abnormally priced, it’s $80 on Steam which is $20 more than a typical new AAA game. I assume it fits some niche market willing to pay a premium sort of like some flight sims.

X-COM 2 is $60 which is about normal. That’s also the price a new AAA game retails for on Xbox or Playstation so it’s not a PC thing. People who buy a lot of games wait for sales or cast a wider net of stores looking for deals, etc.

There’s a whole debate about whether or not games are more expensive relative to inflation and how developers use DLC to inflate the price over people’s mental ceiling of sixty bucks but I’ll let someone else start that one.

By the way, you can use IsThereAnyDeal to get an idea of current sales and historical data for most PC games. For this game, it has been as low as $20 and seems to be on sale fairly often.

Yeah, it seems to be a one-off. PC games sell for what they did in the early 90’s ($30 to $40 on average, no more than $50even for the top need-to-have game) so almost no impact from inflation. The money today is not in initial price but DLCs.

Thank you, yes it probably is a somewhat niche game but is also right up my alley, I have a few days off work and I’m tempted to shell out for it now even though it might be on sale later…hhhhhhmmmm…

X COM 2 is more reasonably priced as a basic game but seems to have a plethora of DLC and add-ons. I kind of object to having to pay more to get the full experience but it seems to be the way of the future.

Thanks, I obviously haven’t been following things closely enough!

Then again apparently you can add a game to your wish-list on steam and it will let you know when its on sale.

There’s also an Alert Function on IsThereAnyDeal so you’ll know when it hits your desired price at any of the tracked stores.

I’m not familiar with that exact game, but that publisher specializes in games and simulations for the wargaming grognard. I believe many/most of their offerings would be considered niche rather than AAA.

The last game I bought from them (ACW real time tactical simulation) retails for $80 + $15 for a boxed copy. There aren’t many modern games in that genre so they can try for the higher price. I waited until it went on sale though. If you don’t mind waiting, check their prices in November or December. Or keep an eye on it at IsThereAnyDeal.

Excellent, thank you :slight_smile:

Thanks, I will!

I realized why that Command game sounded familiar. I dabble in submarine sims and there was some discussion over a new release called Command: The Silent Service. It’s a standalone expansion pack for $20.

Might be a more affordable way to try out the game engine.

My Steam and GoG accounts are full of games I paid less than $10 for, most were free. It’s much easier to get games (quality ones!) cheap or free than ever.

There’s some fairly reasonable discussion of game prices here and here.

I dunno what’s up with your weird one-off $80 game, but the general price point for “AAA” games hasn’t budged in literally decades. You may or may not agree with the arguments set forth in the videos, but they do a pretty good job of explaining why we’re at where we’re at.

I’ve had that game on my steam wishlist a while. It usually goes down to half price during the sales, but I’ve never actually pulled the trigger on it. It’s a shame there’s no real AI beyond mission scripting.

That’s exactly what it is.

Command:MA/NO is an uber-grognard theater-scale naval war simulation. It’s a niche of a niche, has a ton of research behind it, and is pretty much the only game of its type since the last Harpoon of a decade+ ago. It’s also really good at what it does and IMO is the definitive game of its niche…and it will probably remain so for the next decade. They can charge pretty much whatever they want and expect to get it.

Digital distribution of games is cheap for the consumer not because the normal list price is lower - in fact, the standard for PC AAA games was $50 rather than $60 until a few years ago (because they don’t have to pay a licensing fee to MS/Sony but recently decided people will tolerate the extra $10 anyway), but because sales are so frequent, widespread, and deep. Don’t buy much now - wait for the summer sale in a couple of months and you’ll see most games at 75%+ off or more. There are also other ways of getting games very cheap like humble bundles and other sites that are dedicated to low cost bundles like that. Xcom 2, for example, was $12 along with like 8 other well-rated games games during one of the monthly humble bundles. I also saw an xcom 2 complete pack for $26 recently.

It’s really easy to get more games than you could ever need for cheap. I’ve got over 1000 games on steam alone and I only spend around $30-40 a month on gaming.

Only 196 games myself, but very, very few of those were full-price. In fact, I only allow myself one, maybe two full-price games a year. I can afford more, but why bother? I have enough of a backlog that I never lack something to play until the game I want is on sale.

I think that’s how I got it–but even at $30, I would’ve gotten my damn money’s worth out of it. OP, if you have any interest in this genre of game, X Com 2 will scratch your itch. It’s perfectly lovely. (I’m waiting for the major expansion to go on super-sale, but if it doesn’t do so during the summer sale, I’ll probably snag it anyway).