Why are video games so expensive now a days?

When I was growing up most video games only cost around $30. But now, they’re over $60.

20 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    The barriers to entry for producing a AAA game have risen. 

  • 1 month ago

    Simply because of greed. The price tag is indefensible 

  • garry
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    its called inflation , you got more money now than when they where $30 and games are better now .

  • 1 month ago

    On the contrary, video games are more affordable when accounting for inflation.

    While games may have ran around $30 in the Atari 2600 (2nd Gen) era (1977 - circa 1984), when the game industry crashed in the US around 1983 (with ET being the noted trigger point), that price point practically ended.

    When the NES debut in the US around 1985 (3rd Gen), games were priced between $60 - $70.  This increase in cost was mostly due to Nintendo's strict control of 3rd party licensing to ensure quality control & help restore consumer confidence, as it was the lack of quality control in the Atari 2600 era that caused crash (with too much shovelware).

    The $60 - $70 price range was maintained during the 16-bit (4th Gen) era (1990's).  Once the PS1 debut (5th Gen), game prices for major releases was set at $60 (regardless of number of discs) with more indie releases going at lower prices (around $40 for retail, Digital only prices going for considerably less).

    The $60 price for major releases have maintained the standard up to 2020.  It wasn't until the PS5 (9th Gen) release where the price point has risen up to $70.


    $30.00 in 1980 (2nd Gen) = ~$94.23 in 2020

    $60.00 in 1990 (3rd Gen) = ~$118.81 in 2020

    $60.00 in 1995 (4th Gen) = ~$101.89 in 2020

    $60.00 in 2000 (5th Gen) = ~$90.18 in 2020

    $60.00 in 2005 (6th Gen) = ~$79.51 in 2020

    $60.00 in 2010 (7th Gen) = ~$71.21 in 2020

    $60.00 in 2015 (8th Gen) = ~$65.52 in 2020


    $60 in 2020 = ~$54.95 in 2015 = ~$50.55 in 2010 = ~$45.28 in 2005 = ~$39.92 in 2000 = ~$35.33 in 1995 = ~$30.30 in 1990 = ~$19.10 in 1980

    By inflation alone, game prices have been effectively dropping with a steady price point.  With the increase in production costs (GTA V, for example, cost $265 MILLION to make), some less desirable trends like DLC, microtransactions & loot boxes were conceived to help offset costs (& improve profits).

    Please be aware that I'm only focusing on CONSOLES here, as PC games run the gamut in prices from free to $100.  So don't complain about prices over time.

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  • Adjusted for inflation a 30 dollar game in the 80s would cost over 70 dollars now. 

    So actually games are, on average, less expensive now than they were 40 years ago. 

  • first and formost inflation,   tell me is anything we buy now the same price as "when you was growing up"?, secondly because they generally take longer to develop and or they have more people developing them, because  they are a more complete and bigger product, which either takes longer or has more resources and contributors, here's an example i recently completed the remake of mafia 1,     the end credits took 20 mins to show all the credits for the game, people that you would expect are paid for whatever contribution they make, and this all has to come from somewhere.., and there's two main parameters which are linked,    how much the product costs and the number of sales..

  • 1 month ago

    Because they're not run and made on simple atari programs anymore. These are intricate, vast systems that takes a large team to organize and execute 

  • 1 month ago

    Because you're probably buying them day one instead of waiting for them to go on sale. Even if all you do is wait a single month to buy any one game, there's a pretty solid chance It'll go on sale.

    For instance, I held off buying Immortals: Fenyx Rising, and less than a month later you can already pick it up for $30. If I waited even longer, I probably could've got it for $20. Just don't rush to buy games like an idiot, and they won't be expensive.

  • 1 month ago

    The craziest thing about video games being $60 is that they've gotten much, much more complicated to make over time, but the price has stayed exactly at $60. If you're buying a new "Super Mario" game on Nintendo Switch, it's probably gonna cost 60 bucks. If you're buying the new "Call of Duty" on the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, it's probably gonna cost $60. That's the base level price. There are special editions, there are limited editions. There are lots of other ways that video game companies have come up with for you to spend more than $60 on video games, but the base level, entry level price for a blockbuster video game on a console is now $60.

    There was certainly a time period where games cost anywhere from $40 to $80 in the Nintendo, early Nintendo Entertainment System era. Video games in general for consoles began to be priced around $50. That was around the PlayStation 1, Nintendo 64 era. Eventually, not so long after that, about 10 years later, the price increased with the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii generation to $60 and things have stayed about there since in terms of console gaming.

    The $60 price is mostly due to consumer expectation, so if you're Nintendo or you're Sony or Microsoft or any of the other game publishers out there, if you released your game the base level price being $70, $80, more than that, it's a strong possibility people just won't buy it. I think both consumers and game publishers to an extent benefit from the $60 price tag, not necessarily because it's $60, but because there's a standard. There's an expectation. You can go in knowing that the next "Call of Duty," the next "Madden," whatever, is gonna cost the same as you paid the last year or the year before that.

    So it's not like it benefits me that it's $60. It benefits me knowing that I'm not gonna spend more than a certain amount of money. And the same thing goes for if you're a game developer or publisher. You wanna know how much you can expect to get in returns. You can set that $60 as your base level. This is how much people are gonna pay for my game.

    That said, when game companies offer season passes, downloadable content, maybe a figurine or something like that, they can charge more. But it's largely due to consumer expectation, and not necessarily just due to the cost of developing games, because games cost tens of millions of dollars to develop, and the $60 for each one, you have to sell tens of millions of copies to make up for the amount of money you've invested, which is why there are so many other ways that game companies have tried to figure out how to subsidize how expensive those game projects are.

    $60 is essentially too little to pay for the amount of money that goes into the vast majority of blockbuster console games. That's why there's stuff like season passes or downloadable content or loot boxes or any of the other ways that game companies have figured out how to try to make more from what they have.

    A loot box might come with a general description of what's in it. Maybe it comes with a handful of rare items versus what are known as like common items. You don't actually know that you're paying for something directly, right? You're not paying for a skin for the character that you play in a game, you're paying for skins for any character in the game that might be rare versus common. There's an element of gambling to it, essentially, right? And that's problematic both for government regulators and for parents and for just people who buy games.

    I think there will continue to be a market for $60 games, but I think that it's being eaten into more than ever by other forms of video games, whether they're free or just less expensive.

  • 1 month ago

    That was a long time ago. The first system I was old enough to save up money for games on was SNES and it took me a month to earn the $50 FFIII (or FFVI) cost.

    Source(s): I was lucky enough to be immune to poison ivy, so I was digging that stuff up for $5 per yard at 8.
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