GW: Rising Prices

In this Guest Writer article TSA member ChoZanWan gives us his opinion on the recent pricing decisions made by Activision and what he thinks might have motivated that decision. A consumer’s look at what some have described as an experiment with pricing.

This month saw Activision take the step of pricing Modern Warfare 2 at a wallet-busting £54.99, a price that was decided upon due to “massive development costs”.

Myself, I see this as nothing more than an opportunity for a publisher to make an extra bundle of cash on something that was going to be a sure-fire hit and net them a tidy profit anyway. At retail, the anticipation behind “Modern Warfare 2” is palpable. My local GAME store has taken in excess of 200 pre-orders across the three main formats, in a programme that began back in April. HMV has recently announced that they will be stocking the exclusive Premium edition, which comes with all sorts of extras, including a set of night-vision goggles for £120.

The marketing campaign and the demonstration at this year’s E3 only heightened the need for the game to be a ‘must-have’ title. Without showing anything at all, gamers around the world see the game as something they must buy, no matter what. So, with the anticipation of the next Call Of Duty at an all time high, could Activision honestly say that they didn’t look over their figures, ringing their hands and say “You know what..?”

Activision aren’t strangers to high prices. Guitar Hero World Tour’s band-in-a-box still manages to sell for £160, even though the ongoing support for the in-game store seems to be dwindling, and is regularly put in the shade by Rock Band, and will be even more so now that MTV and Harmonix have opened the development of music up to all. DJ Hero, another of their music based titles, due over the all important Christmas season will set wannabe DJs back £110 for a three button record deck. Of course, those two examples can, to some extent, justify their prices due to the fact that you do get a lot for your money, which takes us back to the issue with Modern Warfare 2.

£55 for the standard version? Somebody at Activision should be ashamed.