ShopTo (one of the UK’s most popular online gaming retailers) have been talking today about the recent price rises effecting the suggested retail price (SRP) of Modern Warfare 2, saying that other publishers are following Activision’s lead in increasing the SRP of established gaming franchises.
ShopTo’s head honcho Igor Cipolletta said “Whether planned, or a case of jumping on the popular franchises bandwagon, we have seen Microsoft increase the price of Forza 3 to £49.99 and Nintendo increase the price of Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box to £34.99, I sincerely hope that not all publishers will follow this lead.”
Most games have an SRP of £44.99 but obviously everyone knows that many retailers sell below this with the average game costing around £34.99 online and up to £40 in actual high street stores. As previously reported Activision have raised the SRP of MW2 to £54.99 this has caused many websites to have the title available for around £44.99, although there is a recent trend for the this to be nearer £50.
The news that other publishers are following suit is worrying, but I still believe the titles mentioned; MW2, Forza 3 & Professor Layton will sell extremely well and will be amongst the best selling games of 2009. Personally my fear is that the publishers are using established franchises to get the UK public used to this higher price point and it will eventually filter down to even the most average of games, this in turn could further damage sales adding pressure to the already much beleaguered studios as publishers look to cash in.
I also fear that the industries actions to get itself out of recession may actually cause it to get worse, obviously a price increase is never popular, but other industries do it all the time with even a loaf of bread costing far more than it did a year ago. Let us know what you think in the comments below, is it a necessary evil or do you have have some other solution?