The games industry is slowly but surely shifting to premium AAA releases now costing $70 instead of the $60 that had been the industry-wide standard for so long, with the likes of EA, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Activision, and Take-Two Interactive having adopted the new pricing model. And though Capcom is yet to shift to that new pricing model, it seems it won’t be long before that changes.
As reported by Nikkei, in a recent interview at Tokyo Game Show, Capcom’s chief operating officer Haruhiro Tsujimoto touched on the topic of game prices, stating that he personally feels they are “too low”, and that they haven’t increased to a degree that would reflect how much costlier game development has become.
“Personally, I feel that game prices are too low,” he said (translation via VGC). “Development costs are around 100 times higher than they were in the days of the Famicom (NES), but the price of software hasn’t risen so much.
“There is also a need to raise wages in order to attract talented people. Given that wages are rising across the industry as a whole, I think the option of raising unit prices is a healthy form of business.”
Of course, while it’s inarguably true that development costs have increased drastically over the years, and are likely to keep on increasing, it’s also worth keeping in mind that by and large, the revenue for major AAA companies has also increased significantly. The games industry’s audience has grown by quite some margin, and companies are pulling in money not just from initial game sales, but also expansions and DLC, microtransactions, merchandising, and cross-media projects, among other things.
Earlier this year, for instance, in the wake of Resident Evil 4’s launch, Capcom’s share price climbed to an all-time high.
As things stand, Capcom is one of few AAA companies that haven’t yet started selling their games at a $70 price, with recent major releases like Resident Evil 4 and Street Fighter 6 also retailing at $60. Whether the company plans on changing that anytime soon remains to be seen, though honestly, it wouldn’t be surprising if it does.