More Expensive AAA Games Would Not Be As Bad As You Think

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  • The prices of AAA games have been a hot topic for a while.
  • I believe that the current quality of many AAA games justifies this price.
  • The new price standards are also important to ensure layoffs are avoided.

Ever since I started gaming, my expectations have only gone up in terms of graphics, narrative, and more. And I think it’s not just me; anyone who enjoys the medium has expectations that slightly go up each year.

However, I have noticed that despite our wanting the best from the developers, we are not willing to pay more than it takes to deliver the very best. Over the years, the cost of developing video games has gone up, but not the price.

Today, modern games cost $70, and this price has been more than justified on many occasions. In my opinion, we should accept the upcoming era and accept that price increases are inevitable.

However, before everyone gets their torches out, let me explain why this wouldn’t be that bad.

Why it matters: Everything around the world has become more expensive. Gaming budgets are also going up, so it makes sense that the consumer pays slightly more.

Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty
Cyberpunk 2077 Cost Around $400 Million

Games Are Better Than Ever

Let’s think about the last two years of gaming. From RPGs like Baldur’s Gate 3 to superhero games like Spider-Man 2, the industry has been on a roll. In fact, many consider 2023 to be one of the years gaming has ever seen.

The list of great releases is so large, in fact, that many of my personal favorites, including Armored Core 6, got lost in the slew of recent hits. Indie games are doing better than ever; competition for Game of The Year is more intense each year, and games are also much bigger than before.

Consider how the average release today is considered short if it offers close to 10 hours of content. This was basically standard a few generations ago, but gamers around the globe demand longer experiences today.

All of this is happening at a time when developers continue to push for cutting-edge visuals and sky-high production values. Sure, there’s a lot of bad in the industry, too, but I don’t agree with the sentiment that gaming has gone downhill.

Therefore, for me, it’s justified for video games to cost more, and I am okay with that, even if the prices go higher in the future.

Redfall Hi-Fi Rush
Tango Gameworks And Arkane Austin Recently Went Down

The Layoff Problem

Looking at the recent closure of studios like Tango Gameworks, which released one of my favorite game last year, it’s surprising to see how difficult surviving in this industry has become.

Thousands have been impacted by the wave of layoffs across this industry today, with the list of studios extending to PlayStation, Activision Blizzard, EA, Ubisoft, and more. This has created a troublesome atmosphere in the industry.

These developers deserve better. If an extra $10 or $20 from my pocket can ensure that such developers are able to put bread on the table, I’m willing to pay more for brand-new titles.

Perhaps we can even anticipate a future where microtransactions are limited to a few titles after studios and publishers generate enough revenue from single-player releases. This would be the dream.

I would much rather pay $10 upfront than be forced to deal with cosmetics, Battle Passes, and all the other microtransactions that this industry is plagued with.

Ultimately, I think it’s better for studios to raise the prices of the AAA releases than to shut down our favorite studios, lower the quality of the games, or release titles with microtransactions.

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