Helldivers 2 & Palworld Show Cheaper Games Can Easily Rival $70 Releases

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Nobody Wants $70 Releases That Don't Guarantee Quality!

Story Highlights
  • Video game quality has become inconsistent over the last few years.
  • Developers have increased AAA game prices to $70, and yet, for this price, many titles are released in a subpar state.
  • Amidst a slew of disappointing $70 titles, Palworld and Helldivers 2 are priced much lower.
  • They prove that fans are more interested in gameplay and quality, even if it comes at a cheaper cost.

With technology rapidly advancing and development costs growing exponentially, many publishers, like Ubisoft, Capcom, and more, recently increased the prices of AAA games from $60 to $70.

Factors like inflation have played a role in this trend, but $70 releases rarely come with a guarantee of quality. Meanwhile, 2024 has been stormed by the release of Palworld and Helldivers 2, titles that weren’t exactly anticipated but took everyone by surprise.

What’s even more surprising is that they cost half of what AAA releases are priced at and still offer more enjoyable experiences, which shows that the gaming industry is headed in a concerning direction.

Why it matters: Following AA titles like Helldivers 2, Palworld, and even Hi-Fi Rush, AAA teams could learn a lot about the industry’s preferences.

Skull and Bones
Skull and Bones Recently Launched For $70

Many $70 Games Have Failed

Despite several years and millions of dollars of effort, the quality of video games has arguably plateaued, leading me to question where developers are headed.

The industry has undergone significant shifts in recent years, with publishers prioritizing profit and trends over delivering the best projects. The result is overpriced games with little to no quality, leading to disappointing sales that, in turn, cause studios to shut down and developers to lose their jobs.

Big releases like Redfall and Forspoken highlighted this trend in 2023. Additionally, the likes of Gotham Knights and the recent Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League are further proof that $70 games don’t always offer the best quality.

Two of these games launched without 60FPS on consoles despite mediocre visuals and game design. Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League was a game hardly anybody had wanted, and yet Warner Bros decided to invest millions of dollars into a live service model.

Skull and Bones is an even more recent example of this trend. Inspired by 2013’s Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, the game was in development for a decade with a massive budget.

However, it failed to make a major splash, with many elements crucial to the pirate fantasy left out of the game. Such big titles are even forcing developers to cancel other titles since they require a much larger team.

Palworld Pokemon
Palworld Screenshot via Tech4Gamers

Palworld And Helldivers 2 Are Dominating

$70 can either get you Skulls and Bones, Ubisoft’s latest AAAA release that I would only compare to Assassin’s Creed Pirates, a mobile game, or you can get Palworld and Helldivers 2.

Palworld delivered what fans wanted for years: an ambitious Pokemon-like game that Nintendo and Game Freak have struggled to produce. Helldivers 2, on the other hand, ignores typical games by only featuring PVE modes and establishes one of the best non-toxic gaming communities that stays united at all times.

However, Palworld and Helldivers 2 are on a much smaller scale than the other games. Despite this inherent drawback, they prove that the industry needs a balance between such games and AAA titles.

Another example of a recent AA title is Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown. While it cost significantly less for Ubisoft to produce, I would argue it completely outclassed Skull and Bones.

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