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The Cost of Digital: WTF?
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maca2kx
The Hammer of Ban


Joined: 24 Jul 2002
Posts: 10786

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After thinking again I've remembered a scenario noted by Dan Ariely in his book Predictably Irrational. A publication gave three subscription options:

1. Print only - $130
2. Online only - $70
3. Print and online - $130

The prices are from memory but the print only and print/online options were definitely priced the same with the online only option definitely being a lot lower. Obviously the combined option sold better than both of the others but that was by design; the marketers wanted that to be the option that sells. The print only option was a decoy and when that was taken out the majority of people went for online only which obviously isn't as lucrative. Why bring this up here? Not just because it's the same basic thing going on but because why don't publishers reduce the cost of digital while introducing a third combined option? The convenience of a digital download with the luxury of having a physical copy of the game with maybe gasp a paper manual could keep the price at the level the publishers want while also encouraging people to download sooner rather than wait for the game to get traded in and sold second hand.
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UrbanMasque
Don't Feed Him


Joined: 16 May 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://consumerist.com/2014/03/15/the-competition-is-as-fake-as-the-blood-why-new-video-games-are-always-the-same-price/

tl;dr basically the publishers a bending everyone over by dictating a price window for the retailers. The retailers only bargaining chip is probably something like "deal, I'll sell your game at $60 but you can offer a price online that would undercut our hardware sales." Thus the huge 69 the retailers and publishers are giving each other.

maca2kx wrote:
After thinking again I've remembered a scenario noted by Dan Ariely in his book Predictably Irrational. A publication gave three subscription options:

1. Print only - $130
2. Online only - $70
3. Print and online - $130

The prices are from memory but the print only and print/online options were definitely priced the same with the online only option definitely being a lot lower. Obviously the combined option sold better than both of the others but that was by design; the marketers wanted that to be the option that sells. The print only option was a decoy and when that was taken out the majority of people went for online only which obviously isn't as lucrative. Why bring this up here? Not just because it's the same basic thing going on but because why don't publishers reduce the cost of digital while introducing a third combined option? The convenience of a digital download with the luxury of having a physical copy of the game with maybe gasp a paper manual could keep the price at the level the publishers want while also encouraging people to download sooner rather than wait for the game to get traded in and sold second hand.


A combined third option equivalent to the distribution of a magazine would be what? Making PS4 games for the Vita as well so I can play it away from home (because honestly - remote play is terrible).
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maca2kx
The Hammer of Ban


Joined: 24 Jul 2002
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Immediate download followed by physical copy posted.
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UrbanMasque
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

maca2kx wrote:
Immediate download followed by physical copy posted.


At $60 bucks? sure. But If the price increases, its still ridiculous.
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SK



Joined: 28 Apr 2002
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Am I the only one who prefers to own physical media? What are the actual advantages of buying digital other than being able to buy it with your ass glued to the couch?
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Master_Craig
i liek to draw pictures


Joined: 02 Jul 2006
Posts: 1873

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only real advantage I see is price, to a degree... but again it'll depend on the service. Steam, PSN, X-BOX Live etc...

Steam for example is generally cheaper than regular retail. I know it won't sound like much but for example... Dark Souls II on Steam is $71.00 AUD, where as in regular retail it's being sold at $79 AUD or $89.95 AUD, depending on the store you visit. It's not that much of a difference, but sometimes it can be.

Thief (2014) is a better example. Through Steam for PC it was $49.95 AUD... where as in regular retail it was $69 AUD for PC. On PSN for PS4, it was $99.95 where regular retail it was $89.95 (this to me makes no sense as to why regular retail is cheaper).

Then there's sales. As we all know, Steam sometimes has some awesome sales and then sometimes, services like the PSN (particularly Playstation Plus) have some cool sales as well.

In regards to owning a physical copy and owning the digital copy, which is better, that's debatable and really personal preference. Personally I prefer owning a physical copy but I do see the advantages of going digital. Owning physical copies takes up physical space and if you lose the copy or it gets damaged, then it'll cost money to replace, that is if you want to replace it. Having digital means once you've got it, you've got it, so if you happen to uninstall it or lose it from your PC/console (I dunno, maybe your hard drive gets fried) you can always re-download it for free on the same account you got it from.
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