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GameStop: Players expect to pay just $35 for triple-A game downloads

What players expect to pay for digital downloads of triple-A games is a much lower price than publishers would most likely want them to, according to GameStop.
GameStop president Tony Bartel revealed research on what price payers are both paying for triple-A game downloads -- and what price they're actually paying. They're lower than you might expect. As part of the company's last earnings call, Bartel said, "... recent research with gamers indicates that the average price being paid by a customer rate full game triple-A download is $22. When asked what price a game expected to pay for a recently released full game digital download, the answer in these surveys was approximately $35." What he didn't say is at which point in the games' lifespans players are paying such a low price for games that presumably originally sold for $60. Even more troubling to the trailer is its estimate that "over $100 million worth of games have been digitally delivered for free in hardware bundles" in 2014 so far -- which is leading to the further devaluation of games in players' minds. "We want to help ensure that our industry does not make the same mistake as other entertainment categories by driving the perceived value of digital goods significantly below that of a physical game," Bartel said. Microsoft is currently offering multiple Assassin's Creed games in an Xbox One bundle for no added cost, and has also done Sunset Overdrive and Madden 15 bundles this year. In a new blog post, Gamasutra analyst Matt Matthews points out that this creates a natural alliance between GameStop and Nintendo; Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has made similar points many times in the past. You can read the full transcript of the earnings call at Seeking Alpha (registration required.)

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