Major third party publisher Electronic Arts has cut the recommended retail price of several of its current generation titles in North America, in a move widely predicted by analysts. Although prices for Xbox 360, Nintendo DS and PSP have been unaffected, games on other formats have been cut by more than half, in some cases.
Originally priced at $49.99, titles such as Madden NFL 06
, NBA Live 06
, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
and FIFA 06
have been officially discounted to $29.99. Individual stores have already begun discounting the titles further, with Amazon listing a price of $26.95 for all the above games.
Other recent titles have been discounted by varying amounts by Electronic Arts, with the still popular Need for Speed: Most Wanted
down to $39.99 and Medal of Honor: European Assault
reduced to $19.99.
The move follows a similar price drop by Take-Two Interactive for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
to $19.99, though this title is significantly older. Although in-store discounting has been rampant across the UK since Christmas, there has been no sign of official price drops outside the U.S. by Electronic Arts or any other company.
Officials from Electronic Arts have so far failed to comment on the move, but analysts suggest that it is being used as way to move current generation stock quickly during a traditionally quiet sales period, and before the onset of more sustained next generation sales.
What effect this will have on the perceived worth of the titles in question for the un-discounted formats is unclear, though, with the Xbox 360 versions already costing an additional $10, despite comments of relatively little difference in quality and graphics for some titles.