Movies Vs Games: A double Standard?

Tyrien

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Jul 8, 2007
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#1
There's something that's been tickling my brain for a while, but I've ever gone and voiced the concern.

Why is it acceptable for a blu-ray to be $20 new, but not for games to be worth $60? Often times I see posters here claim that a game isn't worth the money based on what you're given. The most frequent complaint I read is the total time it takes for a single play through of the game's story; simplified as a time:money ratio.

The average movie is an hour and a half in length, and only offers a passive experience. A brand new Blu-ray typically goes for around $20, maybe more for box office hits like Avatar, Inception, Alice in Wonderland, etc. The average game launched at a $60 price and offers an interactive experience lasting on average 9 hours.

So doing simple math I get that movies work out to about $13.34 per hour of entertainment. In contrast the average game works out to $6.67 per hour of entertainment.

Maybe I'm looking in the wrong spot, but this isn't consistent with only this forum. I have friends who always claim a game's $60 launch price isn't worth it because you only get so many hours out of the single player. Rarely do I hear friends complain about the prices of new movies. Even when I do it's an express of disinterest in the movie, not a claim that it has no value.

With that said what is an acceptable value for a game? When does a game become worth it? How much should someone be spending per hour on a game to justify the initial price? Obviously there isn't a cut and dry answer here... but I feel like this attitude is creating the unnecessary need to quantify our gaming purchases.

TL;DR

Blu-Ray = Approx $13.34 per hour of passive entertainment = Express of disinterest in movie
Games = Approx $6.67 per hour of interactive entertainment = Express that the game is not worth it for how long you play

Wtf?
 

Bitbydeath

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Sep 10, 2005
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#2
I find the same thing with Mobile Phones and Game Consoles.

I could buy the latest Samsung Galaxy for $800 Aus or i could pickup a 360/PS3 for $450 Aus.

While the content type is not quite the same i can for sure get a damn lot more entertainment out of a console than a phone.
Also look at how much more work would go into said device. (Console parts over phone parts)

So yea i guess it all comes down to demand and what people are willing to pay, not necessarily how much the product is worth.
 

Nerevar

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Aug 27, 2005
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#3
Tons of variables. One likely reason, I believe, is that as the price for an item increases it's potential worth needs to be even higher. A 20$ movie seems like an easy buy, even if it only gives at most 1.5-2 hours of initial enjoyment. But a 60$ game needs more than just 3 times the enjoyment time, even if it's only 3 times the cost, as that 60$ price tag may sub-consciously appear more taxing on your wallet overall. Imagine a graph showing the relationship of price and enjoyment, and as the price increases the demand for enjoyment increases even further, becoming steeper. You also have to consider that a good movie pulls you in much deeper than most games, and may leave you more satisfied than an average 10 hour gaming experience in the end.
 
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PS4freak

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#4
[QUOTE="Rapture, post: 5588403]Tons of variables. One likely reason, I believe, is that as the price for an item increases it's potential worth needs to be even high. A 20$ movie seems like an easy buy, even if it only gives at most 1.5-2 hours of initial enjoyment. But a 60$ game needs more than just 3 times the enjoyment time, even if it's only 3 times the cost, as that 60$ price tag may sub-consciously appear more taxing on your wallet overall. Imagine a graph showing the relationship of price and enjoyment, and as the price increases the demand for enjoyment increases even further, becoming steeper. You also have to consider that a good movie pulls you in much deeper than most games, and may leave you more satisfied than an average 10 hour gaming experience in the end.[/QUOTE]

Yep. Great points.
 

wesmore24

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Sep 9, 2010
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#5
It isnt worth it. Your better off waiting for a price drop, or just renting two games at Blockbuster for 9.99$ The weird thing is, even though people complain that its not worth it, (i think) the majority of those people still buy those games right as they release or a week or so after the game comes out. A game that just been realeased should range between 40-50$, depending on how anticipated it is. Since it is longer lasting than a Blu Ray it deserves to be more expensive. But they also should think that if a game is 20$, then more people would buy it when it comes out. But they would have to hope 3 times more people would purchase it since its 2/3 cheaper. Or sell a new Blu Ray movie and a new game for like 40$ plus tax. A game becomes worth it when you realize that you can see yourself playing it over and over again. So you know it would last a long time.
 
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Fedos

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Feb 21, 2005
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#6
Yeah, I just stopped buying most games at release. This year there will be only four games I buy at release: Uncharted 3, Gears 3, Dark Souls, and Skyrim. All other games I buy this year will be games that either came out last year and dropped in price, or games that dropped in price that were released this year. I just realized sometime last year that dropping sixty everytime a new game I want comes out just isn't economically feasible, especially considering that I have all three consoles. That's a major hit on your wallet.
 

Nerevar

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#7
[QUOTE="Fedos, post: 5588456]Yeah, I just stopped buying most games at release. This year there will be only four games I buy at release: Uncharted 3, Gears 3, Dark Souls, and Skyrim. All other games I buy this year will be games that either came out last year and dropped in price, or games that dropped in price that were released this year. I just realized sometime last year that dropping sixty everytime a new game I want comes out just isn't economically feasible, especially considering that I have all three consoles. That's a major hit on your wallet.[/QUOTE]

I don't normally do this, but I gotta say you have excellent taste. Those 4 games, and those 4 games only, are my absolute must buy upon release this year.
 
Jan 13, 2006
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#8
This is very subjective and boils down to preferences and taste.

I have no qualm with paying $60 for a single player game where as some of my friends will only pay $60 if said single player game has a multiplayer component.

I won't pay $60 for a multiplayer only game where as the same friends will.

As far as movies go, I think both camps see movies as a lesser value of entertainment to be had. So that $20 seems cheaper than the $60. Most people are not going to do the math to see that they are actually paying more for the movie than the game.
 
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Ghost

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Aug 12, 2009
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#9
About a year ago I wised up and started buying UK import games on amazon for half the retail price herein Austria. I have over 30 games from 2011/12 that I want and there's no way im paying full price when I can effectively get 2 for the price of 1.
 

Bio

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#10
I always assumed the reasoning is based on price being directly related to the amount of use it requires by the user, which determines its level of content. A video game demands a larger investment of time, giving a larger content base* for the user. Movies, on the other hand, are shorter and more passive experiences and thus a "leaner" experience (slimmer content base) for the consumer. As a result, video games can afford to be sold at a higher price.

(*of course, a movie can easily have more longevity depending on the taste of the consumer, hence why I am saying "content BASE".)

At any rate, I feel that the reasoning ends here only when talking about how the pricing disparity began (i.e., when games first started being sold at retail). As for why the games are this high in recent years also has to do with the incremental increases of development costs for games from each successive generation...making the already more-expensive video game medium even more expensive (but the same does not apply to higher-budget movies at nearly the same rate). This gen, a new console game release is $60. Last gen, it was $50. Before that, it was even less (probably $40). The price of movies, like video games, go up slightly when a new format hits the market...but movies go back down fast as soon as the format becomes a standard. Console/handheld games haven't gone down for the past three generations, I believe.

So while video games were always meant to cost more, yes...they do have a double standard...of getting away with price spikes on top of that. That's how I feel, at least. I'm not a professional analyst or anything like that, though, so take it as you will.
 
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PS4freak

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#11
Generally I will buy a movie if I know it is something that I will watch multiple times. I usually don't do impulse buys. I will rent it, if I like it a lot I will buy. Games on the other hand I will do some research on. But the amount of time that I get out of a game plays a lot into the decision if I will buy. May seem kind of shallow but I guess I don't treat movies and games the same way. I can easily part with $20 over $60 any day.
 

Kezzman

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#12
I agree with Kaludron, it is entirely subjective. I buy games on release and usually at full price too, often special editions too, and it doesn't really bother me. I'm not one to complain about games being too expensive, except maybe jokingly when I can't afford to get all the games I want :D
 

Tyrien

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#14
[QUOTE="Bio, post: 5588632]I always assumed the reasoning is based on price being directly related to the amount of use it requires by the user, which determines its level of content. A video game demands a larger investment of time, giving a larger content base* for the user. Movies, on the other hand, are shorter and more passive experiences and thus a "leaner" experience (slimmer content base) for the consumer. As a result, video games can afford to be sold at a higher price.

(*of course, a movie can easily have more longevity depending on the taste of the consumer, hence why I am saying "content BASE".)

At any rate, I feel that the reasoning ends here only when talking about how the pricing disparity began (i.e., when games first started being sold at retail). As for why the games are this high in recent years also has to do with the incremental increases of development costs for games from each successive generation...making the already more-expensive video game medium even more expensive (but the same does not apply to higher-budget movies at nearly the same rate). This gen, a new console game release is $60. Last gen, it was $50. Before that, it was even less (probably $40). The price of movies, like video games, go up slightly when a new format hits the market...but movies go back down fast as soon as the format becomes a standard. Console/handheld games haven't gone down for the past three generations, I believe.

So while video games were always meant to cost more, yes...they do have a double standard...of getting away with price spikes on top of that. That's how I feel, at least. I'm not a professional analyst or anything like that, though, so take it as you will.[/QUOTE]

Sorry, I was questioning why there is complaining towards game prices, but not movies, despite games clearly being a better "entertainment vs money spent" value. That was insightful though.

Also, guys, I know it's entirely subjective. What I'm asking is why is there a trend to complain this way about games, but not movies.
 
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mickice

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#15
The question is, is the experience your getting with said game even worth $6 an hour? Some are most defiantly not. Some mechanics of a game can be down right broken and that alone deserves money to be stripped off. Even some sections blatantly copied and pasted to extend your play.
Your Blu-Ray from start to finish will always be and should be pixel perfect start frame to end frame.

Say your Blu-Ray had out of sync audio, frames that tore in high action scenes and some scenes were SD while the rest were recorded in HD. Would you pay full price for it or wait till it dropped?
 
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Tyrien

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#16
[QUOTE="mickice, post: 5588740]The question is, is the experience your getting with said game even worth $6 an hour? Some are most defiantly not. Some mechanics of a game can be down right broken and that alone deserves money to be stripped off. Even some sections blatantly copied and pasted to extend your play.
Your Blu-Ray from start to finish will always be and should be pixel perfect start frame to end frame.

Say your Blu-Ray had out of sync audio, frames that tore in high action scenes and some scenes were SD while the rest were recorded in HD. Would you pay full price for it or wait till it dropped?[/QUOTE]
So it's purely graphics for you then?

Twlight is filmed in 1080p, with the HD audio to boot. That doesn't make it a good movie.

I'm speaking in general here, not for a specific case by case. Overall I'm stating that games, even "bad" ones released at $60, are still a better value than blu-rays released at $20. Yet all the complaining that I've seen is focused towards stating how a game isn't worth the money.
 

J3ff3

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Dec 30, 2006
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#18
i'm sure all those who think a game isn't worth that price think that a bluray isn't either

people who don't think blurays are worth the money just don't buy them/ buy dvds. gamers on the other hand like to whine rather than play on a less expensive console or wait till prices drop
 

Ixion

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#19
I buy many more games than Blu-rays, so I suppose I agree with you. I only buy Blu-rays for my absolute favorite movies, such as the upcoming LOTR Blu-ray pack.

Otherwise I just rent movies from Vudu, iO, Netflix, etc.
 

Gregorious

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#20
A game has way better value, in Canada anyway BluRays are frequently closer to $30. Well that goes for the ones you actually want to buy on BRD. This is where having the extra online features is a win for games even if they are limited.
 

Fenix

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#21
If the game is a "must have" I pay retail:

If it isnt I usually wait till it comes within $2.50-$3/hour, same model I use for my movies. I HATE buying movies for $20-$30. I feel so ripped off unless its in a steelbook. I LOVE those and would pay $10 more for it.
 
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Minnzy

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Sep 8, 2006
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#22
Wait wait wait... games average 9 hours? :S ok granted the combined time I've spent on Fallout 3 playthroughs and the Original Mass effect probably drag up the average 2 to 3 hours most other games offer :(
 

Xelis

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Jan 1, 2008
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#23
Even though I do think most games are good value for £35, I personally never pay more than £25 purely down to the fact of the amount of games I want to play.
 

Fedos

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#24
[QUOTE="Rapture, post: 5588461]I don't normally do this, but I gotta say you have excellent taste. Those 4 games, and those 4 games only, are my absolute must buy upon release this year.[/QUOTE]

Thanks man:) I appreciate that. Yeah, I'm just sitting here wondering where I'll get the time to play through both Skyrim and Dark Souls. They come out almost a month apart but still. I've already got Dark Souls preordered, don't know about Skyrim, even though I did hear about a world map being included if you preorder.
 

Ghost

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#26
[QUOTE="Xelis, post: 5588841]Even though I do think most games are good value for £35, I personally never pay more than £25 purely down to the fact of the amount of games I want to play.[/QUOTE]

Im with you on this. My "to get" list has over 30 titles from 2011/12. The average game he is between €50-70, yet after a month or so I can get the UK import for about €35. I simply cannot afford to buy all those at full price lol. €1050ish for 30 games is a lot cheaper than €1800ish. However, I usually buy my wanted PS3 exclusives day 1 at retail.
 
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#27
I don't think that it is completely fair to compare Blu-Ray/DVD to a game because prior to being put on a shelf films get cinema releases where people can experience them for something like 9 euro (I have no idea how much cinema tickets cost in US).

Personally, I only buy a movie if I already know its good, having previously seen it (could be in the cinema, TV or whatever). But buying a game on day one represents a certain leap of faith, despite all the trailers and reviews that come out prior to its release.
 

MacP

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Jun 27, 2008
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#28
With films there is always a cheaper alternative, Blu-Ray $20 DVD 10 $10 800mb to 2gb 1-2 hour download. Movies tend to be more mainstream as well, increasing chances of making a profit.
 

daLa

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#30
I feel you, some games are not worth spending your whole buck ($60) on it, but like it or not it's the only way to get them. Best way around that price fact is to wait until it drops.

I played and finished Fallout 3 and loved it, then New Vegas was about to come out and i wanted it but didn't have enough to buy it; i stopped by gamestop last week saw it brand new for $19.99 now that's when i said this is a bargain and i bought it.