Does Price Matter in a Game Review?

August 15, 2011 -

The latest edition of Jumping The Shark (the official podcast for GameShark.com) tackles game pricing and if it should affect how a game reviewer evaluates a particular game. On the one side of the argument are those that think the price of a game matters and on the other are those that believe it should have an impact on how a game is scored.

Personally, I believe the value of a game is found (or not found, as the case may be) in its overall presentation and has nothing to do with how much it costs. Obviously a lot of people disagree, but some good points are made for both sides of this long-standing argument among reviewers in this podcast.

You can catch it here directly, or check out the official site here.

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Comments

Re: Does Price Matter in a Game Review?

Personally I think considering price into a game rating is a bad idea, but I think that a review that gives it's professional opinion on whether it is worth the price point is useful. I see a rating system such as this:

Highest to lowest:

Buy it new

Wait for it to go on sale

Rent it

Borrow it

Don't bother/It's broken

-Greevar

"Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

Re: Does Price Matter in a Game Review?

Should it affect the review? Beyond a blurb about the price being worth the look, no. It by no means should affect the final judgment of the game (aka "this game was really well crafted but because it's five dollars more than I care for I'm going to drop my opinion of it") as that's a judgment that's in the eyes of the consumer. I've seen some games that I felt were a steal at what I paid for while other people wouldn't't pay even close to what I did for the same title. It's subjective and a review should cover quality of the game, not perceived worth.

Re: Does Price Matter in a Game Review?

Price definitely affects my overall opinion of a game.  I'd like to think I could evaluate the game's quality without cost being a factor but whenever I end up paying "full price" for what is clearly a budget game, it really just ticks me off. 

Re: Does Price Matter in a Game Review?

The real question is do we need game reviewers telling us what our money is worth. The answer is no. Just review the game and we'll figure out if it's worth our money. 

Re: Does Price Matter in a Game Review?

A friend of mine does say "if it felt worth it to you, it was".

Re: Does Price Matter in a Game Review?

"On the one side of the argument are those that think the price of a game matters and on the other are those that believe it should have an impact on how a game is scored."

So, the people who think it matters, vs. the people who think it matters?  That ought to be a short debate.  ;)

Re: Does Price Matter in a Game Review?

Price matters to an extent, but it should not affect the scoring of a game.

Re: Does Price Matter in a Game Review?

I think whether price matters is the wrong question.

There are all sorts of things you could ask about a game. What's the difference between a 75 that's a magnificent endeavor but almost unplayable due to bugs, a 75 that works well but isn't hugely inspired, a 75 that plays well but is drowning in excruciatingly questionable ideology couched in pure jingoism, a 75 that's good but has only niche appeal... and a 75 that's good but too expensive?

There are already so many factors that impact the score that you can't really tell anything from it.

Re: Does Price Matter in a Game Review?

As a journalist, myself, I don't let the price of a game affect my review of it. A good game is a good game, and a bad game is a bad game, regardless.

On the other hand, however, I also believe that some games may or may not be worth buying at certain price points.

I believe a good example would be Venetica. It's not really a great game, but it's not horrible, either. It released at $40, but I personally wouldn't pay that much for it. If someone were to offer it for $10-15, then it's definitely playable.

Other examples would be Duke Nukem Forever, Chaos Legion, and Brink. All of them fit in the "Not quite perfect but still playable, and enjoyable" category, and people would be more inclined to buy them and give them chances at lower price points.

Long story short, price point shouldn't affect whether a game is good or bad, but it definitely factors into the enjoyability, especially for those who don't use services like Gamefly or Blockbuster.

Re: Does Price Matter in a Game Review?

This is basically exactly where I fall.  If the review score is supposed to reflect the quality of the game, then price shouldn't impact it.  However, the simple fact is that price does impact a game's overall value.  This is a combination of the quality of the game and the price point.  As a reviewer, I would say something like "This game is a 75, but the value for $60 just isn't there.  If this was a $20 game, then go for it."

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