Former ‘Bulletstorm’ Creative Director Thinks $60 is Too Much for a Game

A former creative director who worked on Bullet Storm and Painkiller for developer People Can Fly thinks that paying $60 in 2014 for a video game is ridiculous. In a recent interview with GII, Adrian Chmielar called that practice "a little insane."

"Everybody is smart in retrospect, and looking back I do think that we were possibly among the first victims of this giant shift in gaming, where the middle-class AAA games began to die–not 'middle-class' by quality, but we didn't have ten multiplayer modes and co-op and all of that," Chmielarz said of Bulletstorm in an interview with GamesIndustry International. "The saying in the industry right now is, 'If you want to sell a game for $60, to the player it has to feel like $200.'"

"Bulletstorm was a $60 game for $60," he added. "And these days $60 for a game sounds basically crazy, when there are literally hundreds of high quality games out there for a much smaller price–even on console. In 2014, $60 for a game is a little insane."

Chmielarz also talked said that publishers often seek to turn franchises into something they are not supposed to be. He uses Dead Space as an example.

"That could be a profitable series, but only if you're smart about the budget and the content," he said.

Since leaving People Can Fly, Chmielarz co-founded The Astronauts, developer of The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, which he says will shy away from having filler simply to justify a $60 price tag.

"There is a necessity to add filler in AAA games, whether it be collectibles or one more wave of enemies," Chmielarz said. "It's unfortunate, and it's also proof that the world is insane." He points out how players' calls for longer games clash with data suggesting "70 or 80 percent of people never finish the game."

"But I think that's connected to the price, and there we go again. Lower prices would allow us to stop thinking about filler for our games, and start focusing on making the experience just right," he said. "You have to live with the fact that some players will complain no matter what, but I think that when your game is tight, and the story you want to tell is told exactly the way you want, I think the effect is way more powerful than anyone complaining that they didn't get 100 hours of entertainment for their €20."

Source: GameSpot

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  1. 0
    Sora-Chan says:

    But.. But.. What about companies like Square Enix where they don't break even if they sell multi-million copies?! D:


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  2. 0
    RedMage says:

    The $60 price tag is especially insulting when you consider that the big publishers have been subtly trying to turn $60 into $70, $80 or even more with DLC. They know that an upfront higher price tag would make people riot, so they do the next best thing: Cut out content. EA has more or less admitted that was the intent, especially with ME3.

    What baffles me was the people who thought that Microsoft crippling used game sales with the Xbox One would lead to cheaper games. So destroying the only competition for $60 retail copies would make prices lower? Nice theory.

  3. 0
    Papa Midnight says:

    I said the same thing last generation. It's also why my gaming library is largely devoid of any Activision titles – save for some very specific ones (mostly character driven titles such as Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Prototype 1 & 2, and Deadpool).

    When you actually account for it, the Call of Duty titles themselves are closer to $120. They charge $60 for the game, then $15 for 4 map packs released over the next several months – and people happily buy with a smile. If you were to ask my opinion, I'd say that these were the people who were the problem – those who continue to patron Activision for these very actions. If they didn't keep buying, Activision would not keep selling titles in this manner.

  4. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    I agree.  In fact, I flat out refuse to pay $60 for a game.

    I feel kind of bad purchasing Super Mario 3D World and Pikmin 3 used.  I'd rather that money go to Nintendo but again, I ain't paying $60.


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