Wednesday, February 22, 2006

EA leads the way

According to the industry business site Next Generation, Electronic Arts is slashing the prices of highly anticipated current-gen titles by a considerable 20% in an attempt to fight dwindling software sales. That means a drop to $39 USD from the common $50 USD. This is great news, I think, and about high time, too.

While I am something of a videogame enthusiast, I really can't afford to pay 50-60€ ($58-70 USD) per title, which is what the retailers are asking around here. Which means I buy almost all of my games secondhand or from sales. In the case of secondhand titles, the publisher is getting nothing from my purchase. In the case of sales, the retailer is losing out. Then there is online shopping, which is almost guaranteed to be cheaper, but I really, really like to browse the games and buy them personally.

Now, if the $40 USD would translate to 33€ in Europe, I actually would buy games brand new. Not all the time, but a lot more often. (It's more likely we'll see these new EA titles at around 40-45€, though.) As it stands, I think I've only bought Baten Kaitos, Animal Crossing, Burnout 3 and Morrowind at full price, out of several dozen console games.

Many would think it surprising that EA is coming up with this price drop. It's certainly getting the attention. A while back, Take 2 dropped the price of its 2K Sports line to well below (29€) the EA standard to get a slice of the pie. I don't know how that worked out, but since they've been doing it for some time now, I guess it did the trick.

We'll see how this turns out. EA must believe in this since they're subjecting their heaviest current-gen hitters to this treatment, but don't forget that their next-gen titles are still carrying the hefty $60 USD (64€) price tag.

Update: seems to carry Black for the usual 49€. Not much improvement there, then.

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