GameStop is worried that digital games could drive game prices dangerously low, according to a statement from the company’s president Tony Bartel in its most recent quarterly earnings report.
Bartel said that GameStop estimates that $100 million-worth of games have been digitally delivered for free as part of hardware bundles like the Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Bundle and the PlayStation 4 upcoming Black Friday Bundle.
“We want to help ensure that our industry does not make the same mistake as other entertainment categories by driving the perceived value of digital goods significantly below that of a physical game,” Bartel said (via Seekingalpha.com). “When the free digital token programs end, we believe that the industry will need to work together to continue to price goods in a way that sustains profitability and encourages a great innovation that this category needs.”
Bartel also said that recent research indicated that the average price a consumer pays for a full, AAA game download is $22. When asked what price consumers expected to pay for a full game digital download, they said approximately $35.
Two important pieces of information that Bartel didn’t mention about that study are which platforms did these consumers buy these games for (Console or PC, where platforms like Steam offer regular sales), and how long after the release of these games did consumers buy them for $22. Later in the call, Bartell said that $22 is “clearly an unsustainable price point for a game that physically is at $60.”
How much do you expect to pay for full, digital games? Let us know in the comments below.