In the digital retail market, we’re use to seeing low priced games and with game decay and fire sales you see a lot of games getting cheaper and cheaper all the time. Take a look at the App stores on mobile platforms, for example. There are a ton of games that can be purchased for just a dollar. Xbox Live Arcade, on the other hand, is refuting this trend. Speaking with Gameindustry.biz, Xbox Live Arcade’s portfolio director Chris Charla stated that prices on XBLA aren’t subject to the same downward pressure as other digital retail platforms, where the pricing structure is “a race to zero as fast as possible.”
“If you look at Live Arcade, and do the math, and look at the publicly available sales numbers, you can see that average prices on XBLA have crept up over the last few years.”
In 2009, 21 out of the 86 games released were priced at 1200 Microsoft Points ($15) with the figure rising slightly in 2010 with 27 games out of 85 priced at same price point, and even more so in 2011 where at the half-way point, there have been 20 games released at that 1200 MP sweet spot with a significant amount of releases still to come before the year is up.
Attributing the gradual increase in price with their quality titles such as Castle Crashers and Limbo. He goes on to state that:
“I don’t really know where prices are going to go – ultimately, that’s set by the market – but it has been really gratifying to see that people are willing to a premium price for digital content.”
Mr. Charla is very confident with their current business model. Even though we all like a good deal when purchasing videogames, are you okay with shelling out $15 on digital games? Is there anything you think Microsoft should improve on or adopt to take their service to another level?