Capcom boss thinks games are too cheap

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Capcom chief Haruhiro Tsujimoto says: “Personally, I feel that game prices are too low.”

Haruhiro Tsujimoto, president and chief operating officer of Capcom, has suggested that current game prices don’t properly reflect the increasing cost of development.

As reported by Nikkei (spotted via Eurogamer), Tsujimoto made the remarks at this year’s Tokyo Games Show, which is sponsored by Capcom. “Personally, I feel that game prices are too low,” he said.

“Development costs now are about 100 times more than they were during the Famicom era, but software prices haven’t gone up to that extent,” he clarifies. “There’s also a need to raise wages in order to attract talent. Seeing as wages are rising in the industry as a whole, I think raising unit prices is a healthy business model.”

It’s not the first time a video game company head has suggested something similar. Back in 2020, Shawn Layden, former chairman of Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios, said that the current model wasn’t sustainable, and that some studies have shown that the cost of making games had gone up by two times every time a console generation advanced, with some titles now costing well over $150 million.

“I don’t think, in the next generation, you can take those numbers and multiply them by two and expect the industry to continue to grow,” he said, suggesting that games should become shorter to counter the rise in costs.

The other option, of course, is to make them more expensive. And Tsujimoto is right, games are cheap if you look at how much they cost historically. Back in the early 1990s, a Super NES game could easily set you back £50 or even £60. Nowadays, new console games cost roughly the same, but if the price had tracked with inflation, modern games would now cost well over £100.

But the market for video games has expanded dramatically since the 1990s, so even though games technically cost less than they did, companies sell more of them. Still, it seems unlikely that market growth will continue forever, and meanwhile the cost of game production for ever-more-powerful consoles keeps rising higher and higher.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this. Are games too cheap? Or are they too expensive?

Read more: Has the retro games scene hit its peak?

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