Why are some of the 1st party/exclusive games so expensive?

#1 Edited by CrimsonAvenger (302 posts) -

So I've noticed that some of the games that came out last year at launch or earlier this year for this system are still really expensive. On Amazon, Arkham City Armored Edition is $19.96 currently and that game was released November 18, 2012. Now while it isn't a first party game it was an exclusive. New Super Mario Bros. U on the other hand is a first party game and is still ridiculously expensive a year later.

Currently on Amazon, the game is $48.55 even though it came out the same day and year as Arkham City. At Walmart though the game is even more expensive at $59.96. For a game over a year old that is a very exorbitant price. While the games themselves aren't comparable one has to wonder why Mario a first party game is so expensive. Mario is a franchise Nintendo depends upon to sell consoles.

I think that is one thing everybody agrees on. Whether you love or hate the mustachioed plumber, he is Nintendo's biggest seller. If Nintendo truly wants this console to succeed then why are they keeping the games people want at such high prices? Have they given up on this system? I certainly hope not because I'm planning on getting one. Given my luck though I wouldn't say it's out of the question. Anytime I find a new TV Show I like, it gets canceled.

Now another game I've found that's abnormally priced is Lego City Undercover. Released almost two weeks after Tomb Raider, it was a fairly anticipated game and one that looked to be a console seller. While Tomb Raider wasn't released on the Wii U, it was on PS3 and the Xbox 360. On Amazon the game is currently priced at $17.99 for the PS3 and $19.99 for the 360.Lego City on the other hand is priced at $49.96. While they are not comparable games they were released around the same time yet Lego City is way more expensive. Why? And what makes Mario so expensive?

#2 Posted by alanm26v5 (463 posts) -

It's just kind of how demand works for them, especially since they're exclusives. The best advice I can give is follow @videogamedeals and @cagnewdeals on twitter and check places like www.reddit.com/r/gamedeals periodically. There were a bunch of Black Friday deals and I think Best Buy just did buy one get one 50% off on Nintendo games that still might be active.

#3 Edited by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@crimsonavenger: As long as demand is there, the prices stay higher. Prices typically don't drop to a dramatic degree until the demand at the current price is no longer there.

#4 Posted by BigJeffrey (5184 posts) -

the batman game was recently $8 new.

#5 Posted by BigSocrates (409 posts) -

Nintendo hates discounts. It's part of their weird anachronistic business model. Even when they have sales it's like marking a $5 game down to $3.50 rather than the 75% or deeper discounts you see on Steam, PSN, and even Xbox Live from time to time.

#6 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

Nintendo hates discounts. It's part of their weird anachronistic business model. Even when they have sales it's like marking a $5 game down to $3.50 rather than the 75% or deeper discounts you see on Steam, PSN, and even Xbox Live from time to time.

Actually, marking a $5 game down to $3.50 is a pretty big discount.

#7 Posted by BigSocrates (409 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@bigsocrates said:

Nintendo hates discounts. It's part of their weird anachronistic business model. Even when they have sales it's like marking a $5 game down to $3.50 rather than the 75% or deeper discounts you see on Steam, PSN, and even Xbox Live from time to time.

Actually, marking a $5 game down to $3.50 is a pretty big discount.

It's 30 percent and $1.50. The weekly PSN and Xbox Live sales are regularly 50% or more (often off an already reduced price) and rarely less than 33%. Also Nintendo rarely discounts pricier games. Even from a percentage perspective 30% is not great, but in terms of absolute savings? Heck you want apples to apples? Microsoft released a game of the year edition for Halo 4 (came out around the same time as New Super Mario Brothers U and probably their biggest first party franchise) for MSRP of $40 and can be found marked down to $30 or lower. And Sony's even better. They sell games like Infamous, Killzone, and Resistance in compilation packs for $30. You can get Infamous 1 and 2, GREAT games with tons of open world content, for less than $30. Super Mario Galaxy 2? Still at $50.

#8 Edited by believer258 (12201 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@crimsonavenger: As long as demand is there, the prices stay higher. Prices typically don't drop to a dramatic degree until the demand at the current price is no longer there.

Is Lego City Undercover really big enough to stay at $50, though?

I don't know the exact reason why Nintendo keeps the prices on their games so high, though I'd guess that's part of their insistence on sticking to old-school business models and ideas period. I don't think Nintendo games have ever been cheap.

#9 Posted by Nettacki (1320 posts) -

@believer258: Metroid Other M is a Nintendo game and it has often been sold at bargain bin prices years after release ($5-10, depending on where you get it).

#10 Edited by cloudymusic (1233 posts) -

Super Mario 64 DS, a game that came out in 2004, still sits at $29.99 retail.

#11 Posted by BigSocrates (409 posts) -

Super Mario 64 DS, a game that came out in 2004, still sits at $29.99 retail.

Not to mention it's a port of a game from the mid-90s. The original game is probably older than most of the people it's being purchased for at this point.

#12 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@crimsonavenger: As long as demand is there, the prices stay higher. Prices typically don't drop to a dramatic degree until the demand at the current price is no longer there.

Is Lego City Undercover really big enough to stay at $50, though?

I don't know the exact reason why Nintendo keeps the prices on their games so high, though I'd guess that's part of their insistence on sticking to old-school business models and ideas period. I don't think Nintendo games have ever been cheap.

Oh, they do, though it might also depend on the retailer. I remember a time when Other M was selling for $50 at Best Buy and like $15 new at the Gamestop across the street. It was bizarre.

#13 Posted by believer258 (12201 posts) -

@nettacki said:

@believer258: Metroid Other M is a Nintendo game and it has often been sold at bargain bin prices years after release ($5-10, depending on where you get it).

It also isn't exactly one of their system sellers due to its less than stellar reception.

@hailinel said:

@believer258 said:

@hailinel said:

@crimsonavenger: As long as demand is there, the prices stay higher. Prices typically don't drop to a dramatic degree until the demand at the current price is no longer there.

Is Lego City Undercover really big enough to stay at $50, though?

I don't know the exact reason why Nintendo keeps the prices on their games so high, though I'd guess that's part of their insistence on sticking to old-school business models and ideas period. I don't think Nintendo games have ever been cheap.

Oh, they do, though it might also depend on the retailer. I remember a time when Other M was selling for $50 at Best Buy and like $15 new at the Gamestop across the street. It was bizarre.

Well, you can find them cheap at times, they just seem to take a lot longer than most other publishers to knock the prices of their games down.

Their games definitely tend to stay more expensive than Microsoft and Sony's do, though. I got Forza Horizon for $15 a month after it came out, on a Black Friday sale at Microsoft's own online store. Those two seem to have taken a page out of Steam's book.

#14 Posted by Marokai (3150 posts) -

I'll be completely honest and say this is one of the reasons I have not bought many Wii U games at all despite owning the system since last December. There are a ton of games coming out all the time and I'm not a person with money growing on trees.

I even went out of my way on Black Friday to look for Wii U games that weren't full price, and there was absolutely nothing worthwhile. Meanwhile, games that came out just a few weeks or months prior were marked down by a third or more. At Walmart, Assassin's Creed 4 was $35 and BF4 was $25! It isn't even an exclusives argument; Beyond: Two Souls and The Last of Us were 25 dollars at Walmart. Nintendo games discounted? Fuck-all. Unless you were a fan of the 3DS, then you got a handful of good marked down games.

Gamestop's Wii U Black Friday ad page was embarrassing. Meanwhile, Walmart and Amazon were pricing down a bunch of first and third party XB1 and Ps4 games within days of the systems' releases. It's like this company wants the Wii U to keep being ignored.

#16 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1606 posts) -

Nintendo tends to be reticent to discount their higher-profile titles. I bought Skyward Sword on sale for something like $40 a couple of months ago. They do it because they can. A lot of games are pretty interchangeable, but if you want to play Mario or Zelda, you're not going to settle for anything else. It's the same reason Apple almost never discounts stuff. They've both done the math (in the short and long terms) and decided they'd rather sell less units at a drastically higher margin.

Nintendo hates discounts. It's part of their weird anachronistic business model. Even when they have sales it's like marking a $5 game down to $3.50 rather than the 75% or deeper discounts you see on Steam, PSN, and even Xbox Live from time to time.

Choosing to stand by your games and not train people to wait for sales is anachronistic? Difficulty moving Wii U hardware aside (which I think is a separate issue from software prices), it's working out pretty well for them. Ask Square Enix how they feel about being pushed by retailers to drop their games to bargain bin prices months after release.

As much as people love crazy Steam sales and quick price drops, publishers only resort to them because they have to. Most of them would love to be in Nintendo's boots, selling hundreds of thousands of copies of games at full price for years on end.

#17 Posted by afabs515 (1328 posts) -

@marokai said:

Gamestop's Wii U Black Friday ad page was embarrassing. Meanwhile, Walmart and Amazon were pricing down a bunch of first and third party XB1 and Ps4 games within days of the systems' releases. It's like this company wants the Wii U to keep being ignored.

Oops, accidentally deleted my original post.

I said something like: I love the way it's Wii/Wii U at the top of the page. Great to see GameStop getting the message out there that the Wii and Wii U are two completely separate consoles :/

#18 Posted by maverick1 (92 posts) -

yeah nintendo has a weird thing for keeping their games priced high. although they have a better argument to keep the prices high since most of thier games are exclusives.

#19 Posted by Hunter5024 (5967 posts) -

Everyone whose buying a Wii U pretty much wants the same games, so they can afford to keep those games at a high price.

#20 Posted by Yummylee (22568 posts) -

Could be worse. Least you're not in the market for a lot of their Gamecube games, because whoo boy.

#21 Edited by Sergio (2254 posts) -

The demand for their games are high among those who have already bought or will buy their systems. They don't really have an incentive to discount their games like third-party or other first-party developers. They did do a series of "Nintendo Selects" on the Wii, but that was late in that console's life, so I wouldn't expect them to implement it for Wii U games any time soon.

Edit: I'm more annoyed that some third-party games, such as Rayman Legends, still have the MSRP for the downloadable version, while the physical price has already dropped. I'd much rather have the download version. However, price disparity isn't exclusive to the Wii U.

#22 Posted by StarvingGamer (8558 posts) -

Mario games are always evergreen.

#23 Edited by ajamafalous (12160 posts) -

First party Nintendo games always stay at full price for years. It's incredibly frustrating. I'm willing to pay $15-25 for your game, but keeping it at $49.95 six years after it comes out means I'll literally never buy it. I'm sure they've crunched the numbers, but still, seems like you would want more people playing your games to increase the potential install base for your sequel.

#24 Posted by BigSocrates (409 posts) -

@bigsocrates said:

Nintendo hates discounts. It's part of their weird anachronistic business model. Even when they have sales it's like marking a $5 game down to $3.50 rather than the 75% or deeper discounts you see on Steam, PSN, and even Xbox Live from time to time.

Choosing to stand by your games and not train people to wait for sales is anachronistic? Difficulty moving Wii U hardware aside (which I think is a separate issue from software prices), it's working out pretty well for them. Ask Square Enix how they feel about being pushed by retailers to drop their games to bargain bin prices months after release.

As much as people love crazy Steam sales and quick price drops, publishers only resort to them because they have to. Most of them would love to be in Nintendo's boots, selling hundreds of thousands of copies of games at full price for years on end.

Failing to compete on price is anachronistic. Not using a cheap library of good games to push your console is anachronistic, yes. I'm not just talking about games practicses but virtually every media, from music to film to books, there has been a massive increase in the amount of great stuff that can be bought cheaply. In part this is because everything is competing against everything else and it's hard to sell anything but the most desirable book for $25 when Blu-rays of popular movies sell for $10, in part it's due to savings from digital distribution (Ebooks can be very profitable at $3 a pop, paperbacks not so much) and in part it's a way to combat piracy. If you put your popular TV show on Netflix at least you get some money for it, as opposed to none from bittorrent battling piracy is a huge reason for Steam sales, and Steam sales are a huge reason why PSN and XBL offer stuff cheaply (which in turn effects retail.)

Nintendo ignores all this and tries to sell older games for $50 each like it was still 1993. To some extent this has worked for them for a few reasons. One, they don't make PC versions of their games and piracy is a bit less of an issue to them. Two, they target a younger demographic which is more likely to receive games as gifts than buy them, which makes them less price sensitive (If Super Mario World 3D is your big birthday gift to your son you'll buy it at $50 as quickly as at $30) Three they have a bit of a monopoly on their niche of games, which tend to be very polished but older in design and not story focused. This makes their model (which only grudgingly accepts things like digital distribution) work. But I think you're wrong to say that there's no tie between their anachronistic model and low Wii U sales. I would love to get a Wii U if the games were reasonably priced (and it had a hard drive worth spit) but have held off in part because while the library exists it is overpriced. I doubt I am alone.

#25 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1606 posts) -

@grantheaslip said:
@bigsocrates said:

Nintendo hates discounts. It's part of their weird anachronistic business model. Even when they have sales it's like marking a $5 game down to $3.50 rather than the 75% or deeper discounts you see on Steam, PSN, and even Xbox Live from time to time.

Choosing to stand by your games and not train people to wait for sales is anachronistic? Difficulty moving Wii U hardware aside (which I think is a separate issue from software prices), it's working out pretty well for them. Ask Square Enix how they feel about being pushed by retailers to drop their games to bargain bin prices months after release.

As much as people love crazy Steam sales and quick price drops, publishers only resort to them because they have to. Most of them would love to be in Nintendo's boots, selling hundreds of thousands of copies of games at full price for years on end.

Failing to compete on price is anachronistic. Not using a cheap library of good games to push your console is anachronistic, yes. I'm not just talking about games practicses but virtually every media, from music to film to books, there has been a massive increase in the amount of great stuff that can be bought cheaply. In part this is because everything is competing against everything else and it's hard to sell anything but the most desirable book for $25 when Blu-rays of popular movies sell for $10, in part it's due to savings from digital distribution (Ebooks can be very profitable at $3 a pop, paperbacks not so much) and in part it's a way to combat piracy. If you put your popular TV show on Netflix at least you get some money for it, as opposed to none from bittorrent battling piracy is a huge reason for Steam sales, and Steam sales are a huge reason why PSN and XBL offer stuff cheaply (which in turn effects retail.)

Nintendo ignores all this and tries to sell older games for $50 each like it was still 1993. To some extent this has worked for them for a few reasons. One, they don't make PC versions of their games and piracy is a bit less of an issue to them. Two, they target a younger demographic which is more likely to receive games as gifts than buy them, which makes them less price sensitive (If Super Mario World 3D is your big birthday gift to your son you'll buy it at $50 as quickly as at $30) Three they have a bit of a monopoly on their niche of games, which tend to be very polished but older in design and not story focused. This makes their model (which only grudgingly accepts things like digital distribution) work. But I think you're wrong to say that there's no tie between their anachronistic model and low Wii U sales. I would love to get a Wii U if the games were reasonably priced (and it had a hard drive worth spit) but have held off in part because while the library exists it is overpriced. I doubt I am alone.

I see where you're coming from. I'm also not very interested in playing $60 for most Wii U games. While there is some segment of the market for whom a Player's Choice line would be a big draw, I still think Nintendo's done the math and decided they'll make more money selling fewer copies with large margins. I suspect that, being a pretty conservative company, they're worried about training their customers to expect lower prices, given that they have a large audience willing to pay full price for games now. In a world where the Wii U is probably going to be more of a GameCube than a Wii, I think (and I'm not a businessman!) it's smart for them to stick with what's working for them rather than attempt to push hardware sales at the expense of making money on software.

It's also worth pointing out that they're using the same software pricing model for the 3DS, and it's doing quite well. That supports my idea that software pricing isn't what's holding the Wii U back.

#26 Posted by BigSocrates (409 posts) -

@grantheaslip: The 3DS is in a different market position. In the U.S. it's the only portable with a presence and is mostly played by kids. As I said before, Kids almost paradoxically have less price sensitivity since they often do not buy their own games. In Japan Nintendo has some of the only franchises the Japanese market seems interested in, which tend to be extremely long, deep games. For Monster Hunter and Animal Crossing who cares about the price? You're going to play them 100 hours each. That being said, Nintendo HAS experimented on the 3DS with cheap downloadable games in a way that it hasn't on the Wii U. Pushmo, Crashmo, etc... I think the methods that have worked for the 3DS in its very specific position may not suit Nintendo as well for the Wii U.

#27 Posted by neobendez (14 posts) -

Not including the Nintendo Selects games. Mario Galaxy 2 is still 49.99 I really want to play it but thats too much. I know I could get it used, but still.

#28 Edited by DarthOrange (3906 posts) -

As others have said, it is because they know they can get away with it. Nintendo also seems to prefer simply discontinuing the printing of games rather than lowering the price. I want to buy Punch-Out for the Wii but the game is no longer made anywhere and thus the price for a used copy is around $20. Finding a copy of Kirby's Return to Dream Land is also now more expensive then it was at launch. Metroid Prime Trilogy is one that I have just flat out given up on. :(

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