It is no surprise that Microsoft has finally admitted that prices have been rising on Xbox Live Arcade titles. Chris Chharla, the XBLA portfolio director, told GI.biz that despite the higher prices, consumers are willing to pay for quality products.
Here at Fudzilla this comes as little surprise to us, as we have noted this trend before. Despite the suggestion that consumers will pay for quality software, the truth is that we still hear and see a lot of people complaining about the cost of a lot of the things released on XBLA. While there are exceptional titles that deserve the $15 or 1,200 Microsoft Points that they cost, many of them would be better priced if they cost $10 or 800 Microsoft Points. It does seem that Xbox consumers know this.
The stats offered show that in 2009 only 21 of 86 titles cost 1,200 points, and by 2010 27 out of 85 titles cost 1,200 Microsoft Points. So far this year already, 20 titles have been released that cost 1,200 Microsoft Points and there are still a significant amount of major titles to be released before the end of the year, so it would not be surprising if this number reaches 40 or more by the end of 2011.
In our opinion this just confirms the trend that we have noted all along. Developers that we have spoken with, however, indicate that part of the reason for the price increases is simply that the development cycle is becoming longer and it simply is costing more to deliver the higher quality titles that consumers are demanding and that seem to be successful on XBLA. In addition, with so many choices and some difficulty in promoting releases, sales still may not work out to cover development costs, so the higher starting selling price helps.
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