When I was younger, brand-new AAA games cost $50.. Until they didn’t. The new standard price became $60; that price has been fairly consistent for a long time, and of course, we got to see some pretty dramatic growth in the gaming industry over the years to soften that blow.
There is now an attempt to make $70 the new AAA standard price, but.. The most prominent launch at this new pricing model has also fallen pretty hard in general.
Forspoken is an interesting game. I personally have been enjoying it (again, yes, I play stuff not just under the GGN niches), although it’s got a number of issues (which I wrote about on my personal blog).
It’s easy to hate Forspoken, and I do believe there is a lot of overwrought criticism for the sake of clicks (who can get the most sass on Forspoken’s lass), but it’s not entirely unfounded (note: Frey herself is a fantastic character that’s just missing a lot of exposition, which is a writing/directing issue).
The core quality of the game is pretty diminished, and one thing I’m seeing hearken back to the days of the $50 AAA game is the distinct lack of communication from the developers acknowledging these issues (aside from a very tone-deaf Steam Community post).
The game is fun, but it is not $70 fun (or even $60).. And the fact that the developers aren’t even attempting to communicate with the user base – or provide a clear method for bug reporting – is pretty damning to the pricing model.
This transition has been coming a long time; a lot of developers have turned to deluxe editions, DLC and microtransactions in order to boost revenue, much to the chagrin of a fairly vocal number of gamers and industry writers. Of course, we’re now to the point to where those same problematic practices are going to stick around even with the new $70 base price once other developers decide to bite the bullet.
They may be feeling a little skittish, however, with how Forspoken has launched.