Pocket-lint readers have slammed Activision for the pricing on its forthcoming military shooter Modern Warfare 2. The company has said that it'll be on sale for £55, but 67% of users we polled thought that this was "too much".
Activision attempts to justify it by saying "If you look at the amount it costs to see a movie at the cinema or play a DVD, you watch it once and you're done. A £55 game of this quality is far, far better value", however Pocket-lint commenter Alex Clements said:
"I think marking up the price will put gamers off which could lead to more of a financial loss for Activision that if they had left the price alone. Their market largely comprises of students and parents, who I do not believe will be able to afford this much for a single game".
Another commenter, Dale, suggested this may increase piracy: "No wonder people illegally download games. I would have been more than willing to spend £30 on this. But because of the price I will be downloading it when it's released on a BitTorrent site".
Codemasters board member Chris Deering told hardware website Bit-tech that it's tricky to price triple-A games: "In order to price these games at a level where they would support an industry [as strongly as] they did ten years ago, they'd have to be sold at £70".
"Consumers won't spend more, but to write the game, publishers are having to spend more than ever before. That's the key problem... there are lots of things you can get for less than the relative value of paying 50p an hour for a very high end game".
Other developers have toyed with alternative payment strategies, such as micropayments, subscription fees and community-funded games. However, the innovation appears to be coming from the lower end of the market - indie games - rather than big budget studios.