Image: Ubisoft

Ubisoft will be shifting to a $70 price point for AAA games, according to Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, who was recently interviewed by Axios regarding a range of topics in Paris last week.

The first big AAA game that will cost $70 at launch is Skull & Bones, Ubisoft Singapore’s new piracy and naval warfare title. It is set for release on November 8, 2022, for Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, Stadia, as well as Windows PC through the Ubisoft Store and the Epic Games Store.

From an Axios report:

The potential rise in Ubisoft game prices. November’s Skull & Bones is its first title selling at $70 for new-gen consoles, a price other publishers have begun using in recent years and that Ubisoft hadn’t previously committed to long term. “Some of the games will come at the same price as the competition. The big AAA games will come at $70,” he said.

Amazon and other retailers have already updated its Skull & Bones listings with Ubisoft’s new premium pricing, with both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S versions of the pirate game available to pre-order for $69.99. The PC version of the game is listed for $59.99 on the Ubisoft Store and Epic Games Store.

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16 comments

  1. Well, uh I can wait longer for discounts then. I think this is more of a marketing gimmick to get release sale prices back up to $60. Most new games on PC anyway are discounted 10-20% for pre-orders or for the first two weeks after release, especially if you buy them from 3rd party sellers like Greenman/Humble etc.. Most games I buy at or near release are around $48-50.
  2. Meh.

    They can charge whatever they want to on Day 1. I'll buy a game when it drops to a price I think is worth while.

    That is my philosophy too.

    There are very few franchises I'd pay the launch day premium for.

    Probably Sid Meier's Civilization, Deus Ex, and if we ever get another Red Orchestra.

    Everything else, I just buy when on sale a while later. I'm in no rush.

    The one thing I won't compromise on - however - is being forced to log on to the publishers (or developers) store/launcher. Especially for a single person game. In most cases if this happens, I just won't play it. In some cases I'll use the community edition. If you screw with me, I'll screw with you.

    I will also never spend money on in game purchases, skins or microtransactions. If the game allows me to easily just ignore these things, I might play it. If it doesn't, I'll just not play at all.
  3. That is my philosophy too.

    There are very few franchises I'd pay the launch day premium for.

    Probably Sid Meier's Civilization, Deus Ex, and if we ever get another Red Orchestra.

    Everything else, I just buy when on sale a while later. I'm in no rush.

    The one thing I won't compromise on - however - is being forced to log on to the publishers (or developers) store/launcher. Especially for a single person game. In most cases if this happens, I just won't play it. In some cases I'll use the community edition. If you screw with me, I'll screw with you.

    I will also never spend money on in game purchases, skins or microtransactions. If the game allows me to easily just ignore these things, I might play it. If it doesn't, I'll just not play at all.
    I'll say this... with Ubisoft in particular at least. They don't code their stuff that well. Like in the latest assassins creed I run a program or engine from CheatHappens. I skill up and enjoy the game and buy all the **** in the game short of whatever the pearls or whats it called can get you and am just hunky dory with that. My investment in that service some years ago on super sale has been key in me enjoying a relaxing gaming experience in all of the PC games I play short of online only games of course.
  4. I'll say this... with Ubisoft in particular at least. They don't code their stuff that well. Like in the latest assassins creed I run a program or engine from CheatHappens. I skill up and enjoy the game and buy all the **** in the game short of whatever the pearls or whats it called can get you and am just hunky dory with that. My investment in that service some years ago on super sale has been key in me enjoying a relaxing gaming experience in all of the PC games I play short of online only games of course.

    Ahh, See I am the absolute opposite.
    I play single player games for the challenge. I don't want them to be easy. It's usually a huge let down when you can get all of the equipment you want and just tool around.

    it's the challenge and the struggle to get there that is the fun part. It can't feel like a meaningless grind, but if there is a story and variety to go with it such that it doesn't feel too grindy, then I don't mind.
  5. Like others have said above, and as I've stated before elsewhere in this forum, I don't buy day-one sh1t, I wait for sales. I don't grab games until there are good discounts for them. Ubisoft, Sony, and other companies can charge $70 all they want, but my wallet isn't opening until those games get to prices that I deem to be appropriate. Most of the games I buy range anywhere from $5 to $20. Rare that I will pay more than that. I've done $30 a few times. Of course I don't buy Ubisoft games anyways, one reason being uPlay/Connect. But even if I did, yeah I wouldn't be grabbing them for anywhere near $70, or $60, or $50, or in most cases even $40. We live in an age where just a few months after launch a game can be 50% off or less. Wait a year or two and you can find those same games for dirt cheap, even as low as $5. And if publishers really wanna be @ssholes, no problem, that's where the community comes in. They always provide demos.

    So when I see publishers talking about selling games for $70 I just laugh to myself. Honestly I'm surprised anyone is willing to pay these kinds of insane prices. I don't know why there are people who buy stuff on day one anyways, especially when most games launch in a terrible state. If you've spent decades in the game industry like I have, you know to avoid day one purchases and pre-orders like the plague.

    Did anyone even give a legit reason as to why 9th-gen game prices moved from $60 to $70?
  6. Did anyone even give a legit reason as to why 9th-gen game prices moved from $60 to $70?

    It's not as if they need a reason, but in this case it is probably motivated by inflation. That's an approximate ~17% increase. Since $60. I can't remember when $60 pricing became the norm, but between the 7% annualized average in 2021, and the fact that we are on track for an 8% average in 2022, that results in 15.56% for just those two years, do we are almost there.

    In 202 the average number was 1.4%, and in 2019 it was a more normal 2.3%

    According to CPI-U we get from $59.99 to $69.99 with inflation alone from just Feb 2019 to Aug 2022.

    Screenshot_20220914-134429~2.png

    The funny part is I'm not convinced we are being over-charged for games from a historical perspective.

    In this scan of the 1991 Electronics Boutique catalog you can see that Sid Meier's Civilization (the original) cost $45 when it was launched, and it was pretty typical for a new game.

    That is $99 today adjusted for inflation.

    1663180554204.png

    The most expensive game in that catalog was a tie between Wing Commander II and F117A Stealth Fighter 2.0, both at $59.99. That's ~$132 in today's money.

    What's even scarier, check out some of the list prices.... $79.95 for a game in 1991 dollars is $176 today. (though it is unclear if anyone actually paid list price or if they were just there to make it look like you were getting a good deal)

    Either way, adjusted for inflation, the price per title is way way down since 1991.

    Then again, games today have digital distribution which even with Steam's cut is WAY cheaper than the old model. There are no pressed CD's or floppies, no printed manuals or boxes, no trucking the stuff around the world, no warehousing costs, no retail markups, etc. etc.

    That and the PC games market is WAAAY larger today than it was in 1991, and many titles are cross-platform, so the development costs get spread out over vastly larger numbers of buyers than in the past.

    So many more buyers, and much much smaller per unit cost should be keeping prices in check, but at the same time development costs have been going theough the roof. Games were much simpler then. Less detailed models (in most cases just 2D sprites) little to no voice acting, simple music, and no celebrity voice overs.

    A AAA game can have a bigger budget than a blockbuster movie these days, but still with the near zero unit cost, and huge number of buyers, the equation should still work out in favor of affordable pricing.

    In the end, the costs have very little to do with pricing. The price of a product - after all - is what people are willing to pay for it, and time and time again we have been shown that gamers are impulsive "gotta have it" ADHD types with no discipline and no principles, and this allows the industry to take advantage of them.

    They have - of course - found a way to have it both ways. They sell to the ADHD kiddies on launch at full price, and then sell to the more reasonable people during sales a few months or more later.
  7. They have - of course - found a way to have it both ways. They sell to the ADHD kiddies on launch at full price, and then sell to the more reasonable people during sales a few months or more later.
    The impatient crowd have shown they will pay for beta access / early access. That's how crazy it's got. They will even pay to get in early for Free to Play games.

    Plus throw in cash shops there, Day 0 DLC, loot boxes, in-game advertising (mostly just mobile there), and now NFTs/Crypto (bleh), battle passes, subscription models, etc etc - the ways that gaming gets monetized these days is amazing.

    Now, I do realize, with all the tricks available to put into games, if you want to use all the bells and whistles, that gets expensive, even if part of it is baked into a game engine you are using. But games don't have to use all of that - most of the top grossing games are ... good games, not just eye candy. But I guess that mimics Hollywood as well - a good movie may always do well, but not all movies turn out being good -- whereas those movies with spectacular effects will tend to more consistently earn better revenue.
  8. Ubisoft, Sony, and other companies can charge $70 all they want, but my wallet isn't opening until those games get to prices that I deem to be appropriate. Most of the games I buy range anywhere from $5 to $20. Rare that I will pay more than that. I've done $30 a few times.
    That pretty much describes my game-purchasing mentality, though I guess I'm glad there are people out there willing to pay those launch prices. I assume game development would suffer without them.
    Of course I don't buy Ubisoft games anyways, one reason being uPlay/Connect.
    I share the anti-Ubisoft sentiment. I think I'd panic if I saw the uPlay (whatever it's called now) launcher icon on my PC. 😱
    If you've spent decades in the game industry like I have, you know to avoid day one purchases and pre-orders like the plague.
    What about inventory-related concerns? They could run out of digital copies if their workers aren't quick enough with the copy and paste commands to keep up with the incoming orders during launches.
  9. In the end, the costs have very little to do with pricing. The price of a product - after all - is what people are willing to pay for it, and time and time again we have been shown that gamers are impulsive "gotta have it" ADHD types with no discipline and no principles, and this allows the industry to take advantage of them.
    Unfortunately, I've found that to be true of the non-monetary aspects as well: e.g., invasive DRM, kernel-mode "anti-cheat" drivers, and always-online spyware-infested game clients and launchers. Most won't think twice before installing a game with any of the preceding.
  10. Like others have said above, and as I've stated before elsewhere in this forum, I don't buy day-one sh1t, I wait for sales. I don't grab games until there are good discounts for them. Ubisoft, Sony, and other companies can charge $70 all they want, but my wallet isn't opening until those games get to prices that I deem to be appropriate. Most of the games I buy range anywhere from $5 to $20. Rare that I will pay more than that. I've done $30 a few times. Of course I don't buy Ubisoft games anyways, one reason being uPlay/Connect. But even if I did, yeah I wouldn't be grabbing them for anywhere near $70, or $60, or $50, or in most cases even $40. We live in an age where just a few months after launch a game can be 50% off or less. Wait a year or two and you can find those same games for dirt cheap, even as low as $5. And if publishers really wanna be @ssholes, no problem, that's where the community comes in. They always provide demos.

    Yep. I hate uPlay or really any launcher/store other than the one I choose to use, which right now is either Steam or GoG.

    When I bought Far Cry 3 a few years ago, only to find that on first launch it was prompting me to create a uPlay account in order to play the single player game I had already bought and launched, I was like "F that" and immediately requested a refund from Steam.

    While they do occasionally get a little repetitive, I mostly like the Far Cry series though. I don't like pirating ****, as I prefer the devs get paid for their work, but I have gone back and forth on this. I'm a big believer in the concept that every time you open your wallet, you are voting for what you want to see on the market and in society. By giving Ubisoft my money, I am encouraging them to keep up the "yet another launcher/store" ****.

    As of right now, I am using "community editions" of everything in the Far Cry series after FC2, but I also own copies of all of the games in my Steam library, which I just don't install. At least I figure that this way I've paid for the game. The only one which is not in my steam library is the latest one, Far Cry 6, but I got two different vouchers for that game for free with AMD hardware I bought, so I figure I would have it either way.


    So when I see publishers talking about selling games for $70 I just laugh to myself. Honestly I'm surprised anyone is willing to pay these kinds of insane prices. I don't know why there are people who buy stuff on day one anyways, especially when most games launch in a terrible state. If you've spent decades in the game industry like I have, you know to avoid day one purchases and pre-orders like the plague.

    I agree with this. If a game is good on day one, it will still be good several months or a couple of years later. it may eve be better, as a lot of bugs have been patched.

    Did anyone even give a legit reason as to why 9th-gen game prices moved from $60 to $70?

    Also, what is this "9th gen"? business? In what way are these games 9th gen? 9th gen of what? Whats the first gen? What distibguishes the generations? I've never heard this terminology before. At least outside consoles, in which case the generations are hardware based.
  11. Unfortunately, I've found that to be true of the non-monetary aspects as well: e.g., invasive DRM, kernel-mode "anti-cheat" drivers, and always-online spyware-infested game clients and launchers. Most won't think twice before installing a game with any of the preceding.

    I'm torn on anti cheat. I haven't played a lot of multiplayer games lately, and a large part of that is the constant issue with those who cheat. It saps any fun there was out of the game, to the point where I just don't want to play it at all.

    So I am all for enforcing anti-cheat, but there is also no way of knowing what else it is doing while it is in there.
  12. I'm torn on anti cheat. I haven't played a lot of multiplayer games lately, and a large part of that is the constant issue with those who cheat. It saps any fun there was out of the game, to the point where I just don't want to play it at all.

    So I am all for enforcing anti-cheat, but there is also no way of knowing what else it is doing while it is in there.
    Though I won't install any form of anti-cheat on my PC because of multiple concerns, that decision is made rather easy a single-player gamer. I've grown much more sympathetic toward those who choose to install anti-cheat after hearing enough players of multiplayer games express their frustration with cheaters.

    Ultimately, there has to be a better way, and client-side anti-cheat doesn't work against the sophisticated cheats. But for now, I guess that item can be stricken from my non-exhaustive list of crap gamers install. :)
    Also, what is this "9th gen"? business? In what way are these games 9th gen? 9th gen of what? Whats the first gen? What distibguishes the generations? I've never heard this terminology before. At least outside consoles, in which case the generations are hardware based.
    :LOL:
    I've seen that before and my reaction was similar, though I just attributed the confusion to my ignorance of the gaming industry.
  13. Is there any legit reason for inflation?
    It's not as if they need a reason, but in this case it is probably motivated by inflation.
    Well inflation is a more legit reason than what I usually hear from devs about how the cost of AAA game development has gone up so the $70 price helps compensate, and other such reasons they spout to try to justify the price increase. So I was wondering if there were any game developers who gave a legit reason outside of inflation or bullsh1t as to why they charge $70 for a brand-new game now instead of $60.

    You guys talking about the prices of games back in the 90s and what those prices translate to today make me queasy when I think about some of the game prices I used to see back then, like N64 games that cost d4mn near $80 in the late 90s. I don't even wanna know what the equivalent price is today. So I guess I shouldn't really complain about $70 games in the 2020s.

    Also, what is this "9th gen"? business? In what way are these games 9th gen? 9th gen of what? Whats the first gen? What distibguishes the generations? I've never heard this terminology before. At least outside consoles, in which case the generations are hardware based.
    Sometimes I refer to video games based on the console generation during which they were made, since those console generations dictate the development standards of most games built during that generation (such as how 64-bit and DX11 took off during 8th-gen because of the 8th-gen consoles, even though PC had DX11 for years before that, and had AMD64/x86-64 for 10 f*cking years before PS4 and XB1 launched). Since game development is unfortunately based on the lowest common denominator known as game consoles, and developers design their games around those consoles (instead of the old way of building for PC first then porting down to consoles), and as a whole the game industry "eras" pretty much align with the console generations, I just tend to refer to games along those lines. Not to mention this whole $70-full-retail-price thing didn't start until the current generation of consoles (mainly with Sony and the PS5, but some 3rd-party devs jumped in that $70 pool with them), so I see it as a 9th-gen thing. But yeah I just mean "a game from the 9th-gen video game era," not that the game itself is the 9th-generation of anything. Just one of the ways us old gamers who have been around the game industry a long time talk (I started during 2nd-gen). Every console generation and thus every video game industry "era" has its own unique feel to it, and that is reflected in most if not all the games made in each of those eras, regardless of if those games are console-exclusive or not.

    I don't like pirating ****, as I prefer the devs get paid for their work
    Same. For the devs whose work I enjoy, and who don't also try to screw over their customers, I like to support them with my money.

    As of right now, I am using "community editions" of everything in the Far Cry series after FC2, but I also own copies of all of the games in my Steam library, which I just don't install. At least I figure that this way I've paid for the game.
    I've done the same thing, pay for a game but use the community version, to avoid having to use launchers I don't wanna use, or deal with DRM.

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