Nintendo COO: cheap games are risky for the gaming industry

By on February 11, 2011, 10:12 AM
On an episode of GT.TV last week, Reginald "Reggie" Fils-Aime, president and COO of Nintendo of America, made a few interesting statements in regards to the mobile gaming industry. Nintendo is struggling to fight off competition in the casual mobile gaming space from companies like Apple and Google as inexpensive games from iOS and Android become more popular.

"I actually think one of the biggest risks today in our gaming industry are these inexpensive games that are candidly disposable from a consumer's standpoint," Fils-Aime aim declared after discussing one of the cheaper-looking games coming for the 3DS.

When the interviewer, Geoff Keighley, pointed to Angry Birds, Fils-Aime brushed it off as an exception. "Angry Birds is a great piece of experience but that is one compared to thousands of other pieces of content that for one or two dollars I think actually create a mentality for the consumer that a piece of gaming content should only be $2," he said.

Keighley then asked if the Nintendo exec was implying that mobile game developers are underpricing their content. "I actually think some of those games are overpriced at one or two dollars, but that's a whole different story," Fils-Aime concluded.





User Comments: 19

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vipor231 said:

totally disagree with reggie here...games need to be cheap and cannot be $60 a wack,alot of people cannot afford that in this economy,sorry reggie that you can afford it but you have to think of the customer here

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

Well, you want to know what I think? Competition is good, and it drives out the overpriced and underfeatered games. If you want to charge $30, make it worth my time. I think inexpensive games are one of the best things to happen to the gaming industry in the last few years.

Jibberish18 said:

Hmmm I wonder why Reggie thinks that $30-40 handheld games should be the norm? I think I understand where he's coming from BUT maybe he should ask himself WHY games such as AngryBirds are $2-3 and are so fun, addictive and sell like hotcakes to the masses. Hell, I don't even like AngryBirds.

yRaz yRaz said:

I need to get away from gaming altogether, it's getting too expensive and I'm too busy to be wasting my time like that. He wants to talk about $1-2 being overpriced but wants to charge more for mobile games? Makers of angery birds had the right idea, they could take a lesson from them. I can hardly justify paying $30-40 for a PC game none the less a DS game. They should be charging $10-$25 for their games.

ramonsterns said:

Nintendo's opinion stopped mattering a long time ago for me.

Eddo22 said:

Typical response from the typical greedy company. Actually it's quite the opposite. Expensive games are risky for the gaming industry. Why? Because they turn people off from buying due to expense and because they increase piracy rates.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Consumers are upset that buggy game costing 60 bucks is not a good value? Hm. Weird.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

When I see development costs that run 250-300 million dollars for a game i.e., Mass Effect, Bioshock, Crysis, etc., I have zero problems shelling out the $50 price, nor do I think that's too high of a price for 60+ hours worth of entertainment.

But these indie games (some of which are terrific, but a lot are crap) that are put together by 1-3 programmers in some guy's basement? Let them charge what they want.

Nintendo has a history - going back to the very first unit - of releasing by themselves and/or allowing 3rd parties to put out some unbelievably crappy games. Check out Metacritics for reviews on Wii games and most of them score 60 or below (out of 100) review marks. So as far as I'm concerned, they don't have a leg to stand on.

edison5do said:

Can you imagine Crisys 2 being priced to $25 or even 30!!?? THERE WILL BE NO PIRACY!!! At least That I think!, if games are priced in a range that the current economy allow people to buy them the piracy would be burried!!, but people like this reggie is making the piracy more and more stronger, as far as I know the first excuse for piracy is pirce....

If every PC games is priced around 30's on launh day it would make no sense for me that Battlefield Bad Company 2 sells less that a million copyes on PC and 4+ millions on consoles!! and is suppose to be primarily for PC....

Everyone wants to play online, for $30 every body would take a shot on buy games without wait for reviews...

Guest said:

That's what they get for abandoning their dedicated market for casual family oriented ****, they should have seen it was just a fad for them. I hope Nintendo goes bankrupt.

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

Perhaps there's room for games with different prices brackets?

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

"Can you imagine Crisys 2 being priced to $25 or even 30!!?? THERE WILL BE NO PIRACY!!!"

WRONG. People steal because they can, not because of the price. That's been proven countless times. As example, three extremely popular indie games, "Plants vs. Zombies," "Machinarium" and "World of Goo" all run a lousy 9 bucks. During some Steam sales you can find them for 5 bucks. But each one of those has been pirated in the MILLIONS each with illegal downloaded copies.

RaiDeR55 said:

Greed stamped on that guy's forehead.Plus it doesn't cost that much to distribute.One copy (image) to download for everyone.Like netflix said it only cost them 5 cents or so to stream and 1.00 to send and receive a dvd.All digital distribution is over priced.it shouldn't cost 50 or 60 bucks. To download a image of the game.more like $20 to $30.One image (copy) sold over and over..

It does cost these devs $5000+ or more to get some of these games to the app market.So they should make something,Rather sell a lot cheap than a few for high price.

FrostBolt said:

I think most people understand the concept of "you get what you pay for." We realize that the cost to make a really great game is generally higher than the cost to make a low quality game. Most people, I think, are willing to pay more for a better game, as long as it's within their budget.

yRaz yRaz said:

TomSEA said:

"Can you imagine Crisys 2 being priced to $25 or even 30!!?? THERE WILL BE NO PIRACY!!!"

WRONG. People steal because they can, not because of the price. That's been proven countless times. As example, three extremely popular indie games, "Plants vs. Zombies," "Machinarium" and "World of Goo" all run a lousy 9 bucks. During some Steam sales you can find them for 5 bucks. But

each one of those has been pirated in the MILLIONS each with illegal downloaded copies.

If Crysis 2 is $60 I will most likely pirate it. If it's $50, then I'd buy it.

Guest said:

People will always pirate. I don't have a link, but there was a study done for instance where people were given a choice to download music from a website. One option let the user download the song for free(illegally) and the other charged a penny for each song(legally). If I remember correctly only somewhere between 10-20% of people were willing to shell out one penny, everyone else stole the music. They could spend half a billion dollars to create these games then charge only 10 bucks a pop, and people will still steal it. It has already happened to and destroyed the music industry. History will only repeat itself.

Raswan Raswan said:

yRaz said:

TomSEA said:

"Can you imagine Crisys 2 being priced to $25 or even 30!!?? THERE WILL BE NO PIRACY!!!"

WRONG. People steal because they can, not because of the price. That's been proven countless times. As example, three extremely popular indie games, "Plants vs. Zombies," "Machinarium" and "World of Goo" all run a lousy 9 bucks. During some Steam sales you can find them for 5 bucks. But

each one of those has been pirated in the MILLIONS each with illegal downloaded copies.

If Crysis 2 is $60 I will most likely pirate it. If it's $50, then I'd buy it.

No one believes you. And Tom is right. The only thing he implies that should be said outright is this: the pc gaming industry, as much noise as is being made right now about pirating and torrenting, will never be in serious jeopardy from pirated games. Of course they have to (and will, and should) do everything economically practical to slow it down. But Starcraft was the most pirated game of all time less than a month after its release last fall. At the same time, it was the highest-selling too. Moral of the story: games get pirated in direction proportion to how popular they are, which is a factor of how many they legitimately sell. If a game sucks, no one is going to pirate it. And the majority of people are going to be willing to spend the money to buy it.

Guest said:

I just sold my wii/wii board/guitar and all wii accessories for $250. I only play it once in a blue moon so i dont see a reason to even keep it let alone shelling out $50 per game. I find playing with my iphone and itouch is alot more convenience and save time. I play with my xbox360 when I want to play real games.

aj_the_kidd said:

ramonsterns said:

Nintendo's opinion stopped mattering a long time ago for me.

I was a Sega fanboy (master system, what up!) back in the day so Nintendo opinions have never mattered to me :P

TomSEA said:

When I see development costs that run 250-300 million dollars for a game i.e., Mass Effect, Bioshock, Crysis, etc., I have zero problems shelling out the $50 price, nor do I think that's too high of a price for 60+ hours worth of entertainment.

Ditto, although here we have to pay $100+, which sucks balls, but what can you do.

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