Capcom President Says ‘Game Prices Are Too Low’

In comments this past weekend, Capcom president Haruhiro Tsujimoto asserted that video game prices are too low, pointing to the massive increase in development costs and how game prices haven’t risen at the same rate. He suggested that increasing the price of games would be a “healthy option” for the industry.

It was only a year ago that the era of $70 video games really began, as numerous “AAA” releases—like Gotham Knights and God of War Ragnarök—began selling for $10 more than what players had come to expect. Now in 2023, around half of AAA games from large publishers have adopted the new $70 price point. Yet Capcom is one of the few publishers that’s abstained from raising prices thus far. It has continued to sell new games, like Street Fighter 6, at $60 instead of $70. But that might be changing.

According to a September 23 report from Nikkei, Tsujimoto spoke at the Tokyo Game Show about various topics. While speaking at the event, the president of Capcom reportedly explained that he felt the price of video games was “too low.”

“Development costs are about 100 times higher than during the Famicom era, but software prices have not gone up that much,” said Tsujimoto, referring to Nintendo’s massively successful 8-bit console from the 1980s. “There is also a need to raise wages. Considering the fact that wages are rising in the industry as a whole, I think raising unit prices is a healthy option for business.”

Tsujimoto further explained that even a recession or society’s low general confidence in the business world shouldn’t matter when it comes to game prices, saying that those factors have “little to do with the game industry” and that people still bought games even during the Lehman Brothers stock collapse in 2008.

“Just because there’s a recession doesn’t mean you won’t go to the movie theater or go to your favorite artist’s concert. High-quality games will continue to sell,” said Tsujimoto.

Video game prices will likely go up, even if gamers don’t like it

There’s no doubt that in 2023 it costs a lot more to make a video game than it did in 1983. Games are bigger and more complex than ever before, requiring more people, time, and resources to create. Even many “smaller” games are still vastly bigger and more complex than any game released in the ‘80s and ‘90s.

But games today are also jam-packed with always-online requirements, cosmetic stores, and paid “battle passes.” Sometimes the argument made is that these things are needed for publishers to make money and if prices on games were raised these microtransactions and other annoyances would go away. However, looking at how many $70 games still contain all of that stuff in 2023, I’m not so sure about that.

Regardless, the industry can’t sustain this pace forever. As games get bigger and bigger, failures become riskier, and trying something new becomes more unlikely. Something has to change. And given the choice, publishers will probably increase the price you pay for big games like the next Halo or Grand Theft Auto in the coming years, perhaps even past $70.


Overwatch 2’s K-Pop Collab Prices Have Fans Conflicted

Overwatch 2’s collaboration with K-pop group Le Sserafim is out now, and it brings a limited-time game mode, cosmetics for specific heroes, and an animated music video featuring characters attending the group’s concert. But now that the skins, emotes, and other cosmetics are out, fans are feeling split on how much the whole collaboration costs. Let’s break it down and get into why the prices are both contentious and, somehow, a relief for Overwatch 2 players.

What’s the cheapest way to buy the Overwatch 2 X Le Sserafim cosmetics?

The event brings new skins, emotes, victory poses, and name cards to five of the game’s heroes. Tracer, Sombra, Kiriko, Brigitte, and D.Va all have individual bundles that cost 2500 premium coins ($25). Kiriko, who continues to prove Blizzard’s favorite these days, also gets a weapon charm, but her bundle itself doesn’t cost more than the others.

Buying each on their own would cost you $125, but all of them are bundled together for 6800 coins ($68), which is about half the à la carte price. There’s also a limited-time discount on buying 7500 coins, which would normally cost about $75, but are on sale for $50 at the moment. This means you can buy everything sold during the collaboration for $50 if you press the right buttons.

Read more: The Overwatch 2 Girlies Serve In K-Pop Group Le Sserafim Music Video

If you haven’t spent a single coin you’ve earned through weekly challenges, you might be able to afford one of these bundles without opening your wallet, but because Overwatch 2 is free-to-play and built around the grind, in all likelihood you’re going to have to shell out some cash.

This event is an outlier compared to some previous bundles in the Overwatch 2 in one notable way: You can buy individual pieces through the Heroes menu, rather than having to splash out for the larger packages and acquire extra junk along with the item you actually want. If I felt so compelled, I could buy Sombra’s skin without having to pay the extra cash that would get me everything else. The skin alone will still run you 1900 coins ($19, which is basically $20 because you can’t buy coins in exact increments), but if you want to be more precise with your spending, that is an option.

Overwatch 2 fans are split on the costs

But while fans on places like Reddit are expressing relief that this isn’t a $100 bundle, others are pointing out that even if it breaks through the usual restrictions of Overwatch 2’s store, $50 is still a lot of fucking money to change your character’s clothes and make them dance.

“Hey guys, five cosmetics are ONLY as much as a full sized video game entirely,” said Redditor Browsersinsidestory.

Spending money on microtransactions (or anything, really) is inevitably about how you, personally, view the value of your own money compared to the thing you’re buying. Trying to ascribe some kind of universal standard as to how much something “should” cost will inevitably lead to online anger and ridicule, and there’s already plenty of name-calling going around over the Overwatch 2 X Le Sserafim collab. But for some, the math checks out compared to other live service games.

“I have issues with the pricing, don’t get me wrong, but this, alongside the coin bundle bonus, actually seems fine,” Reddit user funnyghostman wrote. “If you tried to get five collab sets in Fortnite (and I’m using the Dragon Ball collab as an example) it’d cost you 12.2k (which means you’ll have to get the highest-price bundle, bonuses included). Since the norm in modern live-service monetization discussions is comparing it to Fortnite, I’d say this is actually pretty decent.”

The Overwatch 2 store shows the Le Sserafim bundles.

Screenshot: Blizzard Entertainment / Kotaku

Some folks might break down the cost as reasonable because paying $50 for all five heroes’ cosmetics makes each bundle $10 a pop, but just because that’s the breakdown it doesn’t change that you can’t pay just $10 for a single bundle, so that pricing exists only for people willing and able to pay $50.

It also entirely hinges on how much value people put behind cosmetics in a game they can play repeatedly for free.

“To each their own.” Reddit user mundozeo wrote. “I realize some people have so much money they just don’t care where they throw it at. I’m just very practical with what I get out of mine. I’d rather buy a game or a month of [Game Pass] that I can play and enjoy than a skin.”

Is Overwatch 2 doing better, or are we just used to overpaying?

Normally I find conversations around the cost of video games and microtransactions insufferable because they typically devolve into people talking down to others about how they spend and value their own money in the capitalist hellscape we live in. No one, not me, not you, not anyone else, can determine how much anything should be “worth” to anyone else. But it does stand out to me that Overwatch 2’s still very high cosmetic prices are receiving some warm reactions largely in comparison to the level of exploitation we’ve come to expect from both it and its live-service contemporaries.

As onlookers have been quick to point out (not always kindly), Overwatch 2’s costly cosmetics are a bed of its own making, and even if the game has workarounds to acquire certain items more cheaply, this shit still costs a lot of money and Overwatch 2’s premium currency is not easy to unlock just through playing. As long as these events only stick around for limited times, players who aren’t willing to open their wallets are going to miss out on something.