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Is Cheaper Better?

Should some games cost less because they lack quality?

By Troy Roberts     June 13, 2003

For the better part of the week, I have spent my time playing through EVIL DEAD: A FISTFUL OF BOOMSTICK. If you've read my review, you already know where I'm coming from, but I consider the game to be pretty fun. There is a lot of action and enough intensity to keep me playing the game, even though there isn't a lot of depth. But while playing through the game, I began to wonder: why aren't more games priced at 20 bucks?

If you really think about it, a lot of games that are put out would be better priced at $20 than they would be at the normal price of $50. Now, I completely understand why a company would price games like GRAND THEFT AUTO: VICE CITY or ENTER THE MATRIX or METAL GEAR SOLID at 50 bucks, because obviously those games will sell well no matter what the price is. But there are really a lot of games out there that I don't believe are worth $50, but if they were marked down to $20, then you'd have to re-evaluate everything.

A few games come to mind pretty quickly. TOE JAM & EARL III came out a few months ago, and while I was a big fan of the series when it was on the Sega Genesis all those years ago, the new game didn't particularly do much for me. Yeah, it was pretty fun at times, but it certainly wouldn't be worth the price that it retailed for. Now, mark it down to $20 and you've got yourself a reasonable game. Plus, that way there isn't as much of a risk factor in not liking the game - losing out on 20 bucks is a whole lot cheaper than $50, and you'll probably get 20 dollars worth of excitement out of the game.

I think this is the reason Sony has had so much success with its Greatest Hits line. Often, I'll see a game that Sony has re-released as a Greatest Hit that I never got around to playing originally and will fork over 20 bucks for it. If you know me, I don't buy a ton of games but I will pick up the occasional Greatest Hit if I don't have it already. I never got the original ONIMUSHA, but I finally bought it when the price was lowered. And I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Microsoft and Nintendo are now doing the same thing with the greatest hits games, and I'm sure they're having success as well. Now, we're trying to do a little bit on reader interaction from now on out on the Gamers' Thumb each week. So tell me, what do you all think? Should games that companies know aren't very good be at more reasonable prices for better sales? E-mail me and let me know, and I'll be sure to put some of the better responses in the Gamers' Thumb next week.


For those who pre-order the game SAVAGE, you are guaranteed access to the beta test of the game...Columbia House has announced they are now selling video games...Blizzard Entertainment has closed over 112,000 accounts for their game DIABLO II...EVERQUEST: LOST DUNGEONS OF NORRATH, the newest expansion for the popular game, has been announced...



Not a ton of stuff, but what little there is looks to be good. MACE GRIFFIN comes out for the PS2 and Xbox, but I think RESIDENT EVIL: DEAD AIM gets the nod this week. From what I've seen of the game, it will probably be pretty good.

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