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Are MMORPG Prices on the Rise?
There is no debating that MMORPGs have always been the most expensive gaming genre. After buying the game players are subjected to monthly fees, expensive expansion packs and pricey in-game content. But have developers found a way to raise prices even more? The latest fad in the gaming industry is to produce different editions of their titles. Sure, gamers are used to shelling out a little more for the collector’s edition, but now it’s different.
The “Collector’s” or “Deluxe” edition of MMOs gives players an edge on their competition. In a single player RPG cool added content or weapons is something that’s nice to have, but not required. When you’re jumping into an online world where players are competing, if you don’t buy the expensive edition you fall behind from the get go. If you want to have a fighting chance in the first weeks of gameplay you have to buy the “Deluxe” edition.
Like in Guild Wars 2. The Standard Edition costs $59.99. The “Digital Deluxe” edition goes for $79.99 and the “Collector’s” edition has a MSRP of $149.99. Anet has released official statements that say there will be no items that players can buy with real life money that will give them the upper hand in the game. All micro transactions will be items that visually enhance characters or save the player time. But the “Digital Deluxe” edition gives players numerous items that contradict Anet’s statement. People who buy the “Deluxe” edition get access to an extra elite skill, and an extra pet in addition to the numerous in-game items. So if you spend the extra $20 you will have an edge on the competition.
In Star Wars: The Old Republic they have implemented a similar strategy. They have editions with the same titles and same prices. “Digital Deluxe” buyers start out with free training, weapons, a vechile, and numerous other beneficial items. Whereas the Guild Wars “Collector’s” edition only gets you real life objects, the Star Wars edition gives players an in-game store with “a dynamic assortment of items only available to purchasers of the Collector’s Edition.” So, if you spend $150 for a video game you get added features that other players do not. Plus, you have to pay for the $15 monthly fee. A total of $330 for one year of playing a single game is outrageous.
Other games are following these footsteps. The highly anticipated game the Secret World has numerous pre-purchase options. The basic game costs $49.99 with additional packages ranging from an extra $15 to $200. All of these packages offer players in-game advantages. Tera has a “Collector’s” edition that runs only an extra $10, but follows the same format as the other games.
So developers have found a way to get another $20 to $200 out of every gamer that’s interested in playing. There’s no way to boycott this ridiculous fad because if you don’t buy the extra edition, someone else still is. Because no one wants to fall behind everyone is going to spend the extra $20. These enhanced editions aren’t actually giving you bonuses if the majority of people are buying them. It’s punishing the people who want to save $20. Watch out gamers, it looks like MMORPG prices just went up.