Gareth Wilson of Outrun Online Arcade developer Sumo Digital and former design manager at the defunct Bizarre Creations says that launching new games in the current market is incredibly challenging because of all the other activities gaming is competing against -- for both your time and money.
"As we're in the industry and games are our life, we sometimes forget how important £40 is to someone," he said, speaking at the Develop conference in Brighton, UK this week. "£40 could get the shopping for a week. It could pay for petrol for work. It's two tickets to a gig. It's a couple of nights down the pub. It's going to the cinema three times in the week."
Wilson notes that gaming is facing particularly strong challenges from other forms of entertainment at present -- particularly as the £40/$60 price tag for a typical new AAA game is a significant amount of money to many people in the current economic climate.
"We're competing with all other forms of entertainment," he said. "We're competing with TV, cinema, with Facebook. We're competing with going to the park to play football. We're competing with having sex with your girlfriend. We are competing with all of these things. When someone is going to spend £40 on a game, they need to be pretty sure it's better than going to the pub for two nights."
Gaming has always had to compete with these things, for sure. But as the industry evolves and broadens, more and more "must-play" titles come out each month -- and many gamers' budgets only stretch so far. Wilson's argument seems to be that games need to work harder to justify those £40/$60 price tags -- a suggestion that would certainly fit with the study we reported on earlier.
What do you think? Should the industry's current pricing model adapt to offer better value for money to gamers? How much game is $60 worth?
This article originally appeared on GamePro.com as Ex-Bizarre Dev: Gaming Must Be 'Better than Going to the Pub for Two Nights'