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Do you find that the episodes are cheap - pricewise?

posted by taumel on - last edited - Viewed by 1.8K users
I just got thinking about this when i read the thread Sergei started and Emily said that the game is cheap.

Actually 6*$9=$54 which is more than the price of a average game here. Buying each episode only makes sense for those who aren't sure about game or if you can't afford the game at once.

It only looks cheap if you buy the whole season at once which makes $35. But then you still don't have a CD with the whole game on it, so you have to add the shipping costs to this sum which makes maybe another $10 (what are shipping costs to europe?) which gives $45 (or $64 altough i don't know if it will be possible at all) which would be a avergage price for a game here.

Without this you still won't have a CD, a booklet, only some files on your harddisk. Doesn't look cheap to me and weren't we once told by almost all game studios that as soon as their chunk of the cake is getting bigger they also would lower the prices?

Well, looking at the numbers i don't see this happening...

And beside of this TTG has the advantage of more than one distribution channel. GameTap Deal/Sales, TTG online sales (with all the benefits like lying much longer on the shelf), later on traditional reseller once the cd is ready? With some further investment the console versions.

Looks like a cash cow to me if you have a game which is doing well.

I don't grudge them their success but "cheap" actually looks different to me.


45 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • Well in Sweden $54 is just little under average game price... New PC games often costs over 400 SEK and that is about $58. So in my eyes even $54 for 6 episodes is quite cheap :)
  • I wouldn't include shipping into a price evaluation--buy a regular-priced game here ($45-$49) and it also includes shipping cost (total $55-$59). And if you want to factor in whatever is making it a "cash cow," shipping costs do not factor into profit margins. A $2 CD will still cost the same money to ship as would a $70 CD.

    The main knock on episodic gaming has been that the total price of all episodes game ends up costing more than the price of an average game. The Season Price offer has thrown that argument out the window, so it is cheap compared to Half-Life episodes that cost $20 each (3 episodes are less than a full game, yet cost more at $60). It's true you could buy them 6 * $9, but that upgrade offer is still there so anybody who buys them each individually would kind of be foolish not to go for the season deal once they've bought 4 episodes individually (4 * 9 = $36). So most people end up either playing 1-3 episode for $9 each or six episodes for $35 (which translates to $5.83 per episode). A lot of people like to compare prices when judging value, so things are cheap/expensive if they can get a lot more/less for the same price. In America, $5.83 is about 2 gallons of gas, a meal at McDonald's, and cheaper than a movie ticket. It's a subjective call on whether you think that is cheap or expensive.

    I actually am of the mindset that the Gametap deal allows Telltale to sell at the lower, more palatable price--look at the initial pricing for the Bone episodes and Texas Hold Em, the games that Telltale made without a co-publisher giving them funding--Bone was initially priced at $20 an episode (later $12.99) and you still have to pay $5 more for the CD versions (shipping also extra). Texas Hold Em costs $12.99 as well. In comparison, Sam and Max appears cheap to my eyes.

    Though I do agree (and feel) that they're probably making lots of money.

    On rereading my post, my reactions are this: Wow, that's a very rambly post--I guess it's late... I hope nobody insults the sentences that run on and on in my second paragraph...
  • I happen to think that the episodes are great value for money. This value comes from the fact that I enjoy playing the games and that they make me laugh. I find myself looking forward to each episode.

    Yes, the games are short and sometimes way too easy. So what? I enjoyed every minute that I was playing each episode and even find myself singing the Ted E Bear song :) Can't put a price on that.

    I got the whole season for $35, that is about the price of a game. If I had the enite game, I would probably have finished it and set it aside by now.
  • Well in Australia games are basically $100. $35 US for the season works out about $45.. Its absolute great value here for us Aussies.. $6 an episode considering everything that goes into making a game is a great price.. more value for episodes like culture shock over episode 3 tho :D
  • With the current exchange rates It works out as something like £20 in the UK and the average game new costs £30-35.

    If you don't want to buy the whole series you don't have to spend more than a few dollars to find that out.

    Besides which your missing the point,
    1. I like adventure games
    2. You like adventure games (or you wouldnt be here)
    3. Nobody else is making adventure games
    4. If you want publishers to start making adventure games again this has to be a success so you have to buy it at any price.
  • Well, a few things:

    a) A price always is relative to how enjoyable and how long i can play. So if comparing to other episodic games i would say that Sam&Max might be the cheapest one(?) but it is also the one where i played the shortest timeframe.

    b) Secondly i for sure would include shipping costs as i simply compare to what do i get when i walk a few minutes to my local store. What do i have to pay there to get a full packaged cd/dvd and what do i have to pay here to get the same? And if i do get less how much cheaper is this in comparisson? And here i don't feel that a "cheap" price tag is valid.

    c) Cheap also is very relative depending on where you life in the world. The same price in russia for sure is much more expensive as the price might appear in europe or the usa.

    And as they get much more out of the cake i wonder why the prices are equal to even beeing higher here than if i would have bought the game in a store to the usual price.
  • And as they get much more out of the cake i wonder why the prices are equal to even beeing higher here than if i would have bought the game in a store to the usual price.

    That ones simple economics.

    Telltale are small, they wont sell millions of units, so they require a higher profit margin to stay in business.
  • Well, they might be a small (30 people?) team compared to larger or big productions but selling in the net isn't about that and they are getting a lot of reviews on- and offline about the game. Actually as it's episodic they get much more advertising this way than if the game would be released as a single full game.

    I think their site get's good traffic too and even if this wasn't the case there still are a lot of options to reach more users through the well known game portals (didn't i see Texas Hold'em on Reflexive too?) or distribution channels. I don't see them in the need begging for money...

    By the way are there any stats around about sold copies so far?

    But don' get me wrong. I'm very happy that they are around with this game. I just don't feel that it's cheap...
  • Not all of the reviews are good.

    PC Format (UK Magazine) just awarded culture shock the "Most Disapointing Game" prize in their annual game awards.

    I thought that was a little harsh, especially as the whole complaint was that on the whole they think the episodes are too short and the games too easy.
  • $36 is roughly €27.50 while most games sell a few euros short of €50 around here. Even with the sucker-punch tax (this is the first time I've had to pay sales tax on any overseas purchase) and the shipping I'll be paying later on it's a good deal. I wouldn't call it outrageously cheap, but it's definitely good value for money.
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