There’s a trend that started a few months ago, and it is something that undoubtedly have made virtual reality (VR) consumers happier with the climate of the industry: fallings in prices of videogames. It has been happening subtly over time, but recently there has been a rise in very apparent cuts, and it is encouraging the community to thrive.
Really September should have been known as the month of pricing realisation for many VR titles, which included the reduction in price of Feral Rites, FATED: The Silent Oath, and Everest VR, with Crystal Rift dropping back in April of this year. Each of them reduced by a good £5 (GBP) or so, which certainly took the edge off of the bloated prices.
Even now if you check out the PlayStation Store you can see that titles are being altered slightly in time for the launch of the PlayStation VR HMD, and this proves that still no one – not even the most experienced of the top VR HMD creators when it comes to videogames – really knows what the standards are for VR pricing, and this is down to the clash of interest by consumers and developers.
From the developers’ side of the argument, Feral Rites developers Insomniac Games outlined the general consensus of how despite there needing to be monetary gain from the efforts put into VR production, consumers just aren’t going to play ball. “As we do with all our games, we’ve paid careful attention and responded to player feedback so far. We appreciate the support from everyone who has experienced Feral Rites, and we understand the concerns as well — especially about the game’s price.
“The game’s original price was largely based on all the work that went into it. We’re proud that Feral Rites is among the largest VR games of its kind available today.”
Why is there such a rift between what consumers want and developers expect? It’s all down to the level that VR is at, and the premature assumption of titles taking AAA-game status. It seems as though the quality of the VR experience should in theory make up for the lack of hours in gameplay and intricacies of storylines, but in reality consumers just aren’t buying it.
In a sense, of course this is unfair. These developers and high quality titles are what is going to fuel the potential revolution of VR, and from the efforts of developing for this new platform should come monetary reward.
However, right now these titles just aren’t worth the overbearing price tags. Would you line up just as long for a teacup ride as what you would for a rollercoaster? It is just the same as how consumers wonder why they would pay the same price for a three to ten hour title as what they have paid for games that can be explored for hundreds of hours.
Right now developers will have to choose to ride out this drop in what they thought was going to be a jackpot for them, and hope that VR then gains more respect and value as experiences evolve.