Why are new video games so expensive? Picture: VeryInformed

Why are new video games so expensive? Picture: VeryInformed

Why are new video games so expensive?

Community Nov 17, 2022

Nowadays, video games are so expensive that people are using pirated versions which makes video gaming organizations hard to discover pirated sites.


  • Video games ranging from $40 to $100 are the average and affordable games.
  • You will see that Video games consist of several such causes, which makes the video game much more expensive than it is.

You will notice that video games have prices ranging from $40 to $100. When the same game is available in silver, gold, and platinum editions, all at various price ranges, it makes the cost of video games even more baffling.

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The budget covers the costs of R&D, corporate overhead, hiring and maintaining competent staff for game creation, marketing and sales, distribution costs, royalties, and game upkeep. External variables like the consumer's willingness to pay and the makeup of the secondhand video game market may also impact video game pricing.

Why do video games cost so much money?

Why do video games cost so much money? Picture: Onlinezzz


This covers any materials, labor, and resources the video game may need. When determining a video game's budget, the developer will anticipate the game's potential and likely sales, compare those numbers to the estimated cost of getting the game to market, and choose suitable pricing to strike a balance between cost and profit.

Currently, a freshly launched video game costs about $70, and game creators use this pricing as a starting point to determine how much money will be spent on marketing and how much money sales are expected to support at this price point.

Research And Development

Research and development takes a video game concept and sees it through to completion. Since the first boom in home video game systems like Nintendo and PlayStation, the price of Research and Development has risen.

The average cost of Research and Development in 1996 was less than $1 million, while today's costs are easily in the $10, $20, or even $30 million range. The enormous capabilities that today's gaming consoles provide are a key contributor to the growth in the cost of Research and Development. Creating and coding video games for these systems is substantially more time-consuming due to the consoles' ability to handle 128 bits and support the depiction of visuals at the pinnacle of quality.

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Company Overhead

This covers leasing the premises where the game is created and the building's electricity and insurance costs. Additionally, overhead covers less obvious expenses like the price of obtaining patents and preserving intellectual property.

There must also be supplementary fees for legal and financial counsel. The price of the goods that are ultimately offered to the end user must consider all of these overhead expenses.

Employment Cost

The creation of video games is a highly technological process that calls for a competent workforce of programmers and other technically adept personnel. A mid-level developer typically makes roughly $120,000 a year.

The cost of hiring employees becomes a big component in the price of video games when you consider that a team of programmers is necessary in addition to a team of developers, managers, quality control specialists, and many more to bring a product to final release.

Distribution and marketing

When a video game production business believes they have created a popular video game, it must advertise the title to the general public to generate buzz and interest in the new title.

A 30-second ad may cost up to $1 million, indicating the large marketing expense involved. Distribution of the goods to the merchants who will sell them to the client is also necessary. This cost covers the cost of final product distribution, storage, and shipment.


Back view of a young gamer using a controller while wearing headphones. A renowned actor or a particular product may be used in a video game, so royalties must be given to the firm that provided the actor's voice, likeness, or product to the video game company. The cost of paying the royalties is once again included in the final price of the video game.


Process of a maintenance update on an LCD with a high resolution. Maintenance is the last financial factor that affects how much a video game costs. All respectable video game publishers provide some user help to players who are having trouble with the game's functioning.

A development team will also strive to produce a fix for the game if any issues or glitches are discovered after release. This ongoing assistance is expensive. The game's update cycle is another aspect. Most updates are given to customers for free to encourage them to keep playing the game or entice new users to buy it. However, certain updates may demand a small price from the end user to access specific elements of the update.

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When discussing the expense of video games, the industry will claim that, when seen objectively, the price of a video game is fairly reasonable and even inexpensive if you look into it.

You get a lot of games and a lot of technology for your money, so the value-to-dollar ratio is good. Take all the budgetary factors listed in the preceding section, for instance. Given the enormous costs involved in creating and releasing a game, a producer can decide to raise the price of each game by a substantial margin.

Another justification for the high price that a video game creator can provide is that the number of hours the buyer might potentially play the game more than offsets the high cost. A buyer would shell out $15 to see a two-hour movie, around $7.50 per hour of entertainment. As opposed to this, a client may get a video game with 120 hours of gameplay for $60 and only pay $0.50 per hour.

Market acclaim

Market acceptability also has an impact on video game pricing. It is said titles in the $70 price range have become standard in the video game sales industry, and customers are more than happy to spend that amount for the product.

The cost of video games would decrease if the client base rejected that pricing one day and ceased purchasing games at that price. Contrary to popular belief, a price point of $70 is reasonable and acceptable in the market.


Resale does affect the cost of new video games, even if it may not immediately stand out as the main reason for their high price. Manufacturers contend that the availability of used video games at several stores, including Game Stop, Best Buy, Walmart, eBay, and even Amazon, eliminates the possibility of a new game's sale.

Consequently, fewer new games are being sold than if used games were not accessible. Each game must make up for the money lost on games that were not bought brand-new but rather through a reseller when fewer games might be sold.

Is 70$ the normal price for a video game?

Video Games cost 70$ is normal but too expensive! Picture: PlayStation

Although certain video games are currently being sold for $70, it is doubtful that this will soon become the industry's normal price.  Since the PlayStation 5 and Microsoft Xbox Series X launch, several AAA game developers have priced their new titles more than the $60 industry norm.

These AAA gaming firms refer to the considerable absence of price increases over the last several decades as a contributing element to the price rise and mention the enormous sums of money invested in product development as the main reason for the price increase.

NBA 2K21, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Demon's Souls, Godfall, and MLB The Show 21 are some of the titles presently available for $70.  Video game upgrades and special editions may also increase the price of video games.  Some game producers charge the normal basic price of $60 for the main game and extra for other versions.

For instance, the ordinary version of Assassin's Creed: Valhalla costs $60.  Then, the game's creator, Ubisoft, also published the Gold, Ultimate, and Limited Edition Collector's editions.  The most profitable area of the video game business is fast developing to be in-game purchases.  After the original game purchase, the producers will sell exclusive game modes or access via the game itself, such as battle passes or more characters and character enhancements. This business model enables the rapid release of goods that generate income without incurring the extra expenses of creating a new game from scratch.

You can also download the Tournafest app from Google Play or App Store to play Esports Tournaments & Scrims games like BGMI, Free Fire MAX, Call of Duty, CS: GO, Valorant, Pokemon Unite & win exciting rewards! You may also organize Tournaments & fetch unmatched perks.

Until next time,



Manish Gupta

I’m a creative thinker. I think it’s important to approach tasks and issues from different angles, rather than doing what has always been done. By having an open mind and taking a different approach.