Video games are too expensive, says ex-Epic chief Cliff Bleszinski
Modern full priced retail games are too expensive, and should cost around the “$20-40’ range”, according to former Epic designer and current Cliff Bleszinski.
TrustedReviews spoke to the now CEO of Boss Key Productions at a preview event for the studio’s debut game, Lawbreakers, and ‘CliffyB’ shared his thoughts on the current business models of triple-A titles.
“What you’re seeing is the old guard shifting in multiplayer shooters from the $60 US disc-based game, which to be fair should have been $20-40 range,” Bleszinski said.
“The average consumer has a hard time swallowing $60 day one US games with day one DLC with all sorts of microtransactions.
“It leaves a bad taste in their mouth, but if you’re in the $20-40-ish range, it’s not as bad. Then if the game is still the game without having this, you know, extra flamethrower that’s the better weapon, that’s better.”
Lawbreakers recently abandoned plans to launch as a free-to-play title and will be charge a one-time fee (which will be less than full retail price) for all playable content, with future DLC such as maps and new playable characters being free. Cosmetic items will be charged for as microtransactions.
TrustedReviews asked Bleszinski if we’re seeing a shift in pricing models and DLC plans in the industry. “Well you’re seeing this kind of arc right now where, if you have this disc-based game that comes out in whatever price and collector’s edition, the feature-set, graphics and budget are all just so crazy right now that they’re doing it to actually turn a profit.
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“It used to be in the Xbox 360 days you could make a game for $60, have some DLC there if you want it, you didn’t have to do it but if you wanted to you can, but beyond that it wasn’t the same nickel and diming that seems to be happening that consumers really resent in a lot of instances.”
With regards to his own game, Bleszinski said that it’s still very much a learning curve for Lawbreakers.
“The whole philosophy, all this, everyone is still learning this new world order, and we’re going to work through it when the game comes out, there’s going to be things that, the way we monetise beyond the initial asking price may have to tune it and tweak it, we may have to tune and tweak balance, it’s just you know, doing a living product like this that you hope will go on for years, I mean it’s really it’s own challenge.”
Bleszinski also said that he felt modern games offer too much colour on the screen, something he is looking to avoid with Lawbreakers.
“I don’t know if it’s because I’m a little bit older but sometimes I look at some of the MOBAs that are out there that I try to get into, and SMITE’s the one I really dug, and I try and figure out what’s going on amidst all the rainbows of colour and particle effects and characters and everything, and it’s a little hard to follow unless you’re already a fan of it,” he said.
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“I want to create a whole new experience that’s highly watchable and doesn’t have too much eye-fatigue from all the damn colour. It has some colour but not all the colours in the rainbow.”
Lawbreakers is set to launch this summer exclusively on PC. As a price has yet to be announced, fans are currently only able to add the game to their Steam wishlist.