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It's official: we're paying more for our games while movies & music get cheaper

Jonathan Lester
UK retail

It's official: we're paying more for our games while movies & music get cheaper

Do you know why we do what we do?

I admit that writing about videogames in my underpants has its own unique allure, but the fact is that cheap games deals are more important than ever. You worked hard for that money, and we're paying more for games than we have done in years. Prices are on the rise and the latest figures prove it.

According to GfK Chart-Track and the Entertainment Retailers Association [via MCV], the average selling price for a game in 2014 increased to £31.40, increasing from £29.43 the previous year. The release of the PS4 and Xbox One is naturally the major factor, seeing as publishers and retailers can charge a premium, but the aggressive increase in pre-order bonuses and pricey special editions must also be contributing to the figures.

Online retailers such as Amazon saw the biggest price increase to £30.38, while specialist stores are still struggling to bring prices down, resulting in a figure of £33.48. Unsurprisingly the supermarkets are the slowest to up prices, though, with only a 5% increase to an average of £30.09 per game.

Interestingly, other forms of entertainment are getting cheaper as they react to new competition. DVD, Blu-Ray and album prices are in decline, as you'd expect, given the rise of digital distribution and streaming services.

Which points out the biggest flaw in GfK Chart-Track and the Entertainment Retailers Association's numbers: they don't factor in digital downloads. Bundles, cheap game keys and even in-house console manufacturer discounts are a great way of saving money, and mean that the real average has to be much lower than this. That said, it's very interesting to see boxed game prices still rising, whereas other forms of media are slumping due to the same sort of competition.

Either way, we'll keep on finding cheap games deals and spotlighting the awesome work of the Hot UK Deals community. The average price of games may be going up, but there's always a saving to be made.

How much do you pay for games?

Add a comment4 comments
Late  Mar. 12, 2015 at 12:37

It's a rare game that'll have me spend more than £25 on console games (and I rarely pay more than about £3 for pc games - but that's mainly because I'm not much of a pc gamer, and my machine won't handle decent games anyway).
RRP and preorder prices are ridiculous, and most games can be had for around half their original price if you can hold off for a couple of months - especially if you keep an eye on dealspwn & hukd, natch.

phil16  Mar. 12, 2015 at 13:35

I'd interested to know whats happened to the average price of PC games as they seem cheaper and cheaper each year (and even cheaper if you're happy to wait a year or two to acquire them in steam sales for two or three pound)

JonLester  Mar. 12, 2015 at 13:58

@phil16: I don't have the time to do a thorough investigation right now, but I strongly suspect that PC games prices have fallen straight through the floor thanks in part to bundles, sales and serial key resale.

But also because plenty of PC studios and publishers are actually doing digital distribution properly by charging less to begin with! Digital games have no physical manufacturing, shipping or real distribution costs beyond maintaining pre-existing servers, so they should cost less -- and we see the best studios passing those savings on. Cities Skylines is a good example - it's an absolutely massive game with loads of options and a huge amount of playtime, yet it's just £22.99 *RRP*.

Last edited by JonLester, Mar. 12, 2015 at 13:59
phil16  Mar. 12, 2015 at 14:05

@jonLester - I don't even think you need to take into account bundles as they are mainly indie games and I don't think its fair to include indie games. I do think even cross platform games are cheaper (and faster to drop) on PC.

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