ShopTo: Modern Warfare 2 price sets "worrying trend"
Publishers follow Activision's lead in raising SRP at retail
ShopTo has told Eurogamer that publishers are following Activision by increasing the price of their popular franchises.
"Whether planned, or a case of jumping on the popular franchises bandwagon, we have seen Microsoft increase the price of Forza 3 to GBP 49.99 and Nintendo increase the price of Professor Layton [and Pandora's Box] to GBP 34.99," ShopTo boss Igor Cipolletta told the site. "I sincerely hope that not all publishers will follow this lead."
"The price increases that some publishers think the market can stand are, to say the least, a worrying trend, and appear to be more than just a result of currency fluctuations."
Nintendo does not set a SRP for retailers and told Eurogamer, "The cost price Nintendo sells products to retailers at is obviously confidential." Microsoft, meanwhile, has yet to respond about Forza 3 pricing.
Cipolletta said Capcom had great results by dropping games to GBP 39.99. Furthermore, he explained, the European Wii price increase hasn't worked out quite as Nintendo expected.
"Subsequent to the price increase and as a result of the European 'free market' the console is in plentiful supply and some chain stores were forced to discount the machine to gain cash back. I think this is a demonstration that the market was either unable or unwilling to stomach the Nintendo hardware price increase," he offered.
Cipolletta, like analyst Michael Pachter, believes the Modern Warfare 2 price increase to GBP 54.99 (a GBP 10 SRP boost) is about securing a better investment/development-cost return. And he's not against the idea.
"I applaud their decision," revealed Cipolletta, "as this will enable [Activision] to preserve the franchise and thus develop it year-on-year. "We have seen good franchises reduce in quality until they are finally abandoned, and this is not a healthy prospect for the future of the business.
"So to answer your question," he added, "I would like to believe that Activision will seek to keep the SRP at a level sufficient to maintain very high production values."