Capcom: Piracy Not a Factor in Higher PC Price for Bionic Commando Rearmed, $14.99 Is 'Appropriate'

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The $5 price hike for the PC edition of GRIN's downloadable platformer Bionic Commando "has nothing to do with Piracy concerns," Capcom business development and strategic planning VP Christian Svensson has informed Shacknews.

Though the title will sell for $9.99 when it hits consoles next week, Svensson explained that the $14.99 price for the PC version, also due next week, stems from "different business terms/expectations in that sector." He added that "the typical downloadable price for digital-only games on PC is actually $19.99."

The executive listed higher distribution costs on PC as another factor, concluding that "$14.99 represents an appropriate price for the platform" and that gamers "should probably expect our PC pricing to always be slightly higher than the console equivalent in this [digital distribution] space."

Capcom's upcoming slate of downloadable PC and console games include Certain Affinity's Age of Booty and Proper Games' Flock.

Last week, Svensson made headlines when he claimed that the retail PC version of Capcom's Devil May Cry 4 was not selling well in North America and had been "pirated to hell and back." Arriving five months after the PS3 and Xbox 360 editions, DMC4 PC carried a cheaper price than the console versions--a common retail pricing scheme.

Svensson's complete response follows below:

It has nothing to do with Piracy concerns. It has to do with different business terms/expectations in that sector and more importantly, generally prevailing pricing of PC digital games versus their console counterparts.

The typical downloadable price for digital-only games on PC is actually $19.99.

zone.msn.com
realarcade.com
games.yahoo.com
downloads.pogo.com

Click on any of the top downloadable games above and check their prices... most are $19.99... and these guys are the leaders in digital only titles (not just digitally distributed hybrid games).

With rare exceptions, titles available on Live Arcade that are also available on PC and Live Arcade are more expensive on PC (or at least where when they launched). Check all of the Pop Cap, Mumbo Jumbo, Oberon titles for comparison.

Another consideration is that our distribution costs as a percentage are, on average, slightly higher on PC than console. In several cases we have another party (beyond just the distribution portals) taking an extra bite, driving down our share of the revenue. For example, affiliate sites of our portal partners take a well earned slice of revenue for every sale, then the portal gets its cut, then we get ours. Three mouths to feed.

$14.99 represents an appropriate price for the platform and you should probably expect our PC pricing to always be slightly higher than the console equivalent in this space.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    August 8, 2008 10:44 AM

    Is there a gamer outrage over this or something? It's five dollars.

    • reply
      August 8, 2008 10:45 AM

      dude you dont get it. fuck these guys, theyre killing pc gaming. i'm on a flight to wherever the fuck there studio is to go burn it to the ground, who's with me!?!

      • reply
        August 8, 2008 10:49 AM

        Let's do it! LET'S BURN ALL PC GAME DEVELOPERS OFFICES TO THE GROUND!

        Also, I'm miffed you aren't around to play Conquest more this weekend. Do you hear me? Miffed.

        Faylor, you should take dantastic's place on the Bad Company Shack squad. He clearly hates everything.

        • reply
          August 8, 2008 10:51 AM

          oh shiznitzel, I totally forgot BF:BC conquest is out. How is it?

          • reply
            August 8, 2008 10:53 AM

            It's actually really good. I expected it to be a game mode on sparsely-populated maps but DICE really did a fantastic job with the four Conquest maps.

            • reply
              August 8, 2008 11:01 AM

              Doesn't feel all spread out and spastic? Biggest thing that bothered me about old BF games were the inevitable musical chairs flag rotations.

    • reply
      August 8, 2008 10:49 AM

      Can you send that 5 dollars to me? It's only five dollars.

      • reply
        August 8, 2008 10:51 AM

        Cute. If I send you five dollars, though, I don't get a game out of it. If I send Capcom $15 I do!

        • reply
          August 8, 2008 11:02 AM

          Or you can play it on 360 for 10$ and send Capcom $5 just because you don't have one.

          • reply
            August 8, 2008 11:03 AM

            Or maybe I'll buy it on the 360 for $10 or the PC for $15 depending on which platform I want to play it on and not be a complete moron about the whole ordeal. At least each platform is getting a release of the fucking game.

            • reply
              August 9, 2008 12:41 AM

              Or you buy it on 360 and save yourself $5 in the process, and add another $5 and get DoD:S along with this crap.

              • reply
                August 10, 2008 2:35 AM

                Is that including the $400 console?

                • reply
                  August 10, 2008 5:32 AM

                  And PCs come for free with Braid purchases and stand-alone cost far less than 400$ (or less depending on version of console).. you got me there MysteryZerox4

                  • reply
                    August 10, 2008 5:38 AM

                    whoops, with bionic commando :) In context to mittenses reply, I presumed you got both console and pc in that case given..

                    if prices were the same, you wouldn't have to buy console to save those 5$, that's the point I'm trying to make. stop trying to be smart where you cannot, mystery4x0 lol

                    • reply
                      August 10, 2008 9:03 AM

                      I think that just about everyone who has a console of some sort also has a PC, but you can't say that the majority of PC users also have a console.

                      I haven't had another console since I put my Playstation into the closet to collect dust for all time, there's no point in buying one when my PC is cheaper to upgrade and does everything that a console can and more.

                      But this isn't a console vs PC war, I just wanted to point out that most people probably wouldn't have that option. =P

      • reply
        August 8, 2008 10:54 AM

        exactly....I know not everyone will have a 360/ps3 and pc combination but there's no point in spending more money for the same game

        • reply
          August 8, 2008 10:56 AM

          ...unless we get something extra on the PC that we wouldn't get on the console - which we don't---unless there's something I don't know about.

          I forget, isn't there some co op or something?

        • reply
          August 8, 2008 10:57 AM

          So if you don't have a 360 or a PS3 and you want Bionic Commando: Rearmed you'd refuse to buy it because it's $5 more than the 360/PS3 counterparts that you can't buy?

          • reply
            August 8, 2008 11:08 AM

            hell no I'd suck it up and buy it but I'd still bitch about it

            • reply
              August 8, 2008 11:09 AM

              You're what's wrong with the internet.

              • reply
                August 8, 2008 11:23 AM

                2girls1cup is what's wrong with the internet...I'm just a guy on a message board

                • reply
                  August 8, 2008 2:02 PM

                  There is a lot wrong with some guys on some message boards so you might not want that to be your defense :)

    • reply
      August 8, 2008 10:51 AM

      It's especially stupid considering Capcom is usually never ports their games to the PC. There's just the occasional bone tossed our way. Yet these days they've gone nuts porting Lost Planet, DMC, Street Figher IV and Bionic Commando. However god FORBID they touch the pricing.

      It's funny - do people blow the fuck up when a game enters a sales price for the 360 but not PS3? OMG BOYCOTT.

    • reply
      August 8, 2008 11:02 AM

      Like with many changes we've seen happening on the PC platform over the past few years - DRM, install limit, download limit - the problem isn't really the single fact in itself, or the absolute price on this specific case, but the precedents it sets for the future and the fear that this may become the norm.

      • reply
        August 8, 2008 11:04 AM

        Yeah, definitely not blowing this out of proportion are you?

        • reply
          August 8, 2008 11:10 AM

          I believe I'm not, but your mileage may vary.

          Regardless, my opinions are here, you can decide whether I'm blowing this out of proportion or not.
          http://www.shacknews.com/laryn.x?id=17623514

          • reply
            August 8, 2008 11:13 AM

            You're wrong; it's not setting a precedent, it's a business maneuver that is taking advantage of the platform expectations.

            Most people on Xbox Live and PSN are used to paying 800 Microsoft Points or $9.99 real dollars on PSN for the games that they purchase. Setting a game above that price point takes things out of the norm and makes people think twice about purchasing (and these people are fucktards too).

            Now, the people who play PC games are a different breed of people. $15 for a PC game seems cheap no matter how you cut it. Typical digitally-distributed games are $20, generally, and a $15 price point makes a full game like Bionic Commando a pretty good fucking deal compared to the other PC digidist games on the market to the people who are ignorant of the $10 price point for the game's console release.

            • reply
              August 8, 2008 11:15 AM

              No no no no no! Don't you know that games are made by magical pixies from the lollipop kingdom where development costs aren't recouped with target pricing? What do you think this is? A business?!

              OUTRAGEOUS

            • reply
              August 8, 2008 11:26 AM

              It's taking advantage of people, not platform. And is offsetting their imaginary piracy rates based on their shitty dmc4 game that sold peanut-like quantities. It's all based on perception: if console people are used to pay $10 for something, why should PC people suffer 50% hike in price? If game as DoD:S is selling for $9.99 and this shit is $15, what justifies that price? gtfo

              • reply
                August 8, 2008 11:28 AM

                Wow.

                • reply
                  August 8, 2008 3:00 PM

                  of all the meaningless and cool one word responses and general trolling around, I've yet to hear anything remotely connected to what I said or refuting any of the points laid out in the post. What's up?

                  To the guy that said it's free market: yea, it sure is, that's why capcom games don't sell. And that's why they'll once again blame their shit sales on pirates if this pos won't sell like they'd like it to. Same ol'..

                  • reply
                    August 8, 2008 3:01 PM

                    You didn't hear any real responses because your reply was a garbled mess of broken English and a startling lack of logic.

                    • reply
                      August 8, 2008 3:11 PM

                      Yet again you aren't providing any meaningful response to what I've stated in my post but trolling around. sigh

              • reply
                August 8, 2008 11:36 AM

                Is it really that hard to understand that the number of people that would buy it on PC rather than a console if they had both is relatively miniscule when it comes to sales and that in order to make it worthwhile to even bother to release the product for a smaller audience you'd want to raise the price?

              • reply
                August 8, 2008 12:35 PM

                lol

              • reply
                August 8, 2008 2:06 PM

                Using your logic Microsoft and Sony are taking advantage of people by charging $60 for games while they are $50 on PC.

                It's called a free market.

                • reply
                  August 9, 2008 4:04 AM

                  Publishers are offsetting the royalty costs to customers, MS and Sony charge publishers and publishers just volley it right back at you.

              • reply
                August 8, 2008 2:09 PM

                [deleted]

            • reply
              August 8, 2008 2:16 PM

              Yeah except Bionic Commando, in the average informed PC-gamer's eye, will be seen as a XBLA game and not a full-breed "PC-Game." PC-gamers expect a lot more value out of their purchases and usually buy into the latest multiplayer craze. In this situation it makes sense to charge more for the PC-version business-wise. Rationalize it all you want with "Microsoft Point" standards, but the only reason they're charging more for the PC-version is because they fear they won't break enough profit in the current market to venture the move. It's capitalism pure and simple. Charge more and people think they're getting more.

              • reply
                August 8, 2008 2:18 PM

                Which is what I said. It's a business maneuver. The fact that it's being released on the PC has some side-effects (like an increased price point), but it's not a huge price shift and, really, I've played games on the PC that I've paid $20 for that have far less to offer than what I believe Bionic Commando: Rearmed does.

                Stop being bitchy gamers for once; at least you're seeing a PC release.

                • reply
                  August 8, 2008 2:29 PM

                  Right, a move which will reinforce the precedent for increasing the price on XBLA ports to the PC platform.

                  • reply
                    August 8, 2008 2:31 PM

                    I doubt it. Capcom isn't really a company known to be the "voice of the people." Capcom especially isn't a company I'd consider a major force in PC game development.

                    Every company will do things differently. Just because Capcom is charging $5 for one game release doesn't mean that every other company in existence is going to say OH LOOK WHAT THEY DID LET'S DO THAT.

                    • reply
                      August 8, 2008 3:29 PM

                      It's funny because the whole "OH LOOK WHAT THEY DID LET'S DO THAT" is what brought gaming where it is today. Sure, everyone probably won't copy them, but that doesn't mean I have to support their decision by buying their game. I don't agree with increasing the price with the reasoning that "the typical downloadable price for digital-only games on PC is actually $19.99" makes it a good deal. Portal was 20 bucks on release and using Capcom's pricing strategy I bet Valve could easily have went 35. If Capcom said something to the tune of: it's just to cover stuff like advertising, port-coding, and bandwidth costs, then I would've been complacent. But instead it's "different business terms/expectations." Hrm, I wonder to what that could be referring. It strongly reinforces the precedent and it's these smalls scenarios that we as supportive PC-gamers should call out.

                • reply
                  August 8, 2008 3:10 PM

                  "at least you're seeing a PC release"? Like, we should be Capcom's bitches and be glad we get increased price for no reason to play some retro shit while we can get TF2 for 5$ more or DoD:S for 5$ less or even CS:S for $5 less? wow

                  If you'd bend over for some more when they pull similar stunt next time, feel free to do that.

      • reply
        August 8, 2008 11:54 AM

        In general those are indeed trends to watch out for.

        In specific, this is complaining about Bionic Commando Rearmed selling for $5 less than Bookworm Adventures.

        (And I like Bookworm Adventures, but come on.)

    • reply
      August 8, 2008 11:05 AM

      To borrow a SA line:

      OMG GAS EXPENSES!!!

      That's almost a gallon and a half of gas, man! Come on!

      • reply
        August 8, 2008 11:07 AM

        bah.. it's "GAS EXPENSES HELLO!!!"

    • reply
      August 8, 2008 11:08 AM

      I'm waiting for someone to break out the old "principles" excuse

    • reply
      August 8, 2008 1:02 PM

      Oh man, did you witness the Orange Box FREAKOUT? holy shit, you'd think just the perception of $5 was enough to murder a whole neighborhood.

    • reply
      August 8, 2008 1:14 PM

      It's also 50% of the price. (Doesn't bother me too much, though. The reasons they give make sense and it's cheap either way.)

    • Lob legacy 10 years
      reply
      August 8, 2008 1:55 PM

      Yes the game is still cheap even though it's $5 more on the PC BUT I'm sure the reason people are getting frustrated is the fact that there is no new content for that extra $5. On top of that the who people constantly saying it's only "$5 more etc. etc." have no justification for it other then saying $5 is cheap/nothing. So next time when there's another downloadable content and it's released for $20 will you go "it's only $10"?

      Now if Capcom had to recoup the cost of the port to PC with that $5 then fine not a big deal but according to the news article they are only pricing it that way because they are claiming that "the typical downloadable price for digital-only games on PC is actually $19.99."

    • reply
      August 8, 2008 7:32 PM

      I think that they should have announced this price point at an earlier date. As it stands, after having anticipated this game for the last six months and obviously expected the 10$ price point, it does feel a bit like a slap in the face.

      Perhaps I wouldn't have felt that way if I had as much money as I had when I still had a job, but I'm a student now, and money is always tight. I'm still very happy with the fact that Capcom is releasing their games on the PC now a days, but at the same time I'll certainly demand more from the game if they are going to charge extra for it.

      Either way, it's a certain purchase as I really like what I've seen from it so far. Devil May Cry 4 didn't have me interested, as that type of gameplay has never appealed to me, but bring on Bionic Commando, Street Fighter 4 and all that other console goodness!

    • reply
      August 9, 2008 8:47 PM

      No just the typical "PC games are superior" vs. "Console Games are superior" bullshit as usual

    • reply
      August 10, 2008 1:38 AM

      Hehe, slowly increase prices, no one notices, and before you know it, we're out of cash because we unkowingly, but willingly, bought 150 dollar games! (that's including all the DLC that was planned to be released before the game came out)

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