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Hogwarts Legacy & Co. – Are video games getting more and more expensive?

The new year brings us a slew of new releases of various AAA titles that some gamers have been waiting for for years. But in addition to the Free2Play games, which are designed to earn money with the help of microtransactions, many Pay2Play games will again be released in 2023, the price tags of which will once again raise the question of all questions when making a purchase decision.

Are video games REALLY becoming more expensive?
To answer that question, let's first look at the prices of some upcoming releases and compare them to AAA titles from years past:

Prices today (PC version):
Hogwarts Legacy Standard PC Edition: €59.99
Diablo IV Standard PC Edition: €69.99
Dead Island 2 Digital PC Version: €59.99
Assassin's Creed Mirage Digital Standard PC Edition: €49.99
Prices 10 years ago:
(2014) GTA 5 Standard PlayStation 3 version: €59.99
(2013) The Last of Us – PlayStation 3 version: €49.99
(2013) BioShock Infinite Xbox 360 version: €59.99
(2013) Super Mario 3D World Wii U version: €59.99
Although there are of course exceptions, you can already see from this example that the current game prices have not moved very far on average from the blockbuster games of 10 years ago.

Preise vor 30+ Jahren:

  • (1991) SNES Konsole: 129,99 $ ~ 240 €*

  • (1991) Marvel Super Heroes: 59,99 $ ~ 111 €*

  • (1991) Street Fighter Alpha 2: 69,99 $ ~ 129 €*

  • (1991) Yoshi’s Island: 52,99 $ ~ 98 €*

  • (1991) Donkey Kong Country 2: 52,99 $ ~ 98 €*

Conclusion: video games are NOT more expensive but CHEAPER!
While the price of the latest titles hasn't really gone vertical over the decades, and has actually gotten cheaper based on purchasing power, there are other factors to consider.

If you compare a game from the 90s with a game today, you are indeed comparing pears to apples. For example, the quality of the games as well as the expected playing time and production costs have exploded exponentially within these years.

The production costs for today's games have also multiplied extremely and reached Hollywood film levels. In order to maintain this standard, you also need a large team of developers, who of course have to be paid.

In summary: If you buy a game for 40-80 € today, you basically pay significantly less money and at the same time get more content than in the past decades.

- Fun fact: The estimated production cost for GTA V was 266 million dollars -

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