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Video Game Price History


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#1 ManaStone   Members   -  Reputation: 148

Posted 25 November 2008 - 11:22 AM

I very rarely buy video games. The last game I bought was Sacrifice for the PC in 2000. The last console I had was N64 and I never really bought any games for it. When I was a kid, I usually just got games for my birthday or Christmas and rented them. The only games I remember actually buying were ones for my Game Boy and Game Gear which were around $30.00. Out of curiosity, does anyone know how much Atari, NES, SNES, and C64 games cost when they were new, old, or in the middle of their life cycle? Furthermore, does anyone know how much it would have cost to manufacture and package game cartridges and how much the retail mark up was/is?

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#2 DenzelM   Members   -  Reputation: 295

Posted 25 November 2008 - 11:28 AM

Really...Game Boy Games were $30? I didn't know that, since I didn't have the funds to get a game boy at the time. All I know is that PS1 games cost around $15-25, and Dreamcast games cost about $15-$30. Those were the days, honestly.

#3 Promit   Moderators   -  Reputation: 5909

Posted 25 November 2008 - 11:59 AM

Quote:
Original post by Halifax2
Really...Game Boy Games were $30? I didn't know that, since I didn't have the funds to get a game boy at the time. All I know is that PS1 games cost around $15-25, and Dreamcast games cost about $15-$30. Those were the days, honestly.
Nintendo DS games are only about 30-40 now so the Gameboy price is not that weird.

#4 RivieraKid   Members   -  Reputation: 363

Posted 25 November 2008 - 12:05 PM

games like MGS and Gran Turismo costed todays prices. N64 games were rather expensive >£50. I had an Atari ST, i get the feeling they were cheaper but I cant remember.

interestingly even without the net piracy was still rampant. 90% of my games on atari were pirated, copies of copies of copies. dont copy that floppy! I was too young to understand what piracy was.

#5 Driv3MeFar   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 1076

Posted 25 November 2008 - 12:07 PM

Quote:
Original post by RivieraKid
interestingly even without the net piracy was still rampant. 90% of my games on atari were pirated, copies of copies of copies. dont copy that floppy! I was too young to understand what piracy was.


Piracy is not what dictates the rise in game prices, though. Rising development costs have a lot more to do with it.

#6 Kelly G   Members   -  Reputation: 356

Posted 25 November 2008 - 12:45 PM

we paid $59 bucks for Super Mario Brothers 3 when it first came out. As I undertand, NES games were generally $50 new, unless they were terrible, in which case they dropped to $30.

#7 Mastadon   Members   -  Reputation: 145

Posted 25 November 2008 - 01:07 PM

Quote:
Original post by Halifax2
Really...Game Boy Games were $30? I didn't know that, since I didn't have the funds to get a game boy at the time. All I know is that PS1 games cost around $15-25, and Dreamcast games cost about $15-$30. Those were the days, honestly.


Typical PS1 and Dreamcast games were never that cheap brand new. They were priced at $49.99, with the occasional, less popular, games at $39.99. NES games were around $30-$40 new and SNES games were around $50 or more. I remember when I saw Chrono Trigger at Target or Best Buy, and it was $80! N64 games were also typically in the $60-$80 range as well, depending on the game.

The only things cheaper back in the day were the systems and their accessories. Some people bitch about the price of games today when they really shouldn't. They're cheap compared to the past. Adjusted for inflation, games were much more expensive 10 to 20 years ago than they are today. Can you imagine spending the equivalent of $80+ on an NES game?


Edit - Adjusted my NES/SNES numbers a bit.

[Edited by - Mastadon on November 25, 2008 7:07:31 PM]

#8 zer0wolf   Members   -  Reputation: 1018

Posted 25 November 2008 - 01:25 PM

People complain a lot about games getting "more and more" expensive, but if you consider inflation, the cost of games has really gone down.

Check out an old Sears catalog from 1988 here. They are selling Legend of Zelda for $37.99. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that is equivalent to $69.55 today.


laziness is the foundation of efficiency | www.AdrianWalker.info | Adventures in Game Production | @zer0wolf - Twitter

#9 eedok   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 971

Posted 25 November 2008 - 01:49 PM

I still had some receipts from when I was younger, here's some highlights:
Ice Hockey - $60
(most games were this price)
Super Mario RPG - $80
(it's also how much F-Zero, Donkey Kong Country, and Separation Anxiety cost, Earthbound however cost $150)
Final Fantasy 7 - $30 (god I loved the PS1 era)
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time - $60



#10 ManaStone   Members   -  Reputation: 148

Posted 25 November 2008 - 01:54 PM

Quote:
Original post by eedok
I still had some receipts from when I was younger, here's some highlights:
Ice Hockey - $60
(most games were this price)
Super Mario RPG - $80
(it's also how much F-Zero, Donkey Kong Country, and Separation Anxiety cost, Earthbound however cost $150)
Final Fantasy 7 - $30 (god I loved the PS1 era)
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time - $60


Did you buy FF7 new? If so, it must have cost a good amount just to manufacture the cartridge.

#11 zer0wolf   Members   -  Reputation: 1018

Posted 25 November 2008 - 02:16 PM

FF7 was the first disc based Final Fantasy; it wasn't on a cart.
laziness is the foundation of efficiency | www.AdrianWalker.info | Adventures in Game Production | @zer0wolf - Twitter

#12 ManaStone   Members   -  Reputation: 148

Posted 25 November 2008 - 02:20 PM

Quote:
Original post by zer0wolf
FF7 was the first disc based Final Fantasy; it wasn't on a cart.


I know. I meant if a first class game like Final Fantasy 7 is so much cheaper than the cartridge games, then the cartridge games must be significantly more expensive to make.

#13 eedok   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 971

Posted 25 November 2008 - 02:37 PM

yea it was shocking to see it especially when the N64 games around it were $80, the PS1 blowing away the N64 came as no surprise just based on that

#14 Nytegard   Members   -  Reputation: 820

Posted 25 November 2008 - 02:49 PM

As other people have stated, prices have dropped significantly. Even computer games in the early 1980's had prices ranging from $20-$40. If you adjust that for inflation, you're talking $40-$80 today.

Here is an article talking about piracy from 1984, so obviously it's not a new issue.

An advertisement for Pro Golf on the C64. Price: $35 in May 1984.

I could go on, but you should get a general idea. And unlike console games, these are on floppy discs, so they didn't have license fees, cartridge fees, etc.

Then you have expensive console games such as Phantasy Star 4, Chrono Trigger, etc.

Some more prices can be found in the revies of Apple Games.

http://www.atarimagazines.com/cva/v1n2/apple2games.php
http://www.atarimagazines.com/cva/v1n2/ataripcgames.php
http://www.atarimagazines.com/cva/v1n2/colorcomputergames.php

Prices varied, but overall, todays games are much cheaper.


#15 DenzelM   Members   -  Reputation: 295

Posted 25 November 2008 - 02:53 PM

Quote:
Original post by Mastadon
Quote:
Original post by Halifax2
Really...Game Boy Games were $30? I didn't know that, since I didn't have the funds to get a game boy at the time. All I know is that PS1 games cost around $15-25, and Dreamcast games cost about $15-$30. Those were the days, honestly.


Typical PS1 and Dreamcast games were never that cheap brand new. They were priced at $49.99, with the occasional, less popular, games at $39.99. NES games were around $30-$40 new and SNES games were around $50 or more. I remember when I saw Chrono Trigger at Target or Best Buy, and it was $80! N64 games were also typically in the $60-$80 range as well, depending on the game.

The only things cheaper back in the day were the systems and their accessories. Some people bitch about the price of games today when they really shouldn't. They're cheap compared to the past. Adjusted for inflation, games were much more expensive 10 to 20 years ago than they are today. Can you imagine spending the equivalent of $80+ on an NES game?


Edit - Adjusted my NES/SNES numbers a bit.


Well I bought the games from Wal-Mart, and I specifically remember paying those amounts. That's why I thought PS2 games were so expensive when they came out. I even have some PS1 games lying around with the price tags still on them.


#16 Mastadon   Members   -  Reputation: 145

Posted 25 November 2008 - 03:03 PM

Quote:
Original post by Halifax2
Quote:
Original post by Mastadon
Quote:
Original post by Halifax2
Really...Game Boy Games were $30? I didn't know that, since I didn't have the funds to get a game boy at the time. All I know is that PS1 games cost around $15-25, and Dreamcast games cost about $15-$30. Those were the days, honestly.


Typical PS1 and Dreamcast games were never that cheap brand new. They were priced at $49.99, with the occasional, less popular, games at $39.99. NES games were around $30-$40 new and SNES games were around $50 or more. I remember when I saw Chrono Trigger at Target or Best Buy, and it was $80! N64 games were also typically in the $60-$80 range as well, depending on the game.

The only things cheaper back in the day were the systems and their accessories. Some people bitch about the price of games today when they really shouldn't. They're cheap compared to the past. Adjusted for inflation, games were much more expensive 10 to 20 years ago than they are today. Can you imagine spending the equivalent of $80+ on an NES game?


Edit - Adjusted my NES/SNES numbers a bit.


Well I bought the games from Wal-Mart, and I specifically remember paying those amounts. That's why I thought PS2 games were so expensive when they came out. I even have some PS1 games lying around with the price tags still on them.


Maybe they were in the $40 range, although I do remember some costing $50. Were you buying these games when they first came out? 10+ years ago is a long time ago, so it's possible I'm wrong. :)

#17 Rixter   Members   -  Reputation: 785

Posted 25 November 2008 - 03:39 PM

I distinctly remember my uncle counting out the cost of my cousin's NES games:
50, 100, 150, 200, 250...
That's why we only had Mario/Duck Hunt :( :( :(

#18 Benjamin Heath   Members   -  Reputation: 925

Posted 25 November 2008 - 03:45 PM

Quote:
Original post by Rixter
I distinctly remember my uncle counting out the cost of my cousin's NES games:
50, 100, 150, 200, 250...
That's why we only had Mario/Duck Hunt :( :( :(


Hehe. That's why if we ever got an allowance, we'd walk down to the video store and rent Kung Fu or something. [smile] That is an if however...

#19 Moe   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1248

Posted 25 November 2008 - 05:15 PM

I think I remember paying somewhere around $86 for Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire for N64 when it came out. That was insanely expensive back then. Most of the more popular games (I think there were 6 - Mario 64, MarioCart 64... a few others I can't remember) that were cheaper at $49.

#20 Benjamin Heath   Members   -  Reputation: 925

Posted 25 November 2008 - 06:31 PM

Quote:
Original post by Moe
I think I remember paying somewhere around $86 for Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire for N64 when it came out. That was insanely expensive back then. Most of the more popular games (I think there were 6 - Mario 64, MarioCart 64... a few others I can't remember) that were cheaper at $49.


I couldn't remember why my parents didn't get me an N64 when it came out (I was, what, in the fourth grade?). Now I actually know. :P




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