Niche Games = Higher Price?

There has been a bit of a brew-ha-ha going on in the wargaming community for the last week or so involving a game called Command Ops: Battles from the Bulge. Basically it’s this…the game is selling at $93.99 (Canadian) if you want a physical copy of the game plus digital download ($83.99 if you want the digital download only). Quite pricey…ain’t it. There is already a whole 16 page thread over on the Matix forums regarding the price point that Matrix and Panther Games have decided to sell this game on…with wonderful comments like this:

I do not need reviews to tell me I can’t afford £74 for a game (more like closer to £80 if you add delivery).

I’m checking out the forum now – BftB will not be on my hard drive – not at that price.

I’ll leave the people that can afford it and want to enjoy the release of this fine game. Dave and team good luck. Matrix – what were you thinking?

That’s my piece said. Goodnight

….and this:

It sure is a stiff price, considering that most large titles these days go for 50€ or around, but I guess PG are a small outfit and have been working on this for a long time, so they need to calculate that in.

Long time fans of the series (like myself) will buy anyway, but what is worrying is that the price is sure to put some potential new players completely off, at least until it’s on sale. I would have posted about it on some other forums I frequent where there’s plenty of old-school wargamers, but now I don’t know, they will just b*tch about the price…

Wargamer.com has a similar thread going on over here as well.

Here’s the problem: Wargaming (…real wargames…we’re not talking Starcraft here…) as well as simulation gaming are an extremely niche market, but are they so niche that they can justify a price of $90 for a game? I think yes…but I want to hear your comments as well.

Let’s face it…if it ain’t all flash and graphics, the typical North American and Asian game consumer will not buy the game. It’s a very sad statement, but it’s quite true. Games like BftB (Battles from the Bulge) are not going to survive in this market selling their chit based graphics if they decide on a $49.99 price point. Or would they? ;)

Anyway….yeah, I bought it cause I’m one of those who LOVE these kinds of games. Love…love…love these kinds of games. I…said that too much, didn’t I. Not only do I love these games, I love the developers of wargames in general cause, clearly, they’re not in it for the money. I personally like giving these guys support because I really think we need them around.

Regarding the game itself…it’s really good. I’m enjoying it a lot even though I’m still learning the details of how to play. The game itself comes with six 40 minutes tutorials that not only teach you how to play, but help you with figuring out strategy and why you’re doing what you’re doing. Guess that’s what’s fun for me…learning a new system and ways to solve strategic puzzles. Highly recommend it.

D out

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