Thursday, January 28, 2010

Just Dance - Ubisoft Jacks up the Price

Bad move, very bad move. The price for Just Dance has jumped from $30 to $40. During the holiday season, you could easily find the game at Amazon, Gamestop, and Best Buy for the lower price. Now that the game has become a runaway hit, the price is getting jacked up.

Third-party publishers love to complain about the difficulty of cracking the Wii market, yet the obvious culprit is staring them in the face: cost. The general population is not willing to spend more on video games then they spend on Blu-Rays and DVDs.

"Hardcore" gamers have been conditioned to accept $50 as an acceptable price for video games. These are the types who stand out in line for hours, so they're the first to have the newest game or gadget Regular people will not. They will have priorities and demands on their money and time. Their lives do not revolve around video games.

Game publishers are going to have to re-learn some basic lessons of business. They've become lazy and spoiled after years of catering exclusively to the hardcore fanboys. But that market has long since stagnated, and is now in decline. Sooner or later, you'll have to face regular people, and you'll be surprised to discover we aren't so easily led by the nose.

Ubisoft must be very careful if they are to build a long-term franchise out of Just Dance. The game would never have succeeded in the marketplace against Mario and the Wii series at their price point. But it could sneak under the radar at $30. In the UK, Just Dance sold for 15 Pounds Sterling - just under $25 USD.

I believe this is the ideal price range for third-party Wii software: $20-$30. Raise the price and you'll sacrifice long-term gains for immediate profits. But, hey, it's not my money.

No comments: