Following an investor’s call last night, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot was quizzed during a Q&A session about how digital games cost a lot more than physical games, even more so when it is months after a game’s release. We often argue that digital games should be cheaper at launch, because there’s no middle man, no salesman, no distribution costs or printing and packing, yet we sometimes pay more than a retail disc copy.
“Digital is more reactive than what we put in stores, but at the same time, it doesn’t react as fast on consoles than it does on PC,” Guillemot said. “What we can say is that when games are older than one year, digital is a lot more dynamic on console because there are less units in stores. It’s a new business, a new trend, and we think all this will get more in line with time, but for sure, at the moment you see all sorts of prices depending on who is doing a promotion for that specific week. If you look at the PC [post-release discount] trend, I think you will see that on consoles, but you will have to wait a little bit of time for that to happen with the same speed,” he continued,
Ubisoft CFO Alain Martinez added, “On digital we will not sell [a game] for a lower price compared to physical. After a few weeks or few months things can change, and as Yves has been saying, sometime you might have a promotion on Amazon [that is] not on GameStop, but we can also react on the digital side. We are actually more aggressive on the PC side where digital is very, very strong. We tend to be more conservative on the digital side for more console and more flexible on PC.”
We certainly agree with that. With consoles, there is nowhere else to buy games necessarily, unless you visit cd key resellers like CDKeys.com, but PlayStation and Xbox have it locked down in such a way, that you can take it or leave it. A fair point is made to defend the price reduction on disc copies in stores, because shops need to sell off old stock, so if a price reduction helps clear the way for newer releases, then so be it. For now though, our best bet is weekly deals and sales