I got Murdered: Soul Suspect the day it came out. It was a legit sale; AMD video card buyers received codes for the game as part of a promotion, which many flipped on eBay. The average price of the game was about $25. I was proud to tell the seller that the code worked perfectly. I was also proud, a week later, to tell him that I was thankful I didn’t pay $50.
I never reviewed Murdered but I can tell you I wasn’t that happy with the game and I would give it less than a 5. I felt like the game was just a glorified hidden object hunt. The combat was sparse and, quite frankly, easy. The end of the game feels like a cop-out. But I’m not here to review the game: I’m here to look at the price of this title.
NeoGAF has a word for whenever a game drops in price quickly: “Bomba.” Bomba was used with Murdered Soul Suspect, as the game was and is at the time I write this, available on the Humble Store for $15. I can’t also help but notice that there were a disproportionate amount of used PS4 copies at Gamestop.
This isn’t Airtight Games’ first disappointment. They also released Dark Void, a game that just ends in what seems like the middle of it; a game received poorly by critics and myself. Strangely enough, I had a chance to see both Dark Void and Murdered: Soul Suspect at their respective E3’s before they released and they were both my favorite game of the show that I played there. However, Dark Void didn’t drop in price as fast as Murdered: Soul Suspect.
There is often a wait-and-see approach with new games. Steam is notorious for its sales, and the PlayStation Store has great deals these days as well. And there’s even a chance that your favorite game might go free on PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold. Indie games will likely be priced at their normal, full price for a short time before they end up in a bundle, where they can cost just pennies.
I would say that the only company that keeps prices stable over a long period of time is Nintendo, to the chagrin of pretty much every modern gamer who expects sales. Nintendo says they do this to keep the value of the game high, and to give people who paid that full price more pride in their purchase. Quite frankly, they’re right. But it doesn’t turn the direction of the sea change.
Airtight Games is now shuttered. Square Enix is making what revenue they can off of this title. And the race to the bottom continues.