Nintendo games are too expensive

As a hardcore gamer interested in a broad range of genres and games, both AAA and Indie, no matter whether they are on mobile, PC or console platforms, I buy a lot of games. I do this despite the fact that I don’t have a lot of money, and that my backlog is becoming nothing short of ludicrous. I am able to do this because I can reliably count on games becoming less expensive over time. Instead of paying $59.99 for one game, I tend to buy anywhere from 3 to 30 games for that price, depending on the Indie Bundles. And with services like PlayStaton Plus, sometimes I get the games on my wish list—such as Dragon’s Crown—for free! I’ve learned that if I can wait a few months or even a year, I can get that game I wanted for a small fraction of its original MSRP, assuming I have to pay for it at all… unless it is a Nintendo game. Nintendo games cost full price.

I noticed a pattern on my Amazon wish list recently: It’s full of Nintendo games! Many of these games are relatively new, such as Hyrule Warriors, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Bayonetta 2, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and Mario Kart 8. I kept an eye on all of these games over the Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events, and none of them were significantly discounted. There were some “buy one get one 50% off” type deals, but there were no major straightforward discounts on individual products that I noticed. This may not be a surprise considering how new they are, but meanwhile, from my PC wish list, I was able to get Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor—a game that only released at the end of September—for $19.99 (it was $24.99 for consoles)! It was less than two months since release the day I bought it. And on consoles, Destiny was $29.98 for PlayStation 4 and Assassin’s Creed Unity was $25.00 on Xbox One.

Nintendo games are too expensive - Expensive Mario Games
Price cuts? What price cuts?

But let’s put aside the most recent Wii U games for now, and look instead at some older titles. I looked up New Super Mario Bros. U on Amazon just minutes ago. Despite being over two years old, New Super Mario Bros. U has never received a permanent price drop. As of the time of this writing, it is on sale for the not so low price of $50.99. I just don’t get it! By now this game should have had a permanent price cut to $29.99 or $19.99, and been discounted further for the sales events! $50.99? C’mon, Nintendo! I want to buy your games; I really do! But, damn, that’s an expensive old game. New Super Mario Bros. 2? $26.99 ($3.00 off)! Last year’s Super Mario 3D World? $56.99! Pikmin 3? $68.99! That’s more than the MSRP! Where are the price cuts, Nintendo?

Now I suppose this is the part where business strategy comes in to play. That certainly isn’t my area of expertise, but I imagine if Pikmin 3 is so in demand that every copy available at MSRP or less has sold out—and remember, this is over a year since its release date—then Nintendo must be doing something right. Somehow, they are maintaining the value of their products better than any of their competitors. Maybe they are manufacturing fewer copies of games to keep them pricey, maybe they are just being stubborn about price cuts, or maybe they’re just failing to realize that they can reach a much larger audience if they lower their prices. Personally I think the cost of Wii U software is one of the reasons the other platforms are more compelling to consumers.

The story is much the same for the 3DS. Tomodachi Life, Fantasy Life, and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon are all still full price. At least Paper Mario: Sticker Star is down to $19.93, but after two years since release, that still doesn’t seem cheap enough. And I’ve had Cave Story 3D on my wish list for years now, and it seems to just get more and more expensive (currently $114.99 for a new copy)!

The end result of all this is that I own very few modern Nintendo games compared to all of my other game libraries. There is no shortage of games that I am interested in, but I’m not going to pay $56.99 for Super Mario 3D World when for the same amount of money I could keep an eye out for sales and get Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor ($19.99), Batman: Arkham Origins ($4.99), Transistor ($9.99), LEGO Batman 2 DC Super Heroes ($3.74), The Lego Movie Videogame ($3.74) and still have $14.54 left over to buy a few Indie bundles or discounted season passes for Middle Earth and Batman. What would you rather have?

Nintendo games are too expensive.

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12 thoughts on “Nintendo games are too expensive

  1. “What would you rather have?”

    A timeless Nintendo classic which only goes up in value and stays relevant… not the throw away trash games you mentioned that no one will remember in a few years. Would you like the throw-away trash, Sir? Cash or charge, Mr Sucker?

    What a self-indulgent article. “Nintendo, I’m cheap, so why aren’t your games cheap like me? You put a lot of love, work and effort into your games which are by far the most highly polished games in the world… but i’d rather support and pay full RRP to assholes like Ubisoft & Activision on release day for the boring, broken mainsteam crap they make”.

    You utter toss pot; the issue is with your failing thought processes and actions, not Nintendo. Stick to Candy Crush, cheapskate casual.

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    1. Thanks for reading. Just to give you some perspective, I’ve been buying Nintendo games since Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt on the NES, and I’ve purchased hundreds of Nintendo games at full price throughout my life. I wrote this article because in the modern video game market, games go on sale a lot more often than they did in the past. From my observations, Nintendo’s products are the least frequently put on sale and the least discounted compared to their competitors. This is an assumption, but that could be a reason that the Wii U has fallen so far behind this generation. I love Nintendo and I want them to succeed. I also want to play tons of their games. But in the current market, it’s hard to invest $59.99 into ANY game when there is so much value that can be obtained with just a little patience. Also, just for the record, I did not buy either Destiny or Assassin’s Creed Unity, but I did pick up Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor–a game of the year contender–for $19.99.

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    2. Basically, if someone gave their opinion on how Nintendo games can be expensive, it’s blasphemy? I get that Nintendo games are good throughout time, they are always going to be better than what Sony, Capcom, Ubisoft, etc… offers. The problem with Nintendo is unlike Sony or Microsoft is, Nintendo refuse to give their games a value price event if it sells more than a million copies, the point why games are lowered through the years is to make more sell or to make more general consumers to buy their products with the right price. New Super Mario Bros. U sold alot, but as of now it’s still at full price, so you want general consumers to buy the game at full price even it’s been out over a year. Nintendo fans will accept that, but a general consumers might have to consider it first if it’s the right price for their budget, and remember, companies appreciate their fans, but they are more concern with consumers because that where to profit comes, not so much with fans. I say it’s still disappointing when someone talks about Nintendo that they get a backslash just giving out their opinion.

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      1. Wii U Nintendo games have seen plenty of sales… here in the UK & States at least. Then they GAVE AWAY A FREE GAME with MK8. Have you not heard of Player’s Choice? Selective memory, as always with Nintendo, is strong.

        Basically all originates from people making the choice of ‘doing their money’ on the cool console for a cool image, and then crying to Nintendo when they realise 8GBs of GDDR5, and sales numbers, isn’t actually a fun game you can play.

        So now it’s Nintendo’s problem, they should now drop their products and games to bargin prices just so all the idiots who were sucked in by Sony’s brainwashing advertising of POWER POWER POWER … SALES SALES SALES.

        Remember the videos of those crowds running and fighting for PS4s at launch? Yeah… mindless, brainwashed lambs to the slaughter.

        Meanwhile, Wii U owners have got the best games of this gen flowing out of their ears… games which I could still sell on now and only lose a couple of quid on at most.

        Ubisoft and the like make production line games with top heavy sales… that’s their business plan… they sell on expensive flashy, adverting campaigns that brainwash the masses to buy it even if it’s terrible.

        Nintendo sells their games as ‘evergreen sales’ titles. They have smaller design teams and spend no where near as much on advertising them as big multiplat. They invest in the quality and sell steadily over a number of years.

        Now, what you need to do is get some self-respect, stop being brainwashed by Sony and being a mindless sheep-follower like those idiots in the PS4 launch videos. Stop being happy playing average, boring, remakes and broken games on a console that at least has loads of RAM and sales sooooo great – sell it, and get yourself a Wii U with 4 or 5 top games, and start having FUN again… you know… FUN… GAMES are fun GDDR5 and SALES – ARE NOT FUN.

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  2. Nintendo games have very steady sales throughout their respective consoles lifespan, compared to most of the industry which relies on the first month or two of sales after a game launches. Typically, sales of a game drop precipitously after the first few weeks, so price drops are necessary to boost sales. Part of the reason for this is because of the strength of Nintendo’s IPs with the fanbase and because many of their franchises see one release per system, like Mario Kart or Smash Bros. Late adopters will still buy the back catalog of Nintendo games even close to full price because there isn’t a yearly sequel, and the games themselves are typically so polished and replayable that even if they are 2 years old and close to their original price, the value of the game more than justifies that price. This is all part of what Nintendo calls “evergreen” strategy which encourages longterm software sales rather than a quick period of high sales followed by fighting for scraps at bargain bin prices. The truth is if someone wants to play a Nintendo game, there isn’t a whole lot that will substitute for it. Zelda is Zelda. Mario is Mario. Metroid is Metroid and so-on. People will pay for these games if they really want them, sale or no.

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    1. I agree, it’s the dedicated fans who supports Nintendo, I know friends who are big Nintendo fans and they don’t mind paying full price. They way I see it is, if you want to play it that bad, then pay the full price, if you want it cheap, then you have to wait for a long time. I also agree with the “evergreen” strategy, but also the reason why they are doing that is the lack of support from 3rd party, sorry, that is also part of Nintendo, they don’t have variety of games like the other 2 companies, how can they make profits if they are lacking 3rd party supports, the option is to rely on their own IP, thus the “evergreen” strategy. It’s too bad Nintendo got rid of their Play Choice/Nintendo Select programs.

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  3. All of those AAA titles lose value. As a collector of video game product, any franchise that repeats a formula with updated graphics tends to be outdated before the next year when the next installment comes out. Now, Nintendo does something similar except it is once or twice a generation (5-7 years). I can’t resell my Tony Hawks, Assassin’s Creeds or Batmans for shit but my Nintendo games maintain a constant if not exponential resell value. Personally I wouldn’t want to pay $59.99 for a new next gen game since it’ll be out in a year or two much nicer but my Nintendo games are all magical gems that I am assured are quality over quantity and won’t be outdated anytime in the foreseeable future if ever. You’re really missing out on some of the best games which can be resold at a great price. Besides, Nintendo isn’t a slave to haphazard industry standards of capitalism money hoarding. I’d much rather buy Smash Brothers once than pay for it for $20 every year and if you truly are a Nintendo fan then please support. Oh and one last note, they’ve always had a classic selection that was “discounted” for every system up until now, it’s just too early.

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    1. People have this magical idea in their head that Nintendo should follow the exact same practices as others in the industry. The Wii U should have been a PS4 only difference being it has a Nintendo badge on it. They should spam out Nintendo’s Creed VIII and Unfarted IX, wait for the monthly Digital Foundry articles where everyone goes to fight over 2 pixles and 4 frames, because they realise doing that is more fun than playing the games they’re fighting over.

      Because 2 consoles doing that isn’t enough, Nintendo really needs a piece of that action. Right?

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  4. What are you talking about? Too expensive? I’m so sick of you armchair journalists who call yourselves writers. It’s a joke. This article is a joke.

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  5. I feel the Nintendo platform and associated games are way overpriced. My PC has more than enough horse power to run any Nintendo game, so why does Nintendo (and Sony, and Microsoft) want me buying their dedicated chunk of hardware?

    Let’s take a step back and remember that a console is a giant ill-conceived hardware dongle that winds up prematurely in a landfill. A console doesn’t let you choose your OS or preferred peripherals. It’s a closed environment designed to control you and suck all the juice out of your mother’s wallet.

    Lowering the price is a tough prospect for many companies but can result in a greater quantity of sales. We have evidence from other companies that this works — making apps cheap and selling a higher quantity. Is it up to us to figure out Nintendo’s bottom line? Probably too difficult.

    What I can say, easily, is that a gaming console is a heaping pile of turd with a bad OS.

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