Retailers must "make their own decisions"
Microsofts Neil Thompson has told GamesIndustry.biz that retailers must choose for themselves the price points theyre going to set for the sale of videogames - but has issued a warning about the sustainability of some of the aggressive discounting seen recently for games such as FIFA 10 and - particularly - Modern Warfare 2.
"Retailers have to make their own decisions about how they price in the market," he said this week. "I suppose the challenge when retailers do go aggressive on pricing in the way that some people do: is that sustainable over the long-term both for the industry and for themselves? Retail just have to make their own decisions."
He added that there was also a danger, when the public can pick up key titles on release day for as little as GBP 25, that the issue of value was being distorted.
"As an industry, I think we want to ensure consumers understand the value of the products theyre buying, because these products cost tens of millions of dollars to create," he explained. "So as long as people appreciate that and understand that, as I say retailers have to make their own decisions on pricing, but we do want to ensure the value is created in this industry and this industry has a long and fruitful future ahead of it."
Thompson, who was speaking at the launch of the new functionality for Xbox 360, which include Facebook, Twitter and Last.fm, also gave his thoughts on the way that Modern Warfare 2 caught the public attention with the controversy surrounding the games terrorist scene.
"My view is it was an 18-rated game, its a game designed for adults, it should be consumed by adults and as long as retailers are responsible when theyre selling it to adults, and as long as parents are responsible in ensuring their kids who are under 18 dont get access to it and dont play it, then I think it’s a great product," he said.
"There are scenes in it that some people wont like, but you pay your money, you take your choice - as an adult - to make those decisions. And I think it was marketed in an appropriate way and it is appropriate content for an adult community."