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GTA publisher unveils complex entertainment per-hour pricing algorithm

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Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two Interactive, has spoken out on video game pricing, a divisive issue. The executive believes a simple algorithm can calculate this, but its efficacy is unclear.

In the company’s Q2 2024 earnings call (thanks, eXputer), Zelnick was asked about media industry subscription price increases. The executive replied that it has “nothing to do with our business” and explained how much value consumers get for their game purchases:

“The algorithm for pricing entertainment properties is the value of the expected entertainment usage, which is the per-hour value times the number of expected hours plus the terminal value that the customer perceives in ownership if the title is owned, not rented, or subscribed to. That applies to all entertainment vehicles. By that standard, our frontline prices are still very low due to our many engagement hours.”

This one required multiple readings, but Zelnick clarifies: “High engagement value. I think consumers have a great price-to-value opportunity in the industry. That doesn’t mean the industry wants pricing power. However, it offers great value.”

Zelnick seems to be saying that a customer’s perceived value of owning a game like Grand Theft Auto is proportional to how eagerly they anticipate it and how deeply they engage with it after release. That metric shows his point and some agreement. For instance, we’ve spent hundreds of hours on PS4’s 2019 Civilization VI, which can be replayed endlessly. If we knew that, paying more upfront wouldn’t seem so burdensome, but there’s a catch.

Zelnick concludes: “We aim to provide more value than we charge. Business price increases have been rare. After generations, certain frontline products’ $70 price increase was the first in years. I believe we offer great value to consumers.”

How do you view Zelnick’s entertainment pricing philosophy? Given Grand Theft Auto V’s entertainment value, would you pay more for the next GTA?

As Editor here at GeekReply, I'm a big fan of all things Geeky. Most of my contributions to the site are technology related, but I'm also a big fan of video games. My genres of choice include RPGs, MMOs, Grand Strategy, and Simulation. If I'm not chasing after the latest gear on my MMO of choice, I'm here at GeekReply reporting on the latest in Geek culture.

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Ten million people play The First Descendant in its first week

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The free-to-play shooter The First Descendant has gotten a lot of attention in its first week. The game’s publisher, Nexon, says that 10 million people have already tried it out.

Insider Gaming pointed out that since there is no cost up front, it’s still too early to tell how many of those players will stick around, but it’s still a big number for a new IP. On Steam alone, it peaked at 264,860 concurrents right after launch and has still managed to break 200,000 in the last 24 hours, so it looks like a lot of people are still really into the game.

It was a “mindless and repetitive grind,” and we gave The First Descendant a 3/10 in our review. Of course, that’s just one opinion; other experts have had different ones. Most people, though, say that the game’s annoying free-to-play model is the worst thing about it.

Are you one of the millions of people who played The First Descendant last week? Are you going to come back for more? Leave a comment below and let us know.

 

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Raiden, the famous shmup series, will come back as a twin-stick shooter on PS5, PS4, and PC

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Raiden has a long and interesting history as a vertical shooter in arcades. However, the series is going to get a Super Stardust HD makeover, which means it will switch to a twin-stick format. It comes out in Japan on October 31. There’s no word yet on when it will come out in the West, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it did.

A Gematsu translation of the game’s website says that the full version will have an arcade mode with up to six stages. There will also be an “Unlimited” option for people who want to be at the top of the rankings. It sounds like a pretty straightforward package in terms of what’s inside, but we think the action will be what makes it worth it.

There’s a trailer up top that should help you figure out what to expect. There are, however, different versions of Raiden 3, Raiden 4, and Raiden 5 that you can play right now on the PS5 and PS4, if you can’t wait for this game to come out in the West.

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Bandai Namco and Nike designed Tekken 8 sneakers with tag-team designs

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Nike, the maker of high-quality shoes, is working with Bandai Namco, the company that makes the Tekken series, to make a pair of sneakers. The fun competition is part of the franchise’s 30th anniversary celebrations. You can get your own pair for $250 or the equivalent in your country, though they’ll probably be worth a lot more on the sneakerhead black market.

Two pairs of Tekken 8 x Nike Air Foamposite One Fist sneakers are set to come out in September 2024, according to shoe fan Sole Retriever (thanks, VGC). The designs are based on Kazuya and Jin, two main characters in the series. You can get them at Nike and some other stores. People who like hypebeasts and fighting games are likely to buy these quickly, so if you like Tekken and shoes that make people talk, you should probably act fast.

Should Bandai Namco and Nike work together? What do you think? Are you going to fight for your own pair? Make sure to take good care of your shoes and keep their value in the comments section below.

 

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