If you're a gamer on a budget, the most lamentable of laments is surely the price of games today. With almost every box on store shelves sporting a $59.99 USD price tag, regardless of its actual history or review scores, it becomes tough to choose which few titles get your hard-earned dollar.
Sure, one could make the argument that games are actually cheaper today than ever when adjusting for inflation, but that's balanced out by the astronomical amount of options gamers have now, as compared to the early 90s. Where once there were just one or two consoles that could be considered at the top, and only a handful of must-have releases each year, now it seems you can't swing a dead koopa without hitting a calendar month full of great games - nearly all at the full price point.
Well, at least one of the large publishers out there feels our pain and is willing to act on it - by lowering their barrier to entry. THQ pres Brian Farnell recently went on record as saying he believes the $59.99 price tag is "keeping people out" of markets they'd otherwise jump into--and now he's putting his money where his mouth is by lowering the MSRP for not one, but two established franchises to $39.99.
The only one announced so far is the upcoming MX vs ATV: Alive, which was revealed at last week's "Monster Energy AMA Supercross" event. Mr. Farnell today put out a statement that another major franchise would be getting the $40 treatment, though wouldn't specify which. No doubt there are many economists with calculators and hamsters in wheels busily determining which game to take this chance on, but the most obvious would be either WWE or MMA.
It will be a few quarters before we know if this gambit works out in THQ's favor, but if it does, we might hope to see the race-to-the-top attitude of retail game pricing backpedal a bit - at least in the US. And who wouldn't mind being able to afford more games?