It's been a while since I lived in England now, but I still remember how annoying it was to spend £49.99 on a brand new videogame. It looked like things would calm down as I was leaving, with a lot of new games retailing for £39.99. However, if Activision's shocking price hike for Modern Warfare 2 is any indicator, it looks like the recession is giving publishers a license to gouge.
Amazingly, Modern Warfare 2 is going to sell for the hefty price of £54.99! The worst of it is that this is expected to be the first of many videogame price hikes across the UK, with other publishers ready to follow Activision's lead and make fifty-five quid an official price point.
"Exchange rates between the Euro and the pound are making it very difficult for publishers to show an acceptable operating margin in the UK," explains THQ man Ian Curran, apparently speaking in Activision's place. "You can’t continue to trade as normal when the biggest territory in Europe has seen cost of goods increase by 30 per cent due to the strengthening of the Euro. Publishers somehow need to offset this drastic increase in costs. I’m not surprised to see the SRP go up and I feel this will continue across more key titles."
Apparently, UK retailers were prepared for this, claiming that publishers have been "hammered" by the UK economy for quite some time. Meanwhile, Electronic Arts has stated officially that it has no plans to change its own prices, so that's something.
"Will this affect consumers? I don’t think so," says one anonymous UK publisher. "If a title is this good, will they spend an extra £5? Of course. You can’t blame Activision. They’re entitled to do this – they’ve invested huge amounts."
What do you think? Will you will be buying Modern Warfare 2 for the high, high price of £54.99, or would you rather pay your rent that month?