Every gamer goes crazy for the great taste of low prices! As such, Valve founder sent forth a verbal boot to the ass at this year’s DICE summit, decrying publishers for rigid prices and an inability to keep the marketplace in flux. The internet rejoiced.
The example provided was an early February ’09 50% price drop of the breakout zombie hit, Left 4 Dead. Gamers bit, and sales of the game rose an unprecedented 3000%, with overall sales besting the original launch performance.
Valve benefited. Gamers benefited. More importantly, even the Steam service saw a dramatic jump due to the whole shebang. Apparently, a show of good faith can do volumes in bridging the increasingly cynical gap between company and consumer. Better still, it proves that lower prices don’t have to be the exclusive territory of outright retail failure.
We’re only now coming to grips with life in a post L4D world, so price drops are more of a concession than anything else. “You won’t pay that amount? Fine! Perhaps you’ll fork over this amount, Cheapskate McFrugalbody!” To the best of our recollection, we’re looking back on standout games that threw in the retail towel considerably ahead of schedule.
Ah Haze… the original Killzone 2. As a high profile exclusive on the least successful PlayStation console ever, the hopes and dreams of the every gamer who invested that gargantuan chunk of change was riding on Free Radical’s latest FPS. Armed with a killer pedigree, nifty drug abuse mechanic, and exclusive Nu Metal ditty, multiplayer bragging rights seemed just an oft-delayed day away for PS3 owners.
Wouldn’t you know it? Review scores entered the arena and crapped on the whole parade. Given the preemptive hype, Haze took a critical bullet and limped onto game shelves in late May of ‘08. Three weeks after the sullied expectations, Haze got $20 pounds lighter and has continued dropping ever since. Copies have been spotted in the wild for as low $10, and that’s a price that’s damn near review proof.