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Sokoro

cost of doom games at the time of their release?

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Does anyone remember or know for how many $ were respective doom games and their expansions priced, back in ninenteens, when they were new? I would be interested in heretic and hexen prices too.

 

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I'm in the UK and my copy of Final Doom for the Playstation still has the HMV sticker on it for £44.99. That was in 1996.

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Doom 1 and 2 were both $40 US at launch. (plus S&H in the case of Doom 1 since it was mail order only until Ultimate Doom came out) Adjusting for inflation it would be $70 today.

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The original Doom was 40$ at launch in the US. This screen also still exists in a 1.2 IWAD:

 

1496724721670.gif

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1 hour ago, seed said:

The original Doom was 40$ at launch in the US. This screen also still exists in a 1.2 IWAD:

 

1496724721670.gif

 

What countries did they sell Doom in at that time, besides Canada and European countries?

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Yeah, I dont get how games have not increased in price.  I see games like Prodeus and Ion Fury going for $20- half the price of DOOM when it came out (without inflation).

 

Like, my cellphone went from $50 to $500.  Game systems doubled in price in that time as well.  Game Designers really should be getting paid more, imo, when companies are making Billions off of software.  Aprently the city is too expensive for tech workers to live within its limits... and Im like "well then who the fuck is living in silicon valley ver. X?"

 

/rant

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I think the PC games of the mid-90s were overpriced for what they were.  The ZX Spectrum games of the late 80s and early 90s mostly cost between £3 and £5 in the UK, and I remember there being a bit of an uproar when Crystal Kingdom Dizzy was priced at £10 after years of Dizzy games mostly retailing in the £3 to £5 range.  Then PC games started launching at between £30 and £45. 

 

Today we also have the growing dominance of digital distribution which significantly reduces production costs and so makes it hard to justify increasing prices in line with inflation.  I reckon that with digital distribution the game designers are probably getting proportionately more (in line with inflation) due to eliminating the "middle man" - traditionally with retail the publishers have had a much bigger cut than the designers.  However developers' income from retail sales is probably being reduced in real terms, adjusting for inflation, due to retailers having to keep their prices low in order to remain competitive with the digital distribution stores.

 

It's a similar story in music - music albums tend to cost much the same as they did in the '90s in the UK.

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Damn, $40 USD in 1993? Now I understand how the boys got all those Ferraris. That said, copy protection for retail software was even weaker back then than it is today, and I imagine that for every 1 retail game that id sold at least 10 were probably just shared on BBSes and local servers. At least nowadays developers get to have a solid pre-order drive and their retail copy protection can last a few days or weeks before crackers break it, which covers the critical launch period where most sales are made. Back then copy protection was adding some sassy line of text on the info screen vaguely shaming pirates. "Remember, if you are playing a pirated copy of Doom II you are going to HELL." I'm sure millions of repentant pirates promptly mailed all their cash to the office after they read that zinger.

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3 hours ago, famicommander said:

Pretty sure Doom 64 was like 80 bucks. 

 

That's about what I paid for it, before taxes were added if I recall correctly.

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3 hours ago, famicommander said:

Pretty sure Doom 64 was like 80 bucks. 

$40 for me. I think I waited though.

 

I remember Doom 2 being $50 in my area. I never bought Doom 1 or Ultimate Doom 1. I remember the Doom 2 screensaver being $25 for a while and then being $1 a few months later because there were a ton of copies in the area. Like entire shelves of it.

 

 

Doom 3 PC was $53 when I bought it at Walmart. Ultimate Doom Trilogy was $30 at Comp USA.

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Got doom2 sealed box with floppies at an electronics-only flea market for $20 in 1994 or early 95. Udoom box from retail store in 96 I got for $15, but may have been discounted because I balked at Quake and was walking out of the store when he shoved the Udoom box in my face (did not even know ultimate doom existed).

Edited by Vorpal

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30 minutes ago, geo said:

$40 for me. I think I waited though.

Doom 64 cost me $5 since I waited until places like GameStop were being flooded with N64 stuff as people traded in for GameCube stuff instead. :D

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Doom SNES cost me $27 at a flea market (the guy wanted $30 but he took the sale) in 1995. Pretty sure I found PSX Doom (a Greatest Hits re-release) for about $20 a few years later.

 

Then by the time I got a PC and Steam distribution of them became a thing, I just bought the Super id Software Pack. Got it and a bunch of other games on sale; the Super id Software Pack was $35 compared to its usual $99 price. (It was still the most expensive component of an otherwise $140 purchase.)

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2 hours ago, BoxY said:

That said, copy protection for retail software was even weaker back then than it is today, and I imagine that for every 1 retail game that id sold at least 10 were probably just shared on BBSes and local servers.

 

Doom had no copy protection. They still made their money with it. I think this should tell a message to today's publishers. Of course the copy protection/DRM today is not to block copying but to block reselling.

 

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I brought Doom1 for £35 on or close to release, though I didn't realize it was a new release at the time.

 

Heretic Shadow of the Serpent riders for the same price.

 

Comparatively, I got Strife for £5 at a computer fair sometime in 1996.

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Yes I

11 hours ago, Graf Zahl said:

 

Doom had no copy protection. They still made their money with it. I think this should tell a message to today's publishers. Of course the copy protection/DRM today is not to block copying but to block reselling.

 

Yes, I don't think lack of copy protection was a reason for the high price of PC games in the mid-1990s.  Again, consider the ZX Spectrum games of the late 80s and early 90s - most of those retailed at £5 or less, and very few of them had any copy protection, and what copy protection did exist was usually easily by-passed, and taping was rife.  I saw plenty of anecdotal evidence that the lower price of the ZX Spectrum games contributed to people buying a larger percentage of the games they had, and vice-versa for the high price of PC games.  Today the ease of digital distribution as well as relatively low prices (when adjusted for inflation) may be playing a much greater role in keeping rates of illicit copying relatively low than DRM and copy protection.

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3 hours ago, ENEMY!!! said:

Yes I

Yes, I don't think lack of copy protection was a reason for the high price of PC games in the mid-1990s.  Again, consider the ZX Spectrum games of the late 80s and early 90s - most of those retailed at £5 or less, and very few of them had any copy protection, and what copy protection did exist was usually easily by-passed, and taping was rife.  I saw plenty of anecdotal evidence that the lower price of the ZX Spectrum games contributed to people buying a larger percentage of the games they had, and vice-versa for the high price of PC games.  Today the ease of digital distribution as well as relatively low prices (when adjusted for inflation) may be playing a much greater role in keeping rates of illicit copying relatively low than DRM and copy protection.

Charging more than 5 bucks for a Spectrum game should be a war crime.

 

I'd rather play the worst Atari 2600 games than the best Spectrum games. The Spectrum is an affront to the eyes and ears.

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Well, I think that also IDSTUFF on Quake Shareware Cd can help for an idea of how much ID would want to make on every game:

- Ultimate Doom 25$

- Doom II 40$

- Final Doom 40$

- Master Levels 25$

- Heretic 40$

- Hexen 45$

- Deathkings 30$

- Wolfenstein 3D 20$

- Quake 45$

 

Now, I want to point: Quake was in stores, so why Wolfenstein is still 20 Bucks? That game was surpassed by both Doom and Quake engine. They weren't cheap, considering that you should have backuped by yourself (If wanted to backup Quake, you needed 11~12 floppies), no manual was given to you and so on :(

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Bare in mind ID originally sold Wolf3D as two separate games. EP1-3 and 4-6. So you may be getting both games for $10 each.

 

Though I don't know if you had to buy EP1-3 before you could buy EP4-6. I've only heard of 3 episode and 6 episode versions of Wolf3D.

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5 hours ago, ENEMY!!! said:

ZX Spectrum

 

Off the top of my head the price points for 8-bit games in the UK were, at least by the mid-late 1980s, £1.99 and then later £2.99 for budget titles; £7.95 and then £9.95 for full-priced games; £14.95 for "posh" games like Elite or Driller that came in a cardboard box with a novella and sometimes a second tape cassette with the soundtrack music.

 

NES, SNES, Genesis etc games were a lot more expensive, £39 or so, which is one of the reasons games consoles weren't as dominant in the UK as they were in Japan and the US. 16-bit computer games for the Atari ST and Commodore Amiga were in the middle (£24.99 or so). By the time the PC game along prices had crept up to around £34.95 for a full-priced game, but there was a healthy budget market.

 

At the time there was a complex argument about piracy and pricing. The gist of it was that computer media was easy to pirate, so computer games publishers were forced to charge low prices otherwise people would just pirate the games, which was great for consumers but on the flip side there was less incentive for computer games publishers to spend money on development. As a consequence the quality ratio of 8-bit games generally wasn't very high and an awful lot of the titles were disposable.

 

Conversely it was a lot harder to copy console media, so console publishers were free to charge the absolute maximum that the market could bear, which was great for publishers but not so great for consumers. But on the positive side Nintendo at least tried to keep the quality of their games at a high level, so the argument was that although you might only own Earthbound and Street Fighter II Turbo for your SNES they were substantial and you were probably going to play the hell out of them.

 

I remember that application software was often vastly, vastly more expensive than it was nowadays. I learn from Wikipedia that an early version of Microsoft Word for the ST was $129.95, and right up until the 2000s the likes of Cubase and Logic sold for $700+. They tended to have some form of hardware copy protection. Doom was unusual in that it was widely pirated but still made a fortune for Id because it put most of the competition to shame.

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2 hours ago, Alby87 said:

Now, I want to point: Quake was in stores, so why Wolfenstein is still 20 Bucks? That game was surpassed by both Doom and Quake engine.

Because it was, at the time, four years old or so. Same reason Ultimate Doom is $25 - it was three years old.

 

Obviously it's not going entirely by age (Doom II is two years old at the time of the pressing and is still $40, ditto for Heretic), but older stuff is generally cheaper and has seen most of its sales, the stuff that's still selling good is $40, the brand-new stuff is $45, and expansions are $25-30.

 

 

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On 9/6/2019 at 1:21 PM, BoxY said:

Damn, $40 USD in 1993? Now I understand how the boys got all those Ferraris. That said, copy protection for retail software was even weaker back then than it is today, and I imagine that for every 1 retail game that id sold at least 10 were probably just shared on BBSes and local servers. At least nowadays developers get to have a solid pre-order drive and their retail copy protection can last a few days or weeks before crackers break it, which covers the critical launch period where most sales are made. Back then copy protection was adding some sassy line of text on the info screen vaguely shaming pirates. "Remember, if you are playing a pirated copy of Doom II you are going to HELL." I'm sure millions of repentant pirates promptly mailed all their cash to the office after they read that zinger.

 

Doom 2 overall did sell better than Doom 1 did though, since it was actually sold at retail where as Doom 1 could only be purchased through mail order, like other shareware products of the time. Mail order wasn't exactly a trustworthy process, especially if you paid with cash or check as it could easily get stolen. The vast majority of people in 1994 either stuck with the shareware version of the game or pirated it from friends.

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On vendredi 6 septembre 2019 at 9:37 PM, Mk7_Centipede said:

Yeah, I dont get how games have not increased in price.

Inflation does not affect all products equally.

This site tells me that $40 in 1993-dollars is $71 in 2019 dollars.

 

At the same time, this site has the average annual movie ticket price so apparently watching a movie in 1993 was worth $4.14, and while they don't have 2019 yet for 2018 it's $9.11. But the inflation calculator tells me that $4.14 in 1993 are worth $7.19 in 2018. Proof that movies are a rip off.

 

So I'm going to make the extremely scientific maths that Doom was worth about 10 movie tickets in 1993, and its inflation-adjusted price of $71 is only worth about 8 movie tickets now. While its actual retail price has dropped to about 2/3 of a ticket.

 

 

Anyway, why haven't video games kept up with inflation as much as other sectors? I'm going to posit a few points:

  1. Video games are more widespread now. There are a lot more players in 2019 than there were in 1993. You can compensate the relative drop in sale price by the increased sale volume.
  2. Tied to that first point, gaming consoles and computers are more affordable now, too, meaning that a part of your increased customer base is made of people with lower income.
  3. The video game industry has also gone mainstream, there's much more competition, which exerts a pressure on price not to climb too fast.
  4. This is especially true for the indie scene, where they have to compete with the (usually much fancier) AAA crowd and they largely do this on price. You can't expect to sell Ion Fury at the same price you'd sell the latest COD.

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Because the first thing most devs see when revealing a game's price is "I'll wait price to drop to 10 bucks" or even less for indie games. 

 

Same reason devs like the guys behind Factorio and Rimworld said their games are never going to go on sale from the start. 

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