Will the trend of more reasonable prices for EA Sports games continue?

Posted November 21st, 2007 at 2:30 am

Fifa Street 3

After the news of March Madness 08 and NFL Tour both being reduced to $50 it comes as little surprise that FIFA Street 3 will join them at the same price. This means the next three sports titles from EA have settled in at a new price point. But will that continue with the rest of the lineup of games?

While it was a surprise at first to see MM08 and Tour drop in price it made a lot of sense for each of them and that is true again with FIFA Street. As I mentioned along with the news of the first price changes, EA CEO John Riccitiello recently stated that they would evaluate changing their pricing strategy and we’ve seen that materialize with these games already. It wouldn’t surprise me to see that happen with other games such as the next NFL Head Coach and Nascar. The big question becomes whether or not flagship 09 titles such as Madden, NCAA Football, and Fight Night will follow along.

A lot of people may say that is unlikely to happen. Those games are going to sell well whether they are at $50 or $60 and that is true. In the end it will come down to profit. Would selling them at $50 move enough additional copies to make up for the lost revenue of the extra $10 on copies that would’ve sold regardless?

Up until recently probably not. However a very important aspect to consider is that there was a strong swell of consumers moving from the PS2 generation up to the 360 and PS3 this year. That is going to even be even more significant through the next cycle of releases as more and more make the switch.

These consumers stuck to the PS2 either by necessity or choice with the most likely factor being the cost of upgrading. They are accustomed to $50 games and in the case of sports games over the past two years they’ve probably gotten used to them being even further discounted at $40 or $30. So when the company is looking to not only retain but boost sales then price is a critical factor that has to be looked at.

It’ll be interesting to see what EA does with the next batch of titles after these three. There is a chance that they’ll move to $50 even for Madden as sales have become stagnant and with the influx of PS2 consumers becoming more of a factor.