Arcade Game Prices - IS IT WORTH IT?!!! In-Depth Discussion of Video Game Pricing -

Arcade Game Prices – IS IT WORTH IT?!!! In-Depth Discussion of Video Game Pricing

The Electric Underground
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Arcade Game Prices – IS IT WORTH IT?!!! In-Depth Discussion of Video Game Pricing. Today I discuss why the mainstream method of evaluating a game’s monetary value is flawed and misleading, especially for shmups and arcade games.


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  1. The whole depth of quality is what i enjoy in many other mediums, so i never had a problem with "short" gameplay, but quality. If it is quality enough it could bring me infinite hours of enjoyment through replayability. I also prefer shorter novels as opposed to a never-ending series of them in order for me to reach a satisfying conclusion.

  2. I had another thought about the value for money issue relating to shmups, and why shmups are always released in super value packs for budget prices. And why people balk at spending $30 or more for a re-release, etc. So see if my thought process makes sense:

    With a lot of games you can look at footage of the game, preview materials, listen to opinions about the game and get an idea if it's the sort of game you would enjoy. If you like Bioshock, you can look at footage of Prey 2017 and say "hey, that looks like Bioshock! I would enjoy that!" and probably be right. Or you can go backwards, look at footage of System Shock 2, say "this looks exactly like old-school Bioshock. I would enjoy this" and you'll be right there too. So it works with both old and new video games. You can find a thing that looks and seems to play comparably to something else you've enjoyed in the past, and you can be reasonably certain you will enjoy that game. Especially true for genres or subgenres that are unfriendly to mobile/shovelware developers (often because of cost).

    Shmups aren't that way for me at all. A lot of shmups just look the same to a casual viewer, including the shovelware ones. I can't tell from preview materials if the game has a lot of dead (scrolling) time in it, or if the difficulty is wack, the ship hitbox is massive, or the game has poor performance, or lag. Even if the game is 100% quality, it may not be the kind of shmup that I personally enjoy most. The game might be ugly but play great, or beautiful but complete trash. Reviews are largely unhelpful for reasons your channel has gone into. I've seen so many channels recommending shovelware, just because "it is a shmup" and it's cheap. And shmups are fun, right? So that's the situation and the environment, where the shmup market is flooded with shovelware and mobile ports, and I can't tell what's good or bad unless I'm already familiar with the brand (at the very least.) A casual viewer won't know who M2 is, they'll just see "another shmup" that looks to them like every other shmup, only it costs $40 instead of $5. They may even think, "Super Shovelstar: Android Super Edition is a shmup too, and I have fun pew pewing with that on my phone! This "Mushihimesama Futari" can't possibly be worth 10x what I paid for that game!"

    My point is just that there are visual indications of high quality and subgenre similarity which are visible in some genres and not others. With shmups, I think it's really hard, especially for casual players, to see any meaningful differences between the games when they're watching preview videos, and mainstream shmup reviews pretty much all give the same review to every game. Either a 7/10 or 8/10 and "it's fun arcade action" or some nondescript shit like that. You can tell the difference visually between SNES Chrono Trigger and mobile shovelware jrpgs made in rpgmaker.

  3. You heard him Treasure and Limited Run. Make it happen, 5-10,000 copies of Radiant Silvergun!! Damn, I wish!

  4. Did you tried the latest FinalBurn Neo builds (standalone)? Now supports run-ahead to reduce input lag and lua scripts.

  5. Fantastic discussion here, you bring up a lot of good points. I remember a while ago we had this discussion about why Shmups were undervalued, and I remember we came to one of the conclusions that the genre isn't mainstream.

  6. Great video!
    That would be great to see you play at GDC. Maybe some day.

    I don’t have Crimson Clover yet. My PC is very old, so I haven’t been on Steam for a while. Hope to get a new one in a few months.

    Cave/LR re-releases would be AMAZING. Like the Toaplan releases. They should be doing re-releases of any hard to find game above, say, $200.

  7. I would love a free copy of crimson clover

  8. I agree 100% I would pay 60$ for Ketsui or Battle Garegga on steam or other platform. I'm PC player and emulation is only way to go for me.

  9. Been hunting for a copy of Radiant Silvergun for a long time but it's just unreasonable how much that game goes for.
    Is there something fundamentally wrong with the XBLA release, or could they tune it up and throw it on PS4/5?

  10. The $/hr to beat a game way of looking at games is a pretty brainlet way of looking at the value of a game. It takes me about 5 hours to do a run of Resident Evil 4, but that's jut a run, and I've run that game dozens of times throughout the years.

    If these big release games were actually fun to play for the 8 quintillion hours it take s to beat them, they wouldn't sell people boosts to skip content/ grinding.

    I'd rather have a 40 min very fun game i keep coming back to than a 60 hour game I keep putting down due to being board out of my mind.

  11. i already talked about this in the "are shmups dead?" video but i think the reason devs inflate playtime is to let people make more videos about their games. if a game is 100 hours long and some guy is doing a let's play, that's a lot of parts, but shmups are only 20-40 minutes, so let's players will make just one part and then move onto the next game. even if it's a 1cc or wr journey or whatever, most people wouldn't wanna watch players play the same couple minutes over and over again

  12. Very well argued points. I agree that many shmups are way under priced. So much time and heart goes into many of these games that they should cost a whole lot more then most of them do.

  13. As someone with a pretty decent arcade collection, I would not pay today's prices. These things are beyond crazy now. Emulation has come along way and some games have ports that are so good, it doesn't matter TBH.

  14. I would love to know what sort of numbers M2 are doing with the first 5 Shot Triggers games. I reckon it's a fraction of what people think. Maybe even in the hundreds.

  15. I think one question that is almost always missing from any review or discussion about a game is "How bad do you want it?"
    We always argue about the time to cost metrics, value of the experience, the game feel, the games rarity and so on but we hardly ever do the most straightforward thing and ask the consumer themselves how much they actually want that product?

    I think no one actually wants to ask that question because it is then asking the game to justify its existance. What has it got as a game that will make people want to play it over everything else out there? As a competitive smash player I can say with confidence that Icon's Combat Arena is a game which did nothing to justify its existance and should have never been made. How much do I want it? I want it so little I wouldn't even play it had it been gifted to me.

    I play and collect trading card games so "How bad do you want it?" is always the biggest question when buying any card because at the end of the day it is all mass produced cardboard. Right now there are certain cards I want but not so badly that I would fork up the asking price for them. When the pandemic eventually ends and I want to enter a regional or national tournament then maybe my want will shift to make those prices acceptible to me.

    How badly we want something is often assumed by the critic "If you're interested then get it when it is on sale" etc.
    If I'm interested then I'll get it when I want it most and when I want it most could be triggered by an almost uncountable number of factors.
    This is why the AAA gaming and Hollywood hype machines have an equal or bigger promotional budget than the products creation themselves; they need to make people want these products so badly that they will hand over their money in some form regardless of if it is full price or discounted (the former is preferred of course).

    With shmups I often only discover how much I "wanted" a game after I have already gotten my hands on it and played it. This is a problem for the genre as a whole: it struggles to make people have a high want for it unless they have already played those games and become incredibly invested in them (exceptions being games like Futari which have endless priase thrown on them). We see it all the time, first it's Garegga on emulator, then PS4 and eventually PCB. The more the enthusiast plays the more their want for the item increases at which point they finally hit that threshold where there is no such thing as too much.

    A game review cannot measure or define the readers level of want, it can help slightly inflate or deflate a pre-existing interest; they can also help a person validate their own confrimation bias (or in your case with Zero-Div / R-Type Final 2 go against it which makes them angry).

    I have been back and forth with myself over the years when it comes to the value of the games I buy but once I relaise I am spending equal or higher amounts on single trading cards the whole thing kinda becomes moot to me. The purchase is justified by my own level of desire for it and nothing more. I think it is fine for M2 Shot Triggers to put out these $60 PS4 ports, the issue isn't the costs themselves but getting enough people in the know about the games and genre that they can have that want for such a product in the first place.

  16. My shmup collection is already worth 700 USD and it is quite a bit considering the Fact I buy Digital and NOT Pcb. Just SHUT UP and Take my Money! If you are free I will Just Download you otherwise just take my Money. I saved my Money so I can spend it!!!

    To be honest though I only buy twice a year so I can give all the games I have play time and plus I spend BIG during the time I buy so…

  17. Me looking over at my PCBs that have probably increased with an accumulative 10000%+ from what I bought them for…

    Looks back at the screen nervously yeah man these games are still too undervalued damn these low prices 😛

    Honestly though I'd rather play all of them on Steam given the ability and good ports.

  18. so about the making money of the game thing, im glad i watched your videos becoz i learned if i buy some games from .itch the developers get more money than there on steam. i bought like 2 copies of Blue revolver and Zeroranger each and gift it to people. 😀

  19. So is Dariusburst CS price really justified? Unlike other digital shmups on Steam, that game is more expensive than most shmups I've seen.

  20. Collecting shmups is a lot like buying those diecast Transformers and anime mecha figures. Wait too long and you'll be paying 4x the retail price. I strongly recommend following M2 and City Connection's FB, YT, Twitter. Google will translate. Social media groups dedicated to the genre helps too.

  21. Mobile games caused this problem, everyone wants everything for $.99 now. They weren’t around when I was paying $50 for Atari 2600 games or $70 for 32X games. We’re lucky that new console game prices have stayed pretty much the same for 30 years.

  22. Let's be honest the most modern shmups suck. Not all of them, there are some exclusions. But such heavy hitters (and my favorite shmups of all time) like Battle Garegga, Ketsui Deathtiny and Crimzon Clover are definitely worth the price.

    Btw, retro shmups cost lots of money.

  23. What is the name of the shmup with a giant man boss doing backflips? I played shmups before but not much of a fan but now I get more interest on the genre. Just asking. Nice vid BTW. Good thing I subbed to you because I rarely see shmup channels in YT.

  24. What is the name of the shmup with a giant man boss doing backflips? I played shmups before but not much of a fan but now I get more interest on the genre. Just asking. Nice vid BTW. Good thing I subbed to you because I rarely see shmup channels in YT.

  25. What is the name of the shmup with a giant man boss doing backflips? I played shmups before but not much of a fan but now I get more interest on the genre. Just asking. Nice vid BTW. Good thing I subbed to you because I rarely see shmup channels in YT.

  26. I like your view on this matter. Nothing wrong with paying full retail price on a shmup. I would also say that shmups are the type of game you keep coming back to and play over and over so it’s worth it. I think I payed $40 for Fire Shark in 1990 and 31 years later I still pop it in the good old Genesis for a few runs every year.

  27. I have a great collection of shmups across all platforms Inc PCB's but I'm losing a lot of interest trying to find retro ones due to the prices , ODE's, Hacked consoles, Emulation and current consoles for me now.

  28. I've been through most of the usual mindsets you mentioned when it comes to pricing and how much I'm willing to spend for games.
    Since I now have way less time to play than I had in the past, I ended up at "fun per Session" as one of my measurements.
    My typical session can be between 30 minutes and multiple hours(though that's very rare).
    So if a game can be fun even if I only play it for multiple short sessions, it's "worth it" for me.
    This is the reason why I moved to shmups and Tetris more and more recently.

    The other measurement is how well I feel the game has been taken care of.
    I'm not a native English speaker, so maybe those were not the right words, but for example:
    – Did the developer add leader boards or other things that help me to stay motivated and making goals?
    – Does the art look like they cared about it?
    – Is there a fun scoring system?
    Or in case of a port:
    – How "true" is the port to the original, and was there anything added that gives even more value to the port?

    Since all points are highly subjective, regular reviews are not that helpful sometimes.
    It's also the reason why I prefer to buy games on steam and/or games that have a demo.
    As both ways give me an option to check if it's "for me".
    And if a game checks both of these points, I'm happy to buy it for the asking price, even if it is €40 or more.

    A good recent example of "worth it" for me is the Cotton Reboot.
    It's ticking all the boxes for me personally, so I happily paid the €39,99.
    Since it's console only and there was no demo, I went by shmupper reviews and playthroughs and was not disappointed.

    Lower price tags and deep sales also have their good side though, especially for people just getting into the genre.
    It's very easy to get a collection of different games and find the one that you enjoy the most without paying a lot.

    In the end, I think shmups and ports should have a normal price tag if the games have the content/features that make it worthwhile and add longevity.
    A great game that also values the player's time should be able to have a reasonable price tag and still get good sales and reviews.

    Can't say anything about PCBs as I'm not interested in that (yet).
    But I can surely say I would not be able to spend thousands of euros on just one game.
    So I'm happy for every well made port that gets released on the platforms I own.

    I still can't believe that Blue Wish Resurrection Plus is free – more people should play it.

  29. Arcade game prices go up, but so do many retro game prices too. I am fortunate to have start collecting in 1993 and I built a good collection over the years. I wanted to buy PCBs in 2005-2014 and cabs, but thought they were pricy as I was a student and didn't had room at my parent's house.

    But when I bought my house, had a good job and most of all, decided to sold many games from my collection that rose in price, I was able to pay for these items I was longing for years.

    5 years later, I have 10 cabs, 150 arcade games (16 Cave among them).

    I always was in the genre (since Axelay when I was a kid) and I think I always will be.

  30. Get a MiSTer. More convenient and same accuracy. Playing CPS 2 and Cave boards.

  31. The $3000 price tag of Batrider D:

    Buy incredible game, or food for a year?

    I had a chance to buy Sorcer Striker(Mahou Daisakusen) for $1200 and someone bought it while I was procrastinating… Probably a fair price tbh

  32. You are right, shmups are undervalued…same with beat em ups ..for me they are worth it for sure, I'll pay $60 for a good arcade game in a good package, like all M2 Shottriggers etc. Mark – You are already doing an excellent job re-educating people about the value of the arcade games and the nature of arcade gameplay in general.
    It's only a matter of time until the mainstream audience will become more open for these kind of experiences again….Ubi Soft open world snoozefests, the same Call Of Duty loops year in, year out.

  33. What was the Shmup you were playing at the end of this video?
    🙏 Thanks 😁

  34. For me JRPGs and Shmups are worth more than most other games, I don't mind plopping down $80-$100 for some if I have to and I live in a low income country where the average person makes $500 a month. A month ago or so I paid around over $80 for Macross Scrambled Valkyrie on SNES and don't regret it one bit. On Monday I paid around the same price for Fast Striker on Vita because I somehow missed there was a physical release of the game for Vita and I REALLY wanted to own it physically.

  35. It comes down to form factor. Game devs aren't concerned with how rare or collective their games will get. Only selling the maximum units to fund the next project. People are so concerned about resale than they are experiencing the medium. The absurd high prices are the reasons to champion digital and reproductions.

    Collectors that shame others for not shelling out 10x over asking price are a joke. It's not like the original devs are going to see a penny from the resale.

  36. I love shmups and arcade games in general and I disagree with everything you said. Arcade games don't exist in a separate bubble, they coexist with other "normal" games and they can and should be compared against them and their standards. A game with 1h of unique content shouldn't cost the same as a 100h game of comparable quality, and no, playing that 1h game for 50h doesn't mean it has 50h of content (yes, I'm talking about Ketsui), you're just replaying the same content over and over again. ANY game can be replayed ad infinitum if you so desire. Seems both players and reviewers agree with this.

    Also it's worth noting that arcade games are inherently worse products because unlike normal games they're emulated. And we both know that even the best releases aren't 100% perfect.

    I also disagree with the gameplay density concept. Gameplay is gameplay whether you're flying around shooting stuff or just running around gathering plants in an rpg or survival game. Neither type is better or worse, some people may prefer frantic, condensed action, others may have as much fun running around talking to NPCs and exploring environments in a 3D game.

    What I'm ultimately trying to say is that shmups/arcade games should be priced like any other game – accordingly to the quality AND amount of their content, and 99% of them are way overpriced (which I bet is one of the main reasons they sell so poorly), I always wait for deep sales before buying them. Just look at your favorite shmup, R-Type F2, it costs the same as Horizon Zero Dawn (one of PS4 best exclusives) or premium edition of GTAV – a triple A game made by a full team of over 1000 people across 3 full years…
    I agree about Crimzon Clover being undervalued but it's their own fault, they were officially selling it for 2$ barely 10 months after Steam release.

  37. I have no problem with prices in this genre for exactly the time reasons you mentioned. Even Radiant Silvergun at $250 isn't a bad buy compared to a movie blu ray. The waters get muddied because of FTP FPSes that people can play for hundreds of hours with little to no outlay. Then there's the Hamster ACA stuff – online leaderboards, save state (singular), caravan modes, multiple region versions…for like $5. And there's tons of it. But even still, I paid ~$80 a piece to import the ShotTriggers titles, and would happily do it again.

  38. I picked up an Atomiswave SD candy cabinet and have been buying PCB's for it. It's not for everyone to be sure, I just picked up In the Hunt and Hyperduel.

  39. I think what compounds this issue is what people may personally look for in a specific shmup too. You'll have the tourists who will blast through it with continues and never play again, people who want to aim for 1CCs or other self imposed challenges and people who will grind out scores. This ability to play shmups (and arcade games in general) in a variety of different ways is a genuine strength of the genre that often gets overlooked, but it's also probably the primary reason why there's so much discourse over how much they're "worth". Even if you're a fan of shmups, you'll probably think some games under the umbrella of the same developer you love are "worth" more than others because of how you engage with their systems, art direction, setting, music and so on – subjective qualities that are likely the biggest driving factors behind whether you dump tens, hundreds or a thousand hours into a specific game.

  40. let me know next time you do a giveaway lol

  41. If you appreciate and care about shoot em ups then you must purchase them at full price. The developers and small projects need fan support to survive. These games will disappear. They need the money to keep the lights on. You seem to be one of the only reviewers or Youtube video makers who gets it.
    Cotton Reboot just came out and it's awesome. Same "is it worth it" review nonsense again. M2 Shot Triggers appears to have stopped releasing games in North America like GG Aleste 3, ESP Ra De, and Mahou Daisakusen (Sorcer Striker). After M2 released incredible, definitive versions of Ketsui, Battle Garegga and Dangun Feveron and all these reviews, every time, say shoot em up games are not worth it, too expensive, you can beat the game in 20 minutes, a slim package etc. Very counter productive and absolutely ridiculous.
    I'm unfortunately hesitant about the new M2 Shot Triggers Kyukyoku Tiger (Twin Cobra) + Tiger Heli coming out later this year (there is a trailer up). I will need some convincing on that one. 1985 and 1987 is a bit too old? They must have historical importance in Japan. I don't know. And there is a beat em up included?

  42. 40-50 no more, do they think we're made of money the swines 😑

  43. You used to talk more about paid DLC as a potential avenue for profit, did you change your mind? I do think it's probably the best way of moving forward, because it allows developers to keep low base prices which I think ultimately helps shmups since they're really hard to get into. On the other hand, 20 bux for a fully featured shmup seems like a very fair price to me, not sure how more casual fans will feel though. I think everyone can agree that prices of games like CCWI are just ridiculous, no matter how casual of a fan they are.

  44. This emulation is wrong discussion is very stupid, when you drop a 1000 dollars on that Ketsui PCB, Cave isn't getting that money, they are still only getting by with their gacha and console ports, those are the ones people should buy

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