Looks like Monster Hunter Stories has shown others the path. Now with Civilization coming in at $60 it's looking like less of an outlier. But I still think these reflect a blip, not a trend.
I'm pretty sure Civilization 6 isn't going to be the game the national footballers will all playing between matches this year, and I doubt Supercell are quaking in their boots.
Games are absurdly good value for money. I went to the cinema on Saturday and it cost me £9. For 90 minutes' entertainment! That's 10p per minute. I also bought Pocket City for £4.99 and I've goofed around with that for about five hours since.
That's less than 2p per minute. Some of my favourite games – even the most expensive ones – have given me hundreds of hours of pleasure, delivering very favourable joy-per-minute compared to other forms of media.
You can spend £5 on a magazine these days and finish it by the end of your train journey. Compared to that, £20 for a game that'll give you a couple of days' of solid play is awesome.
Open and shut case? Alas no. The thing is, things are as expensive as people are prepared to pay. We expect the cinema to be a premium experience. But take TV… we're used to paying £7 per month for Netflix and getting hours and hours of popular entertainment.
Like it or not, modern games exist in an environment where we've acclimatised people to paying nothing. The most successful games of the last few years have all been free to play. And they're not crap either.
I love Fortnite Battle Royale. Clash Of Clans and Clash Royale. Asphalt 9: Legends, PUBG, even Candy Crush Saga. They're awesome. My all-time favourite strategy game, Polytopia, is free to explore in single player mode.
What point am I making? It's this. Personally, I never begrudge money I spend on good games. And neither should you. In terms of value for money, games beat almost all other forms of entertainment for joy per pound spent. But at £20, Monster Hunter Stories is an outlier.
The trend is towards cheaper. Games are like TV, not movies. I wouldn't be surprised if all-you-can-eat subscription services like Hatch becomes more common than £20 premium titles.