The Race to the Bottom

A quandary.

Reading an article a few days ago by the the author  Philip Pullman on why the cover price of books should never  ever be lowered has got me thinking you see the author feels that the price on the book should be the price paid no matter who is buying it, regardless if the book is bought by a school, reading group or somebody just popping into their local book shop.


This made me think. Firstly, like most people I do enjoy the odd sale or two or twelve. I have been known, on occasion to makes list of games I would like to buy knowing that at some point will be added to a sale. The sale could be by the publisher an on line store or a company like Amazon but at some point that game you want will be reduced in price. I have also been guilty of doing this in bookshops, on many an occasion i have rummaged through a bookshops collection, to stumble across a book that catches my attention and then immediately flip the book over to the see the price at the back of the book and then just as quickly  whip my phone out of my pocket to check the kindle price on the Amazon website. Is this is okay ? I am not sure. The book will normally be at least half the price on a website and I will normally buy it from the website (who wants to loose money) and then blame the company I am not buying the book from for not keep up with current prices. If they had been able to match the price of the internet, I would of course been able to buy it from there.   Never do I think of the cost of running the shops, the cost of the lights, salaries for the very knowledgeable book shop staff who have in certain occasions directed me to a book that I would never have found with out their help and a book that I am now very definitely not going to buy from them, after checking the price.


I do the same with games

Again I blame it on the net. I could be happily looking through my local games store, spot something that could be a nice addition to the backlog and immediately and without hesitation check the price on line. Again, nine times out of ten the price will be cheaper on line and I will buy it. I used to feel that this was a good tactic, nobody has an unlimited supply of money to spend games, books etc and I thought by buying at the cheapest possible price, I was giving myself the best possible opportunity of playing all of the games I wanted as I could buy more games with the same money. Possibly even playing some games that would normally have passed me by simply because spending ten pounds on a game is a lot easier to do and means you are more likely to take a chance on something.

Am I wrong?

The original article Shows just how much money is given to authors and where I don’t have have much sympathy for the more established authors. A million 10p’s is still a lot of 10p’s  is does stop a lot of new voices coming through and I worry that if its a large practice in the book world to make the author pay for discounts given to people it must also be a problem in the worlds of movies, games and everything else we enjoy.

Does it mean the end of entertainment?

If this trend continues is this the end of most of the forms of entertainment we currently enjoy, will games developers stop making games because there is just not enough money in it. Will Spotify’s payments to artists get ever lower? Will the payments become so low that only the large mega musicians can survive as the little bands just can’t get a record deal as they could never afford the cost of the instruments to start with?