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Game Makers Want To Charge High Prices For Games, But So What?

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"Game Makers Want To Charge High Prices For Games, But So What?"

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I don’t want to give anyone any naughty ideas, but it seems to me that the International Game Developers Association has a lot to learn about rent seeking:

The International Game Developers Association in an e-mail to members on Thursday took issue with Amazon for requiring developers to permanently lower their prices on Amazon if they offer a discount, even temporarily, on another outlet.

“Amazon has little incentive not to use a developer’s content as a weapon with which to capture marketshare from competing app stores,” the IGDA said in its note.

The group also said Amazon’s steep discounting of games hurts developers by unnecessarily lowering prices on games that are selling well.

Sucks to be the IGDA, says I. But what’s weird about this is they don’t seem to have developed any kind of spurious legal theory about why Amazon should be prevented from doing this. They’re just writing a letter noting that the dominant strategy for Amazon is to use its large customer base to force game prices down, benefiting shareholders and game buyers alike. You’re supposed to call for some kind of new law to ban this, or argue that existing law bans it. Or something. You can’t just whine! There’s not even a made-up reason here why this would be bad for America beyond the idea that the lower prices are unnecessary. Unnecessary for whom?

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