Will We Be Paying Full-Price For HD Remakes On PS4 And Xbox One?

Tomb Raider Definitive Edition

We’ve seen HD remakes in the past, it’s not a new concept for the video game industry, but charging full price for an HD remake when the original version is currently sitting in the bargain bin is. The Tomb Raider Definitive Edition is coming to PS4 and Xbox One on January 28th, 2014 and it will cost the same as its previous gen counterpart.

The group at Crystal Dynamics persists that the re-release is much more than a face lift. In a new community Q&A session, one gamer asked the studio outright if they thought the price was justified, and this was their response:

It’s a great question and while I don’t control sales or prices, what I do know is that Tomb Raider is an awesome game. It has received many nominations and has an amazing fan base that keeps us striving to always deliver the best and always pushing ourselves to even do better. If it was “only a facelift” AND we were only reselling it on the same platforms we’d already shipped it on, I would see your point. But as we’re selling it on a new platform, with a lot of development work put in to custom craft it for the new platforms; with the new additions for the aesthetic, the physics, the particles, the lighting – taking advantage of next-gen features – so I absolutely stand by our decision to offer up Definitive Edition the way we are.


We’d love for every Tomb Raider fan to get to experience it on next-gen. We are definitely looking to draw in those folks who may not have experience it yet on the last generation so they can experience this version on next-generation. But even for existing hardcore fans, we are confident in the offering we have as an excellent enhanced experience above and beyond what we’d previously provided. We wouldn’t bring it to you all if we felt otherwise. You are the reasons we do what we do.

The engineering work is said to have been handled by three different teams. However, The development cycle on the Definitive Edition will likely fall short of a full calendar year if it releases on-time. The studio also mentioned it’d be completely overhauling the back-end of the multiplayer system for use on next-gen. That in itself is not an easy task.

Which means their argument does contain some merit. Tomb Raider is widely accepted as one of the top releases in 2013. The title sits within the top five games I’ve played in 2013, but being a great game doesn’t warrant paying full-price twice. Even having enjoyed the original release, I’m having trouble defending Square Enix here. Especially if you take into consideration that the Definitive Edition will likely be on-par (maybe) with what the PC release offered out of the gate, and that Tomb Raider is currently sitting at $24.99 on Steam.

Lastly, Crystal Dynamics still haven’t commented on what frame rate the title will ultimately run at. Saying,

I’m not quoting a framerate as we’re still optimizing the game – even today, even this close to final, we still have teams actively squeezing out everything we can to generate the best experience possible! We will happily talk more about our final end results in January once we’re totally done.

This statement leads me to believe the team is still striving to hit the 60fps mark while maintaining the 1080p resolution that’s needed to justify an HD remake in the first place. I would argue that performance benchmarks need to be heavily weighed in when considering the price of admission.

What’s more, if publishers feel that they can charge the full-price of admission a second time around, we may be looking at a slippery slope. Things have a way of drifting to the background in the eyes of consumers. When publishers floated the idea of DLC, it made gamers more than a bit uneasy. The expectation being that you receive a finished product when you decide to purchase. DLC went against that notion in some people’s eyes. When first introduced, season passes elicited a collective outcry from the gaming community, but that time has passed and the season pass has now become somewhat of an industry standard.

Games are beginning to demand sizable production budgets and publishers are reaching for new ways to turn a profit. Tomb Raider may have been overwhelmingly critically acclaimed, but it’s no secret the title failed to meet sales expectations. To that end I feel inclined to believe SE is simply trying to wring all it can out of the game.

In the end I find it difficult to justify charging full-price for the Tomb Raider Definitive Edition. With development wrapping up within a calendar year and the original PC release sitting at half the price; I just don’t see the appeal. The only audience I see jumping at the Definitive Edition are die-hard Tomb Raider fans and the small percentage of gamers that have yet to try the title out during its first year of release.

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Dylan Zellmer

Dylan splits time between games journalism, designing video games, and playing them. Outside of his deep involvement in the games industry, he enjoys It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Shameless, A Song of Ice and Fire, fitness, and family.
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  • Dakan45

    Isnt that how consoles are? They just milk you and milk you and milk you. What do you expect?

    • DarthDiggler

      That seems like a very poor perception.

      Consoles provide a service and a product, people voluntarily trade their money for those products and services. There is an exchange of value here. People wouldn’t just hand others money for no reason (only a government can force you to do that, legally via gunpoint if they have to).

      Milking implies that console makers / publishers offer no value. Considering the brisk sales of the PS4 and XBONE that isn’t the case. Gaming isn’t cheap but there are ways you can be a prudent shopper as long as you have a little patience. With various major entities providing for used game sales, there are ample avenues to game at a discount.

      Most hobbies and forms of entertainment have a premium attached to them. The people who provide the resources for the hobbies and the entertainment generally aren’t working at a volunteer level (some smaller devs do not draw incomes, but that isn’t exactly volunteer, it’s a necessity).

      I am sure if the PS3 and X360 Tomb Raider games did better sales we’d likely get a more competitive price. Isn’t that just stating the obvious though?

      • Dakan45

        I am gonna copy and paste what i said in a relative post

        i used to play innovative games and diffirent genres, now everything is more ore less the same.

        i used to play huge games and buy expansion packs.

        Now its short games with no replay value and skin dlcs and preorder weapons.

        we used to have mod tools on pc, no one cares now.

        They killing singleplayer and in the future all games will be mp based.

        The game industry has turned into crap and it might crash.

        Tomb raider costed 100 milion to make, the ideas it has were more interesting in the 3 prototypes. One was horror with sillent hill monsters, another had horse riding and gians that look like they came out of shadow of colossus, another had a motorbike and a little girl as sidekick.

        All those thrown away to “mover the franchise forward” by having you taking cover behing stuff and shooting human enemies. Of those 100 million they could use some to add traps and puzzles in the game, nope instead they just spend them on cinematography, motion capture, voice acting and hype with trailers.

        The game barelly broke even so now they expand on next gen to get more sales, its not like tomb raider is this “TOP” game, infact its greatly overshadows by last of us, bioshock infinite and gta v. They are trying to make money by re-selling it on next gen, thats all.

        Welcome to next gen where games cost too much, so they make them generic to ensure more sales, where you are milked with dlcs and preorders and annual franchises, innovation dies and people trade in shadowfall and ryse because they onle bought them for graphics.

        I wouldnt be so impressed by the sales yet. There are over 160 million of ps3s and x360s and most games average on 3 million sales.

        So i couldnt care less if press, gaming sites and a bunch of fanboys bought new consoles, x360 is 9 years old, ofcourse people want a new console after all that time. However looking at x360 and ps3, games must sell, or no matter how many consoles there are, they wont improve game sales.

  • Daryl Wall

    That makes no sense.. you say that square enix is trying to wring out as much as possible because sales were low.. but then you say there is only a small % of people who didn’t play the game..besides if it was called the game of the year edition it would fit right in will all of the games that do that and rerelease with all the dlc at full price, but with no actual upgrades other than the dlc. at least this game is having a face lift and being put on a console that wasn’t around during initial release.I was one of those who missed it on its inital run but I plan to pick it up on my ps4 and have no problem paying since to me it is a new game and more work has been put into it. I do see the argument though if you did pick it up initially. they should have it be similar to the upgrade programs to where if you have the original disk you can just pay 10 for the next gen and just insert your disk in to play the digital copy.

    • DarthDiggler

      Well you guys keep using that term full price, so wouldn’t a more valid expression of that full price be $60 + the original cost of all the DLC?

      What price do you want to pay for this game? You do realize you can setup Google to send you an alert when a product hits a certain price and you can go buy it.

      This full price is going to change over time, if Square Enix over-priced (and not many people buy it) it you will likely see this title hit the $40 mark quickly.

      It’s up to the producer to set the price, if we don’t like it we don’t buy. IMHO I would have preferred a $50 price point. If Square Enix sells it at $60 and it does well, I can’t exactly say my price was better than theirs.

  • DarthDiggler

    Last generation (PS3) we were treated to PS2 upscales for about $40, I don’t mind paying $20 for all the DLC and video output that really takes advantage of the hardware. Now I understand that isn’t for everyone, but you do have the option to wait and catch it on sale. Fairly recent titles regularly get a $20 price break within a few months of their release.