The ’90s Game Price Comparison Charticle

Infographics may be old and busted, but charticles will live forever. Hot on the heels of yesterday’s ’90s Console Release Charticle comes this eye-poppingly factual sequel: A comparison of the retail cost of games in the ’90s versus their equivalents today, matched with inflation-adjusted figures to show the real cost of those classics in terms of actual 2012 buying power. We’ve carefully selected some of the top releases of the ’90s against very similar titles of the past couple of years, researched their initial suggested retail prices, and lined them up side-by-side. For maximum soul-destroying accuracy, we also plugged in their prices to the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator to determine what their original asking prices equal in today’s terms. For Japanese releases, we used x-rates’ historical conversion calculator to see what import games cost in American dollars at the time.

The short of it? Games back then cost a lot less to develop than they do now, but they cost a lot more for the consumer. Some of that can be ascribed to the higher cost of cartridge media, but even so it helps you understand why so many publishers are doubling down on AAA games or flocking to social media.

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