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Why 1990s SNES Games Were so Damn Expensive

Total RecallTotal RecallTotal Recall is a look back at the history of video games through their characters, franchises, developers and trends.

It's easy to forget now, but back in the 1990s, many video games had the same price on the sticker they do today, which when you account for inflation reminds you that they were super expensive.

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But just why did games cost so much? This infographic from a 1995 issue of British magazine Super Play breaks it down. For those outside the UK "VAT" is a consumer tax, but everything else is the video game business fighting over the spoils. Nintendo's cut is as obscene as the developer's royalty is disappointing.

Note that this division doesn't necessarily apply today; manufacturing costs are much lower, for example, as are retailer cuts. But for the mid-90s, they're obviously pretty spot-on!

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EPISODE 58 [Retro 2011, via VGJunk]

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DISCUSSION

so the people actually created the game got less than 5% of the profits? good lord! it sounds like record companies in relation to today's musicians!