When VCRs first hit the consumer market (about 1980) a pre-recorded video tape ran $60-$80. Considering the time period, that was a great deal of money for a 2-hour film. (There was also a thriving pirate tape market, but the quality of the pirate tapes was awful.)
Then Paramount Studies made a bold move: They released Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan for $20. It sold like crazy, and that one market test was so successful it changed an entire industry. By lowering the price, the tapes were accessible to so many more purchasers. (And it also cut the heart out of the pirate tape market.)
Thinking back on that example, it makes sense to me that lowering the price of donuts (or the number of donuts needed for any given purchase) would increase the volume of donut sales and ultimately make EA more money.
Based on many other business models, for one. Also the fact that these types of threads are a bi-weekly thing. It shows that there are a lot of people who would be willing to pay if the prices could be justified by more people. This isn't a new concept.
I made a few points that more or less answer your question. You have to get people in the door before you can sell them something. At the current prices, not many people are willing to step foot in. I mean, you can't even buy a single premium character or building with some of their smaller donut packages. What can you even buy with a box of donuts? You'd barely make off with a plant. Most casual gamers see that as discouraging and are less willing to even put a small amount of money into the game much less get hooked and start buying more and more.
Pricing digital content has always been problematic. In traditional economics, the minimum price for an item is its "marginal cost," what it costs to produce one unit for sale plus some portion of R&D/fixed costs that you're trying to recoup. You then add more for your profit (less when sales are poor and more when sales a good). But for digital content, the marginal cost is $0! So, once you've figured in a portion of your R&D/fixed costs, what should you charge?
In theory, to spur sales you should add only a tiny amount for profit. However, digital content is often priced on the perceived "value" of the product to the customer. It costs no more to produce a unit of Adobe CS 6 than it does a PC video game. However, a complete set of CS 6 lists for about $1500 and the game for $40.
As I see it, a company like EA has to gauge what they believe to be the value of the digital content and price it accordingly. What we seem to disagree on is exactly what that value should be.
The real question in terms of profitability for EA is "if the premium content was half of the price it is now, would TWICE as many people buy it...?" and the answer to that, is probably not.
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