According to a press release from Atari, the publisher, one of the world's most recognized brands and a leading third-party video game publisher, today announced official pricing for its uPComing, highly- anticipated next-generation racing game, [i]Test Drive Unlimited[/i]. Atari will offer [i]Test Drive Unlimited[/i] for the Xbox 360 for $39.95. To further extend consumers' gaming experiences, [i]Test Drive Unlimited[/i] car packs featuring six or more cars, complete with genre-specific radio stations, will be available for download monthly, beginning six weeks after launch on Xbox Live Marketplace.
"Innovation should be available to everyone, not a privilege for those can afford high price tags," said Bruno Bonnell, Chairman, CEO and Chief Creative Officer of Atari. "Our GamersFirst program demonstrated the positive impact of flexibility in pricing. We believe it is our mission to deliver triple-A games that are accessible to the masses. As such, we are offering [i]Test Drive Unlimited[/i] – a game that is being positively touted and recognized by the media – for $39.95, and furthermore, will continue users' experiences past launch by featuring new cars and free music for download."
[i]Test Drive Unlimited's[/i] monthly car packs will feature a mixture of manufacturers and models of the world's finest vehicles. Each downloaded car pack will also include a free radio station. Radio stations will be set according to genres, such as Rock, Blues, Electronic, R&B, Jazz, Latin, etc., and feature between 10-20 songs.
[i]Test Drive Unlimited[/i] has been receiving accolades from industry media as one of the top racing games this decade. GameDaily declared, "This is the kind of racing game I live for," while IGN.com stated, "There's no denying [i]Test Drive Unlimited[/i] is looking like one of recent memory's most unique racers." TeamXbox described [i]Test Drive Unlimited[/i] as a "revolutionary online driver." At this year's E3, the annual video game trade show, [i]Test Drive Unlimited[/i] received a slew of E3 nominations and awards from multiple web sites and magazines.
Hopefully all other publishers take note of this bold pricing strategy and stop gouging next-gen gamers for as much as they can (special edition games can cost as much as $69.99, before taxes). If [i]Test Drive Unlimited[/i] becomes the smash hit Atari is hoping it will be, video game publishers may have to take notice of this new pricing plan. Next generation console owners just have to pray that [i]Test Drive Unlimited's[/i] $39.99 price tag is truly because Atari feels everyone should be able to afford new games, and not because the game is not living up to it's potential.
[i]Test Drive Unlimited[/i] is scheduled for a 9/5 release date for the Xbox 360.