“Good value for money” is not a winning strategy in this industry. If it was, NFL 2k5 would have beat Madden 2005. Japanese RPGs like Disgaea that offer hundreds of hours of differentiable gameplay would beat the pants off of Half-Life 2. Even in a recession, gamers are gladly paying for Batman: Arkham Asylum while eschewing Section 8.
While value for money is a factor in success, it can’t be your defining factor. All I know about Guitar Hero 5 from their marketing is that I can get Guitar Hero: Van Halen with it.
When I see a game debuting at a $30 price point, I make judgements about its quality. “If it were a better game, it would be $60” is what many of us consumers think.
It works for highly substitutable goods, but not differentiated goods like entertainment. We don’t think of the RaceTrac gasoline as 0.10/gallon inferior to 7-11’s gasoline, we see it as better value for money. Activision should know this. I assume they do, which is why I find it odd that they are trying this tactic.