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In the wake of 2K’s move from traditional $59.99 pricing for new video games to $69.99 per title, more AAA games publishers are thinking about hopping on board the pricey parade to profit.
2K Games revealed their more expensive pricing yesterday with the reveal of NBA 2K21’s egregious four-layer pricing chart, leading many fans to express their mixed reactions at the news of games becoming more expense. With 2K Games still including heavy microtransactions in their games, the price increase left a sour taste.
However, 2K is far from the only company thinking about increasing prices for their Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 games. In a GamesIndustry interview, IDG Consulting CEO Yoshio Osaki revealed that more AAA publishers are considering the price increase as becoming the new norm.
“IDG works with all major game publishers, and our channel checks indicate that other publishers are also exploring moving their next-gen pricing up on certain franchises,” the IDG CEO told the outlet. “Not every game should garner the $69.99 price point on next-gen, but flagship AAAs such as NBA 2K merit this pricing more than others.”
Osaki explained that video game pricing has stayed fairly stagnant since 2005. While the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 generation saw the standard price of games shift from $49.99 to $59.99, prices haven’t moved from that despite other mediums, like TV shows and movies, increasing.
“During that time, the costs and prices in other affiliated verticals have gone up,” Osaki said, noting that development costs have increased by up to 300%. “Even with the increase to $69.99 for next-gen, that price increase from 2005 to 2020 next-gen is only up 17%, far lower than the other comparisons.”
“While the cost of development and publishing have gone up, and pricing in other entertainment verticals has also gone up substantially, next-gen software pricing has not reflected these increases. $59.99 to $69.99 does not even cover these other cost increases completely, but does move it more in the proper direction.”
Osaki isn’t the only industry higher-up title state that AAA games publishers are going to have to change their approach to combat increasing development costs. Ex-PlayStation head Shawn Layden expressed his thoughts on development costs last month, stating that the current industry is not “sustainable”.