Publishers Are Considering Raising Game Prices For PS5 And Xbox Series X
Game publishers are considering raising the price of games for PS5 and Xbox Series X, says games research firm IDG Consulting. It follows the news that NBA 2K21 will be priced at $69.99 on the next consoles, $10 more expensive than it is on the current devices. For the most part, video games for game consoles have cost $59.99 for as long as most gamers can remember. The last time there was a significant increase in the price of video games was when the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 launched back in 2005 and 2006 respectively. The launch of those consoles pushed video game prices up by about $10 from $49.99 to $59.99. Now it’s looking like gamers are in for another price increase for video games with the next-gen PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
Microsoft and Sony are yet to reveal the prices of their upcoming consoles, but they’re widely (and understandably) expected to be more expensive than their current-gen models. Now it seems the software side of things could also see a bump in costs, ultimately raising the price of admission to next-gen console gaming even further.
AAA titles have remained steady at $60 for quite some time now, that is if you don’t count nickel and diming consumers through microtransactions, loot boxes, cosmetic upgrades, and ‘deluxe’ or ‘ultimate’ editions that are guaranteed to have more features ticked under their column than the ‘standard’ version. There’s also the odd ‘Collector’s Edition’ that can cost several hundreds of dollars, but remains somewhat of a rarity and is usually pursued by wealthy hobbyists.
Video games, however, have also gotten way more complex and ambitious too, with delays now a usual occurrence for highly-anticipated titles on which devs have crunched and toiled for months, or sometimes, years. Combine this with the increasing costs of research, tech, marketing, and post-release support, and it’s a bit surprising that the baseline $60 price tag for the modern AAA title has stuck around for so long.
Former Sony Chairman, Shawn Layden, recently commented on this ‘unsustainable’ production model and now it looks like publishers, who share the same sentiment, are considering raising prices for their next-gen console games.
“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,” he said, adding that although a $10 bump for next-gen software won’t cover the cost increases completely, it does “move it more in the proper direction.”
We recently saw the first signs of this (soon to be common) trend with 2K Games’ NBA 2K21, whose standard edition of the game on next-gen consoles will cost $70. “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,” said Osaki, observing that while not every next-gen game should launch at the new price point, “flagship AAAs such as NBA 2K merit this pricing more than others.”
It remains to be seen how this bump in costs will affect gaming subscriptions down the line. Services like Xbox Game Pass, PS Now, Uplay+, and EA/Origin Access might also revise their fees once more expensive $70 titles begin populating their libraries.
With game costs rising, it’ll be interesting to see how subscription services like Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation now are affected. The Xbox Series X and PS5 are both scheduled to release in Holiday 2020.