As we enter the next-generation of video games, a lot of things will change. The obvious is the new consoles, but another thing that will change is something that hasn’t changed for a while. When the PlayStation 5 release date was revealed, the prices for some of the games coming out during launch was revealed as well. It looks like PlayStation Studios titles or big PlayStation games will be priced at $70. Video games have cost $60 since at least the 1990s. In a new report by Bloomberg about video game prices going up, a new revelation that was revealed was that the new price could’ve been higher than $70.
Bloomberg reports: “Inside publishing houses, a price hike has been plotted and dissected by executives for years. They point to inflation, as well as the ballooning cost to develop triple-A games, as justification. At one point, Sony discussed going even higher before settling on $70.”
As prices going up, video game companies at looking at alternatives. One of the biggest is Microsoft’s Netflix-like subscription service, Xbox Game Pass which offers a selection of over 100 games to play. Other companies have adopted that model for their games such as EA with EA Play and Ubisoft with Ubisoft+. Both are subscription services that give access to a selection of titles that they have published along with other incentives. For instance, Ubisoft+ members are able to play the latest titles such as Watch Dogs: Legion and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Every member also gets the Ultimate Editions of the games.
There are also a number of titles that will have a free upgrade to the next-gen version of the game. Some will take advantage of one of Microsoft’s new features that is launching with Xbox Series X|S called Smart Delivery.
PlayStation games aren’t the only ones that will cost $70. One of the first publishers to announce a new price was Take-Two Interactive with NBA 2k21. Chief Executive Officer of Take-Two Strauss Zelnick talked about the decision pointing to the high costs of development as the reason for the change. “We don’t have a pricing strategy. We charge much, much less than the value we deliver. That’s our pricing strategy if we have one.”
EA is offering free upgrades for Madden 21 and FIFA 21 but will offer more information about their pricing model in six to nine months. “We are going through our key sports titles,” said Blake Jorgensen, Chief Fiance and Operating Officer. “What we do know is that the cost of building games continues to go up.”
Yoshio Osaki, Head of IDG Consulting Inc. said that development costs to make a game have tripled or quadrupled since 2005. “Not all publishers will launch next-gen games at $70; however, we do anticipate that a growing percentage of games will launch at $70, but not all at once and not uniformly across every publisher or every game franchise.”