With Xbox Series X/S out in the wild and PS5 releasing tomorrow, the next-generation of consoles is finally here. Unlike the last generation of consoles, both XSX/S and PS5 pack raw power compared to most high-end PCs around. With the next-generation came the inevitable increase in the prices of games. It is the first time in around fifteen years where we can see a consensus among game developers and publishers to increase the prices of games.
The Xbox 360 and PS3 era came with a $10 increase in prices (from $50 to $60), which stayed(?) until the current year. Many third-party developers like CDPR and Ubisoft are sticking with the $60 price tag for their games. Still, developers like 2K and publishers like Sony and Activision have already gone aboard with the higher price tag. Sony’s upcoming first-party titles like Demon’s Souls Remastered and Sackboy: A big adventure will cost $70; Activision’s CoD: Cold War will also cost the same. The problem here is we don’t know if the publishers are deciding on increasing the prices further.
According to a report from Bloomberg, many executives at Sony are arguing to increase the price above $70. It is not known how big of a jump was discussed, however. Executives also maintain that it is better to pick the price on a game by game basis with a low bound at $50. We have already seen that with SpiderMan: Miles Morales, a stand-alone DLC that costs $50. The most important argument that the publishers use is Inflation. Take-Two’s CEO, Strauss Zelnick, defended the increase in price by saying, “We do not have a pricing strategy. We charge much, much less than the value we deliver. That’s our pricing strategy if we have one.”
In conclusion, only time will tell whether the new $70 norm will stick or not. With the increase in the demand for premium and ultimate editions of games that regularly cost between $80 to $100, publishers may end up asking for more soon.