Ubisoft Confirms A Permanent Price Hike For 'Big AAA' Game Releases

Making top-shelf AAA games is an enormous endeavor. If you ever wonder just how enormous, open up your favorite Assassin's Creed, Call of Duty, or Bethesda title, and just let the credits run for the hour-plus it'll take. AAA game developers have been raising prices to pay this ever-growing cast, and the latest to do so is Ubisoft.

In case you're not much of a gamer, Ubisoft is one of the world's largest video game publishing houses. Based out of France, the company has tons of huge franchises including Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, Prince of Persia, Rayman, all of the Rainbow Six titles, Watch_Dogs, and many more. The company recently spoke to Axios as part of a press event and acknowledged that upcoming pirate action title Skull & Bones won't be the only $70 game.

Ubisoft founder and CEO Yves Guillemot stated that, in addition to Skull & Bones, "some of the games will come at the same price as the competition. The big AAA games will come at $70." That's in US dollars, of course, with the traditional AAA game price having been $60. As Yves mentions, Ubisoft is far from the first AAA publisher to make this move; that would be 2K Games which caused controversy when pricing NBA 2K21 at a baseline of $70.

Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade is also $70.

Other publishers have followed suit; Square-Enix asks $70 for Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, while EA and Activision have moved to $70 for certain new releases as well. The rise comes with a shift to development finally focusing on the current-generation PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles; Skull & Bones will be Ubisoft's first game developed exclusively for these systems without support for the previous-generation hardware.

Notably, the recently announced Assassin's Creed Mirage, which will be cross-gen on its release next year, has already been put down for a price of $50. That likely has as much to do with the game's smaller scale compared to other games in the series as with its cross-gen nature, but it's another interesting data point in this conversation.

The aforementioned difficulty of making these massive, detailed games is only part of the problem. Inflation plays a part, too; all of these companies' costs have gone up, and they say that that's a factor in the price increase. Still, it's arguable whether these companies should really be passing the costs on to consumers, as video game industry profits are higher than they've ever been.