Higher Prices Are Likely On The Way For PS5 And Xbox Series X Top Game Titles
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.
Game publishers are reportedly considering raising pricing across the board for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X games according to research firm IDG Consulting. The news that game publishers are considering pricing increases comes on the heels of 2K Games confirming this week that NBA 2K21 would be priced at $69.99 on the next-generation game consoles. IDG president and CEO Yoshio Osaki told GamesIndustry.biz in an interview that video game pricing has not increased in the past decade and a half while other media platforms have seen significant price upticks.
Between 2005 and today TV and movie pricing has increased significantly while pricing for video games has stayed the same. During that same timeframe, the cost to develop video games has increased as much as 300%. Osaki noted in his interview that movie theater ticket prices have increased by 39%, Netflix has increased prices by 100%, and cable TV packages have risen by 105% in that time frame.
It would be hard to justify basing a price increase on video games on the fact that cable TV prices have soared considering that is the exact reason cord-cutters are ditching TV in record numbers. It's also hard to justify a price increase on games when some game publishers make massive sums of money on microtransactions that are common in many games today.
If all publishers move the standard pricing for a video game to $69.99, that price increase would represent a 17% gain compared to current pricing. However, there is an indication that higher price point will only be for AAA games such as NBA 2K21. Perhaps new IPs or independent games will continue at the existing $59.99 price point, but we'll have to wait until the new game consoles launch and see where pricing falls.