Image: Visual Concepts

Last month, we learned that Take-Two Interactive would be pricing the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X versions of NBA 2K21 at $70 – a $10 increase from the current, $60 standard. Since nobody likes price hikes, GamesIndustry.biz questioned CEO Strauss Zelnick as to why the publisher was doing this, and apparently, it’s because game development costs are getting higher than ever. He also believes that next-gen experiences, which should be of a much higher quality, deserve a surcharge.

“There hasn’t been a price increase for frontline titles for a really long time, despite the fact that it costs a great deal more to make those titles,” Zelnick said. “And we think with the value we offer consumers…and the kind of experience you can really only have on these next-generation consoles, that the price is justified. But it’s easy to say that when you’re delivering extraordinary quality, and that’s what our company prides itself on doing.”

It isn’t clear whether $70 will actually be the new standard, since other major publishers, such as Ubisoft, aren’t charging more for upcoming titles such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Zelnick isn’t sure whether consumers will accept the price increase unless other triple-A publishers follow, but the $70 price point is definitely something Take-Two plans on doing.

“We just speak for ourselves,” he said. “Obviously, we don’t speak for the industry and the industry naturally does not coordinate on these matters, to say the very least. The pricing has to reflect the quality of the experience, and we aim to provide the best experiences in the business. And from our point of view, it’s an extremely modest price change given that prices haven’t changed for a very long time.”

The good news is that not all of Take-Two’s titles will be subject to higher prices. During the company’s recent earnings call, Zelnick mentioned that next-gen games would be priced on a “title-by-title basis.”

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14 Comments

  1. If what Zelnick said was true, then shouldn’t the current gen version of 2K21 also be priced at $70? It’s just more vague CEO speak.
  2. " Fiscal 2021 is off to a terrific start with first quarter operating results that significantly exceeded our expectations, including fiscal first quarter records for GAAP net revenue and Net Bookings”

    LoL, direct quote from earnings report for Take Two.

    So,yeah, let’s just get some more…..raise the **** prices…..!!!!

  3. I never pay launch prices for a game anyways. I always wait for sales. I prefer for the games to hit $20 or below. So let 9th-gen devs charge what they want. Makes no difference to me. I’ll snag the games when they hit more reasonable price points. We live in an age where you can wait a few months and get a game 50% off or more, or wait a year or two and get the game for 5 ****ing dollars.
  4. $70 for a sports game that is basically a roster refresh? AKA Madden? They can go f*ck themselves in the drive-thru.
  5. I never pay launch prices for a game anyways. I always wait for sales. I prefer for the games to hit $20 or below. So let 9th-gen devs charge what they want. Makes no difference to me. I’ll snag the games when they hit more reasonable price points. We live in an age where you can wait a few months and get a game 50% off or more, or wait a year or two and get the game for 5 ****ing dollars.

    Yeah let somebody else pay the fever window price is my motto too.
    Funny thing is, I wonder if the entry window was 40$.. would I actually expend more money in games? 40 is a much easier choice for me than 60 let alone 70…. Wonder what would the profit would look like if they priced games at a lower prices (significantly like 40) but kept that price for way longer… I don’t think it will happen because so many people have a remarkable ability to pay whatever during that fever window… 70 yeah it’s coming, surely even more… And I will be astounded once again to hear the sales in the millions and millions of units.. I won’t be one of them but oh well.

  6. This is what mostly pushed me into PC gaming. High prices on console games that stayed there way too long, whereas PC games go on sale more frequently.
  7. Depends on the game and it’s life expectancy. For something I know will be around for years, sure, I’ll wait. For a day one game that is online based and will die off quickly I’ll pony up the release price.
  8. For a sports game that’s exactly the same as the previous year with a different roster and stats?? Yeah right
  9. The last sports game I played was the baseball and olympics game…. for the Intellivision.

    I don’t think I worry about this one. And a 70 dollar price for video games is no big deal really. The only games I buy at launch are games I really want then I end up spending over a 100 because I’m getting the special cool edition of it regardless.

  10. I mainly play sports games on consoles, and that was mostly college football. Once that disappeared, I lost interest.
  11. I’m not for sports games in general, let alone realistic sports games… I might be in for fantasy/ fantastic sports based game.. like nba jam way back then or some such ( brutal sports football is another example, though never played it)
  12. I do miss NCAA football. I pick up a copy of Madden every 5 years or so, but it isn’t the same.

    I think my favorite was NCAA Basketball for the Super Nintendo. There was some player on UCONN that had made like 1 3-pointer in his entire life, and that gave him a 100% 3-point shot, even from full court.

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