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.”