The big picture: Players can expect a price increase for next-gen console titles as research company IDG reports that more publishers are exploring the idea due to development costs that have increased two to three times in recent years, with the $ 60 baseline for AAA games remaining pretty much unchanged. There are reasonable arguments from both sides about the fence, but if the plan goes ahead it will be a tough pill to swallow for players who already have to keep up with existing industry practice to release multiple editions of the same game, microtransactions, pay to win scenarios and looting.
Microsoft and Sony are yet to reveal the prices of their upcoming consoles, but they are largely expected (and understandably) to be more expensive than their current gene models. Now it seems that the software side of things may also see an uneven cost, which in the end raises the price of entry to the next gen console game even more.
AAA titles have remained constant at $ 60 for quite some time, that is, if you do not count nickel and dimming consumers through microtransactions, looting, cosmetic upgrades and “deluxe”
Video games, however, have also become much more complex and ambitious, with delays now a common occurrence for much-awaited titles on which devs have crushed and struggled for months, or sometimes, years. Combine this with the rising costs of research, technology, marketing and post-release support, and it’s a little surprising that the $ 60 base line for the modern AAA title has stuck for so long.
Former Sony chairman Shawn Layden recently commented on this “unsustainable” production model and now it seems publishers, who share the same sentiment, are considering raising prices for their next console game.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, game research company IDG noted that development costs for next-gen titles have risen by 200% to 300%, which could lead to a price increase of $ 10 compared to current gene titles. IDG’s President and CEO, Yoshio Osaki, explained that the pricing of games has remained flat since 2005 when it jumped from $ 49.99 to $ 59.99 during the PS3 / Xbox360 era, while TV and movie costs increased significantly during that time.
“Even with the $ 69.99 increase for the next gene, the price increase from 2005 to 2020 the next gene is only up 17%, far lower than the other comparisons,” he said, adding that although a $ 10 bul for the next gene software does not fully cover cost increases, it “moves it more in the right direction.”
We recently saw the first signs of this (almost common) trend with 2K Games’ NBA 2K21, whose standard edition of the game on the next gen console will cost $ 70. “IDG is working with all major game publishers, and our channel controls indicate that other publishers are also investigating to move their next gene pricing on some franchises, “Osaki said, noting that not every next gene game should be launched at the new price point,” flagship AAAs like NBA 2K deserve this pricing more than others. “
It remains to be seen how this cost buffer will affect game subscriptions along the line. Services such as Xbox Game Pass, PS Now, Uplay + and EA / Origin Access can also change their fees when more expensive $ 70 titles start filling their libraries.
There’s also Microsoft’s smart delivery, which is a boon to players who want to get a free game upgrade to the next-gen system, but it can also lose interest as publishers and console players increasingly invest their time and money exclusively on PS5 / XBSX.