Take-Two subsidiary 2K Games counts as the first big publisher to announce a bump in price for next-gen games. NBA 2K21 on next-gen platforms will cost $70, while its current-gen counterpart remains at $60. Such a hike reflects the “quality of the experience,” Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick argues. But the publisher isn’t ready to state whether it will apply the increased pricing model to all of its next-gen projects.
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Zelnick explained the core reason for the price bump. Most notably, game prices have remained stagnant for several years, while development costs continuously spike. Zelnick said,
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. 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.
When asked about Ubisoft’s plan to release next-gen titles this holiday for the standard $60, the Take-Two CEO noted the industry at-large doesn’t “coordinate” on such matters.
We just speak for ourselves. 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.
In an earnings call taken after the interview, Zelnick revealed that Take-Two intends to share the price of its PS5/Xbox Series X games on a “title-by-title basis.” Presumably, then, not every next-gen project from the publisher will receive the $10 price bump.