Currently, we are still in the dark on the price points for the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, but we may have confirmation of how much games will cost on the systems. It was recently announced that NBA 2K21 will have a price point of $69.99 USD on next-gen consoles, leading many to assume that this will become the industry standard.
While this may be unwelcome news to some people, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise. According to an article from gamesindustry.biz, the gaming industry is long overdue for an increase in pricing. The $59.99 USD price point has been the standard since 2005 when the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 were released. However, video games are the exception, not the rule, as pricing for other forms of entertainment has increased by upwards of 100% in the same period of time. This is the case with both cable TV packages and Netflix subscriptions.
Canadians might find the cost of next-gen games especially difficult to reconcile with, as this would put the price up to over $100 CAD after taxes. But when you consider the fact that game production has risen 200% to 300% for next-gen AAA titles, the pricing makes sense. Countless hours and resources go into making these games, and the people who design them work incredibly hard to give their fans a worthwhile and memorable experience. And in many cases, the $10 hike in pricing still won’t cover the industry-wide increase in production costs.
“NBA 2K21 is a monumental leap forward for the franchise,” stated president of Visual Concepts Greg Thomas, speaking to GamesIndustry.
“Even with the increase to $69.99 for next-gen, that price increase from 2005 to 2020 next-gen is only up 17%, far lower than the other comparisons. While the cost of development and publishing have gone up, and pricing in other entertainment verticals has also gone up substantially, next-gen software pricing has not reflected these increases. $59.99 to $69.99 does not even cover these other cost increases completely, but does move it more in the proper direction.”
$100 CAD is certainly a lot to pay for a game. For some, it will be hard to justify, and it won’t seem like a fair price for a lot of titles. But for those AAA games that you’re going to put dozens of hours into or the engrossing stories that stick with you for a long time after the credits roll? I think it’s a reasonable price to pay. And for those who think that it’s too much, I can point you to many indie titles that will have the same effect on you for a much lower cost.