One publisher has already confirmed that one of its games’ PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X version will cost more than the current-gen versions. And one publisher could start the price increases.
2K Games (=Take-Two) announced NBA 2K21, but the game itself isn’t even that interesting. Maybe this year, the MyTeam’s game mode will not piss everyone off like last year, when its trailer essentially showed gambling mini-games, causing a huge backlash, resulting in Take-Two temporarily hiding the video. The American basketball isn’t skipping a year, and now, it’s a cross-gen title for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Google Stadia. Take-Two is so money-hungry that they will not support the Xbox Smart Delivery or the free PlayStation 4 to PlayStation 5 upgrade. So on the new console, you’d have to buy the game again to have the MyTeam points, tokens, cards, and results brought over to the next-gen version, but even having this move from them is smug.
The problem is that while the standard current-gen versions (all of them except the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X ports) will cost 60 dollars (European pricing: 70 euros…), the next-gen ones will be 70 (or 75 euros…)! (You will get it for free if you pre-order the current-gen Black Mamba Edition, which is a hundred dollars/euros. The next-gen’s Black Mamba Edition is also a hundred, but it gives you free access to the current-gen version digitally.) WCCFTech asked the publisher the following: „The price for the next-gen versions of the game drew a lot of attention – could you confirm whether this is the expected price from 2K for next-generation titles?” The answer follows: „2K’s suggested retail prices for its games are meant to represent the value being offered. With nearly endless replay value and many new additions and improvements only possible on next-generation consoles, we believe our updated suggested retail price fairly represents the value of NBA 2K21.” (Global recession? They don’t care – they seem to have the „if you bought a new console, you can afford this game for this price” thought.)
Gamesindustry contacted Yoshio Osaki, the CEO of IDG Consulting. Here’s what the games research firm’s head had to say: „IDG works with all major game publishers, and our channel checks indicate that other publishers are also exploring moving their next-gen pricing upon certain franchises. Not every game should garner the $69.99 price point on next-gen, but flagship AAAs such as NBA 2K merit this pricing more than others.”
The price increase is mostly due to inflation: „The last time that next-gen launch software pricing went up was in 2005 and 2006 when it went from $49.99 to $59.99 at the start of the Xbox 360 and PS3 generation, and during that time, the costs and prices in other affiliated verticals have gone up. 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 entertainment]. 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,” Osaki added.
And guess who will suffer from it the most? Those who have no local pricing. Such as countries in Europe that do not have the euro as their currency.
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