Strauss Zelnick lays out the case for $69.99.
As new generation consoles are coming, it can often be an exciting time. New games and new hardware features are always fun to think about, but it also seems like this generation could also bring something many players probably aren’t too enthused about: price hikes. While most companies have kept their cross generational titles price at the standard $59.99 (we’ve yet to see pricing on a full retail next generation exclusive title), some companies have decided to charge $10 extra, such as Activision with Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. But ground zero was this year’s NBA 2K21, which announced its next generation version would be $69.99. Now the CEO of Take-Two is defending the hike.
In an interview with Protocol, CEO of Take-Two Interactive (the parent company of publisher 2K Games) Strauss Zelnick defended the higher price. He said that there’s two fold here, one of which is that production costs have increased 200-300% over the course of the 15 years that the $60 price became standard, and that on the consumer side games have increased in size to be far bigger than what has been offered before.
“The bottom line is that we haven’t seen a front-line price increase for nearly 15 years, and production costs have gone up 200 to 300%. But more to the point since no one really cares what your production costs are, what consumers are able to do with the product has completely changed.
We deliver a much, much bigger game for $60 or $70 than we delivered for $60 10 years ago. The opportunity to spend money online is completely optional, and it’s not a free-to-play title. It’s a complete, incredibly robust experience even if you never spend another penny after your initial purchase.”
The $59.99 price tag first came about at the launch of the Xbox 360 all the way back in 2005 and has not increased for standard versions of games since then. As it stands, only Activision and Take-Two have increased price points for next gen versions of titles, so who knows if it’ll be standard or not. We’ll just have to see if other companies make the jump.