A new report from games researching firm IDG claims that multiple publishers are reportedly discussing raising the standard prices of next-generation games beginning this fall.
Standard editions of games have always been $59.99 since 2006, when the Xbox 360 and PS3 generation began, and has not changed since then. In that same time period, developmental costs of games has risen 100-200% for new IPs, large franchises, and more. In those same years, costs of Netflix, Amazon services, and more have steadily increased and reacted to market trends, while gaming prices have remained the same.
“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.”
The first next-generation game to announce their price was Take Two with NBA2K 21. The company announced on July 2 that the PS5 and Xbox Series X versions of the new game will cost $69.99, a $10 spike compared to standard $59.99.
This could potentially be a standard for next gen, IDG predicts based on conversations with some publishers already.
He continues: “IDG works with all major game publishers, and our channel checks indicate that other publishers are also exploring moving their next-gen pricing up on certain franchises, for the same reasons outlined above.
“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.”
Many companies are offering free next-gen upgrades for games that are releasing cross generation this fall for free, either through the platform’s services or by offering cross buy.
Activision has not announced any of their next generation plans yet. Call of Duty 2020 is expected to be a launch title for PS5 and Xbox Series X. The last generation, transitioning from Xbox 360 and PS3 to PS4 and Xbox One, the company offered upgrade options – eventually free to players.