“Publishers are exploring moving their next-gen pricing up on certain franchises”
Following the news that NBA 2K21 is going to be more expensive on PS5 and Xbox Series X, it looks like more companies are considering following the same price model.
According to Osaki, “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”.
“The last time that next-gen launch software pricing went up was in 2005 and 2006 when it went from $49.99 (£44.99) to $59.99 (£54.99) at the start of the Xbox 360 and PS3 generation,” Osaki said. “During that time, the costs and prices in other affiliated verticals have gone up”.
In the interview, Osaki highlighted how other mediums in the world of entertainment have had their prices inflated over the years, such as Netflix raising its subscription price by 100%. The production costs for next-gen games have jumped from 200% to 300%, however the price has remained the same.
“Even with the increase to $69.99 (£64.99) for next-gen, that price increase from 2005 to 2020 next-gen is only up 17%,” Osaki stated. “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 (£54.99) to $69.99 (£64.99) does not even cover these other cost increases completely, but does move it more in the proper direction”.
Osaki finished by declaring that “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”.
Shawn Layden, a former executive for PlayStation recently shared his thoughts on the current AAA game model, expressing that “the problem with that model is it’s just not sustainable”.