Take-Two Interactive was the first publisher to break the next-gen price seal with the announcement that NBA 2K21 will cost $70 on next-gen consoles, $10 more than the standard current-gen price. Just ahead of its earnings call, CEO Strauss Zelnick explained why he feels the price hike is justified.
“There hasn’t been a price increase for frontline titles for a really long time, despite the fact that it costs a great deal more to make those titles,” Zelnick told GamesIndustry.biz. “And we think with the value we offer consumers… and the kind of experience you can really only have on these next-generation consoles, that the price is justified. But it’s easy to say that when you’re delivering extraordinary quality, and that’s what our company prides itself on doing.”
Pressed further on the subject, in light of Ubisoft not following suit, he explained that he can only speak for Take-Two, and he doesn’t expect the industry to all move to the same price point in a coordinated fashion.
“We just speak for ourselves,” he said. “Obviously, we don’t speak for the industry and the industry naturally does not coordinate on these matters, to say the very least. The pricing has to reflect the quality of the experience, and we aim to provide the best experiences in the business. And from our point of view, it’s an extremely modest price change given that prices haven’t changed for a very long time.”
For the time being, Ubisoft games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Watch Dogs Legion on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will remain at $60. The company has not addressed whether that will change after 2020. Other publishers haven’t announced next-gen pricing. The question of price increases could also impact upgrade offers like Microsoft’s Smart Delivery and EA’s Dual Entitlement. Microsoft has reportedly told developers not to charge for next-gen upgrades as DLC, though other upgrade models remain on the table–which could be partly why Take-Two is offering a two-pack for NBA 2K21.
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