In an earnings call on Wednesday, Ubisoft stated that their games for PS5 and Xbox Series X would cost $60 USD, the same as current-gen games, as reported by Jason Schreier on Twitter. Schreier also notes that NBA 2K21 is already expected to cost $70 USD on next-gen consoles. While all AAA games will likely find their ways to a $70 price tag as the generation moves forward, we could initially start seeing some price discrepancies in the industry.
It’s easy to take these increased prices as a threat against our gaming habits, but this will likely prove to be a great move for the industry. The last price jump from $50 to $60 gradually occurred between the times of PlayStation (2003) and Xbox 360 (2013). However, when inflation is considered, you come to find that we’ve been criminally underpaying for video games over the past 17 years. In fact, we’ve probably been underpaying for longer than that. $50 in 2003 amounts to roughly $70 in 2020, yet we’re still paying $60 per game, and we’re seeing that that price will likely persist through at least part of the next generation.
Thankfully, we’re still not paying as much as we did in the times of Atari 2600. Paying $40-$60 for a high-end game in that era is the equivalent of paying $170-$255 today. Since then, the curves have shifted, and while the demand for games has shot up drastically, so has the supply. Charging over $170 for a game today would be ludicrous, but that still doesn’t mean the ancient $60 price is justified. I’m no economist, but realistically, games should probably fall in the $80-$90 range today.
In fact, it’s not far-fetched to assume that they probably would if not for microtransactions and subscriptions. This has become a popular way for publishers and studios to keep game prices consistent while still taking in extra revenue to keep up with inflation. However, there comes a point where that isn’t enough. In the next generation, we’ll probably see different, more effective methods to increase revenue in addition to an initial price increase. For now, though, Ubisoft seems intent on standing firm at $60.
Brandon is a young writer who loves going deep into games to explore meaning, purpose, and life. He believes that there’s nothing better than getting lost in a world full of characters to love and lessons to learn. He has a special place in his heart for single player games such as Mass Effect and Life Is Strange, but he also blows off some steam playing some of his favorite multiplayer games, like Paladins.