Today, Microsoft revealed via a statement shared with IGN that new first-party games released in 2023 will carry a price increase from $60 to $70, following suit with other publishers. These are titles designed specifically for the Xbox Series S|X.
A Microsoft spokesperson explained:
This price reflects the content, scale, and technical complexity of these titles. As with all games developed by our teams at Xbox, they will also be available with Game Pass the same day they launch.
As mentioned above, Microsoft is far from the first publisher to increase the price of next-generation games. The first to do so was Take-Two with NBA 2K21, though others soon followed, including Activision Blizzard (starting with Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War) and Sony (already with launch titles like the Demon's Souls remake).
Microsoft held out for two years longer, then, but eventually had to fall in line. Indeed, Head of Gaming Phil Spencer recently suggested as much in a live interview with the Wall Street Journal.
I do think at some point we'll have to raise the prices on certain things, but going into this holiday, we thought it was important to maintain the prices.
Most people believed he was referring to either console prices or Game Pass subscription fees, but it looks like the first thing going up is the price of the individual titles. We'll see if other price increases are coming up.
Confirmed Microsoft first-party releases for 2023 include Forza Motorsport, Redfall, and Starfield. There are also Minecraft Legends and Ara: History Untold, but they could be exempt from this new rule, as the former is also available on old-generation consoles while the latter is only available on PC. As for the rest of the lineup, it's possible at least one between Avowed, Contraband, and Senua's Saga: Hellblade II might launch before the end of 2023.