Spencer: I’m Not Negative on New Price Point for Games, Customers Will Decide the Right Price
The recent decision made by 2K Games to raise the price point of the upcoming basketball game NBA 2K21 to $69.99 on next-generation platforms sparked quite the discussion among gamers, especially after IDG Consulting CEO Yoshio Osaki revealed that other publishers are considering doing the same thing.
God of War director Cory Barlog stated that he'd be fine with increasing the 'retail' price point if it meant foregoing any 'cash-grab' microtransactions, and that's probably a fair point even though we doubt this would actually be the case.
What do platform holders think of this delicate matter, though? Speaking to the Washington Post, Microsoft's Head of Gaming Phil Spencer said he doesn't view this price point increase as a negative as ultimately it will be up to the customer to decide if it's a fair offering or not.
As an industry, we can price things whatever we want to price them, and the customer will decide what the right price is for them. I’m not negative on people setting a new price point for games because I know everybody’s going to drive their own decisions based on their own business needs. But gamers have more choice today than they ever have. In the end, I know the customer is in control of the price that they pay, and I trust that system.
Spencer then took the chance to reiterate the usefulness of the Xbox Game Pass subscription service in order to overcome the barrier of entry presented by a game's price point.
Because there’s such an initial friction for a new customer to get into a game, which includes the retail price point, games have to do things and work really hard to overcome that friction. Game Pass games are games that test the traditional tropes of games, and allows creators to get adventurous.
Do you agree with Spencer that customers will simply 'vote with their wallets', as the saying goes?