Next-generation consoles will soon be bringing us better graphics, bigger worlds…and inflated price tags. As we’ve reported, a number of publishers are opting for a next-gen price hike, with games like NBA 2K21, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, and Demon’s Souls costing $70. Sony committing to the price increase is a big one, and may well push most of the industry in that direction, but what about their rivals at Microsoft? They’ve remained rather quiet on the subject.
Well, Xbox marketing boss Aaron Greenberg appeared on the most recent Real Deal Podcast, and he hinted that they may not be taking the $70 plunge. Or, at the very least, that they’ll be taking a “fan-centric” approach and deciding game prices on a case-by-case basis (thanks to Video Games Chronicle for the following transcription)…
I think what you’ve seen across the industry, with a couple of notable exceptions is -- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is at $60 for standard, Cyberpunk, Dirt 5 -- so I’m not seeing it. There are some exceptions of titles where you’ve seen, particularly for sports games, where they’re coming out in advance of the next generation and because they don’t have Smart Delivery, they’re including the gen 9 version and charging you more. So It’s a little bit complex there.
It’s a different approach and they obviously have a right to do whatever they want with their products and pricing, but for us we’ve really taken a fan-centric approach [with pricing]. I’d say first with Smart Delivery, but most importantly you get all our games at launch in Game Pass, so does the price of the game even matter if it’s included in your Game Pass subscription?
The only major Microsoft exclusive at the launch of the Xbox Series X/S will be Gears Tactics, and that will only cost $60, but of course that’s a port of a six-month-old game. Will Microsoft be charging $60 for something like Halo Infinite? We shall see. Of course, as Greenberg points out, their real focus this next generation is Xbox Game Pass, so next-gen pricing may be kind of a moot point for them.
What are your thoughts on this issue? Does the $70 price tag stick in your craw or is the increase reasonable given inflation and the work that has to go into next-gen games?