Take-Two Interactive doubles down on price hike for next-gen games

“The bottom line is that we haven’t seen a front-line price increase for nearly 15 years”

Take-Two Interactive has doubled down on its intention to increase prices for next-gen games, according to an interview with CEO Strauss Zelnick.

During an interview with Protocol, Zelnick defended the company’s decision to price NBA 2K21 at US$70, up from the usual $60 for current-gen games. “The bottom line is that we haven’t seen a front-line price increase for nearly 15 years, and production costs have gone up 200 to 300 per cent,” he said.

“We deliver a much, much bigger game for $60 or $70 than we delivered for $60 10 years ago,” Zelnick added. “The opportunity to spend money online is completely optional, and it’s not a free-to-play title. It’s a complete, incredibly robust experience even if you never spend another penny after your initial purchase.”

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The company first announced its  next-gen game price hike in July. NBA 2K21 will retail for US$59.99 on current gaming platforms while the upcoming PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X versions will be increased to $69.99. This will mark the first time AAA game prices have increased since the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation, which saw prices jump from $49.99.

Ben Simmons from NBA 2K21
NBA 2K21. Credit: 2K Games

Since Take-Two’s initial announcement, a handful of other developers and industry members have voiced their support for a price hike, including God Of War’s Cory Barlog. “Games need to go up in price. I prefer an initial increase in price to the always on cash grab microtransaction filled hellscape that some games have become,” he said on Twitter.

Back in August, Zelnick reaffirmed that an increase in game prices is justified, in an interview with Gamesindustry.biz in August. “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,” he said.

Take-Two also previously confirmed that increased prices will be announced on a -game-by-game basis, depending on its development process.

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In other next-gen gaming news, Sony has refuted reports that the company is allegedly facing productions problems with its upcoming PlayStation 5 console. “We have not changed the production number for PlayStation 5 since the start of mass production,” it said.

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