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Take-Two Interactive CEO defends next generation price increase

The next generation of game consoles is on the way, but PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X / S may not only bring better graphics and more advanced technology. The new consoles could also initiate a higher price for games themselves, with the $ 60 norm, which has been a standard since 2005, possibly disappearing.

According to Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick, who defended the idea of ​​a next-generation price increase in an interview with Protocol.

“The bottom line is that we have not seen a price increase on the front line for almost 15 years, and production costs have risen 200 to 300 percent. But more to the point where no one really cares what your production costs are, what consumers are able to do with the product has changed completely, ”said Zelnick.

“We deliver a much, much bigger game for $ 60 or $ 70 than we delivered for $ 60 1

0 years ago. The ability to spend money online is completely optional and it is not a free-to-play title. It’s a complete, incredibly robust experience, even if you never spend another penny after your first purchase. ”

Take-Two was one of the first companies to reveal that it would charge more for its next-generation titles, and the company announced as early as July that NBA 2K21 on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X / S consoles cost $ 70 compared to $ 60 on the current generation of Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

The news was met with significant setbacks from a customer community accustomed to the $ 60 price point over the past decade and a half that it has been the industry norm. Zelnick later commented that Take-Two would “announce title-by-title awards,” but he reiterated the same point: games cost far more to make today than they did when the $ 60 price point was introduced.

Take-Two has already begun to show what some of this title-by-title consideration might look like, as the company plans to offer a free, independent version of its popular (and lucrative) Grand Theft Auto Online game mode for PlayStation 5 customers next year.

Other companies, such as Ubisoft, have chosen to take a stand on the subject and promised free upgrades and no price increase on cross-generation games released this fall – without committing to avoiding further increases on the line, as it exclusively produces the next generation titles.

Zelnick is not mistaken: as Polygon notes that the cost of gaming has been almost bizarrely unchanged, even as almost every other aspect of the economy (both entertainment-focused and otherwise) has seen prices creep up over time. Adjusted for inflation, a $ 60 game in 2005 would cost over $ 80 by 2020 – meaning that even a $ 70 price jump is relatively cheaper.

And in the face of the prospect of next-generation gaming – which promises to be even bigger and more expensive to produce than today’s current AAA titles – it’s hard to imagine a world where the price of gaming does not increase to make development sustainable.

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