A New Chapter in Video Gaming: $70 Price Tag Becomes the Norm

KEY TAKEAWAYS
The video game industry is witnessing a shift in game prices, with the traditional $60 standard being challenged by a $70 price tag.
Take-Two Interactive was the first company to raise its standard game prices to $70, and other companies, such as NetherRealm Studios, are following suit.
Consumers have shown a willingness to pay the higher prices for games they care about or that offer significant value, as seen by the lack of significant resistance to the price increase.
The performance and quality of games sold at the $70 price point will be under scrutiny, as gamers expect a premium experience.
Microsoft and Sega are also considering adopting the $70 price for some games in their catalog, signaling a broader industry trend.
The long-term sustainability of the $70 pricing model and its impact on the gaming landscape, including the divide between blockbuster games and value offerings, remains to be seen.

 

The landscape of the video gaming industry is changing, and at its forefront is a surprising, if not controversial, trend: the steady rise of game prices.

The traditional $60 standard price for a video game has been challenged by an imposing $70 figure back in 2020. This inflation of game prices was initially led by Take-Two Interactive, making it the first company to officially raise its standard game prices from $60 to $70.

Despite initial pushback from players, many have adjusted to this change and are willing to shell out more for the gaming experiences they crave.

During an earnings call, Take-Two’s Strauss Zelnick admitted that there was no significant resistance to the higher prices.

On the contrary, consumers appear to be directing their funds towards games they genuinely care about or ones that offer considerable value.

NetherRealm Studios Follows Suit

NetherRealm Studios, known for its popular Mortal Kombat franchise, is the latest game company to embrace the $70 price tag.

The studio’s upcoming release, Mortal Kombat 1, a reboot of the long-running franchise, will carry this new price tag when it launches on the Nintendo Switch and other platforms such as PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC on September 19.

The Switch port of Mortal Kombat 1, which is being developed by Shiver Entertainment and Saber Interactive, becomes the second game on the platform to adopt the $70 price tag, following Nintendo’s own The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

That said, Nintendo clarified that the $70 price would not be universally applied, with Pikmin 4 set to launch in July at the usual $60 price point.

The Switch port of Mortal Kombat 1, which is being developed by Shiver Entertainment and Saber Interactive, becomes the second game on the platform to adopt the $70 price tag, following Nintendo’s own The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

Performance and Price: A Delicate Balance

With Mortal Kombat 1 being sold at the $70 price point, gamers are understandably apprehensive.

Previous Mortal Kombat games on the Switch, while playable, encountered some visual and performance issues, particularly with online modes.

There is hope, however, that Mortal Kombat 1 will deliver an experience worthy of its price tag.

Other Players in the Industry

Microsoft and Sega are other significant players in the industry keeping a close eye on this trend.

Microsoft’s vampire shooter, Redfall, became its first $70 game. Meanwhile, Sega, after witnessing the global market’s gradual acceptance of higher prices, is considering the same move for some games in its catalog.

Towards a New Pricing Landscape

As we move further into 2023, it’s clear that the $70 game price is gradually replacing the old $60 standard for major game releases.

While the gaming community might initially express resistance, many are willing to pay this premium for games they truly love.

As this new pricing trend establishes itself, the quality of the games, particularly those demanding a higher price, will undeniably be under more scrutiny.

Only time will tell if this pricing model will be sustainable in the long run, or if it will result in a deeper divide between blockbuster games and value offerings.

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