More game publishers are reportedly considering raising prices for Xbox Series X and PS5 games

Nba 2k21
Nba 2k21 (Image credit: Visual Concepts)

What you need to know

  • 2K Games announced that the Xbox Series X and PS5 versions of NBA 2K21 will cost $70.
  • Per games consulting firm IDG, other publishers are exploring raising prices as well.
  • This is due to the increased cost of game development.

Today, 2K Games revealed that the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 versions of NBA 2K21 will cost $70, which is $10 more than the average $60 release price for the current generation of console games. It's also increasingly unlikely that 2K Games will be the only publisher to raise prices as the next generation arrives.

Speaking with GamesIndustry.biz, games research firm IDG Consulting explained that the price of making games has only gone up, with development costs rising anywhere from 200% to 300%. Meanwhile, game prices have not risen since the release of the Xbox 360 and PS3 in 2005 and 2006 respectively, which saw new game releases go from an average of $50 to $60.

IDG explains its sources indicate many game publishers are considering this price hike and that while a $10 increase in pricing doesn't completely cover these increased game development costs, it does "...move it more in the proper direction." IDG also noted that while not every game warrants a price raise, "flagship AAAs" will be the most likely to see the new $70 baseline price.

With game costs rising, it'll be interesting to see how subscription services like Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation now are affected. The Xbox Series X and PS5 are both scheduled to release in Holiday 2020.

Related: With next-gen Xbox Series X and PS5 games at $70, Xbox Game Pass becomes even more valuable

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Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.

23 Comments
  • I will support this.. But I have my doubts for sport games, for me they don't offer leaps between games than just more sweat and grass and a new year pasted on the cover.
  • I agree and disagree. Yes the cost of development is going up, but also sales numbers are going up. There are movie budgets above 300 thousand, but they can handle it because of the amount of people going to the movies. For some reason people don't really take that into account too often.
  • Uh, movie prices have gone up significantly in the last fifteen years.
  • Honestly, I don't have a problem with this provided the price increase is going towards the rising costs of game development and not just another means of lining the pockets of CEOs like Bobby Kotick, Strauss Zelnick and Randy Pitchford (I know he's not a CEO) to name a few, who give themselves huge bonuses while laying off employees and screwing over the game developers. It is funny that this announcement comes after the UK announced that loot boxes are gambling. Hell, I'd pay even more if it meant that I would never have to deal with loot boxes, season passes, or any other micro-transactions ever again.
  • I support this for games that do not have micro transactions. The 2k game I'm not going to buy because they try already make so much on this and now they are raising the price on it as well. It's a yearly franchise. Many companies are just going to take advantage of this even though they will just take it as profit instead of reinvestment.
  • I mostly agree, but it's not a bad thing for us as players if games become more profitable: if they are more profitable, that encourages the big guys with deep pockets to invest in more studios and take bigger risks, which also means more interesting games (potentially). Low profit, ensures no risk-taking, which tends to lead to more boring me-too games. Just the law of economics. But yeah, as a player, I really hate loot boxes and microtransactions (in most cases, in some games they're fine, like Minecraft's cosmetic skins) and look for games that avoid them, like the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077.
  • @Granite
    It depend if the profit comes from DLC and microtransactions.
    Look at Rockstar as en example.
    2008: GTA IV
    2009: GTA IV 2 new story DLC
    2010: Red Dead Redemption
    2011: L.A. Noire
    2012: Max Payne 3
    2013: GTA V
    2014:
    2015:
    2016:
    2017:
    2018: Red Dead Redemption 2
    2019:
    2020: If the profit is made from microtransactions is the way they make the profit than that will only encourage them to add more microtransactions.
    Consider the amount of microtransaction and bs they stuff into their games, 2K Games doing it with NBA 2K21 is a joke. And an insult to gamers everywhere. We must boycott this if we don't want it to spread.
    The whole thing about the lootbox of Star Wars Battlefront 2 was a wake up call for these greedy publishers, and it slowed the growth a little. We as gamers shouldn't let go...
  • That’s insane. Games are already ridiculous. So glad I signed up for game pass!
  • Yeah make games even more unreachable
  • This could be a good thing or terrible for the industry... We could imagine publishers might take more smaller games or niche project with 30 bucks or below price mark while they cash more on big franchises... Or it could end up in a greed fest... Could go both ways...
  • Lol, this whole proposition can only go the way of a greed fest. And worse yet, this actually SUPPORTS rather than fights awful practices like making developers and workers crunch to death. This is all a result of console gaming logic and BS like "hardware generations". For PC, they release the best a game can look at 60 bucks, and don't charge more or less depending on how well your system can run it. All this without taking into account microtransactions, DLCs, and multiple ways publishers are already getting more money out of the development cycle. And don't get me started about greddy/lazy publishers like 2K/Ubisoft/EA/Activision that release the same game each year with minimal updates.
  • Awfully lame As it always happens, this will affect PC games, which have an entirely different logic (ie, not bound to "hardware generations". So us PC gamers will have to pay more for games why? Because publishers say "we need to work a bit more to make games look good, hurr durrr"? Sorry but as an argument it's BS.
  • NBA2K21 with Damian Lillard is cheaper on Steam, selling at the usual $59.99.
  • So this would add another $10 million to every million units that are sold, assuming sales numbers stayed consistent. But they won't, because there will be some that feel that's too much for them to afford. If you play around with the numbers, this is a risk that may not yield sufficient rewards to justify the bad PR.
  • Eh, RRP means absolutely diddly squat in Australia, nobody ever pays full retail for games except for parents buying for their kids.
  • True, but if the RRP price increase, the average cost of games should also increase. And for everyone.
    If today I spend 45-50 bucks to get Ghost of Tsushima day one while the RRP is 60. If the price rise to 70, I might end up needing to pay 55-60 bucks. That's what happened when PS+ price rose in Europe from €50 to €60. Back then, €30-35 was considered a good deal. Now €40-45 is considered a good deal. It was quite surprising how quickly people got used to the new norm and were happy to pay €40 . The same people who would find it too expensive one year back...
  • And inflation is a thing that exists. Hell I could buy a bottle of Coca-Cola for $2.50 ten years ago, now it's pushing $4-4.50, prices rise, yet game prices haven't (in fact they have gotten cheaper in terms of retail price since the PSX/N64 days).
  • I've talked about this on some of my other post. A game as a product is not the same thing as what it was 20 or even 10 years ago. Now we have "services" that just focuses on how to make more money out of us. Often the $60 games are just entry level. Often these games are using free2play economics. I'm sorry but free2play games cannot become $70 games just because of inflation. NBA 2k21 is one of the WORST example of this. The idea that they are the ones pushing for it is disgusting. If you want to talk about inflation, sure go ahead but let these games not have a single microtransaction, no boost pack, no cutting the game into million of exclusive content or DLCs, No gambling mechanism, no needing to pay to play online, no "getting the game late if you don't pay more"...
  • Adjusting for inflation alone would've made it $78...what a bargain!
  • Ah I knew we'll get someone talking about inflation over here. :D
    That argument is so basic and simple minded.
    There are a LOT of things to consider here $60 as an entry level or shell price, microtransactions, games as a service, various schemes like "get the game late if you don't pay", much bigger audience and market, limited or special editions, exclusive content, DLCs and the dissection of games... And finally let's talk facts and numbers? Here is an old video that considers marketing, development, cost of goods sold and record profits of EA, activision and Ubisoft all adjusted for inflation. The content is still relevant today. And 2K Games doing it for NBA 2K21 is one of the biggest joke around We can clearly see that the overall trend is that the cost has actually dropped and there has been record profits.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qq6HcKj59Q
  • I remember when n64 games were $80.
    That was real value!
  • Wonder if Microsoft and Sony are asking for a higher cut on third party titles? If they're gonna lose money on their next gen consoles they need to make it up somehow.
  • I doubt it. I think their priority is to sell consoles. This price hike wouldn't encourage people to rush and get a new console. I think this is just an historically greedy publisher being greedy by testing the waters to see if people are going to fall for it...