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Take-Two Interactive CEO defends next-generation price hike

The next generation of gaming consoles is on the way, but PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X / S may not just bring better graphics and more advanced technology. The new consoles could also introduce a higher price tag for the games themselves, with the $ 60 norm having been a standard since 2005 potentially being nullified.

This isn’t necessarily a problem, according to Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two Interactive, who defended the idea of ​​a next-generation price hike in an interview with Protocol.

“The bottom line is that we haven’t seen frontline price hikes for nearly 1

5 years and manufacturing costs have gone up by 200 to 300 percent. But more specifically since nobody really cares what the cost of production is, what consumers are able to deal with the product has completely changed, ”Zelnick said.

“We supply a much, much larger game for $ 60 or $ 70 than we had for $ 60 10 years ago. The opportunity to spend money online is entirely optional and not a free-to-play title. It’s a complete and incredibly solid experience even if you never spend another cent after the initial purchase. “

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

The news was met with considerable backlash from a community of customers who have grown accustomed to the $ 60 price tag over the past decade and a half that has been the industry norm. Zelnick later commented that Take-Two would “announce pricing title by title,” but reiterated the same point: games cost a lot more today than when the $ 60 price was introduced.

Take-Two has already begun to show what some of those considerations might look like title-by-title, with the company planning to offer a free, standalone version of its popular (and profitable) version. Grand Theft Auto Online game mode for PlayStation 5 customers next year.

Other companies, such as Ubisoft, have decided to focus on the issue, promising free updates and no price increases for cross-generation games released this fall, without making a commitment to avoid further increases as it only produces next-generation titles.

Zelnick is not wrong: how Polygon notes that the cost of games has remained almost strangely unchanged, even though almost every other aspect of the economy (whether it is entertainment-centric or otherwise) has seen prices soar over time. Adjusting for inflation, a $ 60 game in 2005 would cost over $ 80 in 2020, which means that a $ 70 price increase is comparatively cheaper too.

And with the prospect of next-gen games, which promise to be even bigger and more expensive to produce than today’s AAA titles, it’s hard to imagine a world where the price of games it does not do it increase to make development sustainable.

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