Video games are expensive, mainly because they offer experiences up to and excess of 100 hours in some cases. They also cost a lot to make and take quite a lot of time. So with the new generation of consoles the question of AAA games increasing their price tag has been raised a few times, and Take Two says consumers are ready for $70 games, but not all titles will be priced like that.
Speaking at a recent conference, CEO of Take-Two Interactive, Strauss Zelnick, reiterated their company’s stance on increasing the price of AAA games by $10, bringing the total cost to around $70 for the biggest releases. The first time this was brought up was when Take Two announced that the upcoming NBA 2K21 game would be priced at $69.99:
“In terms of pricing, we announced a $70 price point for NBA 2K21. Our view was that we're offering an extraordinary array of experiences and lots of replayability. The last time there was a frontline price increase in the U.S. was in 2005-2006. So we think consumers were ready for it,” said Zelnick.
However, it turns out this wouldn’t just be the new norm for all other Take Two games moving forward. In fact, it would be announced on a per game basis depending on the kind of value they offer:
“We haven't said anything about pricing other titles so far. We tend to make announcements on a title-by-title basis. Our view is to always deliver more value than what we charge, to make sure both the experience and paying for the experience are positive for the consumer.”
The point is to make sure that customers are happy with the experience and are willing to pay that amount if there was enough value attached to it. For instance, a linear game with a short story and little replay value would anger most consumers if it was priced at $70, but a game like Grand Theft Auto 5 that offers over 100s of hours of replayable content would be justified:
“We all know anecdotally that even if you love a consumer experience, if you feel you were overcharged for it, it ruins the experience and you don't want to have it again. If you go to a nice restaurant and have a great experience and a great meal, but the check is double what you think it should be, you're never going back.”
“We always want consumers to feel that we deliver much more than we ask in return. That's true for recurring consumer spending as well. We're here to activate and engage consumers, and if we do that, monetization follows.”
So don’t expect every game from Take-Two Interactive to be priced at $70, but you can sure bet that the next Grand Theft Auto 6 will most likely be a $70 game.
What do you think? Is a $70 price tag justified if the game has enough value for it? Would you pay $70 for a game if you knew it was worth it? What other big games do you think will be priced like that? Let us know!