The first next gen video game to reveal its price tag is £5 more expensive than the current gen, but is that set to become the new standard?
On the face of it the recent announcement about the next gen versions of NBA 2K21 only seems to be of interest to basketball fans, but it may have also revealed something important about the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X: a price rise for their games.
While the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of NBA 2K21 will be £59.99 the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 versions are £64.99, according to publisher 2K.
Price rises are rare for video games, and in many cases they’re still cheaper than they were during the 16-bit area, but while it’s only £5, a blanket price may not go down well with fans.
The only way to know for sure is when other games announce their prices but what’s probably going on here is that £64.99 will only be reserved for high-profile multiformat games, in the same way that the current maximum of £59.99 generally only applies to mainstream titles such as FIFA and Call Of Duty.
Most other games are generally £54.99 or less at the moment, even big name first party titles such as The Last Of Us Part 2. It is possible though that £59.99 could take over as the new standard, with £64.99 being reserved for only a select few.
Only a few weeks ago former Sony exec Shawn Layden said that current AAA video game production is ‘not sustainable’ as it becomes more and more expensive, and takes longer and longer, to make games of the standard of something like The Last Of Us Part 2.
His suggestion, which has been echoed by many recently, is that companies should try to make shorter games that take less time to make, as a way to compensate for the fact that game prices have barely ever changed and yet the cost of development has increased tenfold compared to previous generations.
In those terms though a £5 increase isn’t going to make any real difference, even if it does cause problems for many gamers.
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