Xbox’s chief financial officer Tim Stuart has revealed that the gaming company may push for games to move into the $70 price point sometime in the future. “I think we’re not making specific announcements on first-party pricing yet,” he said. “So we’ll do that sort of in due time.” There’s no timetable yet, but things could move in that direction at some point.
He made it very clear that this is a move that they think should happen at some point, as the industry has done it before. “Prices have not gone up in — what, for a couple of generations now, so it’s not unheard of to see things like this going on,” the Xbox CFO lamented.
Sony has already pushed for this shift with the PS5, urging game publishers to aim for the higher price point for AAA games. This sentiment is also common among various AAA publishers. 2K Games’ Strauss Zelnick has said that he feels very similarly, and that a price increase should happen.
“And to the point earlier, content creation costs go up. And these publishers and content creators, including ourselves, want to make sure you’re driving the right gross margin profiles, the right earnings profiles of what it takes to build these new, awesome, amazing games. And you want to make sure you have a good top line to support that.”
It’s not really surprising to hear these big companies argue in favor of bigger budgets pushing for bigger price tags. A lot of gamers are going to disagree with this assertion though, especially coming from multi-billion dollar companies that churn out games through crunch and other abuses. The common line of reasoning to reject price increases is that most of the profits will end up benefiting marketing budgets and executive pay, not the actual developers who do the grunt work. And given the industry’s penchant for a complete lack of both job security and sane work hours, it’s a pretty compelling argument.