The thing is, players have already been paying far more than $70 for games. Through deluxe editions, Day 1 DLC, microtransactions, and more, spending is up this generation.
So why the complaints? Games, especially in the AAA space, are only getting more expensive to develop. PlayStation exclusive The Last of Us Part 2 had a budget that rivals a Hollywood blockbuster . Should developers receive a little more in return?
Hell, microtransactions exist to fund these more expensive games. They’re the reason a title like Rocket League can go on for years without forcing players to spend more.
Unless they own a digital storefront like Steam, publishers also take cuts for listing both digitally and physically. With all of these lost funds, it’s any wonder prices haven’t gone up sooner.
It’s not like gamers don’t have an alternative. Digital sales happen all the time. Game Pass and PSNow offer hundreds of titles for a sixth of the price of one game. There’s also the prominent indie scene.
To assume all next-generation titles will hit $70 is jumping the gun, too. We shouldn’t be surprised that greedy publishers like 2K are raising prices, but Uncharted 5, Spider-Man 2, and Gears of War 6 are guaranteed to provide detailed, immersive experiences that would be a steal at $60.
That said, prices will probably exist in a tier system. Whereas a AAA single-player title will hit $70, a next-gen Crash Bandicoot might be $40 or $50. Tiered pricing sounds fairer to both parties. This isn’t to mention players will pay more for franchises they love.
Regardless, if something doesn’t change soon, the games industry is bound to implode. Developers may struggle with higher costs but stagnant incomes. Former Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Shawn Layden said it himself – AAA game development in its current state is simply unsustainable .