Starting next year, Microsoft will raise the price of its first-party games from $60 to $70, joining other publishers and video game companies doing the same. Welcome to the $70 game eraPeople.
For a number of years, publishers and developers have been suggesting that game prices are increasing as development costs rise and high-maintenance online games become more popular. And while some $70 games popped up with the launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S in 2020, it wasn’t until this fall that we saw more of the industry shifting towards these moved towards a new, higher price Gotham Knights, Modern Warfare II and God of War Ragnarok on PS5. And next year, Microsoft — which has held back on raising prices this holiday season — is joining other publishers and developers in this new, pricier era of video games.
As reported by IGN earlier today, Xbox has confirmed that its future first-party games being developed for its next-gen Xbox consoles will cost $70 starting next year. That includes titles like Bethesda’s highly anticipated sci-fi RPG starfield and arcane vampire shooter redfall and the next Forza Motorsport.
“This price reflects the content, scope and technical complexity of these titles,” said a Microsoft spokesman IGN. “Like all games developed by our teams at Xbox, they will also be available with Game Pass the same day they are released.”
kotaku contacted Microsoft about the price increase.
This surge isn’t too surprising given that the entire industry seems to be transitioning to $70 games and subscriptions. Even Xbox boss Phil Spencer indicated the increase in October, suggesting the company couldn’t and wouldn’t hold its prices forever, adding that the cost of games, Game Pass or Xbox consoles would likely increase after the 2022 holiday season. And now that the year is coming to an end, here we are, and here comes the $70 Xbox games.
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Some might be quick to point out that this price increase doesn’t matter to many, as Xbox Game Pass will continue to provide access to all future first-party Xbox releases on console and PC. 2020 Xbox Head of Marketing Aaron Greenberg wondered if the price of a game even matters on Game Pass. But for people who’d rather just buy one or two games a year, or who like to own their games and don’t want a monthly subscription, things are about to get a bit more expensive.
It’s also interesting to wonder at what price point starfield or redfall would have been launched at if they had instead made their originally planned 2022 release dates postponed to 2023. Would Microsoft have made the $70 shift this year or would have left it starfield and/or the vampire shooter release as the last first-party $60 games before this change?