It looks like AAA games for the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 will finally make a pricing leap upwards, by $10 to $69.99 when compared to current- and previous-generation AAA titles.
The price hike was first reported by GameIndustry.biz, though rumors have been circulating for months. AAA titles for the Xbox 360, which launched in 2005, and Xbox One and PlayStation 4, which launched in 2013, sold for $59.99, an unusual amount of time without a price increase.
“The shift to $69.99 should have taken place in 2013,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella tweeted. “But folks thought mobile was a threat to the console business. Instead we got collector’s, silver and gold editions that elevate above $59.99 anyway.” Not to mention “season pass” type offers.
“[AAA game pricing has] been $59.99 since I started in this business, but the cost of games have gone up ten times [during that period],” former PlayStation exec Shawn Layden said at an industry event last month. “If you don’t have elasticity on the price-point, but you have huge volatility on the cost line, the model becomes more difficult. I think this generation is going to see those two imperatives collide.”
Another solution, of course, is to create shorter games with less replayability. And I suspect we’ll see some of that as well, though that type of game is already quite common, especially with independent game developers.