Beginning in 2023, Microsoft will raise the prices of its first-party games to $70. Microsoft is following in the footsteps of other developers like Sony, Ubisoft, and Take-Two Interactive, which have already announced the new $70 price point on select upcoming titles.
News of the company’s upcoming price increases spread like wildfire when a Microsoft spokesperson told IGN.
“This price reflects the content, scale, and technical complexity of these titles… As with all games developed by our teams at Xbox, they will also be available with Game Pass the same day they launch.”
Microsoft’s head of gaming, Phil Spencer, explained to The Wall Street Journal back in October that “We’ve held price on our console, we’ve held price on games, and our subscription… I don’t think we’ll be able to do that forever. I do think at some point we’ll have to raise some prices on certain things.”
The company has announced that its upcoming vampire shooter, Redfall, space exploration game, Starfield, and the latest installment of Forza Motorsport will be the first games to include the price increase.
For the past 20 years, gamers have “enjoyed” the standard $60 price point on new titles. The jump from $50 to $60 games occurred during the late 1990s/ early 2000s, during the 6th generation of consoles. If you need reminding, these were the Microsoft Xbox, Sony PlayStation 2, and Nintendo Gamecube.
Gamers will no doubt be irritated with the change. At the same time, it’s necessary to recognize that modern AAA titles now require massive teams and even bigger budgets.
For example, consider the following expenses of “modern” AAA titles:
• Developer CD Projekt Red released Cyberpunk 2077 in 2020 with a total project cost of $316 million.
• Developer Infinity Ward released Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in 2009 with a total project cost of $250 million.
• Developer Bungie released Destiny in 2014 with a total project cost of $140 million.
(Mind you, these total project costs do not account for subsequent inflation numbers.)
Thankfully, Microsoft reassured gamers that current title prices, including subscription fees for its vaunted Game Pass membership, will remain throughout the holiday shopping season.
… Just as a suggestion, now would be a great time to save some cash on 2022’s hottest games…
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