Any hope of Sony feeling pressured into reducing the price of its first-party releases looks over, as Microsoft has announced plans to increase the cost of its own exclusives. While the dynamics aren’t directly comparable – Xbox owners will point to Game Pass as an alternative, cheaper means of playing the Redmond firm’s output at launch – it does look as though $70 releases are here to stay. Most third-party publishers – including EA, Ubisoft, and 2K Games – have also adopted the tag.
Representatives from Microsoft pointed to “the content, scale, and technical complexity” of its titles as a reason for the increase. During the PS3 and PS4 era, most new games retailed for $60, so this represents a $10 increase overall. Of course, while we’re hesitant to defend juggernaut publishers who are registering record profits, there’s simply no denying that games cost more money to make now than they did in 2006.
Xbox’s pricing alterations will occur when it rolls out new releases in 2023, although it’s important to point out that this change could potentially have occurred earlier had the manufacturer actually deployed any tentpole titles in 2022. Nevertheless, Nintendo is the only remaining platform holder not to jump on the $70 bandwagon, but we’ll be shocked if games for the Switch’s successor don’t adopt the higher price tag, too.