NBA 2K21 will be priced at $70 on PS5 and Xbox Series X instead of the current $60 price tag that games have carried for 15 years. When that was revealed last month, it wasn't necessarily welcomed with open arms. Many saw it as the first domino to fall before the industry eventually embraces the $10 price hike. In other words, the hobby just got more expensive.
Whether or not that's true -- Ubisoft has already said it's not raising the price of its games (for now) -- Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick believes the quality of Rockstar and 2K's titles justify the extra $10. In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Zelnick says "The pricing has to reflect the quality of the experience, and we aim to provide the best experiences in the business. And from our point of view, it's an extremely modest price change given that prices haven't changed for a very long time."
Zelnick goes on to cite costlier development and the caliber of experience on next-generation consoles as two factors that informed Take-Two's decision to charge an extra $10. Judging by the language Zelnick uses during the interview, you get the impression that the $70 price tag isn't a one-off for NBA 2K21. Sales will have to really slump to keep this from becoming permanent for Take-Two.
Really, this isn't so much about the quality of the experience as it is the popularity of the experience. Franchises like Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, NBA 2K, and (to a lesser extent) Borderlands absolutely print money. There are a handful of properties in all of video games that can charge a premium and get away with it, leaving consumers to grumble but stop short off missing out on the next big game. It just so happens that Take-Two is a holding company that owns a lot of those, putting it in prime position to lead the charge.
Take-Two: Next-gen software price hikes "reflect the quality of the experience" [GamesIndustry.biz]