Are you "ready" for $70 video games? Take-Two's CEO says we are


Posts: 7,778   +79
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A hot potato: There's more talk about the era of $60 video games coming to an end, with $70 set to become the new standard. But don't worry: Take-Two's CEO insists we're "ready" for the price increase.

Talking during the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference last week (transcribed by VGC), Strauss Zelnick, boss of Rockstar/2K parent Take-Two Interactive, was asked why NBA 2K21 was $10 more expensive than most new titles. His justification? It's a good game with plenty of replayability, and there hasn't been a price jump in fifteen years.

"We announced a $70 price point for NBA 2K21, our view was that we're offering an array of extraordinary experiences, lots of replayability, and the last time there was a frontline price increase in the US was 2005, 2006, so we think consumers were ready for it," Zelnick explained.

As noted by Eurogamer, it could be argued that few titles back then came with microtransactions, game passes, DLC, expansions, and other methods of squeezing more money from consumers.

Zelnick did hint that not all future games will cost $70, insisting that prices will be determined on a title-by-title basis. "But I think our view is [that we want to] always deliver more value than what we charge, make sure the consumer has the experience and […] the experience of paying for it, both are positive experiences," he said.

"We all know anecdotally that even if you love a consumer experience, if you feel you were overcharged for it, it ruins the experience, you don't want to have it again. [If you] go to a great restaurant, a really, really fine restaurant, have a great meal and great service, then you get a check that's double what you think it should be, you're never going back."

"So we always want to make sure that consumers feel like we deliver much more than we ask in return, and that's true for our current consumer spending as well," he added. "We're an entertainment company, we're here to captivate and engage consumers, and if we do that then monetization follows."

In August, Take-Two said charging $70 for NBA 2K21 was "justified" because of the higher development costs and improved user experience. The game faced more controversy last year when unskippable ads appeared on the loading screens, though the company later said they were not meant to run as part of the pre-game introduction and would be removed.

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Posts: 5,464   +4,395
TechSpot Elite
I'm sure that this is their MO: for the extra 10$ you will get in-game currency worth 1-2$, which is just shy of actually being able to pay for something from the store, which will force users to pay another 5-10$ for the cheapest bundle of fake coins if they want to use it. 70$ FTW
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Posts: 888   +737
TechSpot Elite
Take Two can get to f*ck.

Granted SOME games are worth $70/£70 but not the churned out rubbish like NBA, Fifa, Madden etc. These games constantly reuse assets, they barely invest in them YoY, just the eStores.

GTA 6 will be worth $70/£70 sure, and other sprawling open games with cutting edge graphics, gameplay, sound/ design etc. but I think what's most interesting is bigger, shinier, newer doesn't mean better.


Posts: 4,334   +4,970
Games are already costing ~$160 with season passes and then developers want to throw microtransactions in there.

Now that I think about all this, I don't really understand why there is a graphics card shortage because most new games aren't even worth playing.

If you want to sell me the whole "experience" for $70, upfront with no BS, I'm okay with that. I can spend more than $70 at the bar in a night. But don't raise the price of games by $10, take out features and then sell them back to us. I'm not going to be paying $70 for a demo.


Posts: 23   +84
I buy games on sale several years after the release for 10% to 20% of their original price, and even then some games fail to make me feel they are worth it. Buying any game at the full price (not to mention preordering it) when you can wait several months and get it with a substantial discount just doesn't make sense to me, with so many older games to keep yourself occupied during the wait.


Posts: 3,317   +5,508
2K has said something similar for the last 2 generations of games. Same company tried to soft lock their own NBA games by disallowing save states because they were "server based" and you needed to upgrade to the newest version to save your game.

2K can suckstart a shotgun. They are just as corrupt as EA or Ubisoft.


Posts: 2,087   +3,990
Are publishers like Take Two ready? Because it seems to me that the fancy new consoles have been on a diminutive drip for several months so the "new tech, new better looking games!" is not valid considering that even by uncritically following their logic, they probably do not have enough install base on the new consoles to guarantee it. And beyond consoles well, it only gets far worst in terms of hardware availability for PCs anyway.

I think publishers should be honest and just say what they really mean: "We want to charge 70 base price for basically the exact same PS4 and Xbox one games you've been playing because we just want more of your money" Just drop the pretense of the newer tech supposedly having a much higher barrier of entry and such.


Posts: 1,185   +1,840
TechSpot Elite
Watching the video linked to the article... The game looks like crap.

The player movements, as well as all the other NPCs, are obscenely scripted... The faces simply don't move, and group character actions literally look like a flag was flipped and "action x" by all players perfectly happens at the same time.

Not life like at all, particularly when early on in the video the gentleman went to tuck in his jersey into his shorts, and his hand remained in the open palm position the entire time, like this was GTA3 back in the day.

Gameplay aside, this is the epitome of weak. Not only are they overcharging, they're lazy.


Posts: 4,310   +2,314
This is dissapointing. The only thing that could stop this is a change of heart, or lower sales revenue after the price hike.

Let's see where this ride takes us I guess.


Posts: 468   +699
When you copy and paste the same game from the year before... I'll pass on paying $70 for the game. Now some games are worth $70 but sport games aren't. Also with season pass games are already costing $90 easily ($59.99 game + $29.99 Season DLC pass).


Posts: 34   +21
I've never even paid 60 for a game, always waited for a sale so I'm sure not paying 70. Good luck with that, Take Two.


Posts: 2,354   +2,475
TechSpot Elite
Games are just clones of others more and more.
Games are more and more restrained by political correctness.
Games are far less polished and finished on release but get debugged in the field by paying customers.
Games are tougher than ever to remain competitive in without paying even more.
Games are more and more like a slot machine for publishers.
Games are more and more demanding and nearly impossible to see in their full glory after release because of the Crysis loop. More and more sales from people over the years as they want to see how their new or upgraded rigs stack up to others from years before.

Now in addition to all those "privileges" for us gamers they want $10 more.


Posts: 1,215   +1,699
Just a reminder, you can probably play 90% of GoG's catalog using a GT 710 that costs less than what this ******* Strauss is proposing a ""new"" video game costs.

Cubi Dorf

Posts: 372   +244
I am having no interest in this game. They would have to paying $70 to me for play it. People can voting with "their wallets" and see what is happen.


Posts: 144   +291
That's going to be a no for me. I can just wait a month or two for games to go on sale.

The only company that can get close to the original MSRP for games more than six months after release is Nintendo. Maybe that's because they don't sell rehashed or gimped versions of the same game and don't do a lot of DLC? We're looking at you EA and Activision.


Posts: 350   +152
A lot of AAA titles in the uk already hit the £65 - £70 purchase price. In most cases the base game is cheaper with the "exclusive" packages adding extra cost onto the purchase.

What it comes down to is if people buy the game for that amount. If they do, then yep we are ready for it.. if not, the game is a flop and it's onto the next project.

Given the amount of cash that consumers sink into their games. I think I would agree that most people can handle a price increase. Things like Season Passes and Loot Boxes, subscriptions, have already proven that people will pay more for additional content after initially buying a game.


Posts: 155   +255
I'd rather pay more for good games than have cheaper and crappier games. That said, never in my life will I pay for a sports game or any game that includes gambling mechanics as a big part of the online aspect.