In brief: AAA video games have been priced at $60 for roughly a decade and a half now. However, as games evolve technologically and graphically, the cost of development has increased. Microtransactions are a popular way to recoup those costs and bring in more profit, but increased base price tags are another emerging trend for some AAA publishers.
Take-Two shocked the gaming world when it announced that NBA 2K21 would cost $70 on next-gen consoles. It was a decision that many gamers saw coming, but that didn't make it any easier for everyone to swallow.
Gamers likely hoped Take-Two's decision would be a one-off move, but the new price point has already started to ripple out to other AAA publishers.
In the wake of Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War announcement today, the company has revealed that Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 versions of the upcoming shooter will also cost a whopping $70.
Activision is calling this $70 version a "Cross-Gen Bundle" because it has backward compatibility with current-gen consoles. However, that's more of a marketing distinction than a practical one.
Since there isn't a next-gen-only version yet (without current-gen access thrown in), if you want a PS5 or Xbox Series X copy, there's no way to not shell out that extra $10 -- for now. There's also an $80 Ultimate Edition which includes everything the Cross-Gen bundle has, in addition to extra cosmetic skins and Cold War's Season Pass.
Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War launches on November 13 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The next-gen release date is still undetermined, but it should take place sometime in "Holiday 2020."