What just happened? Skyrim: Anniversary Edition debuted unexpectedly on the Nintendo Switch last week at the sky-high price of $70. It claims the dubious honor of being the first AAA title to break the $60 barrier on the handheld device, and it's also the most expensive edition of Skyrim to come out in recent memory.
Skyrim on the Switch has always been an oddball. It launched on November 17, 2017, and, apart from the addition of some trinkets borrowed from Breath of the Wild, is a straight port of the original game. Yes, the original game — not the Special Edition from 2016 or the Legendary Edition from 2013.
Bethesda released the Anniversary Edition on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC on November 11 last year to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the original game. It cost $50 outright but was also available as a $20 upgrade for Special Edition owners. Many players deemed it too costly, and Bethesda discounted it to $30 on consoles by December.
Now Bethesda expects some of those same fans to pick it up for even more on the handheld? Kotaku theorizes that Bethesda chose the $70 price point because they didn't want to discount the base game, which still costs $60.
Who would have thought Skyrim would be the game to show up with the 70 dollar price point on Switch. pic.twitter.com/u78HJZbuDT— Spawn Wave (@SpawnWaveMedia) September 29, 2022
The point is that charging $70 for the title now is almost comical. It's also --once again --available as a $20 upgrade for owners of the base game, which is a slightly better proposition. But at the end of the day, it amounts to an unreasonable levy imposed on the game's most diehard fans.
There are titles in the Switch store that cost more than $70 and similarly come bundled with DLC and other bonus content. Skyrim aside, no major release has jumped from the $60 price point that has held steadfast for about fifteen years to the looming $70 standard. It's only a matter of time until other publishers join Bethesda.
Take-Two was the first to announce that it was slowly increasing its prices to account for the swelling costs of production. Ubisoft, Activision, Sony, and Square Enix have all adopted the $70 entry point on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC. I'd wager that The Elder Scrolls: VI will also cost $70.