Starting next year, Microsoft will raise the price of its first-party games from $60 to $70, joining other publishers and video game companies who are doing the same. Welcome to the era of the $70 game, folks.
For a few years now publishers and developers have hinted at game prices increasing as development costs rise and expensive-to-maintain online games become more and more popular. And while some $70 games popped up with the launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S in 2020, it wasn’t until this fall that we saw more of the industry move toward this new, higher price with the release of $70 games like Gotham Knights, Modern Warfare II and God of War Ragnarök on PS5. And next year, Microsoft—which has held back on raising prices this holiday season—joins other publishers and developers in this new, pricier era of video games.
As reported by IGN earlier today, Xbox has confirmed that its future first-party games developed for its next-gen Xbox consoles will cost $70 starting next year. This includes titles like Bethesda’s highly-anticipated sci-fi RPG Starfield as well as Arkane’s vampire shooter Redfall and the next Forza Motorsport.
“This price reflects the content, scale, and technical complexity of these titles,” a Microsoft spokesperson told IGN. “As with all games developed by our teams at Xbox, they will also be available with Game Pass the same day they launch.”
Kotaku has reached out to Microsoft about the price increase.
This increase isn’t too surprising as the entire industry seems to be shifting to $70 games and subscriptions. Even Xbox boss Phil Spencer hinted toward the increase in October, suggesting that the company couldn’t and wouldn’t hold its prices forever, adding that the cost of games, Game Pass, or Xbox consoles would likely increase after the 2022 holiday season. And now, as the year winds down, here we are, and here come the $70 Xbox games.
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Some may be quick to point out that this price increase won’t matter to many as Xbox Game Pass will continue to provide access to all future Xbox first-party releases across console and PC. In 2020, Xbox head of marketing Aaron Greenberg wondered if the price of a game even matters with Game Pass. But for folks who prefer to buy just one or two games a year or who like owning their games and don’t want a monthly subscription, things are about to get a bit more expensive.
It’s also interesting to wonder what price point Starfield or Redfall would have launched at had they made their originally planned 2022 release dates instead of being delayed into 2023. Would Microsoft have made the $70 shift this year, or would it have let Starfield and/or the vampire shooter release as its last first-party $60 games before making this change?
Update 12/05/2022 7:36 p.m. ET: A Microsoft spokesperson told Kotaku:
Yes, our new, full-priced, games will be $69.99 across console and PC storefronts. This price reflects the content, scale, and complexity of these titles, regardless of platform. These games will also be available on day one with Game Pass.