2K Potentially Indicate Price Hike for Next Generation PS5, Xbox Series X Games

Prior to 2005 and the launch of the Xbox 360, the standard game pricing for new releases was $49.99 per title in the PS2/GameCube/Xbox era. While there was obvious scalability in pricing for major titles ten years prior, with games such as Street Fighter 2 and Mario 64 going for as much as $80, that depended on the retailer. Things did eventually sort out, but when the newer generation launched in 2005, games would be raised to $59.99 at release, which is where they have remained since. DLC was also introduced and the pricing seemed to factor in online play, which both ended up costing players more money down the road. Now, in 2020, it seems that companies might be following suit with the latest news from 2K.

2K has announced its cover athletes for the upcoming versions of its NBA 2K21, but perhaps most interesting is that the press release contained pricing information for each version. The current generation version of NBA 2K21 will launch at its normal price of $59.99. There will be a Mamba Forever Edition, which includes both current and next generation titles for $99.99, featuring a tribute to the late Kobe Bryant. This seems like a solid deal, although companies like EA are offering free upgrades to Madden NFL 21. Obviously, you can’t expect all companies to follow suit. There is a big kicker to this, though.

2K has noted that the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X versions of NBA 2K21 will be retailing for $69.99. This is ten dollars higher and potentially a bad sign for consumers’ wallets of what’s to come. It has also been confirmed that the price will go up in Canada, as well. This move comes prior to consoles being priced or a release date given, nor any other game pricing announced. While Madden NFL 21 might be getting a free upgrade from the current generation of games, no pricing has been provided for the standalone PS5 or Xbox Series X versions. This is the first pricing we have seen for a new release for the next generation.

What makes matters worse is that on top of charging $99.99 for the Mamba Forever Edition, which is traditionally the Legend Edition of the game, it will most likely be bulked with Virtual Currency for the game and no physical merchandise or entities. To make matters even worse, 2K has completely gone the way of depending on MyTEAM and MyCAREER. These are filled with microtransactions and literal gambling. Taking that into consideration, it’s hard not to see hiking the price of the game alone as anything but disgraceful. One can argue that all games across the board for the next generation will be the same price, but that’s terrible as well. A lot of standard versions of games such as Battlefield or Call of Duty come pretty barebones as EA and Activision emphasize purchasing the season pass.

Plenty of major heads in the industry over the years had mentioned the need to increase the prices of games due to the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a company’s goals for release. That may be more understandable for titles that launch every few years or even new IPs. Would you be less opposed to paying an extra $10 for Horizon: Forbidden West because you knew the potential of the quality involved? Something like that seems deserving of a higher price. But charging an extra $10 for a yearly re-release that rarely gets overhauled, and on top of that, is a culprit for microtransactions while rarely adding anything innovative? This announcement isn’t a guarantee that games are going up, but we have nothing else to go on for the time being. Hopefully this is 2K being 2K, and the price hike won’t be seen across the spectrum.