In July last year, Take-Two announced that NBA 2K21 will be the first standard version of the game on the next-generation console (PS5 and Xbox Series S/X) with a price of $70. Not long ago, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zernike reiterated this position, claiming that players are ready for publishers to increase the price cap of the game.
Zelnik said: The reason why we announced the sale of NBK 2K21 for 70 US dollars is because we believe that the game provides a series of extraordinary experiences and has a very high replay value. Besides, in the United States, (host) games The last price increase occurred in 2005 or 2006. After so many years, we believe that consumers should be prepared.
Today, four months have passed since NBA 2K21 landed on PS5 and Xbox Series S/X, and it has been half a year since the game landed on PS4 and Xbox One for $60. Many people want to know the high-priced version of this game. How are they selling? Has Take-Two’s pricing experiment received the expected results?
But these questions are not easy to answer.
First of all, NBA 2K21 has a Mamba Eternal Edition on the console platform of this generation, priced at $100, and the content includes the previous and current generations of the game, as well as a large number of digital gifts.
Many players who bought the previous generation version (via Mamba Eternal Edition) upgraded the game and are now playing on the new console. NPD Group game market analyst Mat Piscatella said, but that part of the sales is still included. It’s the last generation version, so the data we can find is not too reliable.
Another problem is that the current sample size that can be counted and analyzed is too small. After NBA 2K11 publicly raised the price to $70, only a handful of mainstream masterpieces followed suit, including Activision’s Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War and several PS5 first-party exclusive games. During the Christmas period last year, most other mainstream publishers still sold games for $60. A considerable portion of them also allowed players who bought the previous generation version to upgrade the game to this generation version for free.
In the US market, the last overall price increase for console games occurred at the end of 2005: Activision was the first to break the $50 price limit for console games and launched Call of Duty 2 for the new console Xbox 360 for $60. For comparison, the PC version of Call of Duty 2 released a month earlier is still priced at $50.
Unlike NBK 2K21 today, Call of Duty 2 achieved unprecedented success. In December 2005, IGN cited data from the NPD Group that 77% of all Xbox 360 users had already purchased the work. In just a few months, almost all mainstream publishers followed Activision’s approach and raised the price of the game to $60.
But compared with a decade ago, the game market today has become entirely different: publishers sell games at various price points, and the rise of subscription models has also affected the publisher’s pricing of games to a certain extent. According to market analyst Michael Pachter, sales of new software on the Xbox platform are not as good as in the past, because about 50% of Xbox users have subscribed to Game Pass, and the total number of subscribers reached 18 million.. If a mainstream masterpiece is priced at $70, the willingness of subscribers to buy may decline.
Also, if a game like FIFA is sold for $70, subsequent revenue generated by players’ in-app purchases may be affected.
Whether publishers should increase the selling price of masterpieces to $70, Pachter believes that specific issues should be analyzed in detail. People are willing to spend $70 on certain games, but they cannot be willing to pay an extra $10 for all games. Most publishers will wait and see for a while to see if Take-Two’s approach can achieve the desired results.
Piscatella also said that contemporary players have become more price-sensitive, and the $70 price may not be suitable for all major games. My idea is that the heaviest and most demanding masterpieces can raise the price to $70, and some games will even launch higher-priced versions with additional content… but not Every game can do this.