Why does The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom cost $70? Because that increased price "reflects the type of experience that fans can expect," according to Nintendo of America boss Doug Bowser.
Bowser discussed The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom's price point in a recent interview with AP. Asked how Nintendo arrived at the $70 figure, a first for Nintendo games, Bowser explained: "We look at what the game has to offer. I think fans will find this is an incredibly full, deeply immersive experience. The price point reflects the type of experience that fans can expect when it comes to playing this particular game." Indeed, Tears of the Kingdom certainly looks quite big, and it's got the record file size (for first-party Switch games anyway) to match.
Reiterating the company's stance that $70 won't become standard for all new first-party Switch games, Bowser added that "this isn’t a price point that we’ll necessarily have on all our titles. It’s actually a fairly common pricing model either here or in Europe or other parts of the world, where the pricing may vary depending on the game itself."
Regional conversions aside, $70 games have become more common in the years following the release of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, just as game development has become more expensive. The enduring Switch is still straddling multiple console generations, and Bowser maintains that the system will see "strong performance over the next few years" as well, but even Nintendo is now raising prices on some of its biggest games.
If anything, the second $70 Switch game may be more informative as to how Nintendo plans to handle pricing going forward, as Zelda has always been a tentpole system seller for the Switch. Even as a cross-gen title also available on Wii U, Breath of the Wild was key to the Switch's explosive launch, so Nintendo is undoubtedly expecting big things from the sequel.
I wouldn't be surprised if Metroid Prime 4, which recently crossed four years in development, ends up costing $70, I'll say that.