The CEO of Take-Two Interactive has once again defended a rise in game prices. In an interview with Protocol, Strauss Zelnick said that since prices last rose around 2005, games have become bigger and more expensive to make.
Zelnick says that “the bottom line is that we haven’t seen a front-line price increase for nearly 15 years.” In that time, however, he claims that “production costs have gone up 200 to 300%,” leading to games that are far more expensive to produce now than they used to be.
Zelnick adds that while “no-one really cares what your production costs are, what consumers are able to do with the product has completely changed. We deliver a much, much bigger game for $60 or $70 than we delivered for $60 ten years ago.” He also acknowledged the impact of microtransactions on changing in-game economies, but says that in Take-Two’s games, “the opportunity to spend money online is completely optional, and it’s not a free-to-play title. It’s a complete, incredibly robust experience even if you never spend another penny after your initial purchase.
This isn’t the first time that Zelnick has suggested it’s time for a price increase. Last month, he argued that the higher costs for NBA 2K were justified based on “the value we offer customers [...] and the kind of experience you can only really have on these next-generation consoles.” It's unclear whether the $70 game is going to become the industry standard, but Zelnick is pretty sure which side of the argument he comes down on.