If you think they’re expensive now, just wait until you hear this.
The cost of a video game has changed a great deal since Atari (PONGF) first launched its now nostalgic Atari 2600, when you could pick up a copy of “Pac-Man” or “Space Invaders” for $20-$30.
But that was 1982, when $20 or $30 bucks was a lot more money than we consider it today. So you can’t look at today’s big budget videogames, which typically sell for $40-$60, and say they’re expensive (unless you use the good old “back in my day” argument, that is).
There are also more platforms for video games to appear on today then there were back then, and more resources in place for independent developers to make their own.
Pair that with websites like Steam.com, which sell a massive variety of video games at every imaginable price point, and you can tell the playing field is very different today than it was 40 years ago.
Even so, the cost of making video games is higher than ever before thanks to increased production values. The cost of hiring high-profile voice/motion capture actors is also pricey, featuring high-cost names such as “The Walking Dead” actor Norman Reedus and “The Matrix” favorite Keanu Reeves.
Now, one major player in the video game space has announced that the costs of its games are going up.
What Video Game Company Is Increasing Its Prices?
In an interview with Axios on Sept. 12, Ubisoft (UBSFF) CEO Yves Guillemot confirmed that the developer would be increasing the costs of its major titles to $70 to fall in line with what he says is the current industry standard.
Ubisoft has been considering this change for a while but has been hesitant to make the move in the past, saying in its Q3 earnings call in 2021 that it was evaluating prices but had not made a decision as of yet.
Despite Guillemot’s comments, $70 is not the industry standard yet, even though many would like it to be. Nintendo (NTDOF) , one of the biggest and longest running players in the video game space, still prices its biggest titles at $59.99.
And while some special editions of games that come with additional pack-ins such as bonus content or collectibles come at a higher price tier, gamers aren’t quite used to paying $70.
However, one thing is for sure — the aim is make that price point the industry standard in the near future. Sony CEO Jim Ryan talked about that $70 sweet spot all the way back in 2020 in an interview with The Telegraph.
“If you measure the hours of entertainment provided by a video game … compared to any other form of entertainment, I think that’s a very straightforward comparison to draw,” Ryan said when asked about the price point.
However, the industry is moving toward a new model with services like Microsoft’s (MSFT) – Get Microsoft Corporation Report Xbox GamePass and Sony’s (SNEJF) PlayStation Plus, which offer a streamable library of video games for a flat monthly price. So for those who are already shuddering at the idea of forking out $70 every time your kid (or you!) wants a new game, the subscription model just may be the answer you’re looking for.