Earlier this year, 2K Games revealed its next generation pricing for the NBA 2K21 series. While the current gen equivalents retain the standard $60 USD price point, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X equivalents are listed at $69.99. More recently, Activision revealed that they were doing the same for their next gen iterations of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.
Though 2K and Activision might be outliers in this practice, my spider sense is telling me that this $10 increase will be the standard going forward. As a consumer, I hate it. As a Canadian consumer, this is a double-whammy that might price me out of AAA gaming going forward.
Why does this potential hike hurt even more as a Canadian? For context, game prices here took a 33% increase during the launch of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Overnight, AAA games went from $60 to $80. This price shift forever changed my buying habits.
At that price, I could no longer afford or justify paying that price per game. Buying full-priced games changed from being a monthly occurrence to a truly rare occasion. I can count on one hand the number of AAA games I’ve bought at full-price this generation. Instead, I’ve resorted to waiting for these games to go on sale, trading in older titles to compensate for the cost, or buying more cost-effective indie games.
A price hike of $69.99 US would likely mean that Canadian game prices going forward will be between $90-100 before tax. If the $69.99 USD becomes the standard, that means games will be north of $100 here after tax. Big yikes.
The potential for a price hike is putting a serious damper on my next gen hype. Gaming has always been an expensive hobby, but recent developments threaten to push it beyond reach.