May 25, 2022

Gamers “Ready for $70” Titles, Argues Take-Two CEO

Mo’ money, mo’ money

Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two, has reiterated Take-Two’s stance on proposed game price increases.

Take-Two is looking to charge $69.99 for next-gen versions of NBA 2K21 – something Zelnick believes is the “right” decision.

Why? Because we, the gamer, are, in Take-Two’s eyes, ready for it!

During the recent Morgan Stanley Technology, Media, & Telecom Conference [MSC][transcribed via VGC], Zelnick was asked about the controversial stance his company is taking. Zelnick responded;

“We announced a $70 price point,…our view was that we’re offering an array of extraordinary experiences, lots of replayability, and the last time there was a frontline price increase [in the US] was 2005/2006, so we think consumers were ready for it”.

Zelnick, however, did not seem to suggest that other Take-Two games would see the same increase. Adding;

“We haven’t said anything about pricing other titles so far, and we tend to make announcements on a title-by-title basis. But I think our view is [that we want to] always deliver more value than what we charge, make sure the consumer has the experience and[…] the experience of paying for it; both are positive experiences.

We all know, anecdotally, that even if you love a consumer experience, if you feel you were overcharged for it, it ruins the experience. You don’t want to have it again. [If you] go to a great restaurant, a really, really fine restaurant, have a great meal, and great service, then you get a check that’s double what you think it should be, you’re never going back.

So we always want to make sure that consumers feel like we deliver much more than we ask in return. And that’s true for our current consumer spending as well. We’re an entertainment company;- we’re here to captivate and engage consumers, and if we do that, then monetisation follows”.

Thankfully, it seems the industry hasn’t committed to such a price increase just yet. Ubisoft announced it would still be selling its IPs at last-gen prices. Xbox head Phil Spencer remained non-committal about it [pay-gate], noting that the “consumer will decide what the right price is”. Conversely, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan approved of Sony’s decision [pay-gate] to price mark first-party PlayStation 5 games.

It’s too soon to tell if others will follow suit with Take-Two. It’s not a pleasant conversation to have, as this price increase will – almost definitely – still include various other monetisation options. And then the next question is, “how long until a single, standard edition game costs $100 at launch?”


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