We just got our first sign that games might be getting a little bit more expensive. Last week where we talked about game prices potentially going up? Well, it looks like that might just happen with a particular game franchise: NBA 2K.
But first, here’s a little background. 2K Games has announced at the upcoming NBA 2K21 will feature a special Kobe Bryant version called the Mamba Forever Edition, referencing Bryant’s nickname, Black Mamba. This edition will be available on both current- and next-gen consoles and will be sold alongside the Standard Edition featuring either the Portland Trailblazers’ Damian Lillard or the New Orleans Pelicans’ Zion Williamson.
The Mamba Forever Edition will come with special MyPlayer items, a Sapphire Kobe MyTeam Card, and more. They were asked if the game will support Xbox Smart Delivery or similar upgrade service for the PS5, and they said, that’s likely because of the price difference between the current-gen and next-gen versions of the game. Specifically, the next-gen version will cost ten dollars more in the U.S. and five pounds more in the UK. To be clear, that means the standard edition of the game, not the Mamba Forever Edition will cost $69.99 in the US for the Series X and PS5.
The Mamba Forever Edition will be $99.99 across all current-gen consoles. According to 2K, NBA 2K21 is not just a port of the current-gen version to the next-gen, it’s being built from the ground up to take advantage of the new consoles’ powers. It will offer, So if you buy the game for Xbox One, you can then purchase the Series X version, and your stuff will carry over.
Now, let’s rewind to last week, Sony Boss Shawn Layden seems to think that game budgets are out of control compared to what publishers charge for them. In an interview with Games beat, Layden was concerned over the rising budget of triple-A titles and how games haven’t really had a price hike at retail, at least not for the past couple of console cycles.
According to Layden, this isn’t sustainable for the games industry. Either budgets need to shrink or the price of games needs to go up. We don’t know what the budget for NBA 2K21 is, but if what 2K Games said about building the next-gen version from scratch is true, that would definitely add to the game’s assumed budget and that extra cost is now being passed on to you, the consumers.
Currently, no prices for next-gen games have been revealed. The likely exception to this, however, are games that support Smart Delivery on Xbox or the upgrade service for PS5.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will probably be the same price on Series X as it is on Xbox One. After all, why would you pay more for the next-gen version if you can buy the Xbox One version and download the upgrade for free?
So what do you make out of all of this, World Rater’s audience?
The economy of the games industry is pretty complicated, as many like to point to the sales success of The Last of Us Part II as proof that game prices don’t need to increase. But then again, not every Triple-A title can achieve those sorts of numbers every release.
The Last of Us seems to be the exception, not the rule. Do video game prices need to rise? What’s a fair point for a triple-A next-gen game in 2021?
Let us know in the comments below and as always stay connected for more updates.