Last July, Take-Two announced that NBA 2K21 would be the first game to ask $70 for the standard edition on “next-generation” systems (i.e., PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X). Last week, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick doubled down on that decision, saying the market was ready for an increase in gaming’s de facto price ceiling.
“We announced a $70 price point for NBA 2K21, 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 said at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference (as transcribed by Video Games Chronicle).
That’s not all that surprising, considering the source of the quote. But we shouldn’t have to take his word for it. Four months have passed since NBA 2K21 launched on new consoles, and six months have passed since it launched at a lower $60 price point on the PS4 and Xbox One. That should be enough time to determine whether players at large were willing to spend extra money on a big-name “next-gen” experience and whether Take-Two’s pricing experiment is worth repeating, right?