As reported by GamesIndustry.biz, a new 2K product summary for NBA 2K21 shows it will have a recommended price of $69.99/£64.99 when it launches on PS5 and Xbox Series X this year, which is $10 more than the PS4 and Xbox One version, which has a recommended price of $59.99/£59.99.
It’s the first suggestion that next-generation game consoles could price their games higher as development costs are expected to increase.
In addition, NBA 2K21 will release a Kobe Bryant-fronted Mamba Forever Edition for $99.99/£84.99, which will feature a host of extra digital content and include both generation versions within the same console family.
The pricing follows comments from former PlayStation US boss Shawn Layden last week, in which he suggested that pricing might have to increase on next-gen consoles due to the increased expense of making games for them.
Speaking during a wide-ranging panel at Gamelab Live, Layden said he believes that the single most important reason why the AAA model is unsustainable is not escalating development costs, but game prices remaining relatively unchanged since the 80s.
“It’s been $59.99 since I started in this business, but the cost of games have gone up ten times,” he explained. “If you don’t have elasticity on the price-point, but you have huge volatility on the cost line, the model becomes more difficult. I think this generation is going to see those two imperatives collide.”
The former PlayStation exec, who left Sony in 2019 after a three-decade career, also suggested that shorter games could help control development costs on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
“It’s hard for every adventure game to shoot for the 50 to 60-hour gameplay milestone, because that’s gonna be so much more expensive to achieve,” he said.
Both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are due to launch in Holiday 2020.
Neither Sony nor Microsoft have announced pricing details for their new console hardware, with both platform holders likely waiting for a chance to react to the other’s pricepoint.
Both PS5 and Xbox Series X will offer secondary console versions with a likely lower pricepoint. PlayStation announced PS5 Digital Edition last month and Microsoft is understood to be preparing to announce Xbox Series S.
Microsoft will offer next-gen game upgrades for all of its upcoming first-party titles for free as part of its Smart Delivery initiative. Publishers including EA and Square Enix have also recently announced free game upgrades for current-gen owners of FIFA 21 and Marvel’s Avengers.