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Things Are Getting Worse For Next-Gen Game Prices

It may feel like the $60 video game has been around forever. According to Ars Technica, though, that price point never really stuck "until the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 hit the scene." Fast forward to today, and you can already see some companies trying to chip away at the idea that a game has to cost 60 bucks. Back in July 2020, 2K made headlines when it announced the next-gen versions of NBA 2K21 would cost $69.99. Just a few months later in September 2020, Sony attached that same $69.99 price to some of its PS5 exclusives.

Now another company may take a swing at the tried-and-true $60 price point for games. In a recent earnings call (as reported by VGC), industry giant Ubisoft talked about where it stands on the matter.

During the earnings call, someone reportedly raised the question about whether or not Ubisoft would increase game prices for its next fiscal year. Ubisoft CFO Frédérick Duguet fielded that query and responded in a way that didn't really commit to the status quo. "In terms of pricing, we've been analysing the competitive dynamics of the past quarter and we are still looking at new opportunities," he said, adding, "but we have not made any decision yet." So Ubisoft is definitely looking at the possibility of charging more for games, but the company isn't quite ready to confirm if it'll happen or not.

Ubisoft fans can glean a little bit of hope from Duguet's statement. After all, it stands within reason that Ubisoft might not raise prices if the company thinks doing so would put it at a disadvantage. If Ubisoft believes charging less than competitors would give it a leg up, it could elect to hold the line on that $60 price point. Ubisoft wouldn't be alone there — as VGC's piece noted, Microsoft also looks to be sticking to $60 for now.

Then again, Ubisoft could be waiting for competitors to soften the ground a little bit. If other companies make the jump to $70 games first, Ubisoft could make the move later on and catch a lot less heat for it. According to GamesIndustry.biz, Ubisoft just had "its biggest quarter ever," with CEO Yves Guillemot touting it as "the strongest quarter in Ubisoft history by far." If Ubisoft had charged a bit more for games, perhaps that quarter could've been even more successful. One has to wonder if the company's shareholders aren't thinking the same thing.

At the moment, it's unclear which direction Ubisoft will ultimately decide to go in. Will it join the $70 game club along with the likes of Sony and 2K, or will it try to keep games priced at $60? The company's next huge AAA release, Far Cry 6, appears to be staying at $59.99. Perhaps the first real test will come when Ubisoft rolls out its Fall 2021 lineup.