We’re less than a month away from the release of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles, and there is still a mystery surrounding the price of those consoles’ first party games.
Xbox executives have talked a bit about this, suggesting that the issue isn’t as simple as a $10 price hike.
Aaron Greenburg, the general manager of games marketing for Xbox spoke on this issue during an appearance on the Real Deal podcast. He described the issue as being “super complex” and pointed out that the ecosystem of features for these consoles muddy the waters as it pertains to game prices.
“What you’ve seen from us is we want to put gamers first,” Greenburg said. “Our commitment and how we’ve approached this whole generation is we’re not going to make you pay again for next-gen versions of our games. We’re doing Smart Delivery, we’ve tried to be fan-first in every way that we can.”
He described the issue of pricing to be a “super complex thing to answer” for both the current and upcoming generations of consoles. That’s because a lot of the games that release for them no longer come at a uniform price.
“In the old days, every game launched at one price and that was it,” he said. “But we launched Ori and The Will Of The Wisps at $30 and Gears Tactics is a new title launching this holiday and it’s launching at $60. State of Decay 2 launched at $40. So there’s not a simple answer to that.”
Greenburg also insinuated that an increase in pricing for next gen games might be more of an exception, and not a rule. After all, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Dirt 5, and Cyberpunk 2077 are all releasing on the new Xbox consoles for $60.
“We’ve taken a fan-centric approach,” he reiterated, “first with Smart Delivery, and most importantly, you get all our games at launch with Game Pass. So, does the price of a game even matter if it is included in your Game Pass subscription?”
Microsoft is kind of dancing around the idea of price hikes for games, while Sony has confirmed that prices for some next generation titles will be going up on their end. If what Microsoft said here is true, it appears as though the days of all games having a uniform price might be over.
For years, we’ve seen games release at the $60 price point. But we might start to see smaller titles release for less, and larger exclusives dropping for more.