Take-Two CEO thinks PS5 and Xbox Series X owners are ‘ready’ for a $70 price tag

NBA 2K21
(Image credit: 2K Games)

Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick spoke on the concept of a $70 / £70 / AU$92 price tag for video games at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, saying that customers are “ready” for it.

In context, Zelnick talked about the $70 price applied to NBA 2K21, saying: “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.”

Whether or not Take-Two actually plans to roll out the $10 price hike on its other games remains to be seen, with Zelnick adding that RRPs were decided on “a title-by-title basis.” As such, it’s possible that the $70 price tag could only come into effect for the biggest releases in the publisher’s repertoire.

A price hike for the masses

Zelnick insisted during the same speech that Take-Two plans to “deliver more value than what we charge,” but will they really? NBA 2K21 proved to be a controversial release, with heaps of microtransactions and intrusive in-game ads - two features that are largely reserved for free-to-play mobile apps that have nonetheless seeped into the triple-A gaming space.

Take-Two is likely operating from a position of much confidence, as NBA 2K21 went on to sell over eight million copies. Given its success, it’s a safe bet that any future Rockstar Games (a Take-Two subsidiary) developed projects will sit pretty at $70 at launch. We’re looking at you, Grand Theft Auto 6.

Zelnick’s comments could be a signal for a growing trend in the gaming industry. If a big-budget triple-A release sells well at $70, then we could see publishers other than Take-Two looking to capitalize on making the $10 increase more of a standard rather than the exception.

It’s a controversial change, for sure, and we’re not entirely sure consumers are “ready” to pay $70 for their games so much as they might instead feel like they don’t have a choice in the matter.

On the other hand, the price hike might prove to be a boon for subscription services like Xbox Game Pass, where NBA 2K21 is available among a smorgasbord of other games, as an alternative for those who are happy to wait until a game becomes part of Microsoft's catalog of titles.

Here’s hoping there’s enough of a backlash to make Take-Two reconsider, but since when has that ever stopped it - or any big-name publisher for that matter - from squeezing as much money from its consumers as is humanly possible?

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.