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Microsoft’s new games to also cost $70 come 2023

Microsoft’s new games to also cost $70 come 2023

The Redmond giant follows Sony, Ubisoft and others with its current-gen pricing - but what does that actually mean?
Future Microsoft Game Studios’ productions, such as “Starfield” or “Forza MotorSport”, will cost $69.99 instead of $59.99 from now on. It’s a price point already adopted by several other publishers. (Image: Microsoft)

Surprising absolutely no one, truth be told, Microsoft announced that all of its first-party games for current and future Xbox systems or PC will retail for $69.99 effective immediately — which, in practice, means that every new AAA title published by the company in 2023 onwards will follow the example that a number of other game publishers have already set since the launch of Xbox Series S/X and the PlayStation5 over two years ago.

“We’ve held on price increases until after the holidays so families can enjoy the gift of gaming”, Microsoft stated, but “starting in 2023 our new, built for next-gen, full-priced games, including Forza MotorsportRedfall, and Starfield will launch at $69.99 USD on all platforms. This price reflects the content, scale, and technical complexity of these titles. As with all games developed by our teams at Xbox, they will also be available with Game Pass the same day they launch”.

Sony has already increased the price of PlayStation5 games to $69.99 since the system’s launch back in 2020, practically setting the example for Ubisoft, Activision, Take 2 and others to follow. (Image: Sony)

That last bit was Microsoft taking a jab at Sony, obviously, as the Japanese company has evidently no intention of offering its own new AAA games for PS5 on the revamped PlayStation Plus service on launch day. It’s fair to say that Sony has neither the luxury nor the incentive to include e.g. God of War RagnarokGran Turismo 7 or Horizon: Forbidden West on PS Plus on launch day, as (a) it most probably can’t afford to and (b) it is able to sell these AAA productions to millions of PlayStation owners at full price every time. Sony was among the first game publishers to raise the prices of their games for the new PlayStation back in 2020 and is expected to follow that approach with every new AAA PS5 game it brings to market in 2023 and beyond.

Microsoft raising the prices of its own games for Xbox and PC is clearly not comparable to Sony doing the same, though, because of Game Pass: it’s fair to assume that, five years in, subscribers to the company’s service are now accustomed to getting all of Microsoft’s new games through Game Pass as they are already paying for it anyway (those titles also never leave the service’s library so there’s not even any time constraint involved). Chances are, in fact, that precious few gamers interested in Microsoft Game Studios’ latest titles are not already Game Pass subscribers. If the frequent sales or special promotions taking place in the Microsoft Store are also taken into account, it’s easy to see why the Redmond giant is taking less of a risk now by raising the prices of its games.

One could claim that games for the PlayStation5 or the Xbox Series X never actually had to cost more, but that ship has sailed. Microsoft just makes the price increase official, that’s all. (Image: Karolina Grabowska, Pexels)

What is a lot less clear is why games for the Xbox Series S/X or the PlayStation5 had to get more expensive in the first place. All publishers — including Sony, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Take Two, Activision and others — insist that such a price increase was inevitable, but there are arguments for and against this claim. What’s more, many gamers feel that not nearly enough discussions around the subject took place before the higher prices went into effect. Microsoft following that example practically makes the $69.99 price tag official for this generation of games. All that’s left to find out is whether the Americans will also raise the price of their AAA games to €79.99 in Europe as Sony has already done. At this point? It’s all but certain.

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