Microsoft has refused to be drawn on confirming a price increase on its next-gen titles.
Xbox CFO Tim Stuart noted that the company is "not making specific announcements on first-party pricing yet" when speaking at the Jefferies Interactive Entertainment conference, also noting that "we’ll do that sort of in due time".
Xbox Series X Game Prices: Microsoft To Announce First-Party Prices 'In Due Time'
In the interview (transcribed by Seeking Alpha), Stuart noted that "prices have not gone up in — what, for a couple of generations now, so it’s not unheard of to see things like this going on".
“And to the point earlier, content creation costs go up. And these publishers and content creators, including ourselves, want to make sure you’re driving the right gross margin profiles, the right earnings profiles of what it takes to build these new, awesome, amazing games. And you want to make sure you have a good top line to support that.”
In recent months, we've seen both 2K and Sony both opt to raise prices of their next-gen titles, with the likes of NBA 2K21 and Demon's Souls releasing at $70, while Microsoft's recent Gears Tactics release remained at $60.
The rising cost to make games had led to many in the industry assuming a price increase is unavoidable, despite the prevalence of microtransactions in today's games.
Still, it's by no means a certainty, with EA and Ubisoft taking a "wait and see" approach to next-gen pricing, while the likes of Take-Two and Capcom looking to decide on a case-by-case basis.
“We believe game software’s price should be determined by how much money consumers are willing to pay for the quality, not by how much money we spend to make that game,” Capcom's chief financial officer Kenkichi Nomura told Bloomberg in a recent interview.
Microsoft does offer an alternative to purchasing full-priced titles in the shape of Game Pass, with the console and PC subscription service offering first-party titles on day one at no additional cost.
Anecdotally, I've seen plenty of people I know moving to Xbox so that they theoretically never need to pay full price for a game again.