Home Gaming Take-Two’s CEO thinks gamers are ready to accept $70 video games

Take-Two’s CEO thinks gamers are ready to accept $70 video games

2 min read
NBA 2K21

Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick reckons that the time is nigh for video games to start charging a few bucks extra. Nigh we say! NIGH! Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference (cheers VGC), Zelnick was asked why the publisher had added an extra $10 to some of its games, or as we in the industry call it, a whole Hamilton.

“We announced a $70 price point for NBA 2K21, 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,” Zelnick said. That’s not exactly unfair but it’s also worth noting in 2005 that the first piece of ostentatious DLC was still a year away from being wrapped around your magnificent stallion in The Elder Scorlls 4: Oblivion.

Zelnick cranked the PR speak up to 11, and said that announcements about pricing were being done “on a title-by-title basis”, while also stressing that Take-Two was committed to “deliver[ing] more value than what we charge.”

We haven’t said anything about pricing other titles so far, and we tend to make announcements on a title-by-title basis, but I think our view is [that we want to] always deliver more value than what we charge, make sure the consumer has the experience and[…] the experience of paying for it, both are positive experiences.

We all know anecdotally that even if you love a consumer experience, if you feel you were overcharged for it, it ruins the experience, you don’t want to have it again. [If you] go to a great restaurant, a really really fine restaurant, have a great meal and great service, then you get a check that’s double what you think it should be, you’re never going back.

So we always want to make sure that consumers feel like we deliver much more than we ask in return, and that’s true for our current consumer spending as well. We’re an entertainment company, we’re here to captivate and engage consumers, and if we do that then monetisation follows.

NBA 2K21 was one of Take-Two Interactive’s first games to pump up its price to $70 on release, and while the game still sold a ton of units, fans weren’t exactly happy to discover that unskippable in-game adverts in addition to the price bump. On top of all the other DLC being offered, the backlash was felt across the internet and Take-Two was forced to remove those adverts while issuing a half-hearted apology in the process.

Last Updated: March 8, 2021


  1. Screw that… I don’t even buy full priced games right now, I always wait for sales.


    • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

      March 8, 2021 at 03:25

      The only things I paid full price for:

      1: Arkham Knight
      2: God of War
      3: RDR2

      4: Spider-Man
      5: TLOU2

      The rest, on the cheap


      • Michael van Niekerk

        March 12, 2021 at 02:08

        The list was going just fine until that last one…


        • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

          March 12, 2021 at 03:06

          Hey, I don’t regret that purchase 🙂 It’s an excellent piece of media.


  2. Johann

    March 8, 2021 at 03:55

    Seems like their $70 price tag on NBA didn’t get the sales they were hoping for seeing as it has now been added to gamepass.

    Gamepass is cool and all, but I can’t help but think that’s where games go once the sales are down in the dumps.


  3. Mandalorian Jim

    March 8, 2021 at 06:33

    Good for them, but I’m definitely not paying $70 for a new release, especially when demand has been dropping*, and invariably you get those sweet sub-R300 deals mere weeks or months after release.

    *I really want to know where publishers are sourcing their sales figures from, or are they merely basing it all on stores buying at 70 dollars a pop, and then forgetting that those very stores sit with unsold stock for months, which then gets discounted to oblivion? It’s almost like they have blinkers on and are oblivious to the fact that not all games are Call of Duty stans ( where those dirty mutants will pay 70 or 90 dollars for a game).


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