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