Take-Two exec claims gamers are ready for the price hike

Remember when everybody lost their shit when word got out that PS5/Xbox Series X games would get a price hike? According to Strauss Zelnick – big cheese at Take-Two Interactive – gamers are at the point where they’re willing to shell some extra coin. The “extraordinary array of experiences and lots of replayability” will make gamers see the ways of the publisher. Sure thing, Strauss.

It’s not surprising that Mr. Zelnick is going into full defense mode when it involves the price jump. 2K Games was one of the first major players upping the price of NBA 2K21 when the next-gen version arrived, and it won’t stop there. During a recent Morgan Stanley conference (pointed out to me by the Dutch website Gamersnet), Zelnick backed up Take-Two’s approach in the matter with the following claims.

“In terms of pricing, we announced a $70 price point for NBA 2K21. Our view was that we’re offering an extraordinary array of experiences and lots of replayability. The last time there was a frontline price increase in the U.S. was in 2005-2006. So we think consumers were ready for it.”

But wait, he wasn’t done talking yet. The guy even had a nice analogy to go with it, to make it more understandable for the people that still remember what it was like to go to a restaurant.

“We all know anecdotally that even if you love a consumer experience, if you feel you were overcharged for it, it ruins the experience and you don’t want to have it again. If you go to a nice restaurant and have a great experience and a great meal, but the check is double what you think it should be, you’re never going back.”

Zelnick even went as far as to make the bold claim that Take-Two has always delivered more value than the player has paid for, which I find most amusing. Don’t get me wrong, 2K has presented quite a few wonderful games, and it will probably do so in the future, but squeezing a little under a hundred bucks out of an NBA 2K customer to make the grind less of a drag does not qualify as “delivering more value than the player has paid for”.

Luckily, Zelnick also added that not every game will have the $70/€70 price tag. It all depends on the game itself and the price point will be evaluated on a title-by-title basis.