Here's Why Star Wars: Squadrons Is Only $40

Top EA executives detail why this year's Star Wars: Squadrons is priced at $40 instead of $60 or $70.

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EA has explained why Star Wars: Squadrons--which launches on October 2 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One--will cost only $40 at launch, much lower than most big-budget games currently releasing on consoles and PC. According to COO and CFO Blake Jorgensen, the game doesn't have the same breadth of content as other more expensive games, as it is more focused on a specific experience. This should help keep players' expectations in check for the type of game it will be.

"We always look at the games and we want to make sure we are providing the greatest value for our players," Jorgensen said. "And, you know, games all have [a] different scale, and most of our games right now have [a] huge scale. We designed [Squadrons] to really focus on what we heard from consumers, which is one of their greatest fantasies, and that's to be able to fly an X-Wing fighter, a Tie Fighter, and be in a dogfight. And so it doesn't have the breadth of some of our games, but it is still an incredible game, and so that's why we chose to price it at a slightly lower level, to also allow access to as many people as possible who have that Star Wars fantasy.

"I think you've seen us over the years differentiate pricing on lots of games. We've differentiated pricing on things like Plants vs. Zombies games because we knew that they were skewed to younger audiences, for example, or maybe didn't have the depth of all of the game modes that you might see in a FIFA or Madden."

The price of the Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare series has fluctuated over the years. The original game launched for $40 while its sequel started at the full $60. Successor Battle for Neighborville, meanwhile, initially launched in an early access stage at only $30, with its price rising slightly at full launch.

EA CEO Andrew Wilson chimed in after Jorgensen, adding that pricing really depends on player motivations and expectations. "I would start with, what are the player motivations that we are trying to fulfill, and what are the expectations of those player groups in fulfillment of those motivations, and I think that we start there long before we ever get to [the] price point. And as you've seen from us, games across a spectrum of pricing, whether that's free-to-play or at $60 or at $60 with an additional live service, or as part of our subscription offerings. And at the end of the day, as we think about it, we start with the player, we start with the motivations and expectations they have, and we build out the game. Given the breadth of the game, [we're] very proud of what Motive's doing [and] we wanted it to be a wholly self-contained experience."

Also during the earnings call, EA confirmed once again that Squadrons will come to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X sometime after both consoles arrive this holiday season. Unfortunately, when Squadrons does launch this October, it won't include a free next-gen upgrade. Until then, you can check out our Star Wars: Squadrons pre-order guide to learn about the bonuses you get for buying early.

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