Take-Two CEO Defends NBA 2K21's Price Increase

Production costs have increased by as much as 300%.


NBA 2K21's upcoming PS5 and Xbox Series X edition will cost $70 USD, which is $10 above the normal price of current-generation games. Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick has now defended the price increase to Protocol, pointing to the ballooning costs of game development. He remarked that he doesn't expect consumers to care about rising development costs, but outside of that, Zelnick argued that the NBA 2K series has expanded its own value proposition by virtue of making the game more robust and deep.

"The bottom line is that we haven't seen a front-line price increase for nearly 15 years, and production costs have gone up 200 to 300%," Zelnick said. "But more to the point since no one really cares what your production costs are, what consumers are able to do with the product has completely changed."

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The newer NBA 2K games are "much, much bigger" in terms of what they offer, Zelnick said. As such, this warrants a price increase, he added. NBA 2K also offers the ability to pay for various microtransactions, but Zelnick said the base game is compelling enough to warrant a more expensive sticker price.

"We deliver a much, much bigger game for $60 or $70 than we delivered for $60 10 years ago," he said. "The opportunity to spend money online is completely optional, and it's not a free-to-play title. It's a complete, incredibly robust experience even if you never spend another penny after your initial purchase."

According to the developers of NBA 2K21, the PS5/Xbox Series X edition of the basketball sim is a "new game built from the ground up." The advancements are so significant that it would be like comparing Halo 4 to Halo 5, the studio said.

NBA 2K21 is not the only upcoming next-gen game to charge $10 extra. Activision will offer a cross-gen bundle for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War that gets you the current- and next-gen editions of the game for $70.

For more on rising game prices, check out GameSpot's editorial, "$70 Games May Become PS5 And Xbox Series X's Standard."

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