CEO of Sega, Haruki Satomi, and CFO Koichi Fukuzawa have alluded to raising the price of specific titles to bring them in line with other AAA titles published by the likes of Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo.
“In the global marketplace, AAA game titles for console have been sold at $59.99 for many years, but titles sold at $69.99 have appeared in the last year,” Satomi and Fukuzawa said in a financial earnings call. “We would like to review the prices of titles that we believe are commensurate with price increases”.
Sega is slightly late to the price-raising party as multiple publishers have already shifted top AAA games to the heights of $70. PlayStation first advertised God of War Ragnarok for $70 on the PS5, and Xbox will also price Starfield at this amount for the Xbox Series X|S. It seems as if this is the new norm for the gaming industry.
Match the market
“We are currently considering increasing the prices of some titles, but no concrete decisions have been made at this stage,” they said. The Digital Deluxe Edition for Sonic Frontiers already costs $70, with the Standard Edition going for $60. So while nothing is certain yet, it’s no surprise that this may be standard practice the next time Sega rolls out a Sonic title to follow Sonic Frontiers.
While it’s true that development costs have increased over the last decade and many publishers need to reflect this in the new games prices, it doesn’t make the news any easier to swallow.
Many of us remember having to save up for months to split the cost of games with a sibling or friend even when the standard price was $40 for AAA titles. Having to readjust this, in a cost-of-living crunch, for $70 games is going to be even harder for some.
Economies change, and standards shift, but that doesn’t mean people should get priced out of gaming, especially younger generations who’ll now have less access to top titles. It’s admirable that Sega held out for as long as it did, and while any changes aren’t certain, it was only a matter of time before the tides swept Sega away with the rest of the big publishers.