A pivotal discussion on game pricing has emerged, started by none other than Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two Interactive, the publisher behind the Grand Theft Auto series.
In a recent investor call, Zelnick introduced a novel perspective on how video games should be valued and priced. His approach suggests a shift from traditional pricing models, advocating for a system where the cost of a game is reflective of its playtime length and the resources poured into its development.
Zelnick’s proposition comes at a time when the pricing of AAA games is a hot topic in the gaming community. The recent increase in prices for these games, from £60 to £70, has not gone unnoticed.
The new pricing model proposed by Zelnick calculates the cost based on the expected duration of engagement and the perceived value of owning the game. This formula suggests that games offering longer playtimes, like the Grand Theft Auto series known for its expansive open-world and extensive gameplay, would inherently hold more value than shorter indie games, despite the latter’s potential emotional depth and impact.
The Take-Two CEO also highlighted the overall value for money that the gaming industry offers to consumers, emphasizing that even with the recent price hike, games still present a significant entertainment value.
This discussion brings to light an often-overlooked aspect of gaming: the emotional and artistic value it provides. Similar to the film industry, where movie pricing does not typically vary based on length or emotional impact, the gaming industry faces a challenge in balancing monetary value with the artistic and emotional experiences games offer.