Take-Two's CEO reckons players are happy paying $70 for games

 Arthur Morgan and Sadie ride horses in Red Dead Redemption 2
Arthur Morgan and Sadie ride horses in Red Dead Redemption 2

Take-Two Interactive claims the company hasn’t seen “pushback” from customers based on its decision to raise base game prices to $70.

"We’re not seeing a pushback on frontline price," CEO Strauss Zelnick said during the publisher’s recent earnings call with investors (via VGC). “What we’re seeing is consumers are seeking to limit their spending by going either to the stuff they really, really care about, blockbusters, or to value, and sometimes it could be both," he continued.

"The other news is we have a robust frontline release schedule," Zelnick says, "and without regard to price, there has been some pressure, as a result, if a consumer sees something that’s interesting but not necessarily yet a huge blockbuster." Take-Two isn’t immune to that pressure since the company launched Marvel’s Midnight Suns at $70 last December, only to discount the strategy game by 33% a month after its release.

"We think that will change," Zelnick continues, "nothing that’s going on now is inconsistent with the view that we outlined during the pandemic. We said at that time that we were benefitting greatly from people being at home due to an odd turn of events. And we set out expectations that post-pandemic, we as an industry would be at a better place than pre-pandemic, and at a worse place than during a time when people were sheltering at home and that’s exactly what’s happened."

Zelnick did seem confident about the company’s "wonderful catalogue" of upcoming blockbusters which could include a Grand Theft Auto 6 launch as early as next year, according to Take-Two’s recent financial reports.

The widespread change in premium AAA game prices from $60 to $70 actually began with Take-Two when it increased the price of NBA 2K21 for its Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 console release. Since then, other publishers such as Square Enix, Sony, Ubisoft, and EA have followed suit with their own price hikes. Microsoft released its first $70 game this month with Redfall, meanwhile, Nintendo will sell future releases at $70 on a "case-by-case basis" beginning with the blockbuster launch of The Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom. Even Sega recently suggested a future price increase for its roster of games.