In a recent turn of events that's sparked both intrigue and a dose of humor among gamers, Sega is reportedly considering a price hike for its upcoming video games. The suggestion of Sega setting a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $70 has led to a fair share of ribbing in the gaming community, with some jesting that the price won't matter if it goes on sale within a week of launch anyway.
Sega executives Haruki Satomi and chief financial officer Koichi Fukazawa revealed their considerations during a Q&A session following the company's financial results briefing in April (Source: Eurogamer). When queried about a potential increase in unit sales prices, the executives acknowledged that while AAA games have traditionally retailed at $59.99, there's been a recent trend of titles being sold at $69.99.
Satomi and Fukazawa stated:
"We would like to review the prices of titles that we believe are commensurate with price increases, while also keeping an eye on market conditions."
They added that for titles offered via subscription services, revenue made via contract deals also impact sales figures, which in turn, affects the increase in unit price.
In light of this, the big question on everyone's mind is: Could the next Sonic release come with a $70 price tag? The jury is still out on that one, though if Sega does decide to hike its prices, the company would need to ensure that its AAA games can justify such a hefty price increase, something they've been lacking as of late.
This proposed $70 pricing is not unprecedented. In fact, several publishers - including Sony, Take-Two, Activision Blizzard, and Gearbox - have already adopted this price point for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S titles. Furthermore, Nintendo's newly-released Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom was listed for $70 ahead of its launch, though many could argue that game could have been priced at whatever Nintendo wanted and it still would have sold like hotcakes).
Nintendo's Doug Bowser addressed the decision to price its latest Zelda title at $70 in the US back in March, clarifying that it's not "necessarily" a price point that will be applied to all its future titles.
Ultimately, whether or not Sega decides to hike its game prices to $70, the gaming community seems to be taking it in stride. After all, with Sega's track record of sales shortly after game releases, the joke goes that it might not even matter what the initial price tag is. All eyes are now on Sega's next move - will they rise to the occasion and deliver games worthy of the price tag, or will they fall into the punchline of their own joke? Only time will tell.