Starfield. (Image: Bethesda)Well, it’s finally happening. After a long period of hemming and hawing (and, to be fair, some pretty ugly economic fluctuations), Microsoft has made the decision to bump first-party Xbox game prices from $59.99 to $69.99. The change marks Xbox’s first significant price increase in nearly 17 years.
Beginning in 2023, Xbox Series X and Series S games like Redfall, Starfield, and Forza Motorsport will cost $69.99 at launch. According to a statement shared with fellow Ziff Davis publication IGN, the new price “reflects the content, scale, and technical complexity” of affected Xbox Game Studios titles. Costs will likely vary in different countries, but Xbox has yet to share any details on prices outside the US.
Though price tags themselves will experience a pretty abrupt change, Microsoft’s decision to implement the $10 hike has been a slow build. 2K Games bumped the price of NBA 2K21 for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X to $70 in 2020, prompting other developers and distributors to wonder whether they could get away with similar increases in the near future. And they did: Ubisoft, Activision Blizzard, and others hit the $70 mark earlier this year.
Then Microsoft itself started entertaining the idea of a price increase. As our colleagues at IGN reported, Xbox head Phil Spencer said last month that Microsoft would have to bump its video game prices “at some point.” Spencer went on to say there wouldn’t be an increase until after this year’s holiday season, and he appears to have kept that promise.
Microsoft has confirmed all titles included in the price increase will still hit Game Pass on the day of release, per usual. For some gamers, this makes the decision to use Xbox’s subscription streaming service all the more obvious: Why pay an extra $10 upfront when Game Pass prices have remained stable? For others, however, Game Pass is yet another monthly service to resist in an increasingly subscription-based world; $10 on a beloved title isn’t enough to begin condoning a monthly charge. After all, as we calculated following 2K’s bump, games should technically cost more after accounting for inflation. At $70, should we consider ourselves lucky?