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Many of us are living through an inflationary crisis the likes of which have not been seen in decades, meaning that the price of virtually everything – from clothing to power and food – has gone through the roof in the past 12 months. Video games are no exception.
We’ve already seen unprecedented moves, such as the PlayStation 5 rising in price two years after its release, and Microsoft is now warning customers that we can expect similar spikes across their platforms and services. We just don’t know which one yet.
As reported by Tom Warren of The Verge, speaking at a Wall Street Journal conference earlier this week, Spencer said: “I think at some point we have to raise prices on certain things, but when we went into this holiday, we thought we thought it was important to maintain prices.”
“We kept the price on our console, we kept the price on games… and kept our subscription,” he added. “I don’t think we’ll be able to do that forever. I do think that at some point we have to raise prices for certain things…’
That’s very careful to say! He could mean that only one or two of those things will see price increases, leaving us to speculate on which ones. A price hike for Microsoft’s own games seems inevitable as so many rival publishers are already implementing such increases, while pushing up the price of Game Pass subscriptions should definitely be on the agenda as well.
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Xbox consoles, however, that’s a different story. The rise of the PS5 was a big story as consoles had never before risen in price upon release; we are used to them getting cheaper over time, not more expensive. Yet we do not live in normal times; the inflation crisis has root causes, and they lie in everything from labor problems to unprecedented (in modern times) component shortages to corporate profits, things that we have not had to consider (or at least to this extent) when we look to console prices for.
So who knows, maybe he means everything will be more expensive next year. Excellent!