Inflation finds its way into every industry, and the video game industry is no different. This was most evident when the cost of the PlayStation 5 recently rose up two years since its release. Microsoft’s CEO Phil Spencer has now come out with a statement that they could be following suit when speaking to the Verge.
“I do think at some point we’ll have to raise the prices on certain things, but going into this holiday we thought it was important to maintain the prices. We’ve held price on our console, we’ve held price on games, and our subscription. I don’t think we’ll be able to do that forever. I do think at some point we’ll have to raise some prices on certain things,” he recently expressed.
This is the polar opposite what used to happen
He hasn’t revealed what Microsoft gaming services will see a price hike, but this isn’t great news for gamers. This is, in many ways, the opposite of what gamers are used to. The prices of these products are supposed to reduce over time.
Video game consoles have never really been easy to access. Most gamers have a story about how they received their first console as a Christmas day present as kids before falling in love with the games on offer.
Playing video games is starting to look like an expensive habit. When other platforms for arts and entertainment like streaming services exist and are far less expensive, many casual gamers will no longer feel the need to put in the extra cash for a console, and the games that come with a console to pass the time.
Video Games might soon be seen as luxury items
Games today are not simply fun ways to pass the time. Many of them are educational, provide grand narratives, and some AAA titles even have some prestige attached to them. The games from the latest generation aren’t susceptible to piracy like games from the PlayStation 2 and Xbox era either.
They now feel quite exclusive to an audience that has the financial means to afford them. The days of gifting consoles as Christmas presents seem like a long time ago. The video game industry is still quite new, having really erupted in the ‘80s.
Those who played the titles a few decades ago are now a lot older, and trying to make esports games for a more mature audience while still catering to a younger one. An investment in a console only feels worth the outlay when different generations within a family feel the need to use it.
The cast and crew that work on video games are sometimes as big as those for a Hollywood movies, which gives rise to labor issues and corporate profiteering. These weren’t issues when developing a game a few decades ago, and to make sure they aren’t a problem is quite expensive.
What’s the end game here?
The video game audience is large, and there’s one all over the world. Sony’s price increase was applicable to the European, Middle Eastern, African, Asian, Latin American, and Canadian regions.
That just goes to show how universal video games are now, but gamers are going to have be selective over what consoles they buy, and what games they pick. The time when 30 games were available in one cartridge are long gone.
Purchasing video games today brings realities like inflation to the fore. Can they still be considered an escape? Time will tell.
- Xbox May Go PlayStation’s Way With Price Increase
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