GTA publisher teases another major price hike

GTA publisher teases another major price hike
Images via Rockstar Games

Written by 

Tom Chapman


15th Nov 2023 16:21

Up there with which console you should be playing on, the price of modern video games is one of the most significant talking points of the industry. As we only just get used to the $70/£70 (sorry UK) pricing structure, one of the biggest Goliaths in gaming suggests we've got it too easy.

While we had a long run of video games hovering around the $50-$60 mark, the jump up to $70 left some feeling sore. There have been a few raised eyebrows, especially when it came to Nintendo charging $70 for Tears of the Kingdom running on the OG Switch. Still, this isn't enough for Take-Two Interactive.

GTA 6 publisher thinks games are priced 'too low'

GTA Online Heist Money
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Speaking to investors (via Rock Paper Shotgun), Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick is sure to rattle a few cages with his latest musings. Claiming that the Grand Theft Auto games offer some of the best value for money on the market, Zelnick said, "Our prices are still very, very low."

Explaining his logic, Zelnick told investors, "The algorithm is the value of the expected entertainment usage, which is to say the per hour value times the number of expected hours plus the terminal value that's perceived by the customer in ownership, if the title is owned rather than rented or subscribed to.

"You’ll see that that bears out in every kind of entertainment vehicle. By that standard our prices are still very, very low, because we offer many hours of engagement, the value of the engagement is very high. So I think the industry as a whole offers a terrific price to value opportunity for consumers."

Zelnick has controversially suggested that games should be priced based on the number of hours played. We know there was a recent debate about the length of PlayStation's Spider-Man 2 compared to the long-term playability of Xbox's Starfield, but that doesn't necessarily mean longer games are worth more money.

In case you can't see where this is going, it suggests that Take-Two will try to squeeze a few more pennies out of us if it gets its way. If this is the case, expect sprawling open-world games with massive spaces between quests, just to pad out a runtime. Either way, pinching in the time of a supposed economic crisis isn't a good look. 

Those GTA 6 pricing rumours could be true

GTA Online Money
Click to enlarge

We've had a decade of GTA V thanks to the numerous updates to GTA Online, but remember that we've also had to stump up for the Expanded & Enhanced edition, AND Rockstar has been making a fortune off us. As we've spent a decade shelling out on Shark Cards, there's a reason GTA V is the most profitable entertainment product of all time.

Although Zelnick reiterates the industry doesn't have the pricing power (or wants it), his parting line is an interesting one: "There is a great deal of value offered, and look, it's our strategy here to deliver much more value than what we charge consumers, that's always been our strategy."

It has us worried about those wild rumours that GTA 6 could cost a whopping $150. We originally wrote that off as nonsense, but now, we aren't so sure.  As Zelnick took home a cool $42.1 million in the 2023 financial year, there are already some grumbles that he dares talk about Take-Two games being priced 'too low.'

Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.

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