GTA Publisher Believes That Longer Games Should Cost More

Take-Two CEO said that the game's price should be determined on a per-hour basis.

Image Credit: Rockstar, GTA V

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks, chances are you've already heard that Rockstar basically announced the next installment in the Grand Theft Auto series last week, saying that they'll be dropping the first trailer for GTA 6 in December.

Although the details about the upcoming game remain extremely scarce, with infrequent rumors and the 2022 leak being the only sources of information, it is fair to assume that GTA 6 will strive to offer an even better experience than GTA 5, with many anticipating that it will offer more gameplay options and have the ability to captivate players for thousands of hours.

Consequently, a widespread belief exists that the upcoming Grand Theft Auto game will exceed the industry-standard AAA price of $70, with Take-Two's perceived tendency for greed adding to this expectation. During a recent earnings call, the publisher's CEO, Strauss Zelnick, added fuel to the fire by saying that a video game's price should be determined on a per-hour basis, arguing that it would be fair for game creators to charge more the longer their games are.

"In terms of pricing for any entertainment property, basically the algorithm is the value of the expected entertainment usage, which is to say that 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 actually owned, not, say, rented or subscribed to," Zelnick said. "And you'll see that that bears out in every kind of entertainment vehicle. By that standard, our frontline prices are still very, very low because we offer many hours of engagement."

He added that it "doesn't necessarily mean that the industry has pricing power or wants to have pricing power. However, there is a great deal of value offered."

Image Credit: Rockstar, GTA V

While it's possible to argue that a similar strategy has been used by MMORPGs and live service games for years, with paid expansions adding content for an extra buck, Zelnick's insatiable pricing strategy appears to extend to single-player games as well.

This raises concerns that the prices of Take-Two and Rockstar's upcoming games might surpass the standard range solely due to the anticipated longer playtime, without factoring in the actual content quality.

Combine this concern with the reality that over a decade has passed since the launch of GTA 5, and significant contributors to what is considered by many to be the best game of all time have moved on from the studio, and a disturbing thought comes to mind – should we even wait for GTA 6? Will it actually be as good or better than its predecessors, or will it be an uninspired cash grab designed exclusively to fill the pockets of Take-Two's executives? Only time will tell.

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Comments 1

  • Anonymous user

    While I do respect and admire the work of the amazing team of Rockstar Games and I agree they deserve excellent remuneration for their efforts, this statement clearly shows that dark and bitter corporation GREEDINESS. What do you expect sir? Maybe 1000$ per copy? Let the greedy attitude lay down for a while, I'm convinced that the "sales will be through the roof".... Just don't ruin it before it's even out


    Anonymous user

    ·3 months ago·

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