Video Games To Become Even More Expensive?

A new report says that everything in gaming - from the hardware to the games themselves - is about to become more expensive.

By Jason Collins | Updated

Sony PlayStation

The video game industry has seen a price increase across the board in 2022, a trend that’s likely to continue in 2023, according to IGN. The price increase is going to affect everything related to gaming, from the price of video games to the price of gaming hardware, such as home and handheld consoles and PC components. This isn’t an unexpected turn of events; almost all major game manufacturers, such as Ubisoft, and console manufacturers, such as Sony, have increased the price tags on their products.

The year 2023 might be a year of crossovers, judging by the sheer number of video games crossing over with different franchises, but it’s likely going to be remembered as a year in which gaming suffered from sticker shock. Ubisoft and Sony weren’t the only companies that have increased the prices of their products and services; YouTube and Apple TV+ have also increased their respective prices, and Xbox followed in Sony’s footsteps by announcing the price increase of its Xbox Series consoles but has postponed the increase until after the holidays.

Other gaming companies, such as the controversial Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, and Square Enix, also bumped up the prices of some of their respective releases. So, it would seem that the game price increase is here to stay. As to why that’s happening and why gamers are now paying $70 instead of $60 for AAA video games, well, there’s more at play here than just the greed of the gaming industry’s corporate overlords.

To be entirely honest, a $10 price increase seems like a pretty big jump for AAA video games, especially when you factor in all the DLCs, future releases, and the fact that the vast majority of AAA franchises launch a new installment on an annual basis. Not to mention the counterargument stating that nearly half of said releases suffered from some technical issues at launch, ranging from annoying but harmless DDoS attacks to Cyberpunk 2077—yes, it has become somewhat synonymous with bad releases, despite the fact that CD Projekt RED fixed the game entirely.

cyberpunk 2077

But the price of games isn’t actually increasing—it only seems so. A more straightforward way of looking at the price increase, across the board within the gaming industry, and global economy, is that the value of money is going down. In fact, if you account for historical inflation and pricing, gaming releases are much, much cheaper than ever. The value of the Nintendo Entertainment System is a good example of this.

It was priced at approx. $180 at release, which is $478 in 2023 when adjusted for inflation. So, it’s somewhat cheaper than the current-gen consoles.

However, the same doesn’t apply to video games. The average game for NES in 1986 was priced at approx. $45, which is approximately $119 in today’s money. So, the games actually became cheaper.

If we observe the increase relative to our respective monthly income, assuming that it doesn’t change in the following year, then yes—the games are becoming more expensive.