Your Xbox Game Pass subscription just got a whole lot more valuable, or for those yet to subscribe, a whole lot more enticing, because the news that Xbox had been trying to stave off for months has finally been confirmed – Xbox’s first party games are set to go through a price rise. Fans had been happily paying the former standard price, $60 USD, while competitors around the platform holder and mega-corp had been increasing their price by a further $10 USD. PlayStation and 2K were among the leaders in this space, finding little reason to justify the former price in lieu of inflation, and the cost to make games of the standard that they were making them at. Now Xbox has finally joined the $70 USD party.
The price change will begin immediately with the next wave of first-party exclusives coming to the platform, including Arkane Studios’ Redfall, Forza Motorsport from Turn 10, and even Bethesda Game Studios’ Starfield, with the price set to reflect, “the content, scale, and technical complexity of these titles” according to Xbox. It was stressed that, at present, prices of Gamepass subscriptions weren’t moving and that all games would continue to be available through that pillar of the Xbox Store beginning at $9.99 USD per month.
An official comment from Microsoft read,
We’ve held on price increases until after the holidays so families can enjoy the gift of gaming,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement sent to Polygon. “Starting in 2023 our new, built for next-gen, full-priced games, including Forza Motorsport, Redfall, and Starfield, will launch at $69.99 USD on all platforms. This price reflects the content, scale, and technical complexity of these titles. As with all games developed by our teams at Xbox, they will also be available with Game Pass the same day they launch.
Phil Spencer had previously flagged the possibility of the prices rising in October when he said, “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, but going into this holiday we thought it was really important that we maintain the prices we have,” and now it’s finally official. Due to the relative lack of Xbox first-party game releases in 2022, Microsoft has been potentially able to hold off on breaking this news, but with a stream of large-scale releases on track for 2023, it seems they could no longer hold back the dam wall from breaking.