The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom price hike opens the door to more expensive games
Nintendo’s upcoming Zelda sequel will be more expensive than the company’s other Switch games, paving the way for more game makers to raise their prices as well.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will retail for $69.99 (approximately Rs.6,000) when released in the US on May 12, $10 (approximately Rs.850) more than usual for new titles from Nintendo. The move, which matches the premium pricing of console rivals Sony and Microsoft, may portend larger increases as it helps normalize the higher upfront cost.
Game studios around the world, including Nintendo’s Japanese market, have been desperate to raise prices – as spending on game production has increased with higher gamer expectations for quality and content – but no wasn’t willing to do it first. Nintendo’s move with the new Zelda should be well received by its peers.
“The mood is there, especially outside of Japan, to drive up software prices,” Koei Tecmo chief financial officer Kenjiro Asano said during an earnings briefing Jan. 30. But his company “didn’t want to be one of the first to raise the price,” he added.
Capcom Chief Financial Officer Kenkichi Nomura and Gree Senior Vice President Yuta Maeda expressed similar sentiments when discussing their latest quarterly results. Both see a widely shared desire within the industry to raise prices in order to compensate for increased headcount and spending to create new content.
A Nintendo spokesperson has confirmed that the new Zelda game will be the company’s most expensive first-party title, aside from deluxe editions with added extras. The company will continue to set appropriate prices for each game, he said.
“If there’s one game that lets Nintendo test the waters, it’s this one,” Tokyo-based industry analyst Serkan Toto said Thursday. “The $10 price increase will not only undo lost purchases from users skipping the game, but will indeed lead to greater sales overall.”
Breath of the Wild’s first installment in the Zelda franchise was Switch’s launch title and helped the console succeed. Nintendo had sold 29 million copies of the game and 123 million Switch consoles by the end of 2022.
© 2023 Bloomberg LP
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