Well, this is troubling.
GAME, a major UK games retailer, said that EA will be raising the prices of its next-gen games on the Xbox One and PS4. Gamers in the UK will be paying £54.99 for EA’s games instead of the usual £44.99 price tag that many have become accustomed to over the last generation.
What makes this so worrisome is that it shows third parties are willing to raise prices when first parties aren’t. Sony and Microsoft have both confirmed that games will still cost $59.99/£44.99 on the PS4 and Xbox One, but said that third parties were allowed to do what they wanted. Giving that freedom to third parties was eventually going to lead to higher game prices, but it was unexpected to see it happen this soon.
Of course, this news only affects UK gamers for now. EA has not announced pricing for the U.S. or Europe at large yet. Stores like GameStop have applied a placeholder price of $59.99 to EA’s next-gen games, but they’re placeholders. Retailers expect EA to follow suit with everyone else by sticking to the same $59.99 price tag, but it wouldn’t be completely out of the realm of reason for EA to increase the price of games by $10.
This is definitely cause for concern, but the price increase might not end up affecting UK gamers. TechRadar points out that Activision raised the price of two previous Call of Duty games to £54.99, but many stores still sold the games at the usual £44.99 price tag. MSRPs are meant to be broken, and retailers will want to break it this holiday season.
Still, we’ve contacted EA for further clarification on its pricing scheme for next gen games. We’ll update if and when we hear back.