With the forthcoming releases of the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, the games industry is facing a major potential change: an increase in standard game prices. While gamers might recoil at the notion of $10 more for new releases, some in the industry say that change is necessary.

Sony has already committed to a $70 maximum for standard new games. Launch titles like “NBA 2K21” and the “Demon’s Souls” remake are already set to retail for that much in November.

Microsoft, meanwhile, remains mum on the idea. Select third party games for Series X, like “NBA 2K21” and “Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War” are set to retail for the higher price, but the company hasn’t committed to the increase for first-party games like Sony has.

“I’m not negative on people setting a new price point for games because I know everybody’s going to drive their own decisions based on their own business needs,” Xbox head and Microsoft’s executive vice president of gaming Phil Spencer said about the prospect of $70 games in an interview with the Washington Post.

Gaming is as expensive a business as it is a hobby, and with new consoles set to raise the technical bar higher than ever before, some in the industry argue that the change is overdue. As highlighted by CNBC, the current $60 standard was set around 2006 when the Xbox 360 was the latest console on the market. Adjusted for inflation, that price should be closer to $80 today.

Speaking with Polygon, one industry consultant said the cost of developing a blockbuster game skyrocketed from $25-35 million in 2005 to $75-100 million today, making a price hike seem not just desirable for publishers, but also necessary.

However, the issue also remains that while inflation has had its impact on production costs, the growth in spending power for the average consumer hasn’t changed nearly as much. For many Americans, a $60 price tag is just as steep, if not slightly more so, now as it was 15 years ago. Then there’s the issue of raising prices at the precise moment, with the world economy buckling under the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think this is not a good idea to increase prices when people are suffering and the economy is suffering because of coronavirus and the economic crisis that we have,” Bartosz Skwarczek, CEO of retailer G2A, told CNBC. “I think that could be played with a little bit more empathy towards gamers.”

PS5 Xbox Series X The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are pictured. Photo: Sony; Microsoft