Yesterday publisher Electronic Arts revealed the latest release in its popular Battlefield series. Named Battlefield 2042, it will be an online only near future first-person shooter. But it’s the revealed details of its pricing that has gotten gamers frustrated. Owners of next generation version of Battlefield 2042 will have to pay a premium price compared to the other platforms.
Both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S release will cost $70 at launch. In contrast, the PC and current gen versions of 2042 will come in at the industry standard $60. Given that the PC version is likely to provide the best overall experience, the bumped-up price on next-gen consoles is difficult to justify.
Why the added cost?
Truth be told, this increase of price isn’t uniquely a characteristic of Battlefield 2042. Many other AAA games have matched the price hike for a variety of reasons. Chief amongst these is probably just because they can. If the publisher if confident consumers will still buy a product for more, they will inevitably want to take advantage of that.
This is why we don’t see the price hike on PC. PC gamers are generally less willing to spend big due to the sheer quantity of great free-to-play and on sale games available. Unlike consoles, placing 2042 at $70 wouldn’t be profitable on PC.
There are some other genuine reasons for this change too. Video games are more expensive to make now then they have ever been before. 2018’s Red Dead Redemption 2 was reported to have cost Rockstar a record $200 million to make and a further $250 million to market.
Battlefield won’t be on that level as it doesn’t have a single players campaign. No campaign means there’s no need for cutscenes and expensive voice actors. Regardless, it is a large-scale first-person shooter with a state-of-the-art game engine supporting it. Neither of those are going to be cheap to produce and maintain. However, customers probably won’t buy into the narrative that alone justifies the price increase of Battlefield 2042.