Microsoft has confirmed it will increase the prices of some of its first-party Xbox games to $70 starting in 2023. Specifically, major games built for Xbox Series X/S will cost $10 more in the US, including Starfield, Redfall and Forza Motorsport. Regional price increases may vary.
"This price reflects the content, scale, and technical complexity of these titles," a Microsoft spokesperson told IGN, which first reported the news. "As with all games developed by our teams at Xbox, they will also be available with Game Pass the same day they launch.”
Other major publishers, including Sony, EA and Take-Two Interactive, have been charging $70 for select current-gen games. Microsoft was able to hold off on increasing prices, likely because the company doesn't rely on games as its primary revenue driver.
In August, Sony increased the price of the PlayStation 5 in most countries, but not the US. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer said in October his company wouldn't raise Xbox prices ahead of the holiday season (the Xbox Series S actually went on sale in November), but noted that "I do think at some point we'll have to raise the prices on certain things." We're starting to see that play out now.
One possible outcome of Xbox raising prices on first-party games is that more people may be willing to try out Game Pass. Starfield, Redfall and Forza Motorsport will all be available on Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass on day one. That could make Game Pass more attractive and an even better value proposition — at least until Xbox inevitably raises the price of its subscription services too.
Furthermore, this seems to mark the beginning of a shift away from releasing major new games on previous-generation consoles. With the exception of Microsoft Flight Simulator, Microsoft has made native Xbox One versions of its Series X/S games.