The question of how much GTA 6 will cost is on everyone’s minds as the game is set to be unveiled soon. Take-Two, the game’s publisher, is in a favorable position with eager gamers awaiting the latest Grand Theft Auto series installment.
However, CEO Strauss Zelnick stirred controversy when discussing game pricing with investors. Zelnick seems to align with the idea that games should be priced based on playtime length, development time, or both—a perspective gaining traction among gamers. The argument suggests that a game with hundreds of playable hours, like GTA V, holds more value than a shorter 12-hour experience, although this viewpoint overlooks essential emotions and simple enjoyment.
During a recent investor call, Zelnick explained, “In terms of our pricing for any entertainment property, basically the algorithm is the value of the expected entertainment usage, which is to say the per-hour value times the number of expected hours plus the terminal value that’s perceived by the customer in ownership if the title is owned rather than rented or subscribed to.”
In simpler terms, GTA games, offering several hundred hours of gameplay, are considered more valuable than, for instance, an 8-hour indie game that evokes emotional responses. Zelnick emphasized that “the industry offers a terrific price to value opportunity for consumers.”
Game pricing remains contentious, especially with the recent increase from £60 to £70 for AAA games. However, amidst all the discussions about pricing, the focus should remain on the emotions and experiences games provide, much like any form of art where the value isn’t determined solely by duration.