NEWS - Thursday, December 9, 2004

ESPN Sports Titles To Scrap $20 Price Point

The $20 price point which was successfully used to stimulate sales of the ESPN American sports titles this year will not last indefinitely, according to comments made by Take-Two executive VP Cindi Buckwalter. Speaking to the UBS Media Week Conference last week, Buckwalter said that Take-Two and partner Sega will seek to return pricing to premium levels for the next-generation console versions of the games. "We continue to evaluate pricing," she told the conference, according to a Reuters report. "When the next-generation hardware comes out, we do expect to introduce the sports products at premium prices." The $20 pricing was introduced for the ESPN titles after Sega and Take-Two teamed up to co-publish the range, and has proved massively successful in improving the performance of the range. Most notably, it has put immense pressure on Electronic Arts’ market-leading sports range, with the giant publisher forced to drop prices on several of its key EA Sports titles in order to compete more effectively in the run up to Christmas. Buckwalter’s comments confirm that premium pricing will be used for next-generation console SKUs, presumably on the basis that product development will be more expensive and that the early adopter market is less sensitive to pricing, but it’s still not clear whether the $20 price will be used for next year’s range on current-generation systems.


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