The new higher prices will apply for games like Starfield, Redfall, and the new Forza Motorsport – all of which are due out next year.
Microsoft has confirmed that it will be raising the prices of major new first-party Xbox games from $60 to $70 starting in 2023, which means that games like Bethesda's Starfield, Turn 10 Studios' Forza Motorsport, and Arkane's Redfall, which are set to be released next year, will all cost $69.99 at launch.
The company noted that regional pricing may differ from the announced $69.99, however, it didn't specify which countries will have a different price and what price it would be.
In a statement to IGN, a Microsoft spokesperson explained that the new price "reflects the content, scale, and technical complexity of these titles" but reiterated that those games will be available through Xbox Game Pass as day-one releases, meaning that players will be able to access them via the subscription service which starts at $9.99 per month.
The price increase is not too surprising as a number of game companies have already shifted to $70 games. Take-Two was the first publisher who started selling its games for last-gen consoles at $70, starting with NBA 2K21 in 2020. Later, EA, Sony, Activision, and Square Enix followed in the footsteps of Take-Two. Most recently, another major publisher, Ubisoft, also announced that its major AAA titles would be priced at $70.
In addition, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer also hinted toward the price increase in October – at the time, the Xbox boss noted that the company had already held prices for its games for a long time adding that it wouldn't "be able to do that forever."
It's hard to say whether Microsoft will make the same move with the console prices in the near future. Previously, when Sony announced that it was increasing PS5 prices, Microsoft assured customers that it had no plans to do the same for the Xbox Series X or the Xbox Series S.
In September, during an interview with CNBC, Spencer reiterated this thought but added that he does not exclude that the price increase will ever happen. One month later, the head of Xbox once again touched upon the topic of raising prices of its products noting that "at some point [Microsoft will] have to raise some prices on certain things," presumably meaning both game and hardware prices.