Inflation has taken its toll on the almighty American dollar, so you'd think games would have to increase in price at some point. However, Wedbush Securities Analyst Michael Pachter believes that won't be the case, and DLC will instead make up for the lost profit margin.
On the latest issue of Pach-Attack, Pachter was asked whether or not he believes games will increase in price next-generation, to which he responded:
The answer I believe will be games will be at 60 [next generation], but I believe you're going to see an evolution of the pricing structure.
I think you're seeing games designed more and more in the last couple years where there's a plan to sell DLC. So instead of it being an addon it's part of the original gameplan. I think you'll see that evolve. So I think that you're going to see new games in the next generation that have very specific functionality given to you for the $60, and others you'd consider essential functionality [will be] offered as an addon for extra money.
Unfortunately, gamers have lost the war against DLC with its widespread success spurring radical, new ways to dig into your pocket. If Pachter's prediction rings true, games might remain constant in pricing, but additional content will begin to chip away at core features. We've seen this successfully executed with Call of Duty, and several Capcom games have been consumer traps as well.
At the end of the day it's difficult to tell which would be worse, another price increase or even more intrusive DLC. And with hardware manufacturers looking for ways to stop used game sales, the only counter is to wait months, if not years, for games to go on sale—thanks, Valve!