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Square Enix defends high mobile game prices

By Brendan Sinclair

Square Enix defends high mobile game prices

Wed 10 Oct 2012 6:35pm GMT / 2:35pm EDT / 11:35am PDT

Publisher says games have been reconfigured and optimized, still sell for less than console or handheld titles

Square Enix games stand out in the mobile market, and not just because they're often console RPG throwbacks with stories that unfold over dozens of hours of gameplay. They also stand out because they're typically not priced the way people expect mobile games to be priced.

For example, The World Ends With You goes for $20 on the iPad, as does Chaos Rings II. Other games like Final Fantasy Dimensions offer a prologue for free, but charge as much as $29 for the complete campaign.

An unspecified Square Enix executive addressed the company's pricing decisions in an interview with Kotaku, explaining why Square Enix iOS releases (particularly of older games like Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy III) command a premium on mobile marketplaces.

"The games you mention and several of our other mobile titles were originally intended for the consoles, and we've reconfigured and optimized them for the mobile platform, releasing them at a lower price than their original console or handheld versions," the executive said. "Square Enix does provide other casual titles in the lower price range, and as the market evolves, we'll take all different price points into consideration on a game-by-game basis."

The executive did concede that North American gamers especially had become used to lower price points, and pointed to the free-to-play Guardian Cross as an example of Square Enix adapting to market demands. Additionally, the publisher is aiming to use pricing models that are "consistent with the market" and give players "a sense of overall value."

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Hugo Dubs Interactive Designer

163 24 0.1
When you buy a SimCity game for PC at 20 to 50 dollars, why the iOS version should be at 1 or 2 dollars? It's the same game at the end. Im with Square Enix on this.

However, there are a lot more people willing to buy a game for 1 to 2 dollars, than a 20 to 50 dollars iOS game.

Posted:4 years ago


Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus

479 813 1.7
As long as those people are a lower ratio than 20:1, then it's kosher for Squeenix.

Posted:4 years ago


Patrick Williams Medicine and Research

93 63 0.7
My problem with SE's model is that they should show more respect towards their clients by making pricing equivalent across zones and offering cross-device compatibility. A 20 dollar game in Japan should not cost more in NA and I should be able to use my product for iPad on my phone and vice versa.

Posted:4 years ago


Nuttachai Tipprasert Programmer

79 60 0.8
I'm fine with paying 20$ for The World Ends with You, so, who cares about haters? The mentality that games aren't worth more than 1 dollars from the mobile users is very annoying. Now if you charge your games more than 2 dollars, people will be very angry at you like you are robbing their house.

If you find the games are too expensive, then don't buy. Publisher will reduce the price if they found that their games cannot sell really well as they expected. It's Economy 101. As the matter of fact, they did reduce the price of FF III on iOS before. So, I don't see any reason to complain about this if you think the price is unacceptable.

Posted:4 years ago


Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer

490 302 0.6
It's like the embarassing price fixing with electronic books. Publishers trying to charge as much for a downloaded only copy of a book than a paper version that requires shelf space and storage and payment of book store staff etc. etc.

The two are not the same and a game that is 20 dollars on cartridge shouldn't cost the same when downloaded from an app store. For a start none of those cartridge, shelf space or staffing costs apply to the electronic version. So knocking those costs off would have automatically lowered the cost to about 10 dollars.

The argument that it cost 20 in the shops so should cost 20 on a download is nonsense pure and simple.

Posted:4 years ago


Sam Brown Programmer, Cool Games Ltd.

235 164 0.7
If you find the games are too expensive, then don't buy. Publisher will reduce the price if they found that their games cannot sell really well as they expected. It's Economy 101
Exactly. They can only price as high as the market can support. If they don't drop their prices, then clearly the market can support them, end of story.

Posted:4 years ago


Lewis Brown Snr Sourcer/Recruiter, Electronic Arts

217 88 0.4
I don't have a problem spending more on an Android market game if I thinks its worth it, its just a perception based on the thousands of cheap and disposable games. I applaud them for sticking to there guns I want to see the big and better games coming to the platform.

Posted:4 years ago


James Prendergast Research Chemist

783 492 0.6
I don't mind new and original games being priced at whatever cost they want but rehashed games they've released countless times shouldn't be so high.

Posted:4 years ago


Stephen Richards Game Deisgner

71 36 0.5
I'm surprised that industry insiders would object to this approach. If big publishers like Square Enix spent millions on app development then sold them for 69p they would completely dominate the market and indie developers wouldn't be able to compete. Five or ten pounds for a professionally made, high budget game is a good deal. I don't want to sound rude, but consumers should stop moaning about prices that are still cheaper than on any other platform.

Posted:4 years ago


Adrian Herber

69 23 0.3
The market needs to break free of the 99c app mentality. 99c is fine for a tiny minigame, but modern iPhones, Android phones and especially iPads and Android tablets have all the power to run some serious full-blown games. However, these games cost more to make and offer more content - so it's fair that they cost more too.

I welcome higher cost games if that means better and bigger games for iPad.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adrian Herber on 12th October 2012 1:56am

Posted:4 years ago


Nuttachai Tipprasert Programmer

79 60 0.8
The two are not the same and a game that is 20 dollars on cartridge shouldn't cost the same when downloaded from an app store.
If I remember correctly, this game was tagged more than 20 bucks on DS. So, 20$ price tag on iOS is exactly cheaper than its NDS cartridge counterpart.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Nuttachai Tipprasert on 12th October 2012 11:55am

Posted:4 years ago


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