As noted by our own Christopher Dring, Nintendo has a bit of a cost quandary on its hands with Switch software. The cartridges cost more to produce and because of a pricing parity requirement, that means the digital versions cost more as well. That's exactly what happened with Tequila Works' Rime, which had been priced at $39.99... until today. Publishing partner Grey Box has announced that it's lowered the digital version of Rime on Switch to $29.99, the same price it's selling for on other platforms.
To get around the parity requirement, the physical version (which has to remain $39.99 or else sell at a loss) will be packed with added value in the form of a code for a download of the complete soundtrack by David Garcνa.
"The reason for the higher price was due to the additional development, manufacturing, and publishing costs involved with that port. While some were understanding of these go-to-market costs, there were still a number of folks who weren't happy. We totally understand: nobody wants to pay higher prices," Grey Box noted. "At Grey Box, we are determined to provide a fair deal for everyone around. And so we discussed how we could do that, without simply selling at a loss, all while also being fair to our retail partners."
The soundtrack from Garcia is going to be sold for $10 separately as well, so from a value perspective it adds up. Players on platforms other than Switch don't have to feel cheated and can purchase the soundtrack after Rime if they wish. It's an interesting solution that other developers on Switch may wish to pursue when faced with their own pricing dilemmas. Of course, some developers may choose to go digital only, but that does limit the market potential for their titles. Digital is undoubtedly growing but retail can still be lucrative for many.
Rime is due out on May 26 on the PS4, Xbox One and PC. The Switch version is coming later this summer. If you're interested in learning more about Tequila Works' philosophy and approach to game development, you can read our recent interview with studio head Raul Rubio.