Square Enix Defends its Mobile Game Pricing

Square Enix Defends its Mobile Game Pricing

Final Fantasy V iOS

Square Enix producer Takashi Tokita believes customers are "content" with the premium prices the company charges for its mobile games.

Mobile games sometimes get an undeservedly bad rap, owing in no small part to the fact that many of them are simple, accessible and oftentimes just plain cheap. That being the case, many take issue with Square Enix's standard practice of charging a comparable arm and leg for the mobile versions of its own library. It's not hard to see why some might be disgruntled. Angry Birds might be playable with just the flick of a finger but it only costs 99 cents. What makes Square Enix think it can charge $15.99 for Final Fantasy V? Speaking on the subject recently, the company attempted to explain the rationale behind its mobile pricing model.

"The new Final Fantasies we are releasing from the mobile phones are better in graphics, and a lot of work has gone into them to make them a pleasant experience," said producer Takashi Tokita. In turn, Tokita believes this work justifies a higher price point, even when compared to other versions of the same games that cost less on different platforms. The PlayStation Network ports, for instance, don't live up to same standard. "[They] aren't upscaled versions," he said. "They are basically migrations from the older systems."

That being said, the company hasn't been oblivious to consumer complaints. "In the beginning we did receive some concerns about the pricing," he said. Concerns that he claims were mitigated, at least in part, by the quality of the experiences being sold. "Customers have played it and saw the value and have been content with the pricing." A part of us wants to assume "content" may be a strong word, but that's just our opinion. What do you think? Is Square Enix correct to assume that the quality of its content earns it the right to charge a bit more? Or is it perhaps being greedy and leveraging its fanbase to earn more on products that might cost less if they were coming from a different company?

Source: Polygon

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i could start complaining once they maybe finish releasing the games on actual gaming handheld systems

I dont buy their mobile games largely because of price. Also i dont need yet another copy of 1+2.

drkchmst:
I dont buy their mobile games largely because of price. Also i dont need yet another copy of 1+2.

What I'd really love to see is a new version of 1 that retains the original game's difficulty. I've always been put off by how much easier the various remakes have made the game.

They can explain as much as they want, but people who aren't FF fans or have too much disposable income won't buy mobile games for those prices. I assume an FF fan would already have a GBA/PSP/DS/3DS to play the old FF games on the go, making the mobile version redundant.

StewShearer:

drkchmst:
I dont buy their mobile games largely because of price. Also i dont need yet another copy of 1+2.

What I'd really love to see is a new version of 1 that retains the original game's difficulty. I've always been put off by how much easier the various remakes have made the game.

The remakes I played (PS1 and PSP) had an option for hard difficulty. I'm pretty sure that hard difficulty in those versions was the same as the difficulty of the NES version.

StewShearer:

drkchmst:
I dont buy their mobile games largely because of price. Also i dont need yet another copy of 1+2.

What I'd really love to see is a new version of 1 that retains the original game's difficulty. I've always been put off by how much easier the various remakes have made the game.

Wait, the difficulty of 1 was so much harder than it used to be? How much harder are we talking about and why were they harder?

OT: SE might not be in a proper position to say those ports are of very good quality. Quality is decided by the customer, not by the company. If the company is satisfied with how their product turned out, it doesn't necessarily mean the costumer will be. The best finger I can point is at TW: rome II.

Also, they made all the bravest... Maybe not a port, but...

As long as I'm getting more bang for my buck I'm fine with it. New dungeons, new content. New graphics to see, monster designs etc. A direct port for a high price is a rip off. Like PSN's version of FF6, laggy garbage.

Doom972:
They can explain as much as they want, but people who aren't FF fans or have too much disposable income won't buy mobile games for those prices. I assume an FF fan would already have a GBA/PSP/DS/3DS to play the old FF games on the go, making the mobile version redundant.

StewShearer:

drkchmst:
I dont buy their mobile games largely because of price. Also i dont need yet another copy of 1+2.

What I'd really love to see is a new version of 1 that retains the original game's difficulty. I've always been put off by how much easier the various remakes have made the game.

The remakes I played (PS1 and PSP) had an option for hard difficulty. I'm pretty sure that hard difficulty in those versions was the same as the difficulty of the NES version.

Really now? Was that in the GBA version as well? Cause I didn't think it had a harder mode and I'd heard the other recent ports were easy too. I'll be feeling like a rube if I missed that...:/

I don't have a problem with them charging around 10 for an enhanced port of an old game that aren't super old. However, I do have a problem with them releasing atrocities such as All The Bravest.

OuendanCyrus:
I don't have a problem with them charging around 10 for an enhanced port of an old game that aren't super old. However, I do have a problem with them releasing atrocities such as All The Bravest.

A million times this. However they seem not to realize they're 'competing' in a market half the time... Square come on, you've got some hopeful contenders lined up, don't fall back on bad habits.

And if you ARE going to pretty the games in your previous library up, why not just go the full mile for some of them.
*Cough Final Fantasy 9*

Okay okay, that was self indulgent, but really you're charging that much in a market where dollar games are the norm, you either have to work magic and actually sell it rather than just sticking it up there and calling it a day, or no one but your most hardcore are going to want to purchase it on what is essentially their pocket change for the week, they're going to buy more big budget titles for their PC/Consoles.

This is why being arrogant about the final fantasy brand set you back so hard before SE. Stop it.

StewShearer:

Doom972:
They can explain as much as they want, but people who aren't FF fans or have too much disposable income won't buy mobile games for those prices. I assume an FF fan would already have a GBA/PSP/DS/3DS to play the old FF games on the go, making the mobile version redundant.

StewShearer:

What I'd really love to see is a new version of 1 that retains the original game's difficulty. I've always been put off by how much easier the various remakes have made the game.

The remakes I played (PS1 and PSP) had an option for hard difficulty. I'm pretty sure that hard difficulty in those versions was the same as the difficulty of the NES version.

Really now? Was that in the GBA version as well? Cause I didn't think it had a harder mode and I'd heard the other recent ports were easy too. I'll be feeling like a rube if I missed that...:/

I never played the GBA version, so I don't know about that. Check it out if you have the game available.

I'm not certain how I can complain any louder in a language you understand when the only sound I make is the sound of me not buying your product due to the price?

The price of their games is the main reason I haven't gotten any of them yet. That, and I own pretty much all of them in an environment that lets me use buttons and a directional pad. The one game I truly considered buying on more than one occasion was Final Fantasy Tactics, which I never got to play in the Playstation era and generally speaking, tactical strategy games work well on a touch screen. But the price is the big stumbling block there.

Cut the price dramatically, and we'll talk. Until then Squenix, you're not getting me to buy any of your apps.

This is why smartphones and tablets will never kill the handheld market like many suggest.
Games cost money to make. Good games cost more money to make. You simply can't compare any mobile game to a bigger, project.
A handheld game like lets say Mario 3D Land or any Zelda game have big teams of people working on the games. That costs lots of money. Angry Birds can be made by a single person in less than a month.
You can't charge the same price for a big and rewarding title and for a cheap 1 minute game like Angry Birds. Smartphone user will never accept a $15 price point.
Handheld user accept a $20-40 price point because they know they get a game worth it. So as long as there are gamer, there will exist handhelds

I don't know what he plans to achieve by these comments. Will people that have stayed put from spending ridiculous prices on such games now say "oh, well in that case, I'm happy to pay XX more than the average mobile games."?

I think not.

BiH-Kira:
This is why smartphones and tablets will never kill the handheld market like many suggest.
Games cost money to make. Good games cost more money to make. You simply can't compare any mobile game to a bigger, project.
A handheld game like lets say Mario 3D Land or any Zelda game have big teams of people working on the games. That costs lots of money. Angry Birds can be made by a single person in less than a month.
You can't charge the same price for a big and rewarding title and for a cheap 1 minute game like Angry Birds. Smartphone user will never accept a $15 price point.
Handheld user accept a $20-40 price point because they know they get a game worth it. So as long as there are gamer, there will exist handhelds

That or core gamers are far too stubborn to even look at mobile games, and thus never notice you can get amazing titles for under a tenner on them.

Rack:

BiH-Kira:
This is why smartphones and tablets will never kill the handheld market like many suggest.
Games cost money to make. Good games cost more money to make. You simply can't compare any mobile game to a bigger, project.
A handheld game like lets say Mario 3D Land or any Zelda game have big teams of people working on the games. That costs lots of money. Angry Birds can be made by a single person in less than a month.
You can't charge the same price for a big and rewarding title and for a cheap 1 minute game like Angry Birds. Smartphone user will never accept a $15 price point.
Handheld user accept a $20-40 price point because they know they get a game worth it. So as long as there are gamer, there will exist handhelds

That or core gamers are far too stubborn to even look at mobile games, and thus never notice you can get amazing titles for under a tenner on them.

Well that too.
I found out about Anomaly Warzone only because I found it on my tablet. I enjoyed the game more than many of the latest AAA games.
Unfortunately, there aren't many such games and the extremely limited input device limits the amount of such games.
And this is another point of why we will keep handhelds.
The completely different way of controlling the games allows for many different games that aren't possible on both devices without stupidly oversimplifying them.
IIRC Extra Credits made an episode about touchscreen games and how you must have a radically different approach to making games than with a regular controller.

Well, so long as they're not using micro transactions and pay-to-win tactics (*cough*Plants vs Zombies 2*cough*) I have absolutely no problem with a more expensive game. It's still cheap compared to dedicated handheld console games.

BiH-Kira:

Rack:

BiH-Kira:
This is why smartphones and tablets will never kill the handheld market like many suggest.
Games cost money to make. Good games cost more money to make. You simply can't compare any mobile game to a bigger, project.
A handheld game like lets say Mario 3D Land or any Zelda game have big teams of people working on the games. That costs lots of money. Angry Birds can be made by a single person in less than a month.
You can't charge the same price for a big and rewarding title and for a cheap 1 minute game like Angry Birds. Smartphone user will never accept a $15 price point.
Handheld user accept a $20-40 price point because they know they get a game worth it. So as long as there are gamer, there will exist handhelds

That or core gamers are far too stubborn to even look at mobile games, and thus never notice you can get amazing titles for under a tenner on them.

Well that too.
I found out about Anomaly Warzone only because I found it on my tablet. I enjoyed the game more than many of the latest AAA games.
Unfortunately, there aren't many such games and the extremely limited input device limits the amount of such games.
And this is another point of why we will keep handhelds.
The completely different way of controlling the games allows for many different games that aren't possible on both devices without stupidly oversimplifying them.
IIRC Extra Credits made an episode about touchscreen games and how you must have a radically different approach to making games than with a regular controller.

There could certainly stand to be more great games on tablets, but my issue is more that they tend to represent certain genres more than others. Tablets are a great interface for strategy games and 2D shooters, but not really for racing games, FPS or fighting games.

Extra Credits did an episode on the subject, but I found it to be one of their rare misses. I think they said something like it would be impractical to play a hardcore shmup on a tablet, ignoring that tablets are absolutely unequivocally the best control method for hardcore shmups by a ludicrous margin.

There's one other reason handhelds will survive. If Nintendo keep making Fire Emblem and Advance Wars and can convince Capcom to make Phoenix Wright exclusive to their systems then I'm going to buy them just to play those games.

This sort of comes full circle, if you make something good enough then it can sustain a premium price. Square are just consistently missing the price/quality threshhold on ios. Slightly souped up ports of old FF games are not worth 14 on a system I can buy Pandemic for 5 let alone when I can get Summoner Wars and Clash of Heroes for 69p each.

I actually wouldn't mind buying a proper game or two for my Nexus 7 but it has to be at a proper price, not pay a little now and pay a bit more later type models or games that gate you off most of the game until you pay more over time.

Squeenix, the EA of the eastern world. I avoid their games as much as humanly possible.

yeah it's kinda hard justifying that with the existence of pc emulators that let you play it for free. for better or worse that is their competition with a game that is that old. i always took issue with this idea that you can re-sell a game made 10-15 years ago and you have to pay 12-15$ for the privilege of playing it on current consoles and devices. it's a nostalgia grab, I own almost all the old final fantasy games in one form or another and maybe it's kinda silly to say why should i rebuy when my old snes is still in a box somewhere but really. i'd be happier if they were like 5$ i mean it's basically free money to them.

I don't think the ports are over priced myself. The games have been updated and function very well on the mobile platform (I own 1-3 and FFT). The touch controls get a bit tricky for FFT but the localization for it blew the original away. I don't mind the premium price because I know I"m going to get a game that is quality and fun. I've seen some really decent 2-5 dollar games and plenty of awful ones too, so I'd rather drop 16 bucks buying a game I know will be fun. This only applies to the ports of course, with the jaw-dropping cash grab that is All the Bravest, I don't trust Sqeenix's non-ports on IOS.

I'd love to get some of these games for my iPad, but I really only want to play them for nostalgia. $20 bucks for a device I primarily use on the toilet for a game that really is only good rose-tinted glasses is asking a bit much. That being said the company is free to charge whatever they want, because I know several FF fans who gobble up anything the company spits out. I suppose the question is do they expect to sell 5 copies at $5 or 1 copy at $20?

BiH-Kira:

You can't charge the same price for a big and rewarding title and for a cheap 1 minute game like Angry Birds. Smartphone user will never accept a $15 price point.
Handheld user accept a $20-40 price point because they know they get a game worth it. So as long as there are gamer, there will exist handhelds

That's why Angry Birds ports are like 30 bucks, right?

I'm really tired of companies stating that because someone bought something, they are content with it. THAT IS NOT WHAT CONTENT MEANS! Honestly, someone cannot be discontent with a product unless they have first bought it and are then able to ascertain its quality and judge whether or not they are "content" with the experience.

Seriously, they took 8 bit graphics and made 16 bit versions(in many cases the games had already been given 16 bit graphics in other re-releases and on those they just did a touch up), not that hard and often times unwanted since people that are buying these games want them because of nostalgia. That minor and questionable effort makes them worth such a ridiculous amount?

"Content" With paying the premium price, it's more like "puts up with" the prices.
It's really lame they have to come out and say "Hey you guys are content with it" when there's seems to be a large enough outcry for them to have to come out and discuss this.

I did get FF3 from the App Store. I didn't mind the price simply because it was a full on game, not the usual cow clicker clone or annoying builder locked off behind timers or paywalls.

It is the first and last game I'll buy for that price on iOS though, not because of the price but because I found out I have no intention of sitting down and using it for long enough periods to justify full length game purchases.

SE I have all of your mobile games yet I gave you 0 dollars for it due to the outrageous prices... guess I am not so content with the prices. No loss for me though only for them. :)

Clearly people are buying it, or Square-Enix would lower the price. Not me, though. Not when Chrono Trigger's always-on DRM doesn't even work with my device (even though the Galaxy S III is one of the best selling Android devices ever and really should've been a priority for them), not when FFIV is based on the chunky and poorly-acted DS version instead of the beautiful PSP version, not when FFV has lifeless, oversmoothed sprites that don't even look as good as the blocky pixels from the original.

To be fair, Final Fantasy Dimensions is something I've actually considered paying full price for. It's a brand new game that I haven't already bought repeatedly, its art is mediocre but at least not at the expense of better classic art, its DRM is simply a one-time activation, and reviews seem to be generally positive. I certainly won't be buying any other recent mobile Square-Enix games, though.

P.S. Thanks

Quality product... coming from the developer of All the Bravest... Hahahahaha, good one- oh wait, this is serious? *snerk* HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

No seriously. Squeenix can p**s right off.

Oh, and if you make FFXII HD a mobile release, I'm buying a ticket to Japan and bringing my nut-kicking boots.

When they released All The Bravest, any shed of good will I had for them is gone. Judging by the article it appears it's not gonna come back any time soon. Just as the customers are "content" with the prices I'm "content" to find someone else to take my money.

StewShearer:

drkchmst:
I dont buy their mobile games largely because of price. Also i dont need yet another copy of 1+2.

What I'd really love to see is a new version of 1 that retains the original game's difficulty. I've always been put off by how much easier the various remakes have made the game.

How have they done that then? Did they tweak the game play? I didn't realise they'd done that. Missed the FF series first time round.

 

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