Square Enix, Your iPhone Pricing Is Bananas

Awesome news: after a long wait, Final Fantasy Tactics is on its way to the App Store, with the classic strategy title due out this Thursday. Only, there's a catch: it's expensive.

The iPhone is a different market than other handheld gaming platforms. Nintendo is finding this out the hard way. Games are normally sold for $US0.99, sometimes $US1.99, and while there's a ton of shit out there, there are also plenty of great titles available in that budget price range, which can give you hours and hours of enjoyment.

Square Enix doesn't care. It's launching the game, first out in 1997, for the insane price of $US16. I get it, it's an established game, and Square Enix has launched other recent games at "premium" prices, but $US16 for a game that's nearly 15 years old (and that many of you may own on multiple platforms already) is taking the piss.


Comments

    im guessing part of this has to do with the PSP version as well.

    source? And is it getting an iPad and iPhone release or is the ipad getting the stretch the iPhone version bigger treatment?

    $16 isn't an insane price.

      they don't follow the exchange rate, you know.

        wait a tick, silly browser extension converted the price. disregard previous comment!

    Oh well, good luck to them! It will be interesting to see how they go...

    I remeber playing this so much on my gameboy but i'll just wait till i see it on sale and THEN buy it, everything goes on sale at one point or anything in the istore for a short period of time.

    Of course, the $1 price point for games probably hurts the industry as a whole. As long as consumers have this ingrained expectation that games on your phone cost $1, it's going to be very difficult to spend significant money developing a game for the platform. How much developer time would be spent creating a new game of FFT's caliber? Say it took a years time, for 20 developers testers, marketers, etc., making $50k a year- That's $1m in salaries alone (no benefits, no hardware costs). After Apple takes its 30%, they'd need to sell 1.4 million units to break even at a dollar. 2 dollars, still 700K. So while this re-release is probably too expensive, Square Enix isn't in a position to price games that low, lest people start expecting all of their releases to be bargain priced. Otherwise, they'll never be in a position to release new games on the platform without their customers feeling like their new content is a rip-off, since the rest of their games are $2.
    Tiered pricing is a good thing. Sure, $16 might be a bit steep for FFT, but big players creating market spaces for more expensive games is a good thing for the long-term health of the industry.

      Exactly - the whole 99 cent trend is a race to the bottom, simple disposable games burning a hole in the industry. I imagine if this game (FF Tactics) came out on PSN or XBL you'd be paying almost $20 for it

        Yeah, but how about $10? A race to the bottom it might be, but let's admit it, this is an old game.

        $10 is basically the "premium" price for iphone games anyway, and most of them don't compare to actual handheld games (I don't want anyone to try comparing God(s) Eater Burst and Samurai Warriors Chronicles with NOVA 2 etc. They're all good, but iPhone games are short, and largely inspired from console/pc equivalents. Even Dead Space on the iphone is a bit of an ask for any more than $10 since I bought the actual PC game for that much).

      I can't agree more, dude. Nintendo are right in saying the iPhone market is devaluing developers' work. It's making any chump who has an average knowledge of code and little-to-no design skill the opportunity to make a game.

      While that's great that the little guy has a chance, 90% of the time, it has churned out absolute shit that the public seem to lap up and not see it for the flawed game/app it is.

      THen, the same people who love these mediocre apps/games screw their noses up when they have to pay $10 for an app of stellar quality. The cheek! No doubt they go out and spend more on lunch and not bat an eyelid.

      There's a reason games like Angry Birds are $1. They are glorified flash games.

      /end rant. Sorry, guys.

        Damn man, you hit it right on the nose

    I don't buy the Square Enix games for that reason. I'd love to have Final Fantasy on my phone but I can't justify that pricing.

    they also charged 5.99 for some final fantasy wallpapers at one point i believe. . .

      They're still there. The

      "Final Fantasy XIII/Advent Children Larger-Than-Life Gallery"

      a bunch of Hi-res JPEGs "includes the function to zoom to your favourite image!"

      $6.49.

        Good to see Square-Enix still participating in industry-leading innovation by even adding a zoom function to that wallpaper app!

    I just wish it was a universal app. To me, the optimal way to play would be to have it on an iPad and iPhone, syncing game saves through iCloud (like Steam Cloud). That kind of functionality would make me a whole lot happier to drop some extra cash on this game.

    If its anything like the PSP version, no bloody thanks. Way over priced and slow to all hell! It better be of the PS1 version!

      on PSP you can play the PsOne version or the 'War of the Lions' PSP port version... and I think they're the same price now... which is 9.99 if I'm not wrong... Which is way over-priced if you think it's boring/crappy. But I like it and to me it's a decent price.

    I can't believe that people are -scorning- a game that could easily run you 20+ hours when it costs 16AUD. Seriously, guys, SERIOUSLY?!

    Luke Plunkett, I demand that your next article laugh its ass off at, I dunno, Modern Warfare 3 costing 60USD/120AUD; By the logic on display here, MW3 should run a MINIMUM 150 hours to get the same amount of entertainment per dollar as this game. And let's please decry the Old Republic's CE. 210AUD = 294 hours gameplay, +20AUD/month = +28 hours per month!

    Personally, I go with 10AUD/hour. It's a good balance which is appropriate for just about any medium. Games, films, music, if I can get a solid hour of entertainment out of something for every $10 I put in, I'm happy.

      It is absurd to whinge about a new release costing $16. It feels like I fell into some alternate reality when reading the story/comments.

        I don't think people are whinging. It's more that, in a market saturated with $1 games, is it wise to release one costing $16?

        Sure, FF fans may buy it, but it would be hard to convince many smartphone owners to fork out that much cash when it's surrounded in the app store by games costing a fraction of the price.

      But now you're bringing up the philosophical question of what standard games pricing should be held against? Whether it's how many hours you, the consumer, get out of it, or how much dev resources was put into it.

      Squeenix has released this game several times, and like their other IOS titles will probably be a simple port. And they've already made back the money enough times to be profitable. So should they be demanding $16 for an old DL title?

      I completely agree with you but to be fair to Modern Warfare - most people I know who like it probably would wring 150 hours out of that game quite easily!

        Oh, for sure. Hence it's reasonable. But keep in mind; I said that FFT should go for 20 hours. I think that's pretty conservative, as I've put over 100 into FFTA2 on DS. Evaluating that proposition shows that it far, far, FAR exceeded my expectations :P So we're looking at 150 hours -minimum- from MW2, haha. Also, I've got 450 hours in TF2. Which I paid, let's say $20 for. Woooooooot :3

      Fortunately I bought a chess board for $20, that way it'll only cost me $0.000047/hr.

    Well to be fair if you are tech savvy and own a copy of FFT then you can use an PS1 emulator to play it :D

    This doesn't seem crazy to us here in Australia because it was never released here. If I'm not mistaken this will be the first (maybe second?) time its been made available here.

      It's been released on the PSP here before.

        It was released digitally on PSP like 2 weeks ago.

        For $15. And that's Australian pricing too.

          This I didn't know - I was just talking about the UMD. Might have to add the digital one to my PSN :D

    eh...i aint buying it for 15 bucks. maybe 2, but not 15.

    OMG I AM GETTING THIS. Seriously, I had fun on both this AND on the GBA. I don't own a DS though.

    Pretty sure it's just insane Japanese pricing. Most of these devs have no clue how their products are perceived on the IOS/Android app stores.

    They're so out-of-touch. $16 for a downloadable IOS game (hah!)

    See Depreciation is an interesting thing. If you've never played it before why should you only pay a dollar? Because it's old? Assuming it's the same as the original you are getting a new experience at below the original RRP. Also I would say that this type of game lends itself to handhelds with both it's gameplay and graphics, See FF:TA, so you may even be getting a better experience.
    As a personal anecdote I just bought Zork Grand Inquisitor off GOG for $5. I would have gladly paid $10 or $15 if I could have run it off my phone instead of seeing it stretched horribly on my 24 inch monitor.

    $7.99 would have probably been the sweet spot for this.

      Yep. $7.99 would be perfet. Then they can charge more for original stuff.

    16 dollars for a AAA title is reasonable. I'm more comfortable at 10, but seriously guys? You don't think developer's effort is worth your money, even if the game's kicking around a while?

    Seriously?? FFT is easy worth $15! FFT is a classic and still holds its own over most games today. That's crazy-talk Luke!

    It doesn't matter if they need more cash for development or even if it's a top of the line game. Console games use to cost $50, no more no less, then they all went up to $60 no more no less. That's how a market works, your not going to see a brand new halo or MW game going for $120 because they "feel" they need that much. Get real, square enix is shit nowadays, overpriced and with many bugs/ flaws with no support or updates. They are wanting to do minimal work for maximum profit by reselling outdated games. Stop standing up for bad business people, you all are the reason consumers are walked all over and product quality isn't a goal.

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