Nintendo and the Wii U doesn't have the best track record when it comes to digital releases. But when games pop up on the eShop, they usually do so at a reasonable price.
But for whatever reason, that doesn't seem to apply when the game is re-released in stores.
FAST Racing NEO. If you don't have or ever use a Wii U, the name probably won't ring a bell. But it's the closest gamers have gotten to a new F-Zero or Wipeout since, well, F-Zero or Wipeout, and as Mike found last year it's a pretty serviceable replacement with plenty of tracks and good multiplayer support.
So the news that FAST Racing NEO, along with the SteamWorld Collection, was getting a retail re-release was excellent news. It's a solid indie racer that deserves a bit more attention.
Except there's one problem — the retail copy is more than double the price of the original. Here's a snippet from the Nintendo release:
Nintendo has continued to grow and cultivate its relationship with indie developers. On October 1 in Australia and New Zealand, this commitment to supporting great indie games and getting quality games in the hands of players come together with the retail launch of Shin’en Multimedia’s FAST Racing NEO and Image & Form’s SteamWorld Collection as Nintendo eShop Selects titles for Wii U (SRP AU$49.95 each).
The eShop price for FAST Racing NEO when it launched last year: $22.49. That's the price Nintendo Australia confirmed over email. Less than half of what the game now costs in stores.
You do get some concessions for the $27.46 markup, though. The physical re-release of FAST Racing NEO will come with the NEO Future Pack DLC, which has eight downloadable tracks.
But FAST Racing NEO? The Mario Kart 8 DLC bundle only cost $16 in Australia, although it'd be staggering if FAST Racing's DLC cost anywhere near that. Nintendo could use more people buying their games, not less, and it's hard to imagine how jacking the price up so significantly will help.
I've reached out to Nintendo's Australian PR to find out what's going on with the markup. I haven't heard back from them, but if they release a comment or statement I'll let you know.