It's Unclear Why Indie Game Rime Costs $20 More On Switch

Recently, the developers of the colourful adventure game Rime announced that it will be out on May 26 for PC, PS4, Xbox One. It will also come to Nintendo Switch, although you'll have to pay an extra $20 for the privilege.

Rime, which was originally announced as a PS4 exclusive before the developers at Tequila Works pulled the rights from Sony and turned it into a multiplatform game, will be $49.95 on PC, $59.95 on PS4/XB1 and $79.95 on the Switch. It's not clear why we'll have to pay a premium for the Nintendo version, and the explanations from both parties have been vague.

"We set prices for our products based on the costs of development and publishing for each specific platform," said a representative for Grey Box, the publisher of Rime, when I asked what the deal was.

When I pushed for more details — is the extra charge because they have to ship on proprietary cartridges instead of Blu-rays? — the representative added: "I can confirm cost of manufacturing is also a factor, in addition to the statement below about development and publishing costs."

Rime is the first third-party game whose makers are charging more money on the Switch, which launched last Friday, and it may be an ominous sign for the console's future. Is this an anomaly? Or will we see this "Nintendo Tax" on other indie games with physical launches on Switch?

Today during a Facebook stream, a fan asked Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime why some games cost more on Switch. "We don't make that pricing decision," he said. "When you see those differences in prices, call up that third-party publisher and ask them."

Ominous! And something that Nintendo should be trying very hard to fight. Unless they want the Switch to be the console known for getting later, more expensive versions of games.


    I think you answered the question yourself - its the Nintendo tax.

      "We don't make that pricing decision,"


      "We charge for physical media and/or eshop fees and let the publisher make its own decision about retail"

        Considering Nintendo don't make the carts, how do they have a say in cart pricing?

          Even if made by third party, it is under licence from Nintendo, as it is Nintendo IP.

    I'll tell you why. There is less competition on Switch at the moment, so they can exploit than for a profit.

    I don't blame them.

      Totally agree. With Rime its a bit murky as to how that works. As far as I'm aware, the PS4 and Xbone versions are being developed in house (correct me if I'm wrong guys) while the Switch version has been outsourced to Tantalus.

      I'm inclined to believe the publisher has marked up the price for a cash grab. If you were a developer looking to recoup all costs, you would have to think you would spread it equally amongst all versions.

    Because the Switch is new.

    Doesn't matter if the game is new, old, remade or ported, they'll all lean towards the generic RRP for a Switch game.

    I imagine when Minecraft gets released on the Switch, the RRP will be higher than other versions.

    Nintendo should be trying very hard to fight. Not only Nintendo, people who want this game on the Switch, and even those who think unexplained price disparities are bullshit, need to be hammering the publisher for answers.

      Nintendo probably are trying to get it lowered. They are not going to come out and say that in public though.

    Given the hardware is a piece of ...., I wouldn't be surprised if it takes more time to develop on it as well.

      The hardware is earlier to develop for than either Xbox or PS4 if you read developers comments on it. They said porting had been straight forward and easy.

      The likely answer other than it being "a piece of ****", which I utterly disagree on, is that it's been outsourced to a 3rd party to develop.

    32GB is about USD13. So USD7 for Nintendo's tax (helping you to copy the files onto the cart).

    Sounds about right.

    Soon, it will be a trend. All Switch's games will be higher priced with inferior quality.

      ... this isn't an SD card and it's been developed and made by the same company as 3DS cards. If you seriously think Nintendo would use cards that cost thatmuch, you haven't been in gaming that long.

      Let's not forget - Nintendo is a profit company, they don't take hits on hardware and software. If the carts literally cost that much more, Zelda would have cost more on Switch than Wii U.

    I followed the development of this game for a long time. There were a lot of bumps in the road - i hope the final product overcomes them but I'm not holding my breath.

    What a lot of people may not be aware of who are posting - this game has been outsourced to be developed for Switch. Tantalus in Australia are handling this port , not the original devs.

    Its too early to say its the carts, because the 3DS carts are manufactured by the exact same company. Most likely answer is the short time the Tantalus have had to port it and how much money had to be thrown at them.

    Jason, it might be worth asking the question if this is why it costs more - because this seems the most likely answer.

    Just so people are aware - No More Heroes launches on all consoles in 2week and the Switch version is the same price. Another indicator there is more going on behind the scenes rather than the "cart" price.

      No More Heroes launches on all consoles in 2week and the Switch version is the same price.Wait what? I thought Suda was saying he hadn't even figured out what he wanted the game to be yet, no way it got done in a matter of months.

      Brain jumble, guessing you meant Has-Been Heroes (@mrtaco)which is releasing at $39.95 across all four current-gen platforms. Lego City Undercover also has a platform-consistent release price.

      Surprising that no-one is pointing to the Skyland Imaginators Starter pack which is releasing at $10 below both PS4 and Xbox One.

    I guess you could say there's no reason or Rime to this price hike.

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