Final Fantasy VII Remake Is $115 On PC And People Are Freaking Out

Final Fantasy VII Remake Is $115 On PC And People Are Freaking Out
Image: Square Enix

The launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S provided companies with an opportunity to charge more for their console games and many jumped at the chance. With Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade and Forespoken, that new A$114.95 price tag is making a controversial appearance on PC, a platform that’s traditionally seen at cheaper price points. Some people are worried it’s the beginning of an across-the-board price hike, even if it’s one that’s been long overdue.

PC players noticed the new pricetag on the Epic Games Store listing shortly after Square Enix announced the RPG port, a first in a competitive ecosystem known for steep discounts. The price, which includes post-release DLC, has since been hidden. The page now only says the game is “coming soon,” despite the fact that the game releases in just a few days on December 16. Upcoming action RPG Forspoken, meanwhile, still shows its A$114.95 price on Steam, and its Discussion page is dominated by an over 300 comment thread arguing about it.

Last year, Activision, Take-Two, Sony and others revealed that the new-gen versions of their next-gen games would have a $US10 (A$14) mark-up over the generally standardised $US60 (A$84) video game price point. Some competitors let players upgrade their last-gen games for free, whereas anyone who wanted to play Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War or Spider-Man: Miles Morales on PS5 would need to pay extra to enjoy them at a higher fidelity.

“We announced a $US70 (A$115) price point for NBA 2K21,” Take-Two publisher CEO Strauss Zelnick said earlier this year after the basketball game became the first to adopt the hike. “Our view was that we’re offering an array of extraordinary experiences, lots of replayability, and the last time there was a frontline price increase in the US was 2005, 2006, so we think consumers were ready for it.”

Image: Square EnixImage: Square Enix

So far, these games have remained at $US60 (A$84) on PC, despite those versions being able to run as well as or in some cases even better than their new-gen console counterparts. PC players also don’t have to pay for monthly subscriptions to access their online modes.

Many gaming executives and designers have long argued that the current $US60 (A$84) price is unsustainable for blockbusters given the exponentially rising costs of big-budget development. At the same time, plenty of the best selling games every year aren’t made by armies of developers pushing graphics and computing to the max. And higher price tags are just as much an opportunity for companies to pad profit margins as pay the people actually making their games.

“There is no reason to assume good faith on behalf of companies who deserve none,” wrote Twitch streamer CaseyExplosion on Twitter over the weekend. “They’ll raise prices if people will pay, and keep all the rest of the slimy, predatory crap too. It’s not a case of either or, and we’re not in any kind of position to bargain with them over it.”

Call of Duty is an annual best seller and Activision Blizzard still routinely lays people off. Just last week, developers there began passing out union authorization cards after the recently announced layoffs for the QA team on Call of Duty: Warzone, the franchise’s incredibly popular and lucrative free-to-play game that generates millions in revenue every day from microtransactions alone. While it’s true that game development costs continue to balloon with every console generation, a price hike would realistically not make a meaningful difference in whether or not these poor conditions continue at the company.

Not everyone on PC is up in arms about the first new domino to fall. Some have pointed out on Steam Discussion pages and elsewhere that discounts are so prevalent anyway that most people can get away without ever paying full price if they’re willing to wait. As just one recent example, Guardians of the Galaxy, which released a couple months ago, is already down to $US39 (A$55) on Steam.

It goes to show how any blanket price ceiling, whether $US60 (A$84) or A$115, is absurd and artificial to begin with. Plenty of games could stand to cost less, and do. Many could cost much, much more, and still be completely worth it.

Comments

  • It’s a weird thought that a price hike is “one that’s been long overdue”. We pay $100, give or take, on new games here in Aus and these are so often loaded with microtransactions that it’s akin to double dipping from a consumer base that is already paying above the global odds to game. The great irony is that they have two options 1) hike the price and have fewer gamers buying or 2) lower the price and have a greater volume of people buying. I’d warrant that the ratio of those who would actually pay a lower price far exceeds those who are willing to pay the higher one. Moreover I’d be far less motivated to go key hunting and purchase from a distributer that is potentially less likely to be passing on the profits to the developers.

    The bottom line is that people will ALWAYS prefer to pay less and if something is available at a reasonable price then piracy is heavily reduced. So no – I disagree – it’s not a long overdue price hike, it’s a narrow minded cynical money grab that will only push people to piracy.

  • People already pay top dollar for re-skinned sports games, people already pay for AAA games being released in a beta testing stage.

    While people pay nothing will change.

  • I already own it on PS5, so in all honestly, I’ll either just get around to playing it there, or maybe sail a sea or seven at that price.

  • It’s long overdue? No. Counterpoint: It’s long overdue to *reduce* the price of games. Why? Less content is being sold in games than ever before generally.

    Microtransactions are now commonplace, season passes, content passes, skins for sale, coins to buy to buy useless cosmetics you rarely ever see, everything. All of those are in single player games too like FarCry 6 for example. If you dial back the clock 20 years to 2001, none of this existed, everything may have been the same price but *all that content* came packaged with the game. So if anything? Back then, everything stood for better value. Now? We’re getting offered a full deluxe steak dinner at the checkout, only to get home and find out we’ve only got a Macca’s cheeseburger under the wrapping.

    So no, a price increase isn’t due. A re-evaluation and potential price drop IS however. Or at least a revision of how companies ethically approach their content is, that’s for sure.

  • Games have gotten cheaper in so many ways, so many more games are heavily discounted these days and most are sooner then they have ever been.

    Does no one remember paying $120 for SNES games in the mid 90s?

    • Please stop making up stories as the only game that was expensive on snes was Earthbound and that’s because it came with a guide and guess what a few months later it was in bargain bins at half price

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