Demons' Score has no content-based in-app purchases in Japan, and costs half as much
Last week, we hit out at Square Enix's rhythm-action devil basher Demons' Score for its rather sly use of in-app purchases.
The game has an upfront fee of £4.99 / $6.99, you see, but by the time you finish the third boss fight you'll be ambushed by a notification that you must spend more money in order to unlock key components of the game.
After each battle, you're offered a chance to sign a pact with the devil you just dispatched. This lets you use its costume, voice, and, most importantly, song in the next battle. The catch is: that pact costs cash - £1.99 / $2.99 for the first few, with the later baddies being even more expensive.
If you don't cough up, you'll be playing along to the same two songs for the rest of the game. Not ideal in a rhythm-based game, right?
After each boss battle, you must spend at least £1.99 to use that demon's soundtrack in future fights
In our review, we totted up all the extra costs and additional charges (including a £6.99 / $9.99 super-hard difficulty mode), and found that "the total cost to unlock the full game - minus consumable potions - is close to £30/$50".
This sorry state of affairs, it turns out, is actually exclusive to Western gamers. NeoGAF user StarCreator discovered that on the Japanese App Store, its a very different story.
The Japanese version of Demons' Score has an upfront fee of ¥1500 (about £12 / $20), and no level-lock in-app purchases. It does contain consumable potions - priced at ¥85 (69p / 99c) a swig - but all the songs, costumes, and demon pacts are bundled into the upfront cost.
Which means that the full Demons' Score experience costs Western gamers more than double the amount it costs Eastern players. Ouch.
The App Store price panel for both versions of the game reveals a dramatic discrepancy
We've reached out to Square Enix for a comment on this - we'll let you know if we hear anything back.