Square Enix justifies its inflated Android and iOS app prices

You get what you pay for

Square Enix justifies its inflated Android and iOS app prices

Square Enix has spoken out in defence of the high price tags attached to many of its mobile and iOS games.

Speaking to Kotaku, a spokesperson for Square Enix was asked why, in a marketplace dominated by freemium and 69p / 99c titles, the publisher was selling ports of its old RPGs (such as Final Fantasy III and The World Ends With You) for £11 / $16 and upwards.

"The games you mention and several of our other mobile titles were originally intended for the consoles, and we've reconfigured and optimized them for the mobile platform, releasing them at a lower price than their original console or handheld versions," Square Enix said.

Here, the publisher seems to be justifying its inflated mobile price points by pointing to its titles' console origins.

However, that doesn't account for why it's charging £20 / $29 to complete Final Fantasy Dimensions and £30 / $45 to complete Demons' Score - both of which are new games developed exclusively for mobile platforms.

Square Enix had this to say on its current iOS pricing system:

"Each game is priced individually and evaluated based on the type of game, depth, and overall experience it provides for players."

"Some of our higher priced titles offer more than 60+ hours of game time with rich storylines, high quality graphics, and challenging, diverse combat."

"However, we are aware that the market in North America is accustomed to the lower priced or free-to-play games. Guardian Cross was our first significant title to utilize the free-to-play pricing model and we've been very happy with the community reaction to the title."

But, what about that large pricing discrepancy between the Western and Japanese versions of Demons' Score? Why exactly does the Japanese edition cost £13 / $20 to unlock, while Western customers have to cough up £4.99 / $6.99 upfront and shell out £25 / $37 through IAPs for the same experience?

"We wanted to offer US players the opportunity to purchase and experience Demons' Score at a lower price than the Japanese version," Square Enix replied.

"This allowed US players the opportunity to play the game and decide whether or not they wished to proceed by purchasing additional IAPs as they progressed within the game."

James Gilmour
James Gilmour
James pivoted to video so hard that he permanently damaged his spine, which now doubles as a Cronenbergian mic stand. If the pictures are moving, he's the one to blame.