Square-Enix is elbow-deep in the iOS market, and for the most part, its offerings are pretty good. Final Fantasy Dimensions, for instance, is a pretty excellent game for anyone who craves good old fashioned RPG fare from Square-Enix’s 16-bit heyday. Problem is, if you want Square-Enix’s games, they’re going to cost you. The company recently acknowledged that its prices are pretty high above the average for mobile fare, and it might be preparing to knock them down a little bit.
Gamezebo’s Jim Squires attended Casual Connect Kiev this week, where Antony Douglas, the General Manager of Mobile for Square-Enix Europe, addressed the high game prices and provided some insight.
‘I think that the Japanese view of this is that we have built quality games, whether they’re for handheld or for mobile’¦ the business model is not set in this world,’ Douglas said. ‘Everything is free-to-play right now, tomorrow it could be different, [and] it’ll change the day after that. I think Japan wanted to try things– bear in mind that game sells incredibly well at that price, [and] I think there’s something honest about it, because it tells you how much the game is going to be.
‘$20 for something you can play for 30 or 40 hours is still cheaper than what you can get on a handheld. [Square Enix] Japan are trying that and seeing how it works, and it works very well in Japan. It has been commented on quite a lot in Europe in the West, [and] they’re responding to it. They’re seeing the feedback, and there will probably be changes in the way that it’s structured.’
To be fair, $30 for Final Fantasy Dimensions is pretty dang steep for a mobile game (and gameplay-wise, it’s still no Final Fantasy VI), but it’s a solidly-built title that provides hours of fun. Also, you pay for the game chapter-by-chapter, so if you don’t like how things are going, you can bail out before you pay for the game in full.
When Square-Enix charges $6.99 for a game like Demons’ Score, however, and then expects the player to pony up for expensive in-app purchases– that’s when people really get irritated.