Square Enix on its expensive iOS games

In an App Store filled with great, cheap games (many for $5 or less) Square Enix's iOS contributions stand alone. Kotaku spoke with a Japanese Square Enix executive about the decisions behind the company's pricing models.

Remade classics like Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions cost $16, or $18 for The World Ends with You: Solo Remix. Games made specifically for iOS are cheaper or free up front, like Demons' Score and Final Fantasy Dimensions, but also require more than $30 of in-app purchases to play the complete game. The Square Enix executive said the games are all individually adapted to iOS and sold for less than their console predecessors at release.

"The mobile marketplace is maturing and frequently changing. As the devices increase in capability, the quality of gaming experiences we provide increases as well," the executive said. "Each game is priced individually and evaluated based on the type of game, depth and overall experience it provides for players."

The executive said Square Enix is aware that North American gamers have lower price expectations. That contributed to their decisions with the free-to-play Guardian Cross, their only title to break into the App Store's Top 200 Grossing items.

While chopping games into individual paid chapters may gives players more flexibility, Kotaku worried that erecting several different paywalls to progress could ultimately sour gamers, as it has with companies like Zynga.

Does Square Enix need to get with the times, or does the quality of its products justify their unusually hefty price tags?


Enix Square


  • EmptySoul684 - October 11, 2012 11:18 p.m.

  • Shinn - October 11, 2012 6:08 a.m.

    I live in New Zealand, so I'm used to unrealistically priced games.
  • ZuzuPachulia - October 10, 2012 6:15 p.m.

    The more I think about this, the more I realize this is basicaly the opposite of what Rovio did just by porting angry birds to the consoles, but then jacking up the price ridiculously high. Just because it is on a console doesn't mean it should be 10x as expensive as the same damn game. So yeah, Square is really doing the smart thing here.
  • Sid440 - October 10, 2012 6:45 p.m.

    Though I agree on most levels, I gotta point out that was all activisions doing.
  • Redeater - October 10, 2012 1:34 p.m.

    I actually enjoyed FF Dimensions (well the prologue anyway) quite a bit. Am I willing to drop $30 on these types of game? Not on your life. I grew up paying full price for these types of games and while I still enjoy them you can't convince me they have to charge that ridiculous price in order to recover the costs. How is it these games can get made with a handful of people yet cost only $10 less than something like Mario Galaxy which had a large production team? Even if you skip the whole dated technology vs price argument, for every 1 person they sold the game to there are probably 5-10 people like me who would have bought it for $10-$15.
  • ryan-leenay - October 10, 2012 1:31 p.m.

    I feel more like the times should change more to understand that just because it is a video game of a particular system does not mean that it should sell for the same price or that it should immiedittly be placed in a category of prices.
  • jackthemenace - October 10, 2012 11:53 a.m.

    Well, a tenner for The World Ends With You is a bargain if you ask me. You pretty much get your money's worth from the title alone, and from what I've played of the Final Fantasy: Tactics games, they're not exactly a short stroll in the park either. It does sound a bit extreme to be charging something like £12 for an iPad game, but the ones that have been ported first sold for £40 or so. You have a hard time trying to find the original pre-owned for cheaper than that.
  • TwinHallow - October 10, 2012 12:52 p.m.

    Yes I agree with you 100%. The World Ends with You is on my top 5 list of Ds games its Story is so good I would actually go as far to say one of my favorite Square Enix games 18$ sounds about right.
  • taokaka - October 10, 2012 4:07 p.m.

    I'm with you guys on this, Square Enix has earned the right to sell TWEWY for $18. It actually kind of annoys me that people feel so entitled that they think they deserve one of the greatest jrpgs ever for less money than what they could find under their sofa cushion just because other people are selling cheap.

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