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News from October 2012

Square Enix Talk About Exorbitant iOS Prices

Let me preface this two ways: first, by saying that there's some real editorial in this news, and second, by saying that I actually don't have an issue with the pricing Square Enix put on some of their mobile games. Despite the market saying that games need to be free or under a few dollars for mobile markets, I think that games with real depth and quality shouldn't sell themselves short for a few bucks. I personally don't see an issue with $15 - $20 for games like Final Fantasy I or Final Fantasy Tactics or Secret of Mana; if I played more games on the go (and didn't already have FF1 and FFT for my PSP), I would strongly consider buying at those prices.

That said, Final Fantasy Dimensions recently released at $30, and the new Demons' Score game mentioned earlier today came out at $44. Those are serious console-level pricing schemes for games that are simply not console games, and a lot of people take offense to that level of wallet-lightening. Very few, if any, other developers take this pricing model, and that is why in his article today, Kotaku writer Jason Schreier calls this phenomenon the "Square Enix Tax."

Schreier interviewed Squenix headquarters via email, in an exchange published on Kotaku today; you might not be surprised to know that the company largely defended their price points and incremental cost models, and do not seem to see much middle ground between the undergrowth of sub-five-dollar apps and the peaks of pricing that their games represent. Even worse, for me, is the company's apparent lack of interest in making their games available to multiple devices for one purchase - if there are upgraded versions for higher res devices (think iPhone relative to iPad), not only should one purchase always make both available, cloud save availability should be a must.

Do you own any Squenix games on mobile? If so, are they the lower-cost remakes and ports, or are they the full-on, $30 and up new (or new-to-the-West) games like Dimensions? Has their pricing structure scared you away personally? Is this a sign of Squenix trying to reinvent the mobile gaming scene, or a sign that there's a new platform and a new set of customers that they just don't understand?

Source: Kotaku, Apple US App Store
Posted in: Square-Enix News

More Late Square Enix News Tidbits: TGS 2012

Tokyo Game Show
If you want your news more timely, don't forget that you can always submit it yourself! No, seriously, please.

This is a Tokyo Game Show wrap-up, and it was a little special this year because as we've talked about before, this is the 25th Anniversary of Final Fantasy. Because of that, this year's showing at TGS was as much about history as the future. In fact, there really wasn't anything shocking for the future that came out of TGS this year.

For instance, Squenix showed what all is in the 25th Anniversary Ultimate box, which we've discussed a bit before. They also showed a new dual-wield light-gun arcade game called Gunslinger Stratos, which has some pretty convincing looking guns aside from having analog sticks and buttons on both.

Also during TGS, the company released the first trailer for the Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix coming out next year in Japan. The subtitles are unofficial and are not indicative of a pending Western release, of which none has been announced as yet.

More visually, check out this art gallery celebrating the 25th Anniversary from the booth at TGS. There is some ridiculously awesome work on display from a big chunk of the series - what I wouldn't do to have some of those folks posting here! Also visually, from PAX Prime, Squenix just published a recap video from their sidecar event showing what we all missed out on, with gameplay stations, some toys, and what generally looks like a press conference. Maybe it's just that it's been cut down to a minute-long video, but it looked a little underwhelming to me.

Finally, there've been two releases of note since my last delayed tidbits: Final Fantasy III for PSP came out in North America, and Demon's Score, an original iOS rhythm title, was released worldwide (an Android version is coming soon).

So, if these tidbits are too slow for you, please do feel free to help us out a bit. We credit our contributors and give awards to those who do it often enough, which is obviously the next best thing to getting paid.

Source: Siliconera, Kingdom Hearts Insider, Square Enix North America

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