When publisher Grey Box announced Australian pricing for their forthcoming puzzle adventure title Rime, Nintendo Switch owners couldn’t help noticing that the game was significantly more expensive on their console than it was on any other. Grey Box have now addressed the issue, and detailed exactly what they plan to do about it.
Retail copies of Rime are currently priced at $59.95 AUD on PS4 and Xbox One, and $49.95 AUD on PC. The Switch is by far the priciest at $79.95 AUD. Why the discrepancy? Why are Switch owners getting charged so much more? Grey Box addressed this in a post on their official blog:
The reason for the higher price was due to the additional development, manufacturing, and publishing costs involved with that port. While some were understanding of these go-to-market costs, there were still a number of folks who weren’t happy. We totally understand: nobody wants to pay higher prices.
So what do they plan to do about it? The short version is “give you some extra stuff.” All retail versions of Rime on the Nintendo Switch will now come with a download code for the game’s soundtrack by David Garcia. The code will let you download the soundtrack from Bandcamp in the super high quality file type of your choice. Grey Box will be selling the soundtrack on its own for $10 USD and are throwing it in with the game for Switch owners as a gesture of good will.
But, I hear you cry, why not just reduce the price? If only it were that simple. Video games are a business like any other and part of the business of creating and releasing a game is ensuring that it makes enough money to cover the cost of making it. Devs have to be paid, retail partners have to be kept happy, marketing is expensive, and (and this is the big one as it pertains to the Switch) manufacturing and production is expensive.
It’s one thing to simply print a bunch of bluray discs with the game on it. It’s another to release your game at retail on a system that takes proprietary cartridges. Why do you think new 3DS games are still so pricey? Carts are expensive as hell to produce. It was like this in the N64 era too. You don’t want to know what I paid for Conker’s Bad Fur Day when it launched.
You can read the full statement from Grey Box here.