Square Enix And The App Store: They're Doing It Wrong
Unless, of course, you think paying $16 for a five-year-old game is a great deal. Psst, it isn't.
Square Enix, master of role-playing and heroes with spiky hair, released its Final Fantasy III DS remake on the iPhone, complete with high-resolution graphics. We missed the game on Nintendo's handheld, and figured now would be a great time to experience what some consider one of the best entries in the series. Then we saw the price, a whopping $15.99, and promptly exited the App Store.
To say we had sticker shock would be a gross understatement. Sixteen bucks may seem like a deal at Best Buy, but it might as well be $59.99 for an iPhone game. Apps routinely sell for $0.99 with most of the high end games reaching $6.99. Asking a user to fork over almost $20 for one title (an old one at that) is borderline robbery.
Square Enix tried to cushion the blow by discounting its games, but the sale (which runs until March 31) is more comical than anything, simply because the publisher brought the Apps down to what they should cost to begin with. The original Final Fantasy (normally a preposterous $8.99) is now $3.99, while the iPad version of Chaos Rings (another $15.99 App) sells for $7.99.
Although these games offer 10-40 hours of playtime, it's obvious that Square Enix doesn't understand (or flat out refuses to accept) the mobile industry. The same can be said of Namco Bandai, which charges a criminal $8.99 a piece for Time Crisis 2nd Strike HD and Ridge Racer Accelerated HD on the iPad.
Bottom line, these companies cannot bring a console mentality to the App Store, a virtual destination supported by legions of fans that purchase quality games on a shoestring budget. We'd appreciate having FFIII on the platform, but not when Square Enix arrogantly pushes its way into our world, demanding the same level of respect it receives on PlayStation 3.
Time to hit restart and try again.