RiME developer Tequila Works announced last week that their puzzle adventure game would cost more on Nintendo Switch, compared to other platforms.
It isn’t the only game to suffer such a situation, with Puyo Puyo Tetris too costing more on the console in comparison to the PlayStation 4 release.
The news has sparked widespread concern and when asked whether there was a specific reason, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé indicated that it was down to third-party publishers to set the price point and a decision that they were not involved in.
“From a third-party perspective, that’s a third-party decision. We don’t make that pricing decision,” Fils-Aimé explained in a Facebook Live interview with Katie Linendoll. “When you see those difference in prices, call up that third-party publisher and ask them. That’s not a decision that we get to make.”
Eurogamer has since spoken to developers to investigate exactly why there was such a pricing discrepancy.
“We set prices for our products based on the costs of development and publishing for each specific platform,” Tequila Works shared in response.
Further investigations revealed that Nintendo Switch game cards cost more to manufacture in comparison to Blu-ray discs, which are used on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Such cost will depend on the game card’s storage capacity, for which developers can choose between 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, 16GB and 32GB. As can be expected, the larger the game card the more expensive it is to manufacture, although this cost can be reduced if a larger print run is ordered.
Therefore, it is important for developers that are working on Nintendo Switch to consider the eventual size of the game that they are creating. That explains why the physical version can cost more, but that doesn’t explain why such games are priced higher when purchased digitally on the Nintendo eShop.
The reason for this is that Nintendo’s policy means that any game released on the Nintendo eShop should carry the same price as their physical version, where applicable, in an effort to maintain a positive relationship with retailers.