SCEA shifts the blame for minis pricing onto the publishers

pspminis1While minis have been generally very well received by gamers worldwide, one major bone of contention appears to be the high price of some of the minis. It’s interesting to note that the minis that have been priced most competitively are often those from the smaller publishers.

Fantastic games such as BreakQuest, Kahoots and PuzzleScape are all priced very favourably at £2.49 (and $4.95AUD for Kahoots) and they’re all from small developers. The pricing of Tetris at $9.99USD and £3.99 seems to have drawn the most criticism, especially as it’s published by the most-definitely-not-tiny EA!

It’s also been pointed out that many of the iPhone versions of the PSP minis are cheaper, again Tetris is a case in point, costing just £2.99 on UK iTunes. Funky Punch is another example, with the mini costing £3.49 and the iTunes version costing £2.39.

Joystiq put these very points to Eric Lempel, SCEA’s director of PlayStation Network Operations who said that it’s the publisher of a title who determines the price, not SCEA, adding that publishers had free reign to set prices as low as they liked.

Lempel was also very frank in venturing his opinion that publishers should “carefully price” their content, acknowledging that minis were “designed to be a little different. If it’s not priced correctly, consumers may be turned off at the proposition.”

Lempel is certainly right in what he says: if the minis project is to grow and thrive, it’s important that the games are competitively priced. The smaller studios appear to have the right idea, and will probably benefit in the long run from setting their prices low. What looks the better bargain right now? The amazing BreakQuest at £2.49, or another version of Tetris at £3.99? Although the Tetris mini is still a good game, it’s BreakQuest every time for me.


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7 Responses to “SCEA shifts the blame for minis pricing onto the publishers”
  1. Count says:

    Wait, so ESRB charges dev’s?

  2. Aktion says:

    @count, yeah! and PEGI and OFLC.

  3. Admittedly though, Tetris in Europe is £3.99 whereas in America it is $9.99… Now normally, it is Europe that gets screwed over in terms of content and pricing, but we seemed to have caught a break this time round. But then again Sony love Europe anyways :D we got the 3 free games policy, more minis on release, and cheaper minis too!

  4. Alex says:

    Sean, it might be tricky Tetris licensing from Tetris company affect the price. I know their license fees are huge, so it might be causing price in US.

  5. tanin says:

    Why are the facts shown in a biased method?
    Breakquest costs £2.49 and $4.95AUD, so Tetris should cost £3.99 and $8.45AUD.
    But no, Tetris costs $9.99USD and £3.99. Which is just for shock effects and bad journalism.

    If you’re talking in pound and aud, then you don’t change to dollars and pound afterwards.

  6. Maura says:

    Hi Tanin
    Tetris is not yet available in Oceania which is why there is no AUD price mentioned. I only mentioned the price where it is available, which is the US and Europe. Couldn’t quote an Oceania price because there wasn’t one. Hope that explains it.

  7. David Black says:

    I really wonder how much longer Apple can keep selling games on it’s devices without needing ESRB certification. If Apple really wants to be thought of as a “gaming platform” with the likes of the PSP and DS I really don’t see them being exempt from these classification/ratings systems for much longer.

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