SCEA shifts the blame for minis pricing onto the publishers
While 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.