WhenLaunched for the Nintendo Wii in 2011, the speed-controlled adventure was priced at $ 49.99. This week, Nintendo announced a remastered version of the game for Switch: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, priced at $ 59.99, adding a dollar to the price tag that passes every year. .
Nintendo fans everywhere filled a quiet sigh of resignation. Skyward Sword, a ten-year-old Wii game, is more expensive than it was when it first came out a decade ago – and it’s going to be expensive, because the first-party Nintendo Switch game almost never drops the price. . Years after launch, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, A, Still sells at full price after about four years. Super Mario also performs Odyssey, as well , Super Mario Party, and New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe.
Everyone dislikes it. In fact, it seems wrong. Nintendo’s competitors, such as Sony, drop prices permanently for regular and big-budget AAA games. God of War for the PS4 was launched in April of 2018 for $ 59.99, but by October the price was permanently reduced to just $ 39.99. Today, it costs less than $ 20. Marvel’s Spider-Man was released that same year and was priced at a similar $ 20 in February of 2019. Xbox, PlayStation, and PC game releases often see large price drops within the first year, or not long after. This seems like an industry standard practice. As buyers, we have come to expect this, and that expectation makes Nintendo’s consistently high prices shaky. As Nintendo is getting inappropriate.
But Nintendo is not unreasonable. They are just following our lead – because we don’t want to pay as little for the Nintendo Switch versions of the reborn Wii U games. We pay full price, and continue to pay full price, no matter how old the games are.
As always, mathematics and economics ruin everything. According to Nintendo’s latest fiscal earnings report, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has sold more than 33 million copies since launch – Nintendo potentially earning staggering. And the game is still a top seller: it is still the 5th best-selling game on the Nintendo Switch eShop and Amazon’s 9th best-selling Nintendo Switch game to date.
In that perspective, one of PlayStation 4’s best-selling games, God of War, sold an estimated 12 million copies as of June 2019, and is currently Amazon’s 23rd best-selling PS4 game. PlayStation had to cut its price to keep buyers interested in purchasing; Meanwhile, Mario Kart 8 has been selling in record numbers at full price since the deluxe launch.
Nintendo games are expensive. Everyone hates it. And yet, Nintendo has no reason to drop prices – it is selling more copies of its games than its rivals and making more money selling each copy.
And, for better or worse, Nintendo fans have gotten used to expensive games. On social media we make a bitter joke about the “switch tax” that charges modern ports of old games at a premium. We often try to ensure those high prices – sure, Doom (2016) and The Witcher III: Wild Hunt spend more on the Switch, but developers need to work on Nintendo’s lower-powered hardware in those games. Had to be rebuilt and adapted. Sometimes, we have to be more rigid: Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster costs less than $ 30 on Steam and PS4. The $ 20 price is $ 49.99 which is the devil’s deal that we play on the portable platform.
Nintendo has cultivated the expectation of expensive games, and even though we don’t like it, we’ve come to accept it. Consumers have spoken with their wallet, and Nintendo heard us loud and clear: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is $ 59.99, despite being a port of a decade-old Wii game that originally cost $ 10 is sold for less.
It sounds wrong, as if Nintendo is inappropriate – but the data does not lie. We’re going to buy it anyway and, once again, Nintendo will print money.