Games are slowly starting to trickle onto the Nintendo Switch, many of which are available on other platforms. A trend is starting to form, however, wherein some third party titles are costing a bit more on Nintendo's latest console than elsewhere. Obviously, their customers aren't too happy with the inexplicable differences.
Several retailers recently made Minecraft: Story Mode -- The Complete Adventure available for pre-order on the Switch, letting folks know that they can get the game on June 27 for $39.99. For those of you who already purchased that very same game on another platform several months ago, you might have noted that the Switch version of Story Mode is a solid $10 more expensive than elsewhere.
That might not be all that concerning were it not for two factors. Firstly, this is the exact same game that's available on the Wii U, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. They haven't added any Switch-specific extra features or story missions. In other words, folks are being asked to pay $10 more, nearly eight months after the game launched elsewhere, just to play the Telltale Minecraft series on Switch.
The second factor is that this is not the first time this has happened. One of the first games to arrive on the Switch eShop, Puyo Puyo Tetris, cost $10 more on the Switch than on any other platform. Again, there's nothing added to the Switch version of the game other than a bloated price tag. More recently, the indie game Rime was announced to be heading to the Switch and, once again, it will cost $10 more on Nintendo's platform than anywhere else despite the fact that we're still talking about the exact same game.
Three games makes it a trend, which got folks like Polygon reaching out to the developers. While they've received no word from Telltale themselves, other sources are reporting that things like varying Switch cartridge sizes and the like are to blame. Some of these games are digital only, so we're not yet sold on that as a reasonable explanation. According to the Rime team, however, the cost of their game on various platforms is determined by things like go-to-market costs for themselves and the cost of development. So, they're saying that either publishing on the Switch or making their game playable on that console is enough to warrant a $10 hike in price?
For Nintendo's part, they've reiterated that the pricing of games is up to the developer/publisher, so maybe don't hold them solely responsible for these weird discrepancies. But, if we may be allowed to read between the lines a little bit, the Rime team seems to be saying that something on Nintendo's end is the reason they need to charge more for the game on the Switch than literally any other platform. We don't blame anyone for wanting to avoid stepping on toes, but we also doubt charging a premium on one platform, especially a new platform, is going to build much good will with your consumers, no matter the cause.