The world of iOS apps has generally been a race to the bottom. The vast majority of titles are sold for $0.99 or free, and then you end up paying through the nose through in-app purchases. The lack of full costs titles in the App Store means that when someone comes along with the temerity to ask for a large amount of money, you have to question how it’s worth it.
Square Enix has made waves over the last few days by announcing two high-cost titles. The World Ends With You Remix has been released for the iPad and iPhone — a port of a very popular Nintendo DS app. This game is going for $17.99 and $19.99 on the different platforms.
Even more recently, the company has announced the price of the upcoming Final Fantasy Dimensions, which will cost $28.99 when all is said and done — prompting a flurry of discussions about pricing. When you come down to it, there are very few iOS apps at the $30 range, especially not within the games market. Even worse, this yet again isn’t an original title, but rather a port of a previous Japanese cellphone game.
As much as everyone seems to be having a hissy fit about the cost of Final Fantasy Dimensions, it’s actually on par with a number of other episodic titles. It’ll be a free download with in-app purchases to unlock the extra content. Think about such games as The Walking Dead ($5 per episode), Monkey Island Tales ($3-$7 an episode) from TellTale Games. No one would complain about paying $30 for five episodes of either of those, nor if this was the cost on any other platform. Yet at the same time, big name ports on iOS are dirt cheap, like GTA: Chinatown Wars, which’ll set you back just $9.99.
It’s still remarkably rare to see more pricey titles in the App Store, but Square Enix seems rock solid in their desire to keep their prices up, even if it is through in-app purchases. What do you think? Is there a space for high cost apps in the App Store?