When Minecraft: Story Mode — The Complete Adventure comes to Nintendo Switch in June, it will cost $39.99. That’s according to various retailers, which put the game up for pre-order yesterday. At that price, the game costs $10 more on Switch than on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Wii U, a price hike that’s causing concern for many Switch owners.
The Switch port of Minecraft: Story Mode launches June 27, more than eight months after the full retail collection hit other platforms. (The first episode of the series launched way, way back in October 2015, for added measure.) Yet it won’t arrive with additional, exclusive content to justify the price. Instead, it will be much the same game as the one currently available for much cheaper on other consoles.
We’ve reached out to publisher Telltale Games about the reason for the difference in cost. This higher pricing is part of a trend with third-party games, however, one that both Nintendo and publishers have only addressed vaguely.
We’ve seen other third-party games announced for Switch with no differences from other platforms’ version, yet sold for more than $10 extra. Indie adventure game Rime, the first notable example, caused a stir early this month when Tequila Works announced that it would cost $39.99 on Switch.
“The MSRP of the Switch version is based on development and go-to-market costs, which can vary for each platform,” the company explained on Twitter.
The response was ... not great:
And it continues to be a controversial practice, as seen in a recent NeoGAF thread about Minecraft: Story Mode’s cost:
Eurogamer reported on the cost differential later that week, pointing to factors like the bizarre-tasting coating on Switch cartridges and the proprietary game format itself as the reason behind it. Switch game cards also come in a variety of sizes, according to Eurogamer, which could account for the pricing.
Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime later said in an interview that it’s up to publishers to determine the pricing of their games. But that likely won’t assuage Switch owners’ frustrations about paying extra for the luxury of playing on their newer, hybrid home console.
Some publishers are even using the presumed added cost of third-party Switch games as a marketing tool. European publisher FDG Entertainment, which will release Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom on consoles in that region later this spring, is petitioning fans to vote for a physical release of the game on Switch. One of the company’s big campaign promises? The game will have “identical prices across all consoles,” according to a tweet.
It’s expected that Switch games will cost the same in both digital and physical formats, which is something to consider when multi-platform owners decide to pick up games. Whether this will be seen when bigger-name, triple-A third-party titles hits the Switch is also up in the air; we’ve reached out to Nintendo for more.