Since the launch of Nintendo’s newest system, the Nintendo Switch, the controversy has surrounded video games for this platform. A lot of titles have been criticized by users when they noticed the price gap with other platforms.
Given this situation, many users have investigated the issue, sometimes pointing to developers, publishers and distributors. It’s obviously something that annoyed Nintendo players, and it’s something that should be explained.
Aboout Nintendo Switch games. Reggie Fils-Aimé, Nintendo director in the United States, said that both publishers and developers are free to set a price. But of course, that’s where production costs come into play.
The reasons why carts are more pricey
Since the discs used for WiiU games we know that the costs are higher for the games of the BigN. In addition, the cost of making a Nintendo Switch cartridge is also higher than the cost of making
a Blu-ray disc. In that way we can see how the simple fact of manufacturing the game increases the cost of the game and also its selling price to maintain a lucrative profit margin.
But in addition to Nintendo’s pricing strategy, there are two other things to consider when launching a physical game in Switch: The size of the game cartridge and the game distribution.
The larger the game, the more space you will need for the cartridge and therefore the higher the price. Thus, a 2D arcade will not be the same as an open world RPG with 60 FPS graphics. Cartridges can range from 2 GB to 32 GB.
On the other hand, the distribution of the games and the applicable fees for certain sizes play a very important role. This is especially important for indie video games, its distribution is never defined until its launch, so it is a risky bet.
What about digital versions
This is not only true for physical versions of the Nintendo Switch. Also for digital versions that are sometimes priced higher than digital versions on other platforms. Why is this the case? Well, it’s Nintendo decision that their physical games should always be priced exactly the same as in their eShop. This action has a good point, the shops and distributors of Switch games don’tt lose out compared to digital formats.
This also affects small developers and publishers. On one hand, t forces either to put the digital product at a higher price, reducing sales. And in the other hand to fix the price of the physical version lower, reducing the profit margin.
With this in mind, we can understand why and on what terms prices are set for Nintendo Switch titles. Policies beyond the distributor or the publisher imply that many indie titles are released first on digital format.