The mobile gaming arena is experiencing a whirlwind of changes, with Capcom’s recent announcement of the price points for the iOS and iPadOS ports of "Resident Evil Village" and "Resident Evil 4 Remake" stealing the spotlight. It brings us to a crucial junction and makes us reflect on whether mobile games should bear the same price tag as their console counterparts, especially considering the uniqueness and intricacies of each platform.
Capcom’s Pricing Paradigm
Over the past weekend, Capcom disclosed the pricing details for its upcoming ports along with a host of other information regarding DLCs, download sizes, and requisite specifications for Apple platforms (Thx TouchArcade for the heads up!). "Resident Evil 4 Remake," initially released on PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and Steam, is making its way to Apple platforms, including a range of additional content. The detailed video presentation at TGS 2023 revealed that the free Mercenaries DLC and Separate Ways are under development for Apple platforms.
Tech Specifications and Download Size
The game mandates iOS 17 and an A17 Pro chip or later for iPhone and comparable requisites for iPad and Mac. Notably, the game is listed with a substantial download size on Mac, weighing in at approximately 19.3GB. However, when verifying this on my phone, it displays a size of 701.6 MB.
This discrepancy could be because the smaller size represents the demo version, allowing players to explore a limited portion of the game for free. To access the entire game, an in-app purchase is necessary.
A Look at the Price Tags: Resident Evil 4 Remake on iPhone Costs $60
With pre-orders in full swing, the prices for game unlocks and additional DLC packs have been unveiled. The full unlock of "Resident Evil 4 Remake" is listed at $39.99, and the extra DLC pack, intended to upgrade to Deluxe, comes with an additional cost of $19.99. So to get the full game, complete, it will cost the same price of the console counterparts of $60.
These price points are sure to start raising eyebrows and sparking discussions on the appropriateness of such pricing strategies in the mobile gaming sphere.
So, just to be clear here, Resident Evil 4 Remake on the New iPhones Costs $60.
Though Resident Evil Village pricing is not listed yet, as a bonus, players purchasing Resident Evil Village AND the Winters’ Expansion during the launch window receive the 'Street Wolf'; Outfit, an additional costume Rosemary Winters can wear in the Shadows of Rose story content.
The Value Proposition
The central argument revolves around whether the value proposition of mobile gaming justifies console-level pricing. Mobile platforms, with their unique ecosystem, accessibility, and user experience, offer a different gaming environment compared to the immersive and high-end experience provided by consoles and PCs. The inherent limitations and advantages of mobile devices play a significant role in shaping the gaming experience and, by extension, the perceived value derived by the users.
The "iDock" Is Coming?
In a previous video, I explored the concept of an iPhone "dock," a speculative device hinting at Apple’s potential foray into the gaming console market. This speculative dock would enable users to leverage their iPhones as gaming consoles, merging mobile and console gaming experiences. Now, the unveiling of the pricing for new game releases, such as Capcom's "Resident Evil 4 Remake," seems to be a telltale sign pointing directly towards this conjecture.
The parity in pricing between mobile and traditional gaming platforms insinuates a strategic maneuver by Apple to position itself as a formidable contender in the video game console industry, potentially reshaping gaming ecosystems and market dynamics. This alignment in pricing models could signify Apple’s ambition to blur the lines between console and mobile gaming, bringing forth a unified and robust gaming experience to users.
The User Perspective
From a user standpoint, the notion of paying full price for a mobile game might seem disproportionate, given the inherent differences in gameplay, graphics, and overall experience when compared to consoles. However, the evolving landscape of mobile gaming, marked by enhanced graphics, intricate gameplay mechanics, and expansive narratives, is gradually bridging the gap between the two platforms.
Determining the right price requires a delicate balance. It involves assessing the quality and depth of the gaming experience provided on mobile platforms and weighing it against the consumer’s willingness to pay. Striking the right chord is crucial to ensure that the pricing is reflective of the value provided to the users, fostering a sense of fairness and satisfaction.
As the gaming industry advances, with mobile gaming reaching new heights, the dialogue surrounding the pricing models for mobile games is becoming increasingly pertinent. The alignment of pricing between mobile and console games could be seen as a recognition of the advancements in mobile gaming technology and the comparable experiences they now offer. However, whether the consumer base is ready to embrace such a shift remains to be seen, making it a crucial aspect for developers and publishers to ponder.
In this ever-evolving scenario, it's crucial for discussions to continue, exploring the intersections of value, experience, and price, and how they shape the perceptions and preferences of the gaming community. Whether you’re an avid gamer or a casual player, the unfolding dynamics of game pricing are bound to impact your gaming journey, making it a topic to watch closely in the times to come.