Nintendo Addresses EarthBound Price Complaints

Nintendo to fans: Reply hazy, try again later.

By Mel Turnquist. Posted 07/23/2013 18:00 12 Comments     ShareThis

While most EarthBound fans were positively ecstatic over the surprise announcement of EarthBound being released for the Wii U Virtual Console, some were a little perturbed by the price of the game. Most SNES games go by the price of $7.99; however EarthBound’s price was about $2 dollars more, coming in at $9.99 (and with tax, that came to $10.69). Some fans are crying foul about this, insisting that this was Nintendo being sneaky and exploiting the fan base, a complaint which isn’t entirely without merit.

Nintendo decided to address the situation by… not exactly explaining anything. In a statement, the company basically said that pricing was always going to vary in a game-by-game basis. EarthBound just happened to be in the more expensive category for game prices. It should be noted that there is also an online strategy guide that comes with the game, but is it worth the extra $2? Maybe for a new fans, and there are a ton of new fans who will be getting into this game for the first time.

Regardless of how you feel about it, it’s at least nice to see EarthBound around again.

However, taking off the newsie hat (not like it was completely on in the first place) for just a moment, I just want to say: Pipe down and be thankful. Us fans get another chance to experience a game we didn’t fully get to appreciate the first time around thanks to bad advertising and marketing. The fact that there’s another chance? That’s well worth the extra $2, at least for me. Unless you’re living dollar to dollar, there’s no need to be upset over a little price hike. So what if Nintendo deliberately did it?  The company knew people would buy it no matter what, and that’s okay. Besides, it’s not like the price that eBay was charging for copies of EarthBound for the SNES.

And now with the newsie hat back on, I shall finish: EarthBound is available now for the Wii U Virtual Console for $9.99.

Source: Wii U Daily

12 Responses to “Nintendo Addresses EarthBound Price Complaints”

  • 984 points
    Robert Marrujo says...

    Pipe down nothing. Ebay pricing isn’t a justification for Nintendo tacking $2 on. Buy the game, support it being rereleased, but don’t act like there’s something wrong with at least asking the question. Act like sheep and that’s what you’ll be. Nintendo has the game for sale at the equivalent of 30 cents in Japan and charges $10 for it here? Our persistence brought the game here, so why can’t they humor us a little further and give a real response? Again, it’s asking a question, NOT boycotting EB, and that’s an odd thing to object to in a news article.

    Thumb up 1
  • 225 points
    wombatguy880 says...

    Settle down. The answer isn’t going to suddenly make any of the complainers understand. Let’s say it was all about profit then people complain. Let’s say it was about the rumored licensing fees Nintendo might have to pay for it to enter the US then you’d still complain. The reality is this game is better than most the $50 games out there and no matter what the excuse for it being $2 more than Super Mario World, this still remains true. If the Ebay pricing for the cart means nothing then neither does the 30c promotion in Japan so your logic all around fails.

    Thumb up 1
    • 984 points
      Robert Marrujo says...

      Ebay pricing comes from private vendors, eShop pricing comes from Nintendo; what was that about logic? Your argument is that EB is inherently valuable, which is true. I’m simply saying consumers have the right to ask why they’re being fleeced with zero excuse. You keep throwing out theories as to why, but that’s all they are; theories. If you have a justification for why we shouldn’t ask about this arbitrary premium, do provide it.

      Thumb up 1
  • 612 points
    Matthew Tidman says...

    Blue, Blue, blue… pay the extra $2 and quit whining people.

    Thumb up 2
  • 140 points
    oldmanstauf says...

    I wish they would take a more consistent stance on pricing on a per game basis. As I’ve said elsewhere, 10 bucks for Earthbound is more than fair to me, but games like Super Mario Bros or Ice Climber going for $5? come one now, who we kidding. I don’t mind paying extra money for good quality games that have aged well.

    I already have the cart so this really doesn’t effect me, but I think people need to stop complaining about two bucks and be thankful it’s over here at all. Just think, you could STILL be clamoring for it to be here.

    Thumb up 0
    • 225 points
      wombatguy880 says...

      I think $5 is a good price. The confusion comes from the many titles that charge nothing or even 99c today. The problem is for almost all the titles on those pricing plans, the idea is unsustainable. These emulated titles also can’t suddenly add dlc or other ways to make money later either. You also named two games that are just a lot of fun to play and totally worth $5. There aren’t many Nintendo made titles not worth $5 and it’d probably be hard to convince even the worst 3rd parties that their titles aren’t worth at least $5 and they probably need to give a cut to Nintendo as well.

      Thumb up 0
  • 1017 points
    xeacons says...

    Not that I’m complaining, just a thought. It’s been almost 7 years since Nintendo began launching games on the Wii VC. Shouldn’t the standard prices have come down a dollar or two by now? The NES games are still $5, even on the 3DS. Earthbound is awesome and maybe it is worth $10. But is it worth paying the same prices for the same old games over and over again?

    Thumb up 0
    • 225 points
      wombatguy880 says...

      Well there are two arguments to look at here. One is that as a business lowering the price of a product is only necessary if it makes business sense. Are those who don’t buy VC titles going to buy them if we lower it $1-2. I don’t see this changing their mind in large enough quantities to make it worth it for Nintendo or third parties as a business.

      The second part though is that some retro games are some of the greatest games ever made and if every title was $.30 we are seriously going to jeopardize a market of new titles that desperately needs support today as well. I could easily skip the next big modern release just playing Earthbound, Super Metroid, Link To The Past, SMW, Mario Kart, Megaman, Contra, and Kirby. Now I currently have to pay a good amount to get all those games (kirby and metroid were .30 though) so it works out as good business but if all those games cost me $2.40 and future titles continued that trend, that market would be unsustainable for a business especially a business who relies on 3rd parties paying them to release new content on their platform.

      Thumb up 0
      • 984 points
        Robert Marrujo says...

        No one has mentioned necessity of pricing; this is about consumers being able to question unnecessary premiums. You also keep incessantly bringing up the free-to-play pricing model, despite its irrelevance in this situation. I will say that your argument about cheaply priced classic games preventing you from buying new games is incredibly subjective and particular. Some people don’t like classic games, so they couldn’t care less how much cheaper they are. If someone does only choose to purchase classic games due to pricing, more variables come into play. There are numerous genres and generations of classic games, not all of which have universal appeal. Playing devil’s advocate, many developers praise free-to-play as a great way of getting their game more exposure than traditional pay models. So not only are you wedging free-to-play into this debate for no reason, you’re not even analyzing it properly.

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      • 984 points
        Robert Marrujo says...

        I personally have no love for free-to-play, particularly because many devs abuse it to turn a quick profit at the expense of the player. Does my distaste for it makd it an unsustainable business model? At this point I’d have to say no given the success so many people are having with it. Is it going to stick around long term? No clue. If done right, very easily. If done poorly, it will eventually burn out. The industry is experiencing massive upheaval and only time will be able to determine whether $50-60 console titles can survive as we know them. Why we’re even discussing it in relation to EarthBound’s rerelease is unclear to me. I just want to know why it’s wrong to not want to be charged extra money for no real reason.

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  • 984 points
    Robert Marrujo says...

    Meh, Wombat, at the end of the day I think we ultimately agree on this; good games deserve to be played. Peace, pal. Life, it is too short with too many games to play.

    Thumb up 0

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