Nintendo explains EarthBound price hike

Tuesday, 23rd July 2013 09:41 GMT By Dave Cook

Nintendo releases SNES classic EarthBound on Wii U Virtual Console last week, answering the prayers of many fans out there, but it came with an inflated price-tag. The company has now attempted to explain the hike.

The game launched at $9.99 / £6.99, which is more than most games cost on the Wii U Virtual Console service, suggesting that Nintendo knew the cult RPG would sell a lot.

In a statement to Destructoid, Nintendo wrote, “As for EarthBound, Nintendo sets prices in the Nintendo eShop and Virtual Console on a game-by-game basis. Different games will be offered at different prices.”

It’s a weak reply, but to be fair however, the game does come with a digitised strategy guide to help first-timers, which is more than you get in other Virtual Console releases. So this might explain the additional cost. What do you think?

Thanks Nintendo Life.



  1. locus2k1

    “It’s a weak reply, but to be fair however, the game does come with a digitised strategy guide to help first-timers”

    It did? Sweet! I must have missed that, can someone confirm for me where it is? I found the manual, but not the guide… Not saying I suck at the game, but be useful to know there is a guide at hand :)

    #1 1 year ago
  2. mistermogul

    They have done this in the past. I think Sin & Punishment from N64 was inflated.

    It seems to be from games that never made it to the west or are considered cult classics by many.

    Nintendo are good at high prices!

    #2 1 year ago
  3. gameon

    I think it’s too expensive. No matter how good the game was back in 199x, it’s an old recycled game and should be priced alike the other VC games (which are already overpriced imo).

    #3 1 year ago

    It’s perfectly priced.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Mus42

    Makes the $350+ original cartridge versions, on eBay, seem like a bargain!

    #5 1 year ago
  6. fihar

    Hasn’t this always been the case?
    The Final Fantasies that are on PSN is also slightly more expensive than regular PSone classics, aren’t they?

    #6 1 year ago
  7. Telepathic.Geometry

    Price is decided by assessing the perceived value, not by how much it costs to make the game. Ninty specialises in gouging so, this can’t come as any surprise. Just look at the price of the Wii U. The Wii was the same, the price was (and probably still is) too high…

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Clupula

    Spoiled fucking children who should shut up and gladly pay twice that much. I have never played any of the games in the series, but I am very aware of how rare it is and how much it goes for on eBay. You want it? $10 is a steal! As #5 said, it goes for $350, and you whiny little bitches are going to complain about $10?!?

    It’s “an old recycled game,” then don’t buy it. Deal with not owning it, or change your friggin’ diaper, and pay the price.

    People on PS3 would gladly pay $10 or even $20 for Suikoden II and you children are crying like you skinned your knees, falling off your tricycles.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. The_Red

    Makes sense. They know this is a niche game with super diehard fans who would pay anything for it.

    The niche part means that price hike won’t hurt the sales since masses won’t even know about this game and diehard part means that since there is a guaranteed number of purchasers, they can now get more from each one.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. MarcoosVGC

    Considering this game has never been released in Europe, i think it’ right on the mark.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. Telepathic.Geometry

    @Clupula: Bit of an exaggeration there boss. Customers demanding lower prices is the very definition of normal and reasonable. Customers saying stop complaining and looking for a lower price and pay the nice company what it asks, regardless of whether it’s a fair price or not… not so much.

    You think it’s a bargain, that’s cool. Go buy it and more power to ya.

    But there’s no need to be calling others whiny bitches for not being happy with it.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Cobra951

    Demanding lower prices is done by not buying until the price drops to a number you can live with. If everyone does that, the price will drop quickly. If only you do that, have fun waiting. Not a hard concept, or new.

    I have this game on SNES cart. It has aged well. There are free options to play it too. A business model like the Virtual Console’s has always escaped me. Old 8- and 16-bit games could not possibly be easier to find and play on a plethora of devices, portable and not. Yet Nintendo milks them for more cash successfully an age or two after their initial releases. Good for them, really. Good for all of us that we have so many options to replay the old classics, without shelling out $350.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. salarta

    I’m pretty sure the Virtual Console games don’t drop in price. But then, I haven’t had a reason to go on there and buy any of it for a long, long time.

    I might go ahead and get this at some point, but not any time soon. I already have way too many games to play, don’t need to buy this one yet. Glad people are finally getting a chance to play it legally, though.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. gameon

    @Clupula @Mus42
    Comparing the SNES Cartridge and the virtual download is like, well in the Netherlands we have a saying “comparing apples and pears” (Google says it’s apples and oranges in English). The cartridge has a collector’s value, is a physical product and is rare. The digital download is none of those and is nothing more than a rerun of old digital code. So in my opinion, it should cost less because the only effort that was put in this product is having it emulated on the Wii U, exactly the same as the other VC games. Nintendo put a higher price tag on it, probably because of the higher expected demand or for reasons The_Red mentioned.

    And another thing Clupula, there is only one person crying in this thread, perhaps you can spot him?

    #14 1 year ago
  15. darthroseman

    @Gameon Really quick, I tested the Simpsons, the MGSHD collection, and some other old, rereleases, and it isn’t just, emulator, done. They do have to pay testers and devs to find and fix bugs for these ports.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. gameon

    I believe you, and you can probably add some more for marketing (e.g. making the trailer) and digital distribution. But those costs are also for the other VC titles, so it’s not really a valid reason for the price difference. Unless testing and bugfixing is more time consuming because of the length of Earthbound?

    #16 1 year ago

Comments are now closed on this article.