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iPhone  header logo

 IPHONE NEWS

Demons' Score has no content-based in-app purchases in Japan, and costs half as much

Cultural divide?

Product: Demons' Score | Developer: Square Enix | Publisher: Square Enix | Genre: Action, Adventure, Music/ Rhythm, RPG
For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad
 
Demons' Score iPhone, thumbnail 1
Last week, we hit out at Square Enix's rhythm-action devil basher Demons' Score for its rather sly use of in-app purchases.

The game has an upfront fee of £4.99 / $6.99, you see, but by the time you finish the third boss fight you'll be ambushed by a notification that you must spend more money in order to unlock key components of the game.

After each battle, you're offered a chance to sign a pact with the devil you just dispatched. This lets you use its costume, voice, and, most importantly, song in the next battle. The catch is: that pact costs cash - £1.99 / $2.99 for the first few, with the later baddies being even more expensive.

If you don't cough up, you'll be playing along to the same two songs for the rest of the game. Not ideal in a rhythm-based game, right?

demonsscoreprice2

After each boss battle, you must spend at least £1.99 to use that demon's soundtrack in future fights

In our review, we totted up all the extra costs and additional charges (including a £6.99 / $9.99 super-hard difficulty mode), and found that "the total cost to unlock the full game - minus consumable potions - is close to £30/$50".

This sorry state of affairs, it turns out, is actually exclusive to Western gamers. NeoGAF user StarCreator discovered that on the Japanese App Store, its a very different story.

The Japanese version of Demons' Score has an upfront fee of ¥1500 (about £12 / $20), and no level-lock in-app purchases. It does contain consumable potions - priced at ¥85 (69p / 99c) a swig - but all the songs, costumes, and demon pacts are bundled into the upfront cost.

Which means that the full Demons' Score experience costs Western gamers more than double the amount it costs Eastern players. Ouch.

demonsscoreprice1

The App Store price panel for both versions of the game reveals a dramatic discrepancy

We've reached out to Square Enix for a comment on this - we'll let you know if we hear anything back.
 

Reviewer photo
Mark Brown 24 September 2012
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Show: Latest | Oldest
Joined:
Aug 2012
Post count:
15
An Tran | 17:34 - 25 September 2012
It's Square Enix publishing this, what did you expect?
Hope this stays on iOS, Android doesn't need more of this.
Joined:
Sep 2012
Post count:
1
Oliver Bato | 21:12 - 24 September 2012
its payback for apple winning against samsung in that lawsuit lol
Joined:
Sep 2012
Post count:
39
djstout80 | 16:45 - 24 September 2012
Well it's been like that forever, this is not the only game having kind of problem. I saw many times games going free on the itunes store, except in Japan, so I had to open a Swiss Itunes account to get those free games.
Joined:
Sep 2012
Post count:
2
Lauren Alison | 13:11 - 24 September 2012
Gutted. Bought this expecting a fun new game and being expected to fork out additional pennies for a game I payed £5 for is ludicrous
Joined:
Jul 2012
Post count:
506
Contest Chris | 12:52 - 24 September 2012
TBH, I think they're just fleecing their most ardent fans. Weirdly enough, these fans actually bought most of the FF titles 10, 20 years ago already. So they're spending twice on the same game.

Anyway, the reason this goes on is because Square's titles are well-received. They fly to the top of the charts. I mean, the USD17 FF3 was among the top 5 paid apps on Google Play for 2 weeks after its release. This on the platform people call, 'cheap'.

I can tell you this, young people below 20 don't play Squares games. Its the old duds giving em double business that allows this to go on. I mean, premium games from other devs cost 6.99, but square's titles usually start of at usd15.
Joined:
Jul 2012
Post count:
23
J249 | 12:43 - 24 September 2012
I hope people vote with their wallets and avoid SquareEnix stuff.

Their pricing model is insane on almost every title.
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