Hot on the heels of some negative press, Rime developer Grey Box offers an explanation and a freebie.
We’ve been following Rime quite closely here at Grab It. For the most part, that’s because it looks amazing. Stuck somewhere between Journey, The Witness and Legend of Zelda, it’s focused on exploration, environmental puzzle-solving and the mystery of how a young boy got marooned on an island full of ancient ruins. It’s one of those indie games that really turns heads.
Unfortunately, it started turning heads for the wrong reason when the pricing for the Switch version of the game arrived. At $79.95 here in Australia, it was $20 more than the Xbox One and PS4 versions of the same game. Nintendo fans were quick to take up arms – by which we mean sound-off in forums - and Grey Box was paying attention. The developer just sent us the following peace offering:
Recently, we announced that the [Australian] Nintendo Switch version of RiME was going to be released at AUD$79.95. The reason for the higher price was due to the additional development, manufacturing, and publishing costs involved with that port. While some were understanding of these go-to-market costs, there were still a number of folks who weren't happy. We totally understand: nobody wants to pay higher prices.
At Grey Box, we are determined to provide a fair deal for everyone around. And so we discussed how we could do that, without simply selling at a loss, all while also being fair to our retail partners. So, here's what we're doing.
On the physical side, we can’t lower the price without selling at a loss, but we can add more value to the package. And that’s what we’re doing. For the Nintendo Switch version of RiME, all physical copies will include a printed code for a download of the complete, beautiful soundtrack by David García (a sample of which you can find here). You will be able to download the music via Bandcamp in one of the multiple high-quality formats. The soundtrack is planned on being sold separately for $10 in the US [and equivalent prices in Australia], and so the value you’re going to get out of this will be the same as somebody who purchased a different version of RiME, and then bought the soundtrack.
Grey Box’s goals are to provide a great product at a great value. We hope you’ll find this new offering to be fair. Personally, we’re excited about it, because we want as many people as possible to hear David’s music! Regardless, we can assure you that no matter which version of RiME you play – and we hope to have a Switch version release date announced shortly – you’re going to have an amazing and touching experience. Thanks very much for your support!
Firstly, I was to congratulate Grey Box for issuing this statement. It’s proactive and shows an intent to do the right thing by the game’s fans. Plus, it’s a gesture that exceeds what most developers would offer. It’s still somewhat unclear why this game required more expense than what we’ve seen from other Switch ports that have retained the same price as their XBO and PS4 brothers. However, given this is an indie studio, the ability to absorb any costs may be weaker than its compatriots. We’ll have to see whether this becomes a common theme over the Switch’s lifecycle.
Nintendo Switch Magazine
If you want to learn more about the launch of the Switch, with exclusive reviews of the console, accessories, online service and 24 games - including Rime - get the Nintendo Switch Magazine. Buy direct from Amazon or iTunes if you prefer.