Bionic Commando Rearmed Repriced For PC

By John Walker on August 8th, 2008 at 11:15 pm.

Bah!

I’ve been mightily looking forward to Bionic Commando Rearmed, as I’ve mentioned a few times. So I’m not exactly over the moon to learn that Capcom have decided to charge more to PC players than those on consoles. $14.99 for PC, $9.99 for consoles. For the same game.

Talking to Shack News, Christian Svensson, VP of business development and strategic planning at Capcom, explained that the reason was because, well, other things cost more on PC.

“The typical downloadable price for digital-only games on PC is actually $19.99.”

To be honest, I’m pretty surprised it’s only costing $14.99 (£7.50), considering the work that seems to have gone into it. Let alone $9.99. I was expecting a much higher price, and would happily have paid it. So this is in no way a complaint about £2.50. It’s more an expression of confusion over why this is the case.

The reasons given are that download portals on PC charge a commission for the hosting and bandwidth (but surely Microsoft and Sony do too?), and that people are used to paying more on the PC. Which is a fairly awful reason. Console players are used to paying an extra £10 for their games – why aren’t you charging them more on that basis? But thank goodness, they don’t blame piracy.

“It has nothing to do with Piracy concerns. It has to do with different business terms/expectations in that sector and more importantly, generally prevailing pricing of PC digital games versus their console counterparts.”

Which does sound an awful lot like, “Because we reckoned we can.” Which isn’t particularly endearing. Business, but not endearing. It’s not a big deal. It’s an extra £2.50, for what looks like it could be a decent game. It’s not worth a hissyfit (although look below for some anyway). But it’s an odd thing to do, and then say you’re doing.

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99 Comments »

  1. Dexton says:

    I *can* pirate software if I want to. Charging me more for the same game as the console market is going to make me want to. I am quite happy to pay for games that are worth it, but charging me extra because I use a PC instead of a console is not going to make me want to open my wallet Capcom.

  2. Rook says:

    Bet they’re just trying to make up for the loses on DMC4 :/ Oh well, wasn’t super excited about the game so I guess I’ll wait for it to be on sale.

  3. RichPowers says:

    So essentially the PC release is targeting the PC-gamer-only market. If I owned a 360 or PS3, I wouldn’t pay $5 extra for the privilege of playing the PC version, especially since it’s a sidescroller (a genre that I don’t feel is inherently better on PC, like RTS or FPS). Capcom really confuses me with its business decisions and expectations.

  4. AttackingHobo says:

    They just lost a sale from me. I was going to buy it on PS3, but now it is going to be on computer I was going to buy it on that. But I am not going to pay $15 dollars when I can get it for free.

  5. Professor Pyro says:

    They’re just ASKING for a pirating.

  6. Gnarf says:

    No they’re not. They’re asking for $14.99. You folks are certainly looking for a good excuse though. They’re usually hard to come by at $14.99. Lucky you.

  7. Rook says:

    Saying you’re going to pirate this now is a pretty shitty thing to do.

  8. Professor Pyro says:

    I don’t pirate any games that I think are worth the money, as in, have justified their price. For this reason, I’ve bought games like audiosurf, mount & blade, and have donated my share to dwarf fortress. But when people go and raise their price for no good reason, it makes me lose my generosity.

  9. AttackingHobo says:

    I have spent half a grand on Steam. Mostly because it is convenient and has good prices.

    When a company starts going toward greed at all, that turns me in the oposite direction towards piracy.

  10. The Poisoned Sponge says:

    I do think people are overreacting a little… sure there is a difference in price, but it’s still only £7.50 for a whole remade game… that’s a DEAL. It doesn’t matter whether the consoles get it cheaper, it’s still cheap. And stating you’re going to pirate something because it’s slightly closer to costing you a tenner is just shameful to be quite honest.

  11. Oddbob says:

    An extra £2.50 is going all greed? Wow.

    Didn’t Sierra do the same with Aces Of The Galaxy recently? 800 of your magic MS points or 13 of your Earth squids for the PC version?

  12. rocketman71 says:

    And yet again Capcom giving us PC gamers that warm fuzzy feeling. And they really expect us to give them money?

  13. BrokenSymmetry says:

    Almost all pricing of anything is as high as “Because we reckoned we could get away with it.” What does RPS suggest the basis of pricing should be?

  14. John Walker says:

    BrokenSymmetry – I think you raise a valid point. And God knows, it doesn’t take much to bring out the, “It’s an affront to my civil liberties, therefore I’m going to take it,” crowd.

    My point was simply the peculiar decision to not only charge more for the PC version, but to then add that they were doing it because other digital download games cost more on PC. It just doesn’t reek of excellent PR.

    However, it also doesn’t reek of much excellence to declare oneself some sort of moral champion because you’re going to just take it out of revenge.

    If you think it’s too much, surely the response is to not buy it? Good grief, it’s not often I find myself arguing against the pro-piracy bunch, but this sort of petty, foot-stamping response is genuinely odd.

  15. RichPowers says:

    Indeed, I see no reason to justify pirating the game other than stinginess. I have no plans of buying or playing Bionic Commander because it’s not my type of game. If you feel the same way, or feel that $14.99 is too much to spend for the game, THEN DON’T BUY IT! Using the game’s (reasonable) price to justify piracy is absurd and immature. But the extra $5 might encourage interested console/PC gamers to buy it on the former instead of the latter.

  16. El Stevo says:

    If they bumped up the price on the console version to $14.99 would you then buy it rather than pirate it?

  17. MarvintheParanoidAndroid says:

    The sad thing is, I’m not really surprised by this reaction and a fair number of PC gamers probably will pirate it (and some of them will feel more justified because of the price increase for doing so). In the end, I imagine I’ll buy it because £7.50 (hooray for the weak dollar!) sounds like a pretty good price for a game that I’ve been interested in getting for a while. However, reading the first few paragraphs of Capcom’s response, I’d agree that it’s absolutely terrible PR – “Everyone else does it, so we thought we would too!”. If they just hadn’t mentioned that at all, and had just cited the increased costs for distribution or even used the piracy excuse, it would’ve seemed so much more reasonable.

  18. ZENO says:

    I think Capcom just hates PC gamers. I’ll let the Resident Evil 4 port stand as evidence of that.

  19. Nero says:

    I don’t really have a problem with the price itself, I’ve bought a few $19.95 casual games that was well worth it but I also find it odd that they have to charge more for it. Hopefully it’s $14.99 worldwide in Steam and no bullshit extra cost in Europe . While I think the different pricing is unfair I think it will be worth it and on the Bionic Commando blog it says that the PC version will get something extra (additional PC-only challenge rooms) but a level editor would be sweet.

  20. seregrail7 says:

    It’s definitely bad PR, but people here don’t seem to understand that games are always priced on how much the creator thinks is a. enough to make a profit and b. a price people will pay. $15 is competitive with other downloadable pc games, and after the Braid/Castle Crashers pricing aftermath a few weeks ago it’s clear why they didn’t want to go higher than $10 on consoles.

  21. DeliriumWartner says:

    “It has to do with different business terms/expectations in that sector” – This is the part that really interests me. It sounds like they’re saying they’re planning to sell less, ie. there will be less interest on the PC, and therefore they’ll charge more to give them the same sort of revenue. Anyone else get that feel?

    By the way, it amuses me that, for once, a company is saying they’re not fussed about piracy, and everyone decides that’s exactly what they’ll do. Can’t win if you do, can’t win if you don’t, it seems.

  22. Monkfish says:

    It does seem an odd decision to buck the usual trend of the PC version being cheaper than its console counterpart.

    Usually the extra costs involved in getting the console version through Sony and Microsoft’s certification processes pushes their version up in price.

    Still, as you say, this is a case of Capcom doing it because they can. While that’s pretty much the norm for most things, being so brazen about it is just going to some folks’ heckles up.

    Still, I loved the original Bionic Commando – especially the C64 version back in ’88 – so I’ll probably stump up the cash for Rearmed. Seven quid’s hardly gonna break the bank.

  23. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    Something remarkable has been happening to me for the last hour. I’ve been playing Capcom’s Devil May Cry 4 for PC and while there’s certainly criticism to be had, both as a chapter in the series and as a videogame in general, I’m not caring about that. All I’m thinking is – the PC needs more of this. It needs a game that stamps in the face of those brooding keyboard jockeys who can’t get their past their RTS and FPS fetishism. It needs a style of game that doesn’t center itself on the same stale template that’s responsible for many failures in the PC market. DMC4 isn’t a revolution of any kind, but it does one thing well. And that’s pretty good gameplay from a company who’s trying to rekindle its relationship with a crowd that doesn’t “get” a game like DMC4, or anything that might come out of Capcom. To think these people are actually willing to invest even more of their resources by releasing Bionic Commando and Street Fighter IV for the PC should be met with praise.

    15 bucks for a game? You could do a lot worse for that price and seriously, many gamers have done worse in supporting titles which aren’t worth it while squandering absolute gems. If their distribution methods seem a little dubious – well, they are. Not releasing DMC4 digitally might have cost them some money. And charging extra for Bionic probably isn’t going to win many fans. But they’re also trying to navigate uncertain – and clearly hostile, judging by some people’s reactions – waters. We may not understand them but they don’t understand us either.

    15 bucks might not be the way to win us over or enlighten them, but it could be the start of a great relationship. Pirating the game on those grounds in pure nonsense.

  24. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    I think Capcom just hates PC gamers. I’ll let the Resident Evil 4 port stand as evidence of that.

    The port of Resident Evil 4 and Lost Planet were handled by other companies and yes, they were extremely poor ports. Devil May Cry 4 and their upcoming titles, however, are a bit more worthy of recognition as Capcom is doing their best to handle these versions. If anything, it’s a sign of them sobering up and trying to show some love to the PC market.

  25. Cedge says:

    Very disappointing. Remember the open poll they held back in February, where they asked fans what pricetag they feel BCR should carry? Well, I voted on the same damn poll as everyone else, but I don’t get to be a beneficiary of it’s result? Ugh. Chronically weak.

    Honestly, I wouldn’t really mind paying $15 for it at all, as it looks to be value-packed and of exceptionally high production values for this sort of game (much more than a simple new coat of paint, to be sure), and probably worth every penny of that $15, but that they would announce this higher price point at the last minute, less than a week before launch, and with such a half-assed reasoning behind it, well, that feels like a slap in the face, to me.

    Oh well. I’ll still buy it, because I love Bionic Commando, and I think Rearmed looks outstanding.

    ZENO:
    Well, in the case of RE4 (and Onimusha 3), that was really just a case of a case of laziness. Those ports were outsourced to SourceNext (who are, quite frankly, a bunch of hacks), but Capcom’s recent PC port efforts, Lost Planet and Devil May Cry 4, were done in-house, and are shining examples of console-to-PC ports done right. Despite this flub with the pricing of BCR on PC, Capcom earns “most improved” marks, for a publisher that has been trying to improve it’s stance in the PC gaming market. Street Fighter IV is coming to PC, for pete’s sake! This is to be celebrated, and their efforts are to be commended.

  26. Lysenko says:

    I’m not going to pirate it, I’m just not going to buy it until the price drops. $10 is a real stretch for any revamped NES platformer, and the 50% price hike is simply more than I’m willing to pay for a game that’s both shorter and has less replay value than Portal, not to mention a less immersive experience, blah blah blah.

    For $15-20 I’m looking to get a full 12-15 hours or more of game in most circumstances, or 6-8 hours some outstanding quality in art, gameplay, story, or replayability/moddability that compensates for the lack of length.

    And yes, I’m well aware that as gamers go, I’m cheap. I buy my consoles a generation or two behind (I just picked up a gamecube last year, with Twilight Princess, Metroid Prime, Skies of Arcadia, and a few other titles for a total cost of under $100, to use one example), and only purchase one or two full price new games per year, at most. I’m well aware that I’m atypical. On the other hand, as much as I love a big budget, high-end PC title, I really wouldn’t mind seeing more modest-budgeted titles retailed for $10-20 less than the usual retail price and sporting less-than-cutting-edge graphics and voice-acting and so on. The idea of Far Cry 2 as “Stalker with a bigger budget” excites the hell out of me, but if I can’t afford to buy it or my new CPU until sometime next year…

  27. rez says:

    It annoys me that people would use a $5.00 USD price increase as justification for THEFT. The only reason people have the balls to commit digital media piracy is because of the lack of accountability the interweb affords them. You don’t see people STEALING gasoline because the price has recently skyrocketed, do you? Know why? Because if they did, they’d be caught, go to jail, and be brutally sodomized by a burly truck-driver type. Consequences are a brilliant deterrent, no? That being said, I’d be a total hypocrite if I said I’d never pirated anything. But I don’t make excuses for what I’ve done, especially, “$5.00 is a bitter injustice to PC gamers which must be avenged!” I simply justify my piracy by the same logic as Capcom justified their price increase – I did it because I could.

  28. Dominic White says:

    When new PC games come out for £20-25, and their equivalent console versions cost £40 , nobody complains. The Fallout 3 Collectors Edition for the PC costs less than the plain vanilla 360 version on Play.com! PC gamers usually pay close to half the price of their console-using bretheren.

    When the PC version is a little bit more expensive (and really, only a little), there’s rioting in the streets.

    Also, a quote from the developers blog, which should stop some of the ranting:

    Benn Judd (Producer): “I can give you a song and dance about PC digital content being more expensive as a general rule… but nobody wants to hear that crap. I can say this: for the PC version we are planning on uploading some additional PC-only challenge rooms via a free patch so you will get more bang for your buck.”

    See? It’s not that bad.

  29. John Walker says:

    Just so things don’t spiral out of control, I’m going to say:

    Jez: theft of a physical object doesn’t helpfully illustrate unlawful duplication of software. It won’t win this argument.

  30. yns88 says:

    For those of you going on about deciding to pirate the game simply for this reason, why not do the following instead:

    Step 1: Buy console version of game for $10
    Step 2: Torrent game
    Step 3: ???
    Step 4: Profit!

    Sure, it’ll make it look to them like the PC is even less profitable compared to consoles than they already believe, but it’s still a good way to show just how much you think the game is worth.

    However, if you weren’t going to buy the game anyway, then why are you even complaining?

    [edit] This whole deal is also further evidence against the argument that PC gaming is so much more expensive than console gaming. Even though the system itself is more expensive, it’s the norm for console games to be considerably higher-priced than PC games, and when the opposite happens people cry foul.

  31. Caiman says:

    If they blame poor sales of the PC version on piracy in a future RPS story, I will chuckle.

  32. Cedge says:

    Dominic White:
    Not in the US….PC games are usually $50, and console versions $60…

  33. Cedge says:

    Ya know, it just occurred to me (and occurred to Nero earlier, I see) that I would feel the extra cost would be quite justified if, somewhere down the line, they would release a Challenge Room editor for the PC version. That would add serious legs and long-term value to the game, and would leave me with zero complaints.

  34. ether flare says:

    I really hope they don’t pull the same thing with Puzzle Fighter HD on PC. Paying extra to wait would be too much (if it’s even coming out that is; next time RPS uses the yellow and blue CAPCOM hotline phone I’d appreciate you asking).

  35. Charlie says:

    I can’t say I agree with pirating it because it costs a bit more. I think it’s stupid and I don’t really understand why they have done it, but not justification for piracy. It does justify buying it for 360 instead though!

    They will say they don’t want to support PC anymore because their games aren’t selling as much on it. But this clearly means everyone with a PC and a console gets it for the latter instead.

  36. dhex says:

    well, five dollars is five dollars.

    on the other hand, five dollars is only five dollars.

  37. Cedge says:

    ether flare:
    Sven, on the Capcom-unity forums, has made it clear that they haven’t even started on the PC version of Puzzle Fighter II HD, and that we’d be lucky to get it in 2009.

    I wish wish wish they’d bring Street Fighter II HD to PC. I’d buy that regardless of price, with no complaints. Oh well. SFIV is fine, too.

  38. UT says:

    Geeze, it’s only $5 people. You do realize that console games generally cost $20 more than PC games because of licensing, right? It’s not a big deal – you’re just looking to justify pirating it (and don’t say you’re not, because most of you are even if you’re not admitting it to yourselves) because you feel bad about stealing it, so you’re going to use the convenient “Well they’re charging me SO MUCH MORE that they don’t DESERVE my money!!!” Yeesh.

    Lighten up.

  39. Txiasaeia says:

    Oh, Capcom. We love you for Mega Man 9, and loathe you for gouging PC customers for BC.

    yns88: This story happens to be about the PC version being more expensive than the XBox or PS3 version. This sort of supports the idea that PC gaming is more expensive than console gaming.

    Even if boxed console games — and I’m going to use the Wii as an example, because 1) that’s what I have and 2) it’s a console — were $10 more than boxed PC games (let’s say $50 for Wii, $40 for PC), a Wii and 20 games would be $1250, whereas a decent computer and 20 games would be $1800 ($1000 for computer — at least that if we’re looking for a computer that could run games at a decent resolution & frame rate over the same time period as the lifespan of a console). Even if you looked at a Wii + 50 games (@$50/ea) versus a PC + 50 games (@$40/ea), it’s *still* cheaper to buy a Wii by $250.

    But let’s stick with the comparison of (system) + 10 games – this ratio ($1250/$1800) is roughly the same as the ratio ($10/$15) of the two different versions of the game. In an apples to apples comparison, even if you took the more expensive consoles as examples (~$1000 for a PS3 + 10 games?) PC gaming is still more expensive than console gaming.

  40. ether flare says:

    Cedge:
    Well, that’s depressing news, but cheers for telling me. I wonder what’s keeping them.

  41. MindBrain says:

    Does it got multiplayer?

  42. Cedge says:

    MindBrain:
    Yes, co-op for two players, and some versus modes for up to four players.

    To my knowledge, the console versions only offer local multiplayer on one system; I’m not clear on how it works on the PC version.

  43. Frosty840 says:

    Well, here’s a thing…
    PC-based, download-only games (Bejeweled, Bookworm, PopCap stuff, and the like) are, on the whole, ludicrously overpriced for what goes into them.

    This isn’t.

    It’s still bad PR, but it’s not badly priced.

    I think that’s important.

  44. Xyzzy says:

    I can’t see pirating something that’s good, especially if it’s $15. I can see pirating something that’s bad, something that you already own, or something that’s been discontinued (then you aren’t supporting the publisher and the developer, so they shouldn’t care.) If it’s something brand new, $5 more expensive than a console version but still cheap, and excellent, then you can forgo a gallon of gas.

  45. Alex says:

    People are miffed for the same reason they were miffed when it turned out that the Black Box had been canceled. People are probably going to get a good deal with the price given but they were expecting something better.

  46. Cedge says:

    Alex:
    I think it’s different, because it’s not the we weren’t expecting a good deal, or even necessarily think that we aren’t getting a good value at $15; we just weren’t expecting to pay $5 more than people buying it on PS3/360.

  47. MindBrain says:

    Ok well, if it has internet multiplayer and the game is overall good I’m getting it. If no internet multiplayer then I don’t know, there’s just no reason it shouldn’t have it, IMO

  48. Nahual says:

    I’ll buy it, because, first because it’s Bionic Commando, and i loved that game, and second because Capcom is the one japanese publisher that does give any sort of major support to the PC as a gaming platform. They also actually appear to be learning from their own mistakes from the past, say what you will about the game itself, Devil May Cry 4 was actually an excellent port, runs flawlessly at 1920×1080 16x AA and superior textures that just destroy either console’s feeble 720p attempts (I actually had a chance to compare them on a HD projector).

    They’ve also lined up lost of good stuff in the future, and i’m hopping they will do as good a job as they did with DMC4 when they bring it over. We PC gamers in general haven’t behaved all that good either, so i really can’t blame them from wanting to make back their money with fewer sells even if 5x more people play the game than they actually bought it.

    Besides, it’s only 5 dollars over a 10 dollar game, I make a lot more than that in an hour. I’ll get upset when they try to charge me $69.99 over a game that’s worth $59.99 on consoles, but for now they have my support.

  49. heliocentric says:

    i’ll buy it if its got positive hype from the places i care about or a good demo. But you know, i’ve been buying full games over steam for $5 (shadow grounds survivor and red orchestra for example) so maybe i’ve got higher expectations of bang for buck. Hell, i’m sure steam will offer a release discount. To all the pro pirate crowd, you should be ashamed. I’ll torrent stuff when my cd is scratched or i can’t find it anywhere but ebay, but a game being released over digital distribution for less than month of wow or a good number of really old games on steam. One system coop? That’s certainly a feature i can get into as i’ve been on a big coop kick with my “girlfriend” (keeping it old school).

  50. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    @Diogo:

    *applauds*

    Finally, someone who isn’t a jerk about Capcom! If I could teleport a beer to you from across the internet, I would.

    @The Complainers:

    Hell, you’re getting additional PC-only content for that extra five bucks/two-and-a-half quid. An excuse to pirate this ain’t. Of course, pirates are bastards who only pretend to justify things, so they’re going to torrent this anyway. Even if they never mean to play it. This is just a case of terrible PR and a bunch of the usual internet jerks.