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Demons' Score in-app purchases create regional pricing disparity


Demons' Score, Square Enix's iOS rhythm-combat game, charges North American and European players far more than Japanese players for its total content. Pocket Gamer reports nearly all the Western versions' purchasable unlocks are included upfront in the Japanese version, minus consumable potions. When added together, these in-app purchases come to around $40, bringing the total cost of the iNiS-developed game up to $47. That's more than double the Japanese version, which costs around $19 (¥1500) with those IAPs already included.

The IAPs are tied to boss fights; each defeated boss unlocks a costume, voice, and song - the first boss unlock costs $2.99. As songs are tied to in-app purchases, those paying only the initial $6.99 have far less music to hand compared to those willing to spend - kind of important with a rhythm action game. The IAPs also upscale quickly, with the unlock for the 'SATAN' difficulty mode priced at $9.99, nearly 50% more than the game itself costs.

What this means is that many players are being priced out of content provided by many renowned Japanese composers. Not only is the pricing structure so hostile, but it compares very unfavorably to the all-inclusive, far cheaper Japanese model. Either way, reviewers on the App Store are clearly unimpressed with Square Enix's approach, as Demons' Score is currently sitting on a rating of 2 and half stars.

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