The reason lies in the nebulous nature of Microsoft Points, according to Lexis Numérique CEO José Sanchis. In the US, $10 will buy 800 MS Points. In Europe the cost is €10, or about $12.73. In other words, noted Sanchis, the prices of the PSN and XBLA versions are essentially equal in Europe, but the exchange rate creates a disparity in the US.
To rectify the situation, Lexis Numérique has set up a Facebook poll -- an app that requires a Facebook account and your permission, incidentally -- to determine whether Amy's US PSN price should remain at $12.99 or be reduced to $9.99, the same as its XBLA counterpart. There is, however, a catch: Should the community choose to lower the price -- which seems likely, given current poll results -- the PSN release will have to be delayed at least a week "because of logistic constraints" with Sony's platform. The poll closes January 9.
Champs-sur-Marne, France - January 6th, 2012
Yesterday, VectorCell and Lexis Numérique announced the upcoming release of AMY along with the price of the game in the different territories.
While the feedback was really positive on the date and the reasonable price level of the game, some questions arose about the difference of prices in the US between the XBLA version (800 MS Points, which is the equivalent of $10) and the PSN version ($12.99).
José Sanchis, CEO of Lexis Numérique explains: "During the whole development of the game, we tried to be as transparent as possible on our decision making and we believe this situation is a good opportunity to explain what is at stake. It's also a very good opportunity to involve the community in order to decide on the final price of the game in the US."
He adds: "First of all, we believe AMY is probably one of the most ambitious games on the PSN and XBLA. With 8 to 10 hours of gameplay, an innovative approach to the survival horror genre and a level of graphic details rarely seen on downloadable console titles, Paul Cuisset and his team at VectorCell created a very unique game."
"We decided to have a new approach to digital distribution by proposing heavy content at a very reasonable price because we believe price is a key issue, especially during hard economic times. Indeed, we believe AMY could have been sold a little bit higher. However, the issue we have to deal with is that a price in MS points doesn't have the same value in all countries. Indeed, because of fluctuations between the dollar and the euro, 800 MS points are currently worth $10 in the US but €10 in Europe, which is about $12.8."
"As we have the same price in MS Points in all countries, there will be a difference of pricing whatever decision we make between countries and/or platforms. The pricing scheme we announced enables everyone to buy the game at a reasonable price with great value for the money, with an even greater deal for the XBLA gamers who indeed have it cheaper."
"This level of price is a tremendous effort and risk for independent teams like VectorCell and Lexis Numérique, all the more as we invested probably much more money in AMY than many console games available in digital distribution. But because we didn't explain the situation, we understand the reaction of certain US PSN gamers who don't understand why they should pay a little bit more than their friends who play on XBLA."
"We even decided to go further. Now that the community has the elements to understand why we proposed this price scheme, we want to involve as many players as possible to tell us what to do with the price in the US: do we keep the current situation (800 MS Points for the XBLA version and $12.99 for the PSN version) or do we cut the price and margin for the PSN version (800 MS Points for the XBLA version and $9.99 for the PSN version).
To answer this question, we set up a poll available on the Facebook Page:
Because we value the opinion of the community, we commit to apply the voters' decision, after the poll ends on Monday Jan 9, 2012 at 12:00 PST. Please note that if the community decides to drop the price, we would have to delay the PSN release for at least one week because of logistic constraints with the PlayStation™ Store (the other platforms and territories won't be affected by this)."