Skulls of the Shogun for Windows Phone and Windows 8 gets special launch pricing

Skulls of the Shogun

Next week’s Xbox Windows Phone release Skulls of the Shogun is possibly Microsoft’s most ambitious game yet. Not only will it be launching on Windows Phone, but also XBLA and Windows 8/RT simultaneously. Take that, WSOP: Full House Pro! Sorry, I just ate some sour grapes. On top of the three-platform release, Skulls also supports shared campaign progress across devices thanks to cloud saving and asynchronous cross-platform multiplayer.

The only problem with Skulls coming to all Xbox-supporting platforms at once is that Microsoft has yet to establish a ‘universal app’ pay structure like iOS and the Playstation 3/Vita support. Thankfully the game’s developer 17-BIT and Microsoft have just announced special launch pricing that will make picking up all three versions (or even just one) more attractive to gamers.

Every launch is a special launch

Skulls of the Shogun for Windows Phone
Windows Phone screenshot

The special pricing applies only to the mobile versions of Skulls of the Shogun, not the Xbox 360 game. That one launches at 1200 MS Points/$15. Tablet and phone games are used to paying a little less for games though, hence the Windows 8/RT version debuts at $9.99 and the Windows Phone 7/8 game at $4.99. This will make the cost of picking up all three versions $29.99 – not unreasonable for a game of Skulls’ caliber.

Microsoft has dabbled with launch discounts before. XBLA hit Super Meat Boy debuted at 800 MS Points before eventually going up to 1200 Points. The recently released and fantastic Retro City Rampage for XBLA followed the same pricing pattern. The pricing scheme seems designed to encourage early adoption among gamers rather than waiting for sales.

Skulls primer

Skulls of the Shogun is a fast-paced, turn-based strategy game set in a feudal Japanese underworld. In the single-player campaign, players take on the role of a general who was betrayed in his former life by his second-in-command. Awakening in the afterlife, he quickly builds an undead army and sets out on a mission of vengeance. The story’s writing is both interesting and hilarious thanks to excellent writing, some of which you can witness in our hands-on video.

Strategy veterans and people who’ve never played a strategy game before will have no trouble learning Skulls’ gameplay. When a character’s turn comes up, his movement radius appears as a circle around him. Move him anywhere within that area and attack any nearby enemies. Eating the skulls of downed warriors buffs a unit. Each side has a General character with greater offensive power than the rest. But if your General dies, you lose, so part of the strategy is keeping him sufficiently protected.

About the developer

17-BIT (formerly known as Haunted Temple) is a Seattle-based indie game maker. The founder Jake Kazdal has worked for Nintendo, Capcom, and SEGA before starting out on his own. You can watch our video interview above, another interview with 17-BIT’s Borut Pfeifer and Ben Vance, and read about our studio visit here.

Just one week to go

Skulls of the Shogun for Windows Phone
Windows Phone screenshot

Skulls of the Shogun launches on Wednesday, January 30th. After the special launch pricing ends (at a currently undisclosed date), the Windows Phone version will cost $6.99 and the Windows 8/RT version will go up to $14.99, so be sure to buy them early if you’re interested!

Thanks to Steve Frolleau for the tip!


Reader comments

Skulls of the Shogun for Windows Phone and Windows 8 gets special launch pricing


Here I thought the great introductory price for the wp8 version was going to be .99cents lol. I'll try the trial and see how it plays on my Xbox and surface before I spend the $25 or wpcentral can be the guinea pig and post a review before the promo ends ;)

Way too much. Mobile should be free bonus. This 3-screen 3-pay system is falling apart (what's the point...). I feel it should be 1-pay 3-play. ESPECIALLY at those prices

So just buy the one you want. This is a very big budget, high profile digital game for Microsoft, and they're not undervaluing it.

Even still, $30US is quite expensive.  Yeah, XBL games cost about $15US, with WindowsRT costing less than $5US.  If it plays awesome on my Win8 system and WP8 device, I'd likely just pay for those two versions, and skip the Xbox 360 version altogether.  I don't play many XBL games on my Xbox.

I don't disagree that it would be nice to have a discount price that gives you all 3 versions... but if that were the case, then players would also expect to continue the same game from each platform.  (Start a game on your laptop... continue on your Xbox... then continue on your phone).
Also, I would never play this sort of game at home anyway... so paying only $5 for the mobile version is something I would rather opt for, even if they did have a 'pay X for all 3 versions' plan.

From the video, it doesn't look like its worth all that money. There is awful lot of advance button clicking in there. Even the video shows a lot of skips/edits.

I will buy this....in other WP news are we going to know about your talk with a higher up at Microsoft today Paul?

Got to love discounts for early adopters! Looks like I'm getting WP8 and Windows 8/RT versions :) Does anyone know if I could play this game with a controller with Surface? Otherwise, playing on my Asus.

Does anyone know when a really good Xbox fart app is coming out? I mean seriously, how long has it Windows 8 been out. I guess I'll just have to keep listening to my own until then. . . Sigh

I hope this succeeds and the bigwigs at Microsoft promote more of these kind of games. Good for the platform and I hope everyone likes it. :-)

Good point, we should reward those that took such a leap of faith in an unknown platform. I may have to consider buying it on launch day.

EXACTLY!  I would typically wait for a sale at that price point, but to discount it for a limited time is awesome, PLUS I want to reward the developer and MS for investing in the LIVE for all three platforms.  High sales would send a message Ya'll!  Does not hurt the game looks sweeeet.

Same here. Especially after seeing in the video that it was originally supposed to be an iPhone game and they abandoned that for Windows :)

Microsoft really needs to catch up to other companies and implement cross-platform pricing. As it is I think I'll pick up the phone version for $5 at launch and then wait for the XBLA version to hit $7.50 or lower or for the Win8 version to hit $5 or lower and buy only one of those two.

I agree on cross platform pricing, I would like to see buy on RT/8, get on phone free at the least...

This looks insanely boring, but I'll try it out before I pass judgment.  Definitely won't be buying it at that price, though.

Any idea if Australia will get this game. We have not received anything desent for Window Surface RT so far.

Loved the trailer and currently playing Civilization on my phone 8. 5 dollars seems like a good deal. If it is awesome on the phone, will think about the win 8 version later.

I'll try the demo when it hits, but, $5 for a mobile game is too much unless it's really that good. It has to be really great to get that kind of money from me. I guess I will try the demo and wait for the review before desiding if I will buy.