At the time of writing, Chrono Trigger is half off on Steam.
For those who haven't been following along, Chrono Trigger was released on PC as something of a straight rip of the mobile version of the game with few changes. As such, it had a lot of problems initially, from a horrifying font that didn't seem like it fit with the game, an unbearable UI, and controls that made both mouse with keyboard and controller usage less than comfortable, among many other issues. Obviously anyone who purchased something like this would be outraged, but Chrono Trigger is a legendary RPG and the response certainly met that of a game of its stature being disrespected. Low review scores, mediocre sales numbers, and myriad articles written about the game prompted response from Square Enix. Rather than sit on their laurels, they started issuing out patches to fix the game, and to their credit, they have done a pretty great job.
There is one more problem that lies somewhere other than the game's quality, however. Chrono Trigger, as mentioned above, is a classic, and similarly this whole ordeal did well to inspire faith from its fans as well as to keep the game relevant via gaming press. Needless to say, the game is selling very well at the moment, the sale shooting it up to number three on Steam's bestsellers list. What this sadly means, however, is that its off-sale price will remain. In five days, Chrono Trigger will go back to being a $15 title.
There is little to suggest that old games have to be sold at a lower price than new ones. The argument is thrown around time and time again, but ultimately there is no objective depreciation of value for a video game. Retail game stores and game publishers will often decrease the price of a title overtime so that a game will sell even after it is out of the zeitgeist, but if something remains relevant or can still push a pretty penny, it will likely retain its price. A great example of this is the Pokemon games which, outside of the games no longer being published, are still selling at the same price as they were back at release.
The problem with Chrono Trigger and many other titles being virtually released these days, however, is their availability. At the time of writing, Chrono Trigger is available on SNES, Playstation, Nintendo DS, the Virtual Console, the Playstation Network, iOS, Android, and now Steam. There have been games that have been ported more, of course, but the fact of the matter is that the game which will likely be bought mostly by fans that have already bought the played the game several times in the past are being offered to buy it again for $15.
Back on the Virtual Console, Chrono Trigger only cost $8. Fifty cents more than the sale price of the game on Steam.
Even had this not been the case, the fact that the Steam version was released as such a mess and that the Nintendo DS version, which has the most content overall, is becoming increasingly harder to find puts fans in a gridlock that is simply unjust. There is little reason for someone not to just download an emulator and play the game that way if they wanted to play on the computer. Even more, this temporary cut comes after the game has been broken for half a year. Early adopters who decided to power through and play the game back at release or through the early patches have little reason to play through the game again now, and sales are pretty much the only time that the game will be feasible for purchase for the average user.
It would be out of place not to at least commend Square for their efforts. Chrono Trigger was released as a near unplayable experience and was given the treatment that it sorely needed to even contend with its predecessors, something that bad ports are rarely ever treated to. It is on sale now and at half off is well worth buying, but at full price a buyer will really need to consider if they want to drop more than they would have to pay almost anywhere else to play a sub-par version of a beloved classic.