• Author arn
  • Posted On2009-01-29 09:05:16
  • News

PocketGamer.biz claims that Apple will be opening a premium $19.99 games section in the App Store. This new section, however, would be limited to a number of "large publishers".

There are no details on timescale, although Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), traditionally held in June, may be one likely launch date. However, it could be announced at a separate games-focused event.

The move would combat the natural trend to lower priced apps in the highly competitive App Store market.

It's in Apple's best interest, of course, to be able to sustain these higher priced Apps.

  • tosui

    Sad that "big publishers" isn't synonymous with "great quality games" (e.g., Super Monkey Ball's controls). Apple - you want to cater to the "big boys", then *test* the games and make sure that the reputation is up to par! Otherwise, the iPhone will (continue to) have a hard time beating the DS & PSP.

  • tosui

    Sad that "big publishers" isn't synonymous with "great quality games" (e.g., Super Monkey Ball's controls). Apple - you want to cater to the "big boys", then *test* the games and make sure that the reputation is up to par! Otherwise, the iPhone will (continue to) have a hard time beating the DS & PSP.

  • SteveJ

    This makes perfect sense, except that I'm not sure if I'll pay $20 for an iPod game. That seems like a lot of money for a game that I can't resell once I'm done with it. The games will have to be pretty dang amazing, have a huge amount of gameplay, and there will have to be free, and substantial, demos that prove the worth of the games.

  • SteveJ

    This makes perfect sense, except that I'm not sure if I'll pay $20 for an iPod game. That seems like a lot of money for a game that I can't resell once I'm done with it. The games will have to be pretty dang amazing, have a huge amount of gameplay, and there will have to be free, and substantial, demos that prove the worth of the games.

  • http://www.metroccolis.com your personal robot

    Strange way of trying to regulate the market from outside!
    I predict, this won't work!

  • http://www.metroccolis.com your personal robot

    Strange way of trying to regulate the market from outside!
    I predict, this won't work!

  • arn

    it's all about eyeballs. Apple is the gateway to the Apps, so they can promote $19.99 apps prominently on their App Store.

  • arn

    it's all about eyeballs. Apple is the gateway to the Apps, so they can promote $19.99 apps prominently on their App Store.

  • Aaron Sullivan

    It's a step in the right direction, BUT...

    How about tiers for the rest of us indie developers.

    Top 20 $1 and up
    Top 20 $5 and up
    Top 20 $10 and up
    Top 20 $15 and up

    Notice the AND UP. This might be even better as popular expensive games could (if exceptionally popular) encroach on the lower priced lists. This, in my mind, is VERY good for promoting quality game development.

    This way, customers can actually see the games that match a better value/quality at the prices they are willing to pay. More satisfied customers, more satisfied developers. Good, right?

    This $20 deal would have to have some VERY, VERY nice games to take off in the current market, but I'm all for THAT!

    As things settle down into tiers more nicely (rather than plummet to the bottom fast to get recognition as it currently is) tiers in a range of prices could work, too.

  • Aaron Sullivan

    It's a step in the right direction, BUT...

    How about tiers for the rest of us indie developers.

    Top 20 $1 and up
    Top 20 $5 and up
    Top 20 $10 and up
    Top 20 $15 and up

    Notice the AND UP. This might be even better as popular expensive games could (if exceptionally popular) encroach on the lower priced lists. This, in my mind, is VERY good for promoting quality game development.

    This way, customers can actually see the games that match a better value/quality at the prices they are willing to pay. More satisfied customers, more satisfied developers. Good, right?

    This $20 deal would have to have some VERY, VERY nice games to take off in the current market, but I'm all for THAT!

    As things settle down into tiers more nicely (rather than plummet to the bottom fast to get recognition as it currently is) tiers in a range of prices could work, too.

  • brob

    Apple is just becoming Microsoft,, greedy...
    Why don't they offer a REFUND for a lot of the present crap on the app store, I can't imagine pay $20 for a junk game and not being able to return it..
    This move will just encourge jailbreaking, etc..

  • brob

    Apple is just becoming Microsoft,, greedy...
    Why don't they offer a REFUND for a lot of the present crap on the app store, I can't imagine pay $20 for a junk game and not being able to return it..
    This move will just encourge jailbreaking, etc..

  • M1ch3l

    Great!

    I never wan't to play lame-cheap-usually no more than 5 minutes-games.

    Please stimulate high quality games that are worth my precious time.

  • http://www.metroccolis.com your personal robot

    what about a great indi dev, who has got a fantatic app, but
    1: would never be member of the premium section (just for the big ones)
    2: perhaps doesn't want to make his app expensive but now, because of not getting so much attention (feature etc), he will not have the same chance of success like before...

    This model is SO yesterday! Supporting the big ones who mostly are NOT interested in the user.

  • M1ch3l

    Great!

    I never wan't to play lame-cheap-usually no more than 5 minutes-games.

    Please stimulate high quality games that are worth my precious time.

  • http://www.metroccolis.com your personal robot

    what about a great indi dev, who has got a fantatic app, but
    1: would never be member of the premium section (just for the big ones)
    2: perhaps doesn't want to make his app expensive but now, because of not getting so much attention (feature etc), he will not have the same chance of success like before...

    This model is SO yesterday! Supporting the big ones who mostly are NOT interested in the user.

  • dean

    I think you are all being negative. Sure apple wants money that's natural. hopefully though as all of you said these 20 bucks games will be good. also if freeverse comes out with these expensive games they will be priced fairly if i know freeverse. their slotzracer app for 3 bucks is doing pretty well

  • dean

    I think you are all being negative. Sure apple wants money that's natural. hopefully though as all of you said these 20 bucks games will be good. also if freeverse comes out with these expensive games they will be priced fairly if i know freeverse. their slotzracer app for 3 bucks is doing pretty well

  • http://www.chucksmith.de/ Chuck Smith

    I personally think this is a good move by Apple, but hopefully they can also find other ways to encourage indie developers from releasing apps at prices above $1.

  • http://www.chucksmith.de/ Chuck Smith

    I personally think this is a good move by Apple, but hopefully they can also find other ways to encourage indie developers from releasing apps at prices above $1.

  • snowy2004

    While I'm not sure about letting only select publishers in, I definitely support a Premium Games section. $9.99 or less games are all nice and good but I want some games with a bit of meat on their bones... even if it does cost more money.

  • jpwillis269

    I would be happy to pay $20 for an official version of quake 4 or Doom2 with online multiplay.

  • snowy2004

    While I'm not sure about letting only select publishers in, I definitely support a Premium Games section. $9.99 or less games are all nice and good but I want some games with a bit of meat on their bones... even if it does cost more money.

  • jpwillis269

    I would be happy to pay $20 for an official version of quake 4 or Doom2 with online multiplay.

  • Eric

    I'd rather fill my time with sub-$10 apps and wait for the price drops on the $20 games.

  • Eric

    I'd rather fill my time with sub-$10 apps and wait for the price drops on the $20 games.

  • tom

    Consider for a moment that a premium game section might be for games that only run on better hardware. Maybe Apple is getting ready for faster iPhones/iPod touches or something else?

    These games would only work on the new hardware so they have to be seperated from the rest. Just my theory :-)

  • tom

    Consider for a moment that a premium game section might be for games that only run on better hardware. Maybe Apple is getting ready for faster iPhones/iPod touches or something else?

    These games would only work on the new hardware so they have to be seperated from the rest. Just my theory :-)

  • Crim

    I think the problem is that we have all spent time with the < $10 so when we see a mention of $20 we, myself included, tend to flip out. As others have said, I would support a $20 title IF, and only if, it proved itself as a $20 title. There are plenty of apps in the $6 - $10 range that really are not worth it; I would love for Rockstar to bring GTA or EA bring a good Tiger Woods to the platform, and if these are done well I'd buy them for $20.

    I don't keep a large balance in my iTunes account for games, so if these are going to take a chunk of my balance, they should also take a chunk of my time and have longevity MUCH longer than the apps we're seeing today.

  • Crim

    I think the problem is that we have all spent time with the < $10 so when we see a mention of $20 we, myself included, tend to flip out. As others have said, I would support a $20 title IF, and only if, it proved itself as a $20 title. There are plenty of apps in the $6 - $10 range that really are not worth it; I would love for Rockstar to bring GTA or EA bring a good Tiger Woods to the platform, and if these are done well I'd buy them for $20.

    I don't keep a large balance in my iTunes account for games, so if these are going to take a chunk of my balance, they should also take a chunk of my time and have longevity MUCH longer than the apps we're seeing today.

  • SMOKIN OKIN

    @brob:
    you have no idea what's going on, if you report a problem and say the right things, apple gives u refunds. I already saved around $70 on iPhone games by getting refunds. But they only allow up to 4 or 5 refunds per account, so make many different accounts with different credit card numbers, and only do it with the $6-10 games

  • SMOKIN OKIN

    @brob:
    you have no idea what's going on, if you report a problem and say the right things, apple gives u refunds. I already saved around $70 on iPhone games by getting refunds. But they only allow up to 4 or 5 refunds per account, so make many different accounts with different credit card numbers, and only do it with the $6-10 games

  • SMOKIN OKIN

    and also, if these apps are going to be long like payback, then they could take up to a whole gb of space, then if we buy a few, us 8 gb owners wont have enough room for our beloved music, videos and pictures

  • SMOKIN OKIN

    and also, if these apps are going to be long like payback, then they could take up to a whole gb of space, then if we buy a few, us 8 gb owners wont have enough room for our beloved music, videos and pictures

  • gaze

    Nowhere is written, that this step with AppStore is focused only for iPod/iPhone. What if this is for whole current/future Mac platform?

  • gaze

    Nowhere is written, that this step with AppStore is focused only for iPod/iPhone. What if this is for whole current/future Mac platform?

  • dk206

    going to keep encouraging Jailbreaking?
    rofl

    go ahead

  • dk206

    going to keep encouraging Jailbreaking?
    rofl

    go ahead

  • http://www.nu.nl Tim

    this is ridiculous! Why should we pay so much money for only better graphics? There are tons of fine games for free that have much nicer gameplay in it, so i don't get this right here. Maybe if nobody's going to buy this expensive shit they stop doing this!

    Greetz from the Netherlands(A)

  • http://www.nu.nl Tim

    this is ridiculous! Why should we pay so much money for only better graphics? There are tons of fine games for free that have much nicer gameplay in it, so i don't get this right here. Maybe if nobody's going to buy this expensive shit they stop doing this!

    Greetz from the Netherlands(A)

  • dinah

    I've purchased 3 out of around 20 games that I regret buying. But it wasn't a quality issue, I just dent enjoy the games personally. I now know better to check on YouTube and look at reviews. $20 is steep, though. I usually don't pay past $6

  • dinah

    I've purchased 3 out of around 20 games that I regret buying. But it wasn't a quality issue, I just dent enjoy the games personally. I now know better to check on YouTube and look at reviews. $20 is steep, though. I usually don't pay past $6

  • http://mohammadfauzitaib.com along123

    For almost $19.99, I'll be like paying almost $30 if convert to my country currency. WTF. I'll rather buy an Xbox game. I think, the most I'll pay for a premium is $9.99. Unless, they come out with an awesome FPS (first person shooter) that cost $20. Well, maybe. If it's that DAMN good. I won't even pay that much for a err ..non pirated PSP games!?

  • http://mohammadfauzitaib.com along123

    For almost $19.99, I'll be like paying almost $30 if convert to my country currency. WTF. I'll rather buy an Xbox game. I think, the most I'll pay for a premium is $9.99. Unless, they come out with an awesome FPS (first person shooter) that cost $20. Well, maybe. If it's that DAMN good. I won't even pay that much for a err ..non pirated PSP games!?

  • slappy

    Good idea, as long as the games really do take full advantage of the device OS and hardware to give us a really unique gaming experience. So far we just get ports of older games. Are these current games taking advantage of OpenGL/CL at all?

  • slappy

    Good idea, as long as the games really do take full advantage of the device OS and hardware to give us a really unique gaming experience. So far we just get ports of older games. Are these current games taking advantage of OpenGL/CL at all?

  • Shannon Scott Shiflett

    booo. this is just a way for apple to make more commission off sales. i have purchased a number of $10 titles that weren't worth a dollar, much less $20. greed is not the way to make a better game.

  • Shannon Scott Shiflett

    booo. this is just a way for apple to make more commission off sales. i have purchased a number of $10 titles that weren't worth a dollar, much less $20. greed is not the way to make a better game.

  • Daniel Glover

    Right now I buy a lot of games I normally wouldn't because they are only a few dollars. There is little risk so I buy a lot of stuff. I would probably only buy one or two games if they were $20.

  • Daniel Glover

    Right now I buy a lot of games I normally wouldn't because they are only a few dollars. There is little risk so I buy a lot of stuff. I would probably only buy one or two games if they were $20.

  • http://warfareincorporated.com Zandog

    I think it's a great idea as long as the app's quality is worth the price. I wouldn't pay $20+ for a game like Hero of Sparta.

  • http://warfareincorporated.com Zandog

    I think it's a great idea as long as the app's quality is worth the price. I wouldn't pay $20+ for a game like Hero of Sparta.

  • Steve

    not sure i would pay $20 for an iPhone game. $10 is the max for me. I'll just save up and buy a 360 game. or hell but one used for $20

  • Steve

    not sure i would pay $20 for an iPhone game. $10 is the max for me. I'll just save up and buy a 360 game. or hell but one used for $20

  • hyp

    this is pretty ridiculous. considering you can get some hi-def, quality games on playstation network and xbox live arcade for even cheaper than that. bad move apple. great way ruin the app store.

  • hyp

    this is pretty ridiculous. considering you can get some hi-def, quality games on playstation network and xbox live arcade for even cheaper than that. bad move apple. great way ruin the app store.

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    For everyone saying they'd rather use that $$ and get a HD game for the PS3 or XBOX 360...have you forgotten the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/blakespot/3121405200/sizes/l/in/pool-959391@N21/

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    For everyone saying they'd rather use that $$ and get a HD game for the PS3 or XBOX 360...have you forgotten the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/blakespot/3121405200/sizes/l/in/pool-959391@N21/

  • DaDosDude

    The appstore is great for it's indy support, if they make a move like this, the support is falling into shade, just because apple want to make (even) more money with bigger games. Wich apple get's about 10 to 30 percent of. wich sums up to be a great inning.

    Just keep the appstore without bigger publishers, and let the developers publish their own games instead, through the appstore. And by simply hinting to websites like this, and giving out screenshots. This could even work for bigger developers, and they wouldnt need the all-mighty publisher (with their annoying changes) in it.

  • SMOKIN OKIN

    you guys are comparing $20 to these shitty games that are out, 95 % of the app store is trash, when apple does this, they want to make the iphone into a console, not just some lousy phone games, if they only let big time developers make products up to $20 this could be a good thing. No good developers have tried or put resources into an iphone game because there is no profit. But if they could get around PSP prices, they could make games much better than PSP. And everyone should stop complaining. You'll still be able to buy your shitty $1 puzzle games also, but the $20 games are for real gamers that really want to make the most of the iphones capabilities. No one is forcing any body to buy anything that they don't want.

  • DaDosDude

    The appstore is great for it's indy support, if they make a move like this, the support is falling into shade, just because apple want to make (even) more money with bigger games. Wich apple get's about 10 to 30 percent of. wich sums up to be a great inning.

    Just keep the appstore without bigger publishers, and let the developers publish their own games instead, through the appstore. And by simply hinting to websites like this, and giving out screenshots. This could even work for bigger developers, and they wouldnt need the all-mighty publisher (with their annoying changes) in it.

  • SMOKIN OKIN

    you guys are comparing $20 to these shitty games that are out, 95 % of the app store is trash, when apple does this, they want to make the iphone into a console, not just some lousy phone games, if they only let big time developers make products up to $20 this could be a good thing. No good developers have tried or put resources into an iphone game because there is no profit. But if they could get around PSP prices, they could make games much better than PSP. And everyone should stop complaining. You'll still be able to buy your shitty $1 puzzle games also, but the $20 games are for real gamers that really want to make the most of the iphones capabilities. No one is forcing any body to buy anything that they don't want.

  • Crim

    One thing to also note is that the devs will understand how to make apps by the public's reaction. There's a TON of money to be made for the right app priced right (look at iFart for God's sake), and if a $20 app doesn't stack up, nobody will buy it. I would hope these $20 app developers understand this and understand the challenge that lays ahead for them, if not, they'll need to drop their $20 app down to $5 or even less to get buyers.

  • Crim

    One thing to also note is that the devs will understand how to make apps by the public's reaction. There's a TON of money to be made for the right app priced right (look at iFart for God's sake), and if a $20 app doesn't stack up, nobody will buy it. I would hope these $20 app developers understand this and understand the challenge that lays ahead for them, if not, they'll need to drop their $20 app down to $5 or even less to get buyers.

  • brob

    SMOKIN OKIN

    HI thanks for the info re the refunds.. all I got from apple when i asked about refunds, was a very polite version of " FU, we have your $$, now leave us alone"
    I'll try again and see what happens...

  • brob

    SMOKIN OKIN

    HI thanks for the info re the refunds.. all I got from apple when i asked about refunds, was a very polite version of " FU, we have your $$, now leave us alone"
    I'll try again and see what happens...

  • http://rvwbox.blogspot.com Aprimex77

    I just can't picture myself paying that much for an iPhone game. I just can't. It's have to be really, really good. Like an old NES or SNES title, and the controls would have to be near flawless. I my opinion the iPhone's strength as a gaming platform exists in it's ability to deliver AFFORDABLE content in large doses. I'll stick with my two-and-three dollar titles (nevermind the free ones), thank you very much.

  • http://rvwbox.blogspot.com Aprimex77

    I just can't picture myself paying that much for an iPhone game. I just can't. It's have to be really, really good. Like an old NES or SNES title, and the controls would have to be near flawless. I my opinion the iPhone's strength as a gaming platform exists in it's ability to deliver AFFORDABLE content in large doses. I'll stick with my two-and-three dollar titles (nevermind the free ones), thank you very much.

  • http://KRAPPS.com KRAPPS

    hmmmm ... I wonder what will be the first $19.99 game ... perhaps Need For Speed?

  • http://KRAPPS.com KRAPPS

    hmmmm ... I wonder what will be the first $19.99 game ... perhaps Need For Speed?

  • http://www.bootant.com bootant
  • http://www.bootant.com bootant
  • NotYou

    @KRAPPS
    That could definitely explain the delay of it's release.

  • NotYou

    @KRAPPS
    That could definitely explain the delay of it's release.

  • Adams Immersive

    I pay $30-$50 for full-size AAA titles on my Mac, and $15-$30 for slightly smaller indie games. Playing those same games on my iPhone is just as fun (and sometimes more convenient), so in that sense, $15-$30 is my price ceiling for an iPhone game, and it's what people have paid on other mobile gaming platforms after all.

    Of course the market has gone another way, which raises concerns that some great games will never get made, if there's too much risk of the developer being unable to make ends meet. (Making an iPhone game seems a little like a lottery ticket--only one that takes months of your time to make!)

    A premium section would be interesting. I personally don't see much connection between big companies/known brands and quality gaming. I'd rather support indie creativity. So I might not shop in the premium section much. However, having a $19 section would help make anything LESS than that be perceived as "bargains," and THAT could be could for the little developers. Instead of $99 to $2.99 being a steal, maybe people will come to see $8.99 to $12.00 as a steal. (For a full-size game of course. There's always room for fun little .99 toys too.)

    Not sure what I think of this--depends on how it affects the app market as a whole.

  • Adams Immersive

    I pay $30-$50 for full-size AAA titles on my Mac, and $15-$30 for slightly smaller indie games. Playing those same games on my iPhone is just as fun (and sometimes more convenient), so in that sense, $15-$30 is my price ceiling for an iPhone game, and it's what people have paid on other mobile gaming platforms after all.

    Of course the market has gone another way, which raises concerns that some great games will never get made, if there's too much risk of the developer being unable to make ends meet. (Making an iPhone game seems a little like a lottery ticket--only one that takes months of your time to make!)

    A premium section would be interesting. I personally don't see much connection between big companies/known brands and quality gaming. I'd rather support indie creativity. So I might not shop in the premium section much. However, having a $19 section would help make anything LESS than that be perceived as "bargains," and THAT could be could for the little developers. Instead of $99 to $2.99 being a steal, maybe people will come to see $8.99 to $12.00 as a steal. (For a full-size game of course. There's always room for fun little .99 toys too.)

    Not sure what I think of this--depends on how it affects the app market as a whole.

  • http://modmyi.com/ Sayam

    "It’s a step in the right direction, BUT…

    How about tiers for the rest of us indie developers.

    Top 20 $1 and up
    Top 20 $5 and up
    Top 20 $10 and up
    Top 20 $15 and up

    Notice the AND UP. This might be even better as popular expensive games could (if exceptionally popular) encroach on the lower priced lists. This, in my mind, is VERY good for promoting quality game development.

    This way, customers can actually see the games that match a better value/quality at the prices they are willing to pay. More satisfied customers, more satisfied developers. Good, right?

    This $20 deal would have to have some VERY, VERY nice games to take off in the current market, but I’m all for THAT!

    As things settle down into tiers more nicely (rather than plummet to the bottom fast to get recognition as it currently is) tiers in a range of prices could work, too."

    I totally agree with the above quoted idea by Aaron Sullivan!

  • http://modmyi.com/ Sayam

    "It’s a step in the right direction, BUT…

    How about tiers for the rest of us indie developers.

    Top 20 $1 and up
    Top 20 $5 and up
    Top 20 $10 and up
    Top 20 $15 and up

    Notice the AND UP. This might be even better as popular expensive games could (if exceptionally popular) encroach on the lower priced lists. This, in my mind, is VERY good for promoting quality game development.

    This way, customers can actually see the games that match a better value/quality at the prices they are willing to pay. More satisfied customers, more satisfied developers. Good, right?

    This $20 deal would have to have some VERY, VERY nice games to take off in the current market, but I’m all for THAT!

    As things settle down into tiers more nicely (rather than plummet to the bottom fast to get recognition as it currently is) tiers in a range of prices could work, too."

    I totally agree with the above quoted idea by Aaron Sullivan!

  • spiffyone

    tom (and others who pointed it out) may have a point. What if this $19.99 section isn't for the iTouch/Phone? Or at least the current iTouch/Phone hardware. A new hardware revision, this time with a PowerVR SGX GPU should be coming at some point. But...I don't think Apple would do it this soon. Rather, I think they'll hold out on revising the platform hardware totally. The current hardware platform (iTouch/Phone) is really just in its infancy as a software money generator. They should give it another year or two before moving onto completely new upgraded hardware specs.

    So, this is my idea: This $19.99 section has nothing to do with iPod or iTouch/Phone. This new section is geared toward either Mac computers, or, and this is the biggie: Apple TV. People had speculated that Apple TV games might come when the product was released, and Apple did just provide a major software update to the product. Who's to say that the next update they provide won't be the ability to play games. Sure, an Intel mobile CPU ("Crofton") and an Nvidia GeForce Go 7300 might not seem like much at all...but it's good enough for developing the type of games popular in the app store for gaming right now.

  • spiffyone

    tom (and others who pointed it out) may have a point. What if this $19.99 section isn't for the iTouch/Phone? Or at least the current iTouch/Phone hardware. A new hardware revision, this time with a PowerVR SGX GPU should be coming at some point. But...I don't think Apple would do it this soon. Rather, I think they'll hold out on revising the platform hardware totally. The current hardware platform (iTouch/Phone) is really just in its infancy as a software money generator. They should give it another year or two before moving onto completely new upgraded hardware specs.

    So, this is my idea: This $19.99 section has nothing to do with iPod or iTouch/Phone. This new section is geared toward either Mac computers, or, and this is the biggie: Apple TV. People had speculated that Apple TV games might come when the product was released, and Apple did just provide a major software update to the product. Who's to say that the next update they provide won't be the ability to play games. Sure, an Intel mobile CPU ("Crofton") and an Nvidia GeForce Go 7300 might not seem like much at all...but it's good enough for developing the type of games popular in the app store for gaming right now.

  • OneUpChucks

    This will be a very bad thing, for both consumers and indie developers, and here is why:

    Currently, *gameplay* is what is driving sales of games on the app store. This is evidenced by things like iShoot, a solid remake of "Scorched Earth", an old (but not the oldest) artillery game. Made by one person, iShoot, er, shot to #1 despite mediocre graphics and no advertising.

    Unfortunately, graphics and advertising are the 2 things that executives at Big Name Publishers find it easy to quantify; gameplay much less so - some of them don't even play games (see: arstechnica article about Activision's CEO, ).

    This move is Apple's way of appealing to those Big Name Publishers, at the expense of both indie developers and consumers. Currently it must be hard to convince an EA or a SEGA to invest $500k or more in making an iPhone game when 'iShoot', made by one person in his spare time, can 'beat' Monkey Ball in the marketplace, based soley on it's superior gameplay. A game being in the "Premium" section will *not* guarantee that it's gameplay is superior, only that the publisher 'paid' to have it featured ( I would *not* be surprised if the Premium section does not have the 70/30 deal; Apple would probably want a bigger cut for featuring it). If even *one* consumer buys a $20 "Premium" title in lieu of three or four $5 indie titles, that are possibly better/more inovatitve/less flashy (think iShoot, Crayon Physics, etc) then the indie marketplace will be crushed and we'll be back to the Console Games model.

    Additionally, basing entry into the "Premium" section solely on the 'virtue' of being a Big Name Publisher, instead of any individual game's *merit* will exclude, and put a chilling effect on the development of, highly polished indie games such as Jonathan Blow's Braid. As an indie developer, what would be my incentive to spend the time to polish my game up to the level of a "premium" game, if I have no hope of having it showcased in the Premium section?

    Apple has a great platform currently for distribution that allows for a true Meritocracy, that benefits both indie developers (anyone working in his spare time can put something out there and have it seen in equal measure to a "Big" title) and the consumer (the consumer gets more innovation, at the cost of having to determine what is good from what is bad themselves). This very much scares the Big Name Publishers, who have no idea how to compete in that market - thus, they want a new, exclusive market, that only they get to compete in. If this occurs, I would definitely encourage anyone who cares about gameplay and innovation above graphics and marketing to boycott a "Premium" section. (Yeah, I did it, I said the "B" word.)

    A *MUCH* better system for Apple to be spending their time on would be XBLA-style real "demo" functionality - whereby I can download something in "lite" mode, and then if I like it, convert it to "full" from my phone, without downloading anything more. That would eliminate the confusion between 'lite' and 'full' purchases, and developers would see higher conversion-rates (thus more money for developers and for Apple) as well.

  • OneUpChucks

    This will be a very bad thing, for both consumers and indie developers, and here is why:

    Currently, *gameplay* is what is driving sales of games on the app store. This is evidenced by things like iShoot, a solid remake of "Scorched Earth", an old (but not the oldest) artillery game. Made by one person, iShoot, er, shot to #1 despite mediocre graphics and no advertising.

    Unfortunately, graphics and advertising are the 2 things that executives at Big Name Publishers find it easy to quantify; gameplay much less so - some of them don't even play games (see: arstechnica article about Activision's CEO, ).

    This move is Apple's way of appealing to those Big Name Publishers, at the expense of both indie developers and consumers. Currently it must be hard to convince an EA or a SEGA to invest $500k or more in making an iPhone game when 'iShoot', made by one person in his spare time, can 'beat' Monkey Ball in the marketplace, based soley on it's superior gameplay. A game being in the "Premium" section will *not* guarantee that it's gameplay is superior, only that the publisher 'paid' to have it featured ( I would *not* be surprised if the Premium section does not have the 70/30 deal; Apple would probably want a bigger cut for featuring it). If even *one* consumer buys a $20 "Premium" title in lieu of three or four $5 indie titles, that are possibly better/more inovatitve/less flashy (think iShoot, Crayon Physics, etc) then the indie marketplace will be crushed and we'll be back to the Console Games model.

    Additionally, basing entry into the "Premium" section solely on the 'virtue' of being a Big Name Publisher, instead of any individual game's *merit* will exclude, and put a chilling effect on the development of, highly polished indie games such as Jonathan Blow's Braid. As an indie developer, what would be my incentive to spend the time to polish my game up to the level of a "premium" game, if I have no hope of having it showcased in the Premium section?

    Apple has a great platform currently for distribution that allows for a true Meritocracy, that benefits both indie developers (anyone working in his spare time can put something out there and have it seen in equal measure to a "Big" title) and the consumer (the consumer gets more innovation, at the cost of having to determine what is good from what is bad themselves). This very much scares the Big Name Publishers, who have no idea how to compete in that market - thus, they want a new, exclusive market, that only they get to compete in. If this occurs, I would definitely encourage anyone who cares about gameplay and innovation above graphics and marketing to boycott a "Premium" section. (Yeah, I did it, I said the "B" word.)

    A *MUCH* better system for Apple to be spending their time on would be XBLA-style real "demo" functionality - whereby I can download something in "lite" mode, and then if I like it, convert it to "full" from my phone, without downloading anything more. That would eliminate the confusion between 'lite' and 'full' purchases, and developers would see higher conversion-rates (thus more money for developers and for Apple) as well.

  • NotYou

    @ OneUpChucks
    As far as business goes, I think this would be a smart move for Apple. It might not be good for indie devs, but big business moves are rarely good for indie anything. I think this is fair competeition. The indie devs will still be competing with each other, but the people buying the games will have the option to buy higher end titles.

    If it can draw in more people, the indie devs will benefit. Nobody is going to refuse to buy Fieldrunners because it isn't in the $19.99 category.

  • NotYou

    @ OneUpChucks
    As far as business goes, I think this would be a smart move for Apple. It might not be good for indie devs, but big business moves are rarely good for indie anything. I think this is fair competeition. The indie devs will still be competing with each other, but the people buying the games will have the option to buy higher end titles.

    If it can draw in more people, the indie devs will benefit. Nobody is going to refuse to buy Fieldrunners because it isn't in the $19.99 category.

  • Ahiru

    have you guys noticed how people don't buy games at their full price?

    TONS of games are having price cuts just to boost sales. and most of them are real price changings, not just a fire sale...

    "major" publishers sure have the most "hyping", so hardcore gamers don't bother paying full price for them at their release (i.e. rolando, simcity, payback, hero of sparta etc) - but most of the people wait for a price cut. even those "cheap" or indie (not saying indie is cheap) games hardly sell at full price - just a minority of them are still selling.

    what if NFS were 20 bucks? i believe only a small portion of those hardcore gamers that don't bother paying full price at its realease would it buy it.

    the consumers have set their gaming price range: .99 - 5.99 (checking on how games sell comparing to its price/popularity), with a few exceptions of higher prices. i think devs should focus on that - soon greedy indie devs will label their non-hyped/low-quality games as 15 bucks, then what?

  • Aaron Sullivan

    Yeah, I don't see the $20 section squashing the other section, I see it as a risky and difficult proposition in the current iPhone market, and probably a necessary one.

    Like it or not, people's perceptions of what a good game on the iPhone is has been formed by the cheap brief thrill games. You can see it right on this thread.

    What I don't think people understand is how ugly the market has gotten to indie developers trying to invest time and money into a quality game (including gameplay, graphics, audio, creativity, whatever.) Players might giggle at the success of iFart, but it depresses and/or turns off developers who wanted to put some blood and sweat into something awesome for a new platform.

    Instead, it makes more sense to treat it as a get rich quick scheme with something gimmicky. Therefore, you get shovelware and good ideas wasted for a quick buck because it wasn't worth fleshing out.

    Imagine how it all looks to the big studios/publishers.

    Anyway, the new category doesn't erase the old dual free/paid, so if that's what you want, you can keep it. Hopefully, Apple can garner some respect for the platform so good games but it has an uphill battle.

    I personally think a tiered top 20 list like I mentioned earlier along with this could do a lot of good.

    Also, let's pray for some haptic feedback or another form of input without add-ons for the next-gen. :) How about make the little button on the face huge and be touch sensitive and click in? okay, I'm digressing rapidly here...

  • Ahiru

    have you guys noticed how people don't buy games at their full price?

    TONS of games are having price cuts just to boost sales. and most of them are real price changings, not just a fire sale...

    "major" publishers sure have the most "hyping", so hardcore gamers don't bother paying full price for them at their release (i.e. rolando, simcity, payback, hero of sparta etc) - but most of the people wait for a price cut. even those "cheap" or indie (not saying indie is cheap) games hardly sell at full price - just a minority of them are still selling.

    what if NFS were 20 bucks? i believe only a small portion of those hardcore gamers that don't bother paying full price at its realease would it buy it.

    the consumers have set their gaming price range: .99 - 5.99 (checking on how games sell comparing to its price/popularity), with a few exceptions of higher prices. i think devs should focus on that - soon greedy indie devs will label their non-hyped/low-quality games as 15 bucks, then what?

  • Aaron Sullivan

    Yeah, I don't see the $20 section squashing the other section, I see it as a risky and difficult proposition in the current iPhone market, and probably a necessary one.

    Like it or not, people's perceptions of what a good game on the iPhone is has been formed by the cheap brief thrill games. You can see it right on this thread.

    What I don't think people understand is how ugly the market has gotten to indie developers trying to invest time and money into a quality game (including gameplay, graphics, audio, creativity, whatever.) Players might giggle at the success of iFart, but it depresses and/or turns off developers who wanted to put some blood and sweat into something awesome for a new platform.

    Instead, it makes more sense to treat it as a get rich quick scheme with something gimmicky. Therefore, you get shovelware and good ideas wasted for a quick buck because it wasn't worth fleshing out.

    Imagine how it all looks to the big studios/publishers.

    Anyway, the new category doesn't erase the old dual free/paid, so if that's what you want, you can keep it. Hopefully, Apple can garner some respect for the platform so good games but it has an uphill battle.

    I personally think a tiered top 20 list like I mentioned earlier along with this could do a lot of good.

    Also, let's pray for some haptic feedback or another form of input without add-ons for the next-gen. :) How about make the little button on the face huge and be touch sensitive and click in? okay, I'm digressing rapidly here...

  • Aaron Sullivan

    @Ahiru and others complaining about price

    Please stop ignoring the fact that games at these prices would be expected to have much longer playtimes or offer something else of equal value (deep story, franchise tie-in, etc.)

    They should be comparable to DS games, or PSP games. (Hopefully, the good ones. lol.)

    I do wonder where the fear is coming from. If you don't WANT to pay for a deeper more satisfying game on your iPod Touch or iPhone, just don't. Buy 5 shallow ones instead. I don't see how or why that choice would go away.

  • Aaron Sullivan

    @Ahiru and others complaining about price

    Please stop ignoring the fact that games at these prices would be expected to have much longer playtimes or offer something else of equal value (deep story, franchise tie-in, etc.)

    They should be comparable to DS games, or PSP games. (Hopefully, the good ones. lol.)

    I do wonder where the fear is coming from. If you don't WANT to pay for a deeper more satisfying game on your iPod Touch or iPhone, just don't. Buy 5 shallow ones instead. I don't see how or why that choice would go away.

  • Nick

    The biggest thing seperating the ipod touch from a DS or PSP is the quality of games. You pick up a $40 title and you know you're getting a long, dynamic game. In the app store, you pay $4 for a game that's about 10% in depth and quality. It's like candystand vs. steam. The Gameboy color had less than half the computing power of a Touch, yet I haven't really got any games that match the quality and "cant stop playing" aspect of those games.

    Now, give bigger companies a $20 tier, and I think some of this traditional portable gaming love will come back.

    To be honest, I'm fed up with digging through countless $2 crap games to find something decent. Give Sparta and Rolando a designated spot in the store.

    YES to big companies, and Indie deveopers stop putting garbage in the app store!

  • Aaron Sullivan

    "soon greedy indie devs will label their non-hyped/low-quality games as 15 bucks, then what?"

    People won't buy them? Because they are non-hyped and low-quality and cost too much... so... what's the problem here?

  • Nick

    The biggest thing seperating the ipod touch from a DS or PSP is the quality of games. You pick up a $40 title and you know you're getting a long, dynamic game. In the app store, you pay $4 for a game that's about 10% in depth and quality. It's like candystand vs. steam. The Gameboy color had less than half the computing power of a Touch, yet I haven't really got any games that match the quality and "cant stop playing" aspect of those games.

    Now, give bigger companies a $20 tier, and I think some of this traditional portable gaming love will come back.

    To be honest, I'm fed up with digging through countless $2 crap games to find something decent. Give Sparta and Rolando a designated spot in the store.

    YES to big companies, and Indie deveopers stop putting garbage in the app store!

  • Aaron Sullivan

    "soon greedy indie devs will label their non-hyped/low-quality games as 15 bucks, then what?"

    People won't buy them? Because they are non-hyped and low-quality and cost too much... so... what's the problem here?

  • http://www.mavisxp.com mavis

    @Nick +1

    I for one can't wait for a 'premium' tier, as long as it truly is premium. I'm willing to pay for $20 for PSP-quality games as opposed to <$10 for the obviously MOBILE-quality stuff now available.

  • http://www.mavisxp.com mavis

    @Nick +1

    I for one can't wait for a 'premium' tier, as long as it truly is premium. I'm willing to pay for $20 for PSP-quality games as opposed to <$10 for the obviously MOBILE-quality stuff now available.

  • Kamazar

    Apple, why the hell are you doing this when the appstore still needs a massive revamp? Searching for a good game with the appstore alone is a chore. They should be fixing the categories and ranking systems instead adding in a premium section. And in premium because of the gameplay, or because of the pricetag and brandname? Probably the latter. I get that apple is trying to make money. Totally understandable, but this is sucking so far. And really guys? Games for the apple tv and mac? Really? That mac isn't a gaming computer. We all know that. Microsoft has grabbed that territory. And gaming on the apple tv? There isn't even a hint of that happening. Plus, not that many people own apple tvs. There are things called cable and satellite, AND dvr. Sheesh.

  • Kamazar

    Apple, why the hell are you doing this when the appstore still needs a massive revamp? Searching for a good game with the appstore alone is a chore. They should be fixing the categories and ranking systems instead adding in a premium section. And in premium because of the gameplay, or because of the pricetag and brandname? Probably the latter. I get that apple is trying to make money. Totally understandable, but this is sucking so far. And really guys? Games for the apple tv and mac? Really? That mac isn't a gaming computer. We all know that. Microsoft has grabbed that territory. And gaming on the apple tv? There isn't even a hint of that happening. Plus, not that many people own apple tvs. There are things called cable and satellite, AND dvr. Sheesh.

  • spiffyone

    @Kamazar

    Developers (like EA) are willing to put their products on the Mac platform if Apple is willing to open up the market a little more. As for there not being a "hint of gaming happening on Apple TV", all I can say is that Apple TV Take 2 added support for Apple TV to download things off of iTunes DIRECTLY. That was simply a software update. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that now that Apple TV is a self contained device (no longer does one need to own a Mac or PC and sync Apple TV to those things in order to use it), and that since iTunes isn't just about iPod or iTouch/Phone (HD movies via iTunes) and since developers in the past had expressed interest in developing games for Apple TV when it was announced that Apple can simply have a software update (Apple TV Take 3) to enable games developed for the platform to sell via iTunes. And, yeah, there aren't a lot of people that own an Apple TV. That's why it makes sense to open it up to gaming, thereby opening up the potential consumer base for the product.

  • spiffyone

    @Kamazar

    Developers (like EA) are willing to put their products on the Mac platform if Apple is willing to open up the market a little more. As for there not being a "hint of gaming happening on Apple TV", all I can say is that Apple TV Take 2 added support for Apple TV to download things off of iTunes DIRECTLY. That was simply a software update. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that now that Apple TV is a self contained device (no longer does one need to own a Mac or PC and sync Apple TV to those things in order to use it), and that since iTunes isn't just about iPod or iTouch/Phone (HD movies via iTunes) and since developers in the past had expressed interest in developing games for Apple TV when it was announced that Apple can simply have a software update (Apple TV Take 3) to enable games developed for the platform to sell via iTunes. And, yeah, there aren't a lot of people that own an Apple TV. That's why it makes sense to open it up to gaming, thereby opening up the potential consumer base for the product.

  • spiffyone

    Plus, it actually makes MORE sense to open up Apple TV to gaming at the price point of $20 each than it does to now introduce $20 games to the iTouch/Phone platform. The price model and perceived value of the games has already been set for several months now. It's free-$9.99, with the majority of games selling well up to the $7.99 price point (Super Monkey Ball still sells well). Consumers will not likely be willing to shell out $20 for games on this platform after the price has been set for so long.

    Consumers, both current and future, of Apple TV will be more willing to shell out $20 for a game on that platform. Because then it will be up against games on stuff like Wii, 360, PS3 that cost more than double in most cases when first released. Forget the relative lack of power. The components in Apple TV are more than enough to run low to mid tier (and maybe higher) last gen games at 480p at a steady framerate. Looking at the success of the Wii, maybe that's all that's really necessary to the current consumer base.

  • spiffyone

    Plus, it actually makes MORE sense to open up Apple TV to gaming at the price point of $20 each than it does to now introduce $20 games to the iTouch/Phone platform. The price model and perceived value of the games has already been set for several months now. It's free-$9.99, with the majority of games selling well up to the $7.99 price point (Super Monkey Ball still sells well). Consumers will not likely be willing to shell out $20 for games on this platform after the price has been set for so long.

    Consumers, both current and future, of Apple TV will be more willing to shell out $20 for a game on that platform. Because then it will be up against games on stuff like Wii, 360, PS3 that cost more than double in most cases when first released. Forget the relative lack of power. The components in Apple TV are more than enough to run low to mid tier (and maybe higher) last gen games at 480p at a steady framerate. Looking at the success of the Wii, maybe that's all that's really necessary to the current consumer base.

  • Nick

    Gaming on an Apple TV would definitely be interesting. I still think gaming has only skimmed the surface on an iphone, but that would still be a cool expanse of apple.

    Like I said about games on the gameboy color, It's not what's under the hood that defines a system(Wii vs. Ps3 launch should be evidence of this too). Perhaps if apple has a good mix of creative/cheap indie apps and premium/in depth expensive games, they could manage a decent foothold on the gaming industry.

    Just think, hold the Apple TV remote as a D-pad in your left hand, and your iPod touch motion controller in your right........

  • Nick

    Gaming on an Apple TV would definitely be interesting. I still think gaming has only skimmed the surface on an iphone, but that would still be a cool expanse of apple.

    Like I said about games on the gameboy color, It's not what's under the hood that defines a system(Wii vs. Ps3 launch should be evidence of this too). Perhaps if apple has a good mix of creative/cheap indie apps and premium/in depth expensive games, they could manage a decent foothold on the gaming industry.

    Just think, hold the Apple TV remote as a D-pad in your left hand, and your iPod touch motion controller in your right........

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  • Paul

    No one is forcing you to buy anything from Apple or the Apple Store.

    Other than that the store needs a revamp badly. There are just too many garbage apps to sift through.

  • Paul

    No one is forcing you to buy anything from Apple or the Apple Store.

    Other than that the store needs a revamp badly. There are just too many garbage apps to sift through.

  • death 2 apple

    Apple has always been greedy. Look at the Macs/Mac OS, look at the iphone/itouch, the dev of the apps. Everything they sell they insist on having complete control over. Higher priced apps = more money for apple.

  • death 2 apple

    Apple has always been greedy. Look at the Macs/Mac OS, look at the iphone/itouch, the dev of the apps. Everything they sell they insist on having complete control over. Higher priced apps = more money for apple.

  • Terry Rogers

    Hi everyone, I'm a bit late on the chat, it's not like I was going
    any more relevant than anyone else but here is what I think.

    I think it's safe to say that people are slightly narrow minded when
    it comes to defining these portable device. Being a "fanboy" or a
    "fangirl" is quite a comftarble status unlike simply being rational
    about the situation.

    First, the iPod Touch and the iPhone are multimedia platform. Often,
    the music player is acknowledge has it's unique feature. The iPod
    Touch and iPhone is actually a pretty powerful device (memory, speed
    & rendering) that can actually browse the web, run diverse types of
    application and support a large array of media files.

    These device are now pushing toward their gaming aspect. The Touch
    Gen are unconventional for gaming, they are somewhat less technical
    and more intuitive (this is the same reason some may never like the
    Wii). Because of their nature, a lot of the game released for Apple
    devices are crap and of homebrew quality. It was the same for the DS
    when it came out, but Nintendo had more experience in blocking trash
    from their platform.

    It's safe to say that the Apple Premium Games will push the gaming
    aspect of the Touch Gen even beyond their MVP app's. They have to.
    Why? Well this brings me to my second point.

    The DS and PSP which are what people call "gaming dedicated devices"
    actually have a lot of multimedia potential. Sony and Nintendo are
    slowly but convincingly pushing toward multi-functions devices with
    new firmware, hardware and services just like Apple. Everyone is
    adventuring in to everyones territory. Thats how capitalism works :P
    Apple, Sony and Nintendo actions are not really surprising.

    I'll watch how things work out for these guys. Fanslaves, choose your
    camp; technical=PSP, hybrid=DS, intuitive=iPod. Has for me, I'm
    pretty much versatile.

  • Terry Rogers

    Hi everyone, I'm a bit late on the chat, it's not like I was going
    any more relevant than anyone else but here is what I think.

    I think it's safe to say that people are slightly narrow minded when
    it comes to defining these portable device. Being a "fanboy" or a
    "fangirl" is quite a comftarble status unlike simply being rational
    about the situation.

    First, the iPod Touch and the iPhone are multimedia platform. Often,
    the music player is acknowledge has it's unique feature. The iPod
    Touch and iPhone is actually a pretty powerful device (memory, speed
    & rendering) that can actually browse the web, run diverse types of
    application and support a large array of media files.

    These device are now pushing toward their gaming aspect. The Touch
    Gen are unconventional for gaming, they are somewhat less technical
    and more intuitive (this is the same reason some may never like the
    Wii). Because of their nature, a lot of the game released for Apple
    devices are crap and of homebrew quality. It was the same for the DS
    when it came out, but Nintendo had more experience in blocking trash
    from their platform.

    It's safe to say that the Apple Premium Games will push the gaming
    aspect of the Touch Gen even beyond their MVP app's. They have to.
    Why? Well this brings me to my second point.

    The DS and PSP which are what people call "gaming dedicated devices"
    actually have a lot of multimedia potential. Sony and Nintendo are
    slowly but convincingly pushing toward multi-functions devices with
    new firmware, hardware and services just like Apple. Everyone is
    adventuring in to everyones territory. Thats how capitalism works :P
    Apple, Sony and Nintendo actions are not really surprising.

    I'll watch how things work out for these guys. Fanslaves, choose your
    camp; technical=PSP, hybrid=DS, intuitive=iPod. Has for me, I'm
    pretty much versatile.

  • CoolGamer230

    These $19.99 games better have PSP quality.

  • CoolGamer230

    These $19.99 games better have PSP quality.