In an interesting turn of events, Gameloft sent us notice of an upcoming 99¢ game of theirs called Bailout War$. From their faux newspaper press release they sent out (below), Bailout War$ is going to be a castle defense type game but instead of a castle, you are protecting the White House from greedy bankers coming to take the taxpayer's money.
The game's premise sounds questionable at best, and we would have likely just passed on the announcement if it hadn't come from Gameloft. What is most interesting about it all is seeing yet another App Store giant seemingly targetting the casual crowd with a game designed to be released at only 99¢. We first saw this with EA's micro-studio 8lb Gorilla and their first project Zombies & Me [App Store], a game which got featured by Apple but never made it very high on the sales charts.
I just hope that the gameplay in Bailout War$ is good enough that the game is worth playing once the "humor" of protecting bailout money from bankers wears thin. Other bailout-related games like Bailout America [App Store] and Squash the $treet [App Store] have had decent gameplay elements, but largely felt cheapened by the addition of these topical elements.
Regardless, Gameloft has been on a roll lately with high production value 3D games and games based off popular board games and other valuable intellectual property. While it's unclear at this point if Gameloft is going to further pursue the 99¢ casual market, Bailout War$ seems to represent yet another industry giant encroaching on the App Store turf previously claimed by indie developers.