The one thing that I really love about our “bonus” podcasts is the fact that we only talk to people who fire from the hip: no boilerplate, no scripting, and no dodging. Game Revolution had the same kind of dialogue with an industry figure at Develop. In its conversation with Fish Labs CEO Michael Schade, you get the sense that he’s an unfiltered and passionate type of dude. He has a lot to offer as a result, especially when it comes to pricing models on the App Store, and as you’d assume by looking up Galaxy on Fire [$9.99 / Lite] on iTunes, he’s not a fan of the “race to the bottom.”
It’s not really fair to toss a headline up there and just move on, but the interview does revolve around “premium” price tags. Schade wants a premium $10 market on the App Store because he thinks developers of high-end games deserve it and consumers actually want it.
His answer when GR asks about the definition of a premium game and the part Apple could play in that:
“Every time I bring that to the table Apple asks the same question. I’d say it could be completely editorial, they decide what they think is premium – that’d be good enough for me, we’d just need to try hard enough to meet their internal premium criteria. I would appreciate if there was a floor price, and my gut’s feeling is that it should be $9.99 because that’s the lowest price for pay-per-play that I’ve seen on Steam for instance.
There are good 2D games, really good 2D games that are being sold for 9.99 Euros, so if you go $9.99 it’s even lower than that. So I think that’s the premium price. If somebody’s not willing to pay 10 bucks for a game on a platform he paid 800 bucks for, then that’s not premium.”
His stance against the myth that if games are cheaper, users will buy more games:
“I think the consumer is cleverer than that, they realize that if you pay just 59p for a game, you can’t expect the same experience as if you paid £5.99. Especially if your target group is more in the traditional hardcore gaming space, these guys are coming from a different price point anyway, and I closely follow discussions on forums where people discuss “what can you expect from a game that’s only 59p?”
“So if this category is targeted, and marketed at, I think it would be very successful. To a certain degree, it’s kind of a surprise that Apple have premium products, for a premium audience but don’t have a premium category for premium content, I think it’s a natural fit.”
If you’re into Schade, we heartily suggest you go check out the rest of the interview, which is laden with candor and even some talk on Android. Turns out that, despite the OS’ massive reach, developers aren’t really making money on the platform. Piracy, among other things, are big issues.
Again, it’s neat to see this kind of talk from a bigwig. We should bring him on the show sometime, eh?
[Via Game Revolution]