iPad 150-$200/hour??? $150k-$225k/development costs?????

Discussion in 'iPhone and iPad Games' started by Vende, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. Vende

    Vende Well-Known Member

    Nov 11, 2008
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    This author has got to be an idiot; either that or I'm in the wrong profession

    http://apple20.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2008/12/10/trouble-in-the-99-cent-app-store/

    ".....“Before commencing any new iPhone development, we look at the numbers and evaluate the risk of recouping our investment on a new project. Both developers and designers cost somewhere between $150-200 per hour. For a three man month project, let’s say that’s about $80K in development costs. To break even, we have to sell over 115K units. Not impossible with a good concept and few of weeks of prominent placement in iTunes.

    “But what happens when we start talking about bigger projects: something that takes 6 or even 9 man months? That’s either $150K or $225K in development costs with a break even at 215K or 322K units. Unless you have a white hot title, selling 10-15K units a day for a few weeks isn’t going to happen. There’s too much risk....."



    Read the article; it's absolutely ridiculous
     
  2. Oma

    Oma Well-Known Member

  3. NotYou

    NotYou Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2008
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    "designers cost somewhere between $150-200 per hour"
    :confused:

    I vote idiot. A designer would crap himself if he was offered that kind of money.
     
  4. bug_nuts

    bug_nuts New Member

    Nov 14, 2008
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    maybe he meant $150 to 200 for a group of people per hour?

    who knows lol

    bug_nuts
     
  5. NJPodder

    NJPodder Well-Known Member

    Sep 17, 2008
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    $150 - $200 / hr is definately not an exaggeration for application development. Maybe more so for larger operations, but go look up salaries for experienced programmers and you will find that nothing this developer has said is as ridiculous as you think.

    What people don't understand when they whine and say "$0.99 is tooooo much for this application, waaaahhH!H!!!!" is that any good developer who sees that trend is going to go ahead and put their effort into developing for any other platform where the money does roll in at their cost of operations.

    I know a lot of programmers (family, friends), and I do not know a single one of them with more than 5 years experience that makes less than 6 figures a year. I do know one developer friend of mine who is fresh out of college, so he is only making $65 / hour at his first job out of school.

     
  6. CrocStock

    CrocStock Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2008
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    It is partly iTunes fault for all this too expensive nonsense. Their system for viewing apps is terrible and forces developers to lover their prices so their apps can be seen so thats what people expect. And shame on the complainers for becoming so selfish and expectant.
     
  7. jonaswills

    jonaswills Well-Known Member

    Nov 11, 2008
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    #7 jonaswills, Dec 10, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2008
    They do say COST and not salary.... there are other factors that have to be paid for, office space, software licensing(which can be A LOT) ect. Also, if you are working on a one month project then you are probably hiring freelance as contractors which is wayy more expensive... My consulting is around that much so it might seem high but if that's the only work you have in 3 months it's gonna cost. Notice the price goes down when he goes to 6-9 months, only 150-225k thousand, not 480-720k if it was 80k/month
     
  8. eeenmachine

    eeenmachine Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2008
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    Independent Game Developer
    San Diego, CA
    iPhone development, and mobile development skills in general are pretty specialized. Many companies right now are lucky to be able to hire iPhone developers at ANY price. I get 3-4 emails a week asking if I'm available for contract work and I'm not even looking, and I'm sure they wouldn't flinch at those prices.
     
  9. aghartastudio

    aghartastudio Well-Known Member

    Oct 3, 2008
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    Game designer/ director
    Lyon, France
    150/200 an hour is a stupid estimation IMHO. at least in the french industry

    I've been working in the VG industry for years
    Designers or coders are payed something in between 15$to 40$ an hour depending on the experience... (monthly salaries are between 1100€ in the most greedy companies to 2500€ in the bigger more rentable companies)

    The rate can be sometime a bit higher but it's extremely rare...

    Anyway it's totally true that if the store become the 99c store , it will never be a profitable platform for devs, and it will probably stays in its amateurish state.
     
  10. BulletDev

    BulletDev Well-Known Member

    Sep 20, 2008
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    produce applications under "Bullet Development"
    Vancouver, BC
    That does seem a little exaggerated. It does all depend on the developer though, some big companies have large teams while developers like Pangea are made up of one and only on person: Brian Greenstone.
     
  11. jmelrose

    jmelrose Well-Known Member

    Dec 2, 2008
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    Central FL
    For those so quick to judge, I think it's worth pointing out that this guy isn't writing this and addressing it to people who don't know any better. Surely Steve Jobs (who this open letter is intended for) would know better and discount the rest of his points if he were exaggerating the situation.

    In short, those calling "idiot" I have to wonder their credentials to be able to do so. Sounds like some others in the field don't have as hard a time believing the points made. Even if the numbers aren't as extreme, the points the author of the letter makes do have some logic, although I think the issues will sort themselves out as part of the free market system. Similar battles are fought between used Xbox games vs new, XBL Arcade v hard-copy store purchases, and shareware v "commercial" products. Considering the market growth in the past 6 months, it's fair to expect some growing pains that both consumers and devs will have to cope with.

    I personally am tired of paying $7.99 for a game one week and the next week seeing it a $1.99 game (Balloonia, I'm looking at you...). If it were an iPhone I were buying, and that kinda price drop occurred, percentage-wise, so shortly after the release, well... Apple would be giving a $200 store credit! (I'm joking, by the way, for the sarcasm-impaired, but the only thing that keeps the situation from being TOO similar is the comparatively smaller pricetag of the software product.)
     
  12. JuncoPartner

    JuncoPartner Well-Known Member

    Nov 2, 2008
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    Developer, Redwind Software
    Dublin, Ireland
    I dont think its too much of an exaggeration here at all. Good coders and designers cost money and command high fees.
    We are talking about professionals who code for a living, not high school kids writing flash light apps.
    Personally, every hour I spend working on my iPhone applications is costing me in that region, because any hour I spend working on my .NET applications is making me that much. It's all relative.
    To work on my iPhone development I have to give it time that otherwise would be spent on other platforms.
    So any people who are saying they are in the wrong profession, well yeah maybe you are, but you gotta have the skills. Its all well and good me saying if I should have been a lawyer, but I amn't and I dont have the requisite skills to make the big bucks there.
     
  13. freon

    freon Active Member

    Nov 28, 2008
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    If it is consulting, it is not exagerated. Which is why you shouldn't hire 6 consultants for 1 year to make an app for you I guess.
     
  14. eeenmachine

    eeenmachine Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2008
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    San Diego, CA
    And don't forget that consultants / freelancers have to pay for their own benefits, retirement, equipment, office space, and pay more taxes than if they were an employee. When a company is paying an employee $50 / hour it actually costs them much more than that to employ that person.
     
  15. Modus

    Modus Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2008
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    #15 Modus, Dec 10, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2008
    Doesn't look too outlandish.

    We pay contractors a similar fee. £5k/month is not unusual for an exceptional coder working on crucial code - and if you're hiring freelancers, you'd do well to pay for a good clean job. You don't get paid yourself unless you get it right, and on time.

    £2-300/day is acceptable for good artists and designers - but I only know of one or two places that contract out design work.

    On salaries, £18-26k is normal for junior staffers. £30-50k covers the experienced to exceptional programmers and artists, however few artists command a £50k bracket unless they're working in a -very- successful studio). Many designers end up taking the producer career path to boost their income - which may be why so many games never get finished. I know more than a handful of programmers with their feet firmly planted in 100k+ jobs (the sort your wife won't let you leave :p).

    Don't think you can just walk into that sort of high pay bracket though. You either have to be brilliant or have a boatload of experience under your belt.
     
  16. nattylux

    nattylux Well-Known Member

    Sep 17, 2008
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    Washington, DC
    Just chiming in with the rest - yup, those rates look pretty standard. This is why a lot of companies choose outsourcing, but there are pros and cons for that as well, obviously.

    Of course, Apple said from the beginning that the App Store is simply advertising for the iPhone and iPod touch. And the current state of the store follows that principle - apps are rewarded for popularity, not profitability. The more copies you can sell, the higher you get in the rankings, and the more you continue to sell. That reaches the most customers.

    But yes, it does stifle innovation a bit, since you can only make so much profit. The only thing Apple would have to do to change that is change the top 100 lists to be based on revenue, rather than number of units sold. That will force developers to price their apps in a way that optimizes revenue, as opposed to making everything dirt cheap just so it can climb in the rankings and get exposure - possibly losing money in the process. One compromise may be to have two sets of lists. I would definitely be in favor of that move, as that will force prices to more closely match an app's worth (ie, what customers are willing to pay for it).
     
  17. Modus

    Modus Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2008
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    Well, personally I think a subscription model would be better suited to the App Store, especially if it keeps growing at the current rate.

    The only way people are going to discover some of the cooler apps, and support development of cooler apps, is if they're told that they can download all they want for a monthly or annual fee.

    It's not like the music side of iTunes, which is just a store front for products available elsewhere (and thus has competition).

    That said, applying some of the iTunes interface to App Store; user recommendations etc., might help a lot. But probably not enough... poor products at any price will lower expectations against higher priced apps.
     
  18. Hippieman

    Hippieman Well-Known Member

    Nov 6, 2008
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    Senior Producer, Designer
    San Francisco
    Nothing in that article is wrong.

    When an app or game is developed on the cheap, it shows.

    And indies who are 1 person come up and say "It only cost me $50 to make my game." are doing creative accounting where they value their time incorrectly.

    When we are approached to make a game for someone, some people are blown back by our estimates on what the game would cost. People come offering $10,000 and thinking they are generous. When I let them know it'll be between $100,000 and $200,000 depending on the features they vanish.

    I've yet to see any of their apps show up after that.
     
  19. Little White Bear Studios

    Little White Bear Studios Well-Known Member

    Aug 27, 2008
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    $150-$200 is perfectly normal for a skilled contract programmer. Salaried programmers, or those in locations that are less expensive to live in, will make less on average. But contract programmers have a lot more overhead, and that price range is pretty accurate.

    You also have to take into account that a programmer is taking time away from developing their own iPhone app, to work on something they probably won't get any royalties on. They need to build in a little protection into the cost.
     
  20. ChaoticBox

    ChaoticBox Well-Known Member

    Oct 8, 2008
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    Toronto Canada
    Brian contracts graphics and sound people - the bigger 3D titles easily required a team of 4+ people. I know this for a fact 'cause I actually worked on a certain Pangea game in the late 90's, but I got fired 2 weeks in :D
     

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