iPad a pricing question

Discussion in 'iPhone and iPad Games' started by STP_Steve, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. STP_Steve

    STP_Steve Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2008
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    Editor of slidetoplay.com
    San Francisco, CA
    I've been reading the thread about Blue Skies and iPhone game pricing, and I'm curious: how much would you be willing to spend on an iPhone game, maximum?

    For instance, suppose Square Enix were to put out a Final Fantasy game for the iPhone (original or a remake) with DS- or PSP-quality production values--a console game, in other words. Would you pay $30 or $40 for it, or is that out of the question?
     
  2. MattB

    MattB Well-Known Member

    Jul 23, 2008
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    I don't think it really matters what I think or am willing to pay. We can set maximums, but we still haven't seen what the iPhone is capable of to the fullest extent, so the maximum can be flexible at this point. As always, the market will dictate how much we spend simply by voting with our wallets.

    If id Software came out with Quake for the iPhone, and it worked absolutely perfect, I'd pay $40 for it easily. Only if the controls are perfect, though. :)
     
  3. johnbowers

    johnbowers Active Member

    Aug 1, 2008
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    Student/Undergraduate Researcher
    Florida
    Probably depends on your audience. I'm not much of a gamer. I like games that have no story line and you can play for about 5-10 minutes to pass some time in the doc's office and not have to think about later. For me I refuse to pay more than about 3.99 for a game (especially after purchasing Super Monkey Ball, which I don't really think is worth $10) For instance, Galcon looks amazing to me, but I'm not sure I'm ever going to get $10 worth out of it, so I haven't bought it yet.

    There is one major exception: I've been looking forward to spore for years... and years (it seems like), so I might buy that at whatever price they give it.

    I'm curious as to what the iPhone demographics look like. What sex/age group are the majority of owners?
     
  4. slomper

    slomper Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2008
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    i cant wait for spore either. is it coming out tommarow cuz the actual game for the computer does
     
  5. Freegoo

    Freegoo Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2008
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    I'm not sure what my maximum price is, I've spent $10 on a few (Bejeweled, Asphalt, Crash...) and felt like I got my moneys worth on most of them (Bejeweled should probably be $5, it is on other platforms for the same game!). But anything over $10 better have a demo out or I would never even consider it - even if it's a well known name since there is no knowing how well the game performs and controls on the iphone.
     
  6. dolly

    dolly Well-Known Member

    Sep 2, 2008
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    Interesting question. So far, I'm disappointed with the iphone gaming platform. Do we really need another casual puzzle game or space invaders clone? Those games can be fun too, but they are cellphone games and ipod Touch/iphone can do much more.

    That said, I would gladly spend about $60 for a quality title. By 'quality' I don't mean hi-tech 3d graphics – I believe good graphics can't make up for a otherwise bad game. I mean a game with great, long lasting gameplay and a good story. Games like Chrono Trigger for Super Nintendo or maybe Darwinia (mac/pc) would make great games for iphone. But then again, I rather see a new game than a port.
     
  7. mavis

    mavis Well-Known Member

    If I'm paying $30 for a game, I expect a shiny box with cool graphics and neat little bullet points on the back telling me how cool the game is. ;)

    Seriously though - my iPhone is a PHONE. It may very well be capable of PSP-quality graphics, but it would be awfully hard for me to justify spending more than about $10 on a cell phone game, or an iPod game for that matter. Not when I have nothing tangible to show for my money (cartridge, box, user manual, etc) ... Just my opinion.
     
  8. johnbowers

    johnbowers Active Member

    Aug 1, 2008
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    Florida
    #8 johnbowers, Sep 6, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2008
    @mavis

    I think that your sentiments might illuminate a major difference between the pysche of iPhone and iPod touch users. I'm an iPod Touch user and I definitely bought the touch because I thought it would be a great pocket computer (which it is). I also figured that Apple would sooner or later release an SDK and we'd get apps on it. I definitely think of it as a pocket computer and not an iPod.

    Also, right now we still get physical media for other game devices/consoles but how long will it last? Already with XBox 360's marketplace (I forget its name) or Wiiware (and probably something on the PS3, I just amn't savvy to it) we are seeing downloadable game content (granted at exactly the $10 price point). I think the next gen consoles will probably only increase in online purchasing options. It will probably mean more sales (since gamers don't have to march out to Best Buy for the latest game) and cheaper distribution costs (maybe, I guess that depends on the price of bandwidth per download vs. manufacturing of a DVD, again I'm not privy to such info). I mean movies are heading that way with Netflix's new device and availability on the 360, iTunes & Apple TV, Comcast On Demand, etc.
     
  9. Mr. Charley

    Mr. Charley Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2008
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    I think right there is the reason why as a Touch user, I don't expect to pay the same price as 360/ps3 games. Because there are no distribution costs, pretty much no commercials/advertising (other than a youtube video), and that you're not getting a 'virtual' piece of property that cannot be traded in or exchanged, I don't expect to pay over $30 ever. I agree that I bought my Touch as a mini computer, and also with the knowledge that SDK's were going to be coming out..
    However, Online games on xbox360 as you mentioned range from $10-$15, so I don't expect to pay more for an iPhone/Touch game...unless of course the production/replay value is amazing, and to date, I personally don't think anything has come close yet. Would I be willing to spend $10-$20, absolutely but it has to be worth it, and I guess "worth" is always a subjective experience.
     
  10. johnbowers

    johnbowers Active Member

    Aug 1, 2008
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    Student/Undergraduate Researcher
    Florida
    @Mr. Charley

    Yeah, I agree that nothing out there yet comes close to the production values of $multi-million development titles. I'm saying that I wouldn't be surprised at all if the XBox v3 made most of its content available online or online only, and I doubt that the industry would give gamers more than a two-three dollar price break. It is probably cheaper for them to distribute via online than through the box stores but I doubt its cheap enough that a $60 game would become a $30 game. My guess is box/DVD/manual all end up costing the producers a dollar or two per copy. I think that gamers who want physical media for their games are going to be out of luck sooner or later with ALL game consoles, not just handheld devices.
     
  11. vandy1997

    vandy1997 Well-Known Member

    Aug 27, 2008
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    NJ
    Steve, I believe that it depends on the individual. I am not a big gamer, but I enjoy playing a fun game. And I purchased games at $9.99, but I will not do so in the future, unless if it is a graphics rich, story rich, and will last me for a while! Nevertheless, the maximum that I could ever pay for a game in iTunes would be $14.99 (or $15). It sounds low, but you have to consider that I cannot sell it to another individual once I get bored of it, there are tons of options in terms of other games, and I know that if I am not desperate to buy it and I wait long enough, the price will be slashed! Most of those $9.99 games that I purchased aren't even on my phone anymore. I prefer some $2 games that are fun (for me), strategic, and innovative - like Elevens Balls, for example. The developer's cost is also lower than for developers who have to create packaging and provide their games on CDs or cartridges. By having the game distributed directly through Apple, the developer does not spend much in terms of packaging, creating discs, etc., there is no spoilage due to items that are not sold and have to be returned, and you have a market of millions of people who will be able to purchase your game! You can get a worldwide release and release the game wherever you want. I'm sure that there will be tens of millions of people who own iPhones and iPod touches by the end of next year. That is a HUGE market. I think that another problem that you start running into once you charge a price that is perceived to be high is that people begin to crack your game and distribute it illegally - and that could mean a high amount of lost revenue. This may tend to happen more with iTunes because many games do not have trial versions or gameplay videos. Apple really needs to assist developers by providing more than just a few screenshots! I'm sure that others will pay more or disagree with my maximum, but I would never again purchase the apps that I purchased for $9.99 at that price. At this point, I have been dealing with 3G connection issues and crashing apps issues than actually enjoying the apps themselves. Hopefully Apple and AT&T will address those issues so that we will have a stable platform!
     
  12. mek

    mek Well-Known Member

    #12 mek, Sep 6, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2008
    I agree, I wont spend 10 bucks on a game or app, unless it really adds benefits and value to my life

    I got burned on Band...for spending ten bucks and only spending less then a minute on the app and getting bored with it...It shaped my buying habits

    but Galcon...was probably my best purchase...originally with no sound and no multiplayer, i would say it wasn't worth it, then they added sound, and i would say it was okay
    but with Internet Multiplay...I'm addicted

    Spore looks interesting..i dont know if I would spend more then 10 bucks for it since it is a crippled version of the entire game..but we will see

    on the physical medium/media...over the years I have converted to entirely digital distribution..I hate having cd's that get scratched or lost..so i love downloading games, not having to install them, or enter cd keys..and then loose the damn box/cd case/ and or cd and cd key...i'm not a fan of physical media, CD's seem like clutter and over priced pieces of plastic...
     
  13. STP_Steve

    STP_Steve Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2008
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    Editor of slidetoplay.com
    San Francisco, CA

    You're right, Vandy...analysts expect the iPhone/iTouch to have an install base well into the tens of millions by the end of next year. I wrote about this a bit last week:

    http://www.slidetoplay.com/story/mobile-gaming-is-dead-long-live-iphone-gaming

    At those kinds of numbers, it can make sense for large game publishers to spend a half-million bucks developing an iPhone game, and another half-million marketing it. Ergo, I really do think we're going to see $15-20 games before too long, and I think a sizable minority of iPhone owners will want to buy them, especially if they're big brands. Gamers are already conditioned to drop $30-40 on DS games, after all.

    And amen to Apple getting the freakin App platform right...I got so sick of restoring my personal iPhone that I bought an iTouch just for gaming!
     
  14. dolly

    dolly Well-Known Member

    Sep 2, 2008
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    Well, a user manual is a must for complex games and apps, but boxes and cartridges? In my opinion they tend to get dusty and boring very fast.

    I think one of the main reasons that developers are afraid to put big money and time on an iphone title is that most users simply wouldn't buy a CELL PHONE game for more than a couple of bucks. I hope some company dare to break the ice soon so we can reconsider this platform.
     
  15. vandy1997

    vandy1997 Well-Known Member

    Aug 27, 2008
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    NJ
    I'm sure there will be $15 to $20 games, but they had better be original games and not ports from other platforms. And, at this point, I don't see myself buying them because I'm not sure if I'll be playing for two hours straight on my iPhone. The battery will die out, and playing tethered to my computer will not be much fun. I know that there are battery attachments, but I'm not sure if it will be comfortable playing with them. Also, I have to answer the phone if it rings!! Maybe people with iPhone touches will download and play games that last longer. Also, since these games cannot be sold to somebody else once I lose interest, they are not worth as much due to the transferability limitation. If Apple develops a system whereby people can sell games to each other using a registration key and serial number of a phone, maybe the games will be worth more - but then fewer games will be sold.

    The fact that apps cause the phone to crash is another major issue (or a way for Apple to get more people to buy an iPod touch to complement the iPhone - :) ). Once these phones reach the Apple Screen of Death, there's no way to access the phone! What the heck do you do if you are not near your computer. It's a real nightmare, and it happens all too often! Those issues have to be taken care of in firmware 2.1. It's unacceptable!


     
  16. whooley

    whooley Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2008
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    I think - as Carmack has suggested - there is enormous potential for larger, more complex games on the iTouch/iPhone (we really need a word for this platform!! TouchPhone?).

    I've been a little disappointed that most games so far are typical, short mobile games. For a game with more depth of gameplay, I'd happily pay a lot more then 10/20 euros.
     
  17. dudehuge

    dudehuge Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2008
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    #17 dudehuge, Sep 10, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2008
    Your iPhone is a PHONE with a built in COMPUTER. If you're that type of user the there's no way anyone will convince you to purchase serious apps/games for your device.

    Don't count a lot of iPhone and especially Touch users, that bought the damn thing because they want to do more than call sex phone lines, text that chick in your Humanities class, and listen to emo music.

    Regarding spending on a tangible item, this is the 21st century, Digital Distribution will be the norm. You don't buy it for the "Beautiful Box" and don't get me started on "Game Manuals" no one reads those things anyway. You're paying for the quality of the game or the app, if it's comparable to the great titles for the PSP or the DS, I'll be willing to spend the typical 20-40 bucks. Also don't forget the impact those things have on the environment, Al Gore will punish your ass.
     
  18. Oliver

    Oliver Well-Known Member

    #18 Oliver, Sep 10, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2008
    DS games cost about 30 or 40 Euros here. Minus the Nintendo tax for developing and distributing you could create a similar game for less money. So I would expect a 20 Euro game (27 dollars or so...) to be as polished, finished an long-term-motivating like a game on the DS or PSP. Currently, 99 US-cent for something which would be an integrated mini-game in one of the DS games is fair. I even think the 10 us-dollars for Bejeweled is ok. So overall, I do think the game prices are ok and fair, they could even increase, when the game quality increases as well.

    BUT, as mentioned before in other threads and comments, the quality of the games sucks most of the time. They are buggy, not finished and not polished. And that's even more of a problem because the iPhone itself has a very polished feel to it. And even when I pay only 99 UScent for a game I expect it too behave like a nice citizen. The translation, if it exists, shouldn't be of babelfish "quality", but a real translation. The buttons, animation and texts should be nice and smooth. It should respect incoming calls, the home button, the hold button, the mute button, a playing ipod and so on. Most games FAIL even in these simple points. Apple should refuse these games, but whatever Apple "reviews", it's not usablity and quality.


    @dudehuge: The iPhone is a computer, which can talk GSM and 3G. In no way (hardware, os, software) it is comparable to a "cell phone".
     

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