iPad I never though I'd say this but.......

Discussion in 'iPhone and iPad Games' started by BulletDev, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. BulletDev

    BulletDev Well-Known Member

    Sep 20, 2008
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    #1 BulletDev, Oct 27, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
    I never though that I would say this, but as app prices head towards .99, development may no longer be viable in certain instances.. This may not be a problem for the huge devs like EA and Sega who can make it up in volume. Sooner or later however, small devs won't be able to keep up with price drops. If we want to start seeing some really high quality games, were going to have to be willing to pay a little bit more than $10.

    I mean, do you really think that Bioshock will sell for $2.99?
     
  2. Renare

    Renare Well-Known Member

    Oct 22, 2008
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    I am sure that when some of the more HQ games come out, we will definitely be paying for them. However, with the App store still in infancy and there being no set expectations.... It is pretty much chaos in the App store. As the store matures and Apple makes changes to help progress the store, I think everything will start to slow down. Question is... How long will that be? :)
     
  3. nickels

    nickels Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2008
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    The problem has also been that most games aren't worth more then $10 right now. Give me a FULL online capable version of Tiger Woods 09 with all the courses and I'll happily pay $40 for it. However, what you'll likey get is a half-assed version with one or two courses, a limited amount of golfers, and no online multiplayer. I wouldn't pay more then $9.99 for that.
     
  4. BulletDev

    BulletDev Well-Known Member

    Sep 20, 2008
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    Your right. I guess what I'm trying to say is that in the future, we have to be open to higher prices for better products.
     
  5. CloneWars

    CloneWars Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2008
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    Id be fine to pay 15 even 20 bucks on a good quality game.
     
  6. moopf

    moopf Well-Known Member

    Sep 16, 2008
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    It's interesting, definitely. I'm seriously contemplating development of a game that will, in all reality, take around 5-6 months to complete. It's a big risk, and a big project, and I'm not sure what the lie of the land will be in terms of pricing come March/April next year. There's always a risk with such a time investment, that's for sure, but it's compounded by the general feeling that prices are low currently in the app store.

    We shall see I guess :)
     
  7. NotYou

    NotYou Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2008
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    #7 NotYou, Oct 27, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2008
    I've been saying that and I totally agree. On the other hand, I've heard of devs making a lot from dropping their prices to $.99 because they start getting so many downloads. If downloads slow down, though, it's going to cause a lot of problems faster. You could seriously compare it to the the whole housing problem here in the US.

    On the upside, the app store is more addicting than crack, so it might just work out.
     
  8. vandy1997

    vandy1997 Well-Known Member

    Aug 27, 2008
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    I've said this before and I'll say it again. Apps will ALWAYS be cheaper on the iPhone because you CANNOT sell the app to somebody else once you are bored with it. And, to be honest, I am bored with most apps after a few days. Most of the apps that are graphics-intensive tend to stall on the phone. That tells me that either they are not tweaked, or the phone really cannot handle those apps. Some other points are (i) the developer doesn't have almost any distribution costs (I find $99 to be negligible); and (ii) the dev has access to a market of tens of millions of potential buyers. These reduce the developer's barriers to entry and distribution costs to almost zero. Finally, I can only play so long on the iPhone due to the fact that the battery does not last long, and I don't feel like being tethered to a power or USB cord while playing a game!

    Overall, if such developer makes a great app, many people will buy it, and the developer will do fine. This is not to say that every dev will make six figures in two months, but some will (as is the case with the developer of Trism). I would never pay more than $20 for a game on the iPhone, not matter how exceptional it may be. The problem is that big-name developers are creating apps that are crap (such as the Spore app and the Star Wars app). I apid $10 for each of them, and they feel like demos to me. Therefore, I am not paying full price for most apps because I tend to pay much less for demos - usually, I expect to get them for free!
     
  9. vandy1997

    vandy1997 Well-Known Member

    Aug 27, 2008
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    I agree with this. Especially with a market of users numbering in the tens of millions, developers (who make a really good app) can make much more overall by charging less. Those who make crappy apps shouldn't charge anything for them, but many do!

    And since there are apps coming out every day, the developers have a short window during which time their app will be the new kid in town. So either they have to make creative apps (not another Sudoku or Flashlight or Heads/Tails app), or they will have to lower their price substantially - sometimes to ZERO. If the app is of good quality, that dev can then develop a more creative app and charge for it.

    And, as with apps in general, some will succeed and some will fail miserably. Even big-name companies produce apps that fail. And the developers all think that their app is great. And it may be great for the developer, but users may not want it!! That is difficult to predict, but such failures will occur on the AppStore just as they occur on console systems. That is the nature of the beast.


     
  10. CloneWars

    CloneWars Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2008
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    Hahahahhaaaa So f**king true
     
  11. nickels

    nickels Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2008
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    Though I never tried crack, I seriously doubt it is as addictive as the iPhone app store.
     
  12. mgondek

    mgondek Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2008
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    I completely agree. I would love more high quality games.
     
  13. wooji

    wooji Active Member

    Oct 21, 2008
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    We're in the same boat as Moopf; we have a much more ambitious project we'd like to develop exclusively for the iPhone/iPod Touch -- with a storyline, lots of replayability, some novel ideas, and very professionally produced. It would take months to make. It would be the sort of title that'd cost you $30 if you bought it for the Nintendo DS.

    Given the reduced costs (eg not having to pay Nintendo the cartridge-manufacturing fees) we could sell it a bit cheaper than that, but even so -- I don't feel we'd break even, let alone turn a profit, on the App Store as it is at the moment. We'll always be undercut by people doing "shovelware" (ie porting existing games from other platforms, which is dirt cheap because most of the work is done already), or people making little games as a hobby and more or less giving them away.

    BTW the iPhone market has grown rapidly, to "over 10 million devices" -- but the DS has sold over 80 million, and the PS2 over 140 million, and games for both of those cost from 5x to 30x what people are paying for iPhone games. The markets for those consoles is also purposefully restricted by the console manufacturers; only a handful of titles come out each month, which means each title stands a much greater chance of selling.

    The iPhone already has over 1500 titles in the games section of the App Store -- at least hundred every week, I think -- making it hard for any title to stand out, so marketing expenses will rise sharply as titles try and get noticed. Maybe it'll start to be all about the licenses -- you know, games spun off of movies in the hope that fans of the film will buy it (of course, we know how well that usually works out in terms of game quality... ;))

    So, running some basic math explains why you don't see "real" games in the store at the moment; the developer stands to make about 1% the income they would from a DS game (1/8th the market size, 1/10th the income per unit), so they really can't afford to risk much.

    We'll be keeping an eye on the situation, of course. Personally, I love developing for the iPhone, so I hope that the market does change over time. It might be that we see things start to split off, into $0.99 games and $9.99 games -- perhaps the Store should actually split them into separate categories, like when you go to a high street games store, and they have the main games section, and the budget/re-released classics section. That might help. Or maybe iPhone owners will simply start to demand better-quality games, that would help too. Maybe something else unexpected will happen -- things change fast in the iPhone world!

    Well, we can hope! :)
     
  14. BATTLE BORN

    BATTLE BORN Well-Known Member

    Aug 14, 2008
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    I think we're all perfectly willing to pay for quality products, but developers have to make them first.

    just like any other business, you've gotta set yourself apart from the crap to survive. make fun games, and people will buy them. (well.... if they can find em)

    I imagine you indie devs got into it because you love what you do.
    (minus the few looking for a quick dollar)
    so keep at it, make better games, try to set yourself apart from the pack, and people will recognize that and support you. the price is all relative, so if you make an outstanding app, you'd better believe people will buy it.

    I'm an indie musician, and I think you all are aware how many terrible bands there are out there. anybody can put out some crap record, and that's why you really have to put yourself out there for nothing sometimes; just to get a foot in the door with potential supporters.
    I can't even tell you how much I've come out of pocket on touring, recording, merchandise, promotion, gear, etc...

    you gotta do what you gotta do to get some recognition, and if you love what you do (and keep making quality stuff), it'll work out for you.
    I don't need to rattle off my achievements, but I've done pretty well just doing the best I can, and putting myself out there to anyone who will listen.

    I'm about to put down at least 4 or 5+ thousand dollars on my upcoming record. I might make that record and wind up giving away every last copy for all I know, but I really love what I do, and all I can do is put it out and hope other people like it too.

    integrity goes a long way, and people will support you if you're putting out good games for the sake of good gaming. There's phonies everywhere you look, in any market. set yourself apart from them and people will notice.
    (That's why I continue to buy apps from probably every developer who visits this forum.)

    (sorry so long winded, you know how I love to get off-topic ;))
     
  15. BATTLE BORN

    BATTLE BORN Well-Known Member

    Aug 14, 2008
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    wooji raises some good points. I wish you all the best and hope you all find a way stay afloat in that mess we call the app-store. I'll keep trying my best in the mess we call the music industry. :rolleyes:
     
  16. Frand

    Frand Well-Known Member

    Tens of millions is perhaps a bit aggressive as an estimate of the audience for the App Store. Just having fun with the numbers, here's one exaggerated way you can look at it through an example:

    20 million units of game console 'X' sold
    16 million users aware of an online store
    10 million users of whom are willing to buy games online
    6 million of whom actually have credit cards (remember there are underage users)
    1.2 million of whom actively track what's new (the 'core' gamers)
    100-200k of whom are interested in your genre of games (depending on your genre)
    1-5% of whom are willing to buy your game after trying a demo

    So if you have your expectations at 1000-10000 sales for the launch period of increased visibility, that wouldn't be unreasonable. This similar pattern goes for all game consoles, and you could argue that because the iPhone is not a dedicated gaming device, the segment of active gamers in the entire market is smaller than with, say, Wii, PS3 or PSP.

    However, if your game or application manages to grab a slot of high visibility (a top 25 position) during its launch and it gets good reviews, it is possible for it to create a positive feedback loop that generates more and more downloads. But that's a chicken-and-egg thing, because you need visibility to gain visibility :)

    The reality is of course way more complex than my silly example, but I hope this arouses some thoughts about the business side of things with those who have focused too much on only creating a game and putting it out.
     
  17. networkman

    networkman Well-Known Member

    Sep 14, 2008
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    I pay for value.

    Tell the devs to make better applications.
    And yes, some are very good and yet, others are very BAD.

    -zBill. :eek:

    I believe things will work themselves out. Good apps will get higher prices and people will buy them on value.
     
  18. NotYou

    NotYou Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2008
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    I know exactly what you mean. I'm a screenwriter (who's remaining anonymous ;) ) and it's the same way with what I do. Almost all "screenwriters" are horrible. Anyone working in film can tell you that. They all throw their stuff at producers nonstop in hopes of selling something and making a million dollars. The producers then avoid screenwriters at all costs and it makes it almost impossible to get your stuff noticed. Even if they read it, they're probably so annoyed with the crap they just read that they won't care. Your work has to stand out to the point that they will have no choice but to notice you.

    I also build guitars (that's my main income at this point :rolleyes: ) and it's the same thing. If I don't make people want to buy my work, they won't. That often involves throwing my own money into projects in hopes of gaining recognition.

    I imagine the small devs making games have to put up with the same things. There's no right way of doing things in these kinds of businesses. I really love the ones that get creative about their approach, like Secret Exit. Others that try making the same old stuff in hopes of making a buck don't really get as much support from me.

    I think it's a misconception that fairness means everyone should do well. Fair means that everyone has to try really friggin hard to get ahead.

    That ends my rant.
     
  19. jlake02

    jlake02 Well-Known Member

    Oct 17, 2008
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    I'm sure market forces will dictate that better apps get snapped up for $10+ while the cheapo's struggle to sell at $.99. Just the way it'll be.
     
  20. Cousin Dirk

    Cousin Dirk Member

    Sep 28, 2008
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    As many have said the App Store is still an emerging market; every developer is still feeling out how much people are prepared to spend. Some apps are clearly overpriced, and some are damned good value.

    The other problem is that it is a risk buying an app. It's not like buying a game that's no good and that you can sell on, if you spend £5.99 on an app that turns out to be crap you're stuck.

    Right now there is two ways that developers can increase sales of their apps - drop the price to something that makes it no-risk, or release a free "lite" or demo version. Most of the 'lite' versions I've downloaded so far haven't been good enough to warrant buying the full app, but both Enigmo and Virtual Pool became irresistible once they dropped to below £2.
     

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