iPad Price Drop Mania

Discussion in 'iPhone and iPad Games' started by belal.rawi, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. belal.rawi

    belal.rawi Member

    Oct 9, 2008
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    I will never buy any game from now on until it hits $0.99. Actually I'll just wait until it's free. I'll just wait until 30 minutes after release and it should drop by then.

    Sick.
     
  2. BATTLE BORN

    BATTLE BORN Well-Known Member

    Aug 14, 2008
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    at least you don't have to wait long.
    could be worse...
     
  3. moopf

    moopf Well-Known Member

    Sep 16, 2008
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    Hey, as a developer, it's clear that the majority using the app store (contrary to the initial expectations generated by early successes) aren't willing to pay a realistic price for games, or apps in general. Coupled with the rubbish organisation of the app store itself, which means that you may as well not exist if you're not in the top 50, what exactly do you expect developers to do to try to get sales? It's part of the reason why some developers make their app free for a while, get a huge shot of downloads, put the price back and keep their ranking but in the top 50 paid apps, giving them visibility. Oh and add to that the large swathes of third-rate (if that) apps in the store, and the problems are compounded.

    The only guys who seem to be able to maintain realistic price points are the large development houses (and even there, we've seen some massive price cuts after a while) and those who were in the app store at the start. Those who get picked for the US app store front page (what's new, staff picks etc.) are also laughing, until they're no longer highlighted and they drop from the top 50.

    As it stands developers for this platform are being forced to drop their prices because people aren't buying at higher price points. In the end this will bite the platform on the ass as more and more developers realise that it's just not worth their time and effort because of low price pressures and conversely high expectations.

    What I think you're also not appreciating is that the app store is still relatively new and many developers are still finding their feet. It's actually quite a depressing process, once the realisation kicks in. I knew this platform would primarily be based on volume sales but when you have to price unrealistically in the hopes of getting enough volume and still don't see it, well you feel like the effort was wasted.

    Oh and there's that thing called the credit crunch as well that doesn't help :)
     
  4. Mr. Charley

    Mr. Charley Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2008
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    I'm not sure I fully agree with you. I think people are willing to pay proper price, but it does come with expectations. Paying $9.99 for retro, ported, non-imaginitative games doesn't mean it's worth the price (in my opinion). Let's even take a big-named game like Spore. I think people would be happy (ok, that might be a stretch), I think people would be willing to pay $30 for a complete version of the game. Instead, we got a dumb-downed, or limited version of the game, and not worth $10.
    Pac-man at $10 (now $7.99), not really worth it in my opinion again. It's a 20 year old game (possibly older) and doesn't bring anything new to the table.
    I believe most people don't feel ripped off paying $10 for Asphalt 4 which had high level of production compared to most apps out there.
    In the end, it is all about supply and demand, and there's obviously a lot of competition and you (as a developer) need to attract people and make it worth me (the customer) spending my hard earned money. Why pay $5 or $10 for 1 crappy app when I can buy multiple apps at $2 that are better and in the long run giving me more bang for my buck?
    There are some good apps out there for $2-3 that have good production values and replayability. One that instantly comes to mind is CubicMan Deluxe. A highly polished puzzler. Worth every penny of the $3 I spent on it. Still playing it, and loving every moment of it.
    Diamond Twister, while $5, is still a way better bargain that Bejewelled was at $10 or is now at $8.

    All I can say is that if developers need to have sales and make their products free in order to be in the top 50, well, then it's really a problem with the App Store, and not us as consumers. Believe me, I don't care what's in the top 50 or 100, it doesn't impact my decision. I still didn't buy Cro-Mag for $1.99 or even Billy Frontier at $.99, not because I'm cheap, but because it still wasn't worth it for me. There were lots and lots of people who bought both those apps when they first came out, and people will always be willing to spend their hard earned money on quality products. Problem is from a developers perspective (in my opinion again) is that there are many quality apps for a few dollars, and if there's nothing to differentiate yourself or make it worth-while to the consumer, why would they/we pay top dollar?

    Enough with my rant, thanks for reading.... :)
     
  5. moopf

    moopf Well-Known Member

    Sep 16, 2008
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    Hold on, these are all big-name developers who put their apps into the store with higher prices and managed to sell at that price regardless of whether people thought they were getting value for money or not. That was part of my point. They appear to be the only ones who can price higher and get away with it. They also benefit a whole heap from apple pushing them on the app store home page which in turn gives them visibility without having to try to resort to price drops. They drop their prices after a while, as their sales drop, to give them another boost. And, guess what, all those apps did well.

    Erm...yeah...hence why I was explaining the reasons for developers having to drop prices. People are buying the $10 crappy apps with no longevity. Price is one of the few ways you can attract by the app store and, even then, it doesn't work. I can't get my game to shift at $1.99 despite (a) having a video of the gameplay, (b) having a heap of glowing reviews from review sites around the net, (c) having a free lite version and (d) having pushed it myself all over the place. Maybe it's because it's too cheap and it then falls into the tap of being bundled with all the other cheap rubbish strewn across the app store. Dunno. The point is that I'm hearing this from other developers as well, this isn't just my experience.

    Well, by offering something different for one thing. Offering something polished. Making it look good and play well. Offering something challenging. Making it easy for them to try it. Providing as much information to them before hand as possible. Yup, I think I covered those myself. I'm selling an app for $1.99, it took 240 hours of my time to create, and I couldn't shift enough to get a cheque from Apple in the first month and I doubt I will this month either. And I strongly believe that my app is polished and is of high quality. But heh, I would say that, I'm the developer ;)
     
  6. Crastic

    Crastic Member

    Oct 1, 2008
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    I spent nearly the past 4 months on a game and I'm afraid of the exact same problem. We don't exist unless we're on the top 100, then we can get only a measly percentage of $1.99. Ack!

    Screw this, I'm going back to consoles.
     
  7. Mr. Charley

    Mr. Charley Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2008
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    Ok, fair enough, and agreed that if Apple is behind your product, that's a bonus and a most definitely a sales increase. I'm not certain how well Pac-Man has done though retro gamers would spend the $10 without thinking for the nostalga.
    As for CubicMan Deluxe, I don't believe that's by a big developer off the top of my head. Let's take a look at Trism also which was an independent and did extremely well, though as you said, was "supported" and advertised by Apple.


    As for your game, if I may, it might certainly be polished, and worth at least $1.99 if not more, but unfortunately there were a few free ones out there before your release. And even though the free versions might not be close to being as good as yours, and your game is somewhat differentiated, in the eye of public opinion, it's not enough to warrant paying for it. It might just be one of those games that is limited to a certain clientele/specific niche, and not one that the majority of people would find to be of interest to them. I'm just playing devil's advocate here to some degree and just theorizing as to why you're app isn't selling as well as you'd like

    I agree that you've done everything you can to drum up interest etc, been involved in the forums, and I won't even debate the amount of time you've put into your product, and I can understand being proud of it, and wanting it to do well (and of course make a few dollars if not more off of it). I wish you the best. I wish I could provide you with some method to increase sales but it just may simply be a case of an overcrowded app store, with difficulty in identifying anything new, and unless one is involved in the Forums or App Shopper, you're right that your game will get lost in the shuffle. At the same time, I do honestly believe my comment that the other similar style games to yours that are free could potentially be the main reason for your app not selling as well as it could or should.
     
  8. moopf

    moopf Well-Known Member

    Sep 16, 2008
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    Both in the app store very early on when it was a much different app store to the one today. Their success came from that, and that they're good games. If either was released now I would not expect them to do anywhere near as well.

    Now this is where I don't get it. How many match 3 variations are there, and many of them have done well. Maybe I just wrote the wrong thing, I'm certainly coming to that conclusion, despite what the reviews may say.

    Thanks.
     
  9. Mr. Charley

    Mr. Charley Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2008
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    What game did you develop?
    And as for going back to consoles, do you have the ability to be an independent creator or are you going back to working for the big boys?
    I don't see see independent console games anywhere.....
     
  10. crunc

    crunc Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2008
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    Actually, the Wii now has "World of Goo" as WiiWare. Probably independent stuff on Xbox 360 and PS3 stores as well. Mind you, I know nothing about developing for those platforms.

    One thing is positively clear - the AppStore is pretty disastrously designed. What in the world goes into deciding what shows up as "New"? Most of the stuff there isn't even remotely new. Etc. It's also hard to find anything. Hopefully Apple will come up with a much better store soon. They just stuck the Apps into the iTunes music store motif (which I never thought was good either) and hoped it would work. It doesn't. I would really like to see the AppStore taken out of iTunes and become a normal web store you visit in your browser, but I have my doubts that that will ever happen.

    Moopf - one thing to consider with regard to your next app is that there are an awful lot of developers making puzzle games for this platform. That makes for a lot of competition.
     
  11. rootbeersoup

    rootbeersoup Well-Known Member

    Oct 4, 2008
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    I think my main issue with buying apps is that I've spent too much money on apps that I played once and then quickly deleted. Unless I know I'm going to love this game (ports, etc) then I'm extremely hesitant to buy

    I wish Apple would implement some sort of demo system... There's no way to try an app other than using a lite version. The most I can depend on is gameplay videos.

    I've even stopped buying into all the hype around games. I've bought Cro-Mag, Moto Chaser, GTS World Racing, even Platinum Sudoku. All of these games, I bought, and ended up really just not liking.

    I wish Apple would either encourage lite versions, or implement a demo system.
     
  12. davidmdowning42

    davidmdowning42 Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2008
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    Sub-Categories in the handheld app store would go a long way to healing many of these ills.

    However, even with sub-categories, I'd say any puzzler may still get lost in the shuffle. You DID write a great game, but I'd never have bought it or any other puzzler after getting Aurora Feint (another early arrival) if I hadn't met you here. It's WAY more polished than just about any indie game I've seen, and it's very unique compared to other puzzlers, but that's still the category it would get lumped into. And that category is GINORMOUS.

    Everyone seems to think that casual is where the money is. Casual seems to mean puzzler to most. Since everyone thought that was where the sales would be, everyone wrote puzzlers and now they're all just a big hay stack.

    Seems like anything that isn't a puzzler stands out all by itself. Even if it's just another racer, there are only, what, 15 racers? As compared to, I'd say literally humdreds of puzzlers. Then again, I'm sure arcade type games take longer to develop. So you're taking a bigger risk putting even more time into something that might not sell. Then again, that's how business is supposed to work I guess. That's why I work for the government.
     
  13. CrocStock

    CrocStock Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2008
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    I will certainly agree with you moopf that the current system is pretty unfair to developers and they should really have...

    1) More precise viewing of categories like in games
    2) A proper up-to-date new releases section
    3) QUALITY CONTROL (all the poor games that come out just drive me nuts)
    4) Better sorting through of items
     
  14. davidmdowning42

    davidmdowning42 Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2008
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    It should be like iTunes or a spreadsheet (same thing) I should be able to list apps in order of category, sub-category, date added to store, and average # of stars. That would make games with positive reviews like moopf's rise up like so much cream. Unless you get a bunch of idiot reviews. Has the new review system requiring you to purchase the app helped that sitch at all?
     
  15. moopf

    moopf Well-Known Member

    Sep 16, 2008
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    I certainly think it's helped reviews become more worthwhile, at least those that happen. In general, however, it appears that very few people actually leave a review, either positive or negative. I'm guilty of that as well, although do try to as much as possible. But as an example, I've seen over 20,000 downloads of Hiqup Lite now and there are but a handful of reviews, all positive, for it. I've been quite surprised that there aren't more reviews (there isn't a single one on the UK store for it, for instance), either good or bad, based on that number of downloads, but there you go :) I think consumers only really notice reviews if either there are a lot of bad ones or a lot of good ones. A couple of reviews here or there, even if they are positive, I feel do not change the changes of the consumer buying - after all people do generally look to others (either consciously or sub-consciously) when making purchasing decisions. This is why hype is so important and trends happen.
     
  16. Mr. Charley

    Mr. Charley Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2008
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    I think you've made an excellent point, and upon reflection, couldn't agree with you more. Puzzlers are a dime a dozen in the app store and anything that isn't a puzzler really does stand out on it's own. There's almost nothing to compare to. Or in the case of the arace racer, as you mention, you're only comparing your app to 15 others. When discussing puzzlers, you're comparing to hundreds. So, if we're debating arcade racers, we almost have to look at all 15 to have a real comparison where right now, we can discuss approximately 15 that just fall into the category "peg jumpers".
     
  17. davidmdowning42

    davidmdowning42 Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2008
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    Ah, but if you could list the apps by average # of stars it wouldn't take too many positive reviews to get your app noticed more.
     
  18. moopf

    moopf Well-Known Member

    Sep 16, 2008
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    Now, this is where it gets difficult because the consumer in me would want results by average stars to be weighted according to the number of reviews, otherwise it would be far too easy for a developer to "game" that type of listing. :)

    I'm my own worst enemy at times :D
     
  19. crunc

    crunc Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2008
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    Moopf - I feel bad to say this, but in addition to voluminous puzzle-game competition, you've got another problem with Hiqup, and that is that I think that most people probably aren't willing to pay anything to play a peg jump variant. It is clever, but in the end it is still a peg jump game.

    I have to admit... while I bought Hiqup, I really mainly did so just to support you for putting out a demo when I'm always calling for demos. In fact I didn't find the demo all that compelling. For me the problem with Hiqup is that when the puzzles get difficult I don't feel like I can really solve them any way other then just trial and error, and that doesn't make for a terribly satisfying experience. Yes, I'm probably just a dope, but there you go. So, yes it's super-polished and shows you've got talent, but in the end I don't really like the underlying game very much. Sorry. :(

    It does, however, make me look forward to whatever you come up with next, because it is oh so well done. I definitely encourage you to make something new, but also to pick a less traveled genre.
     
  20. moopf

    moopf Well-Known Member

    Sep 16, 2008
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    Yes, I think you're right.

    No need to be sorry about it! I think because peg jumping is a game that most people know about, re-inventing it would be something that might interest more people than it has. I was obviously wrong about that :)

    Nice to know. I'm unsure what I'm going to do from here at the moment, although I do have some ideas kicking around. I work for myself and pumped a lot of time into Hiqup, both during working hours and nearly every evening and weekend for a long while. That's why it ended up polished. Finding the time to devote again is difficult, especially as the world has changed and I'm now trying to build up as much buffer as I can to help if things really go downhill in the big wide, real world :) Add to that my wife and two kids, and I think my priorities have to lay elsewhere for a little while at least.
     

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