the cost of games

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Lounge' started by sjleworthy, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. sjleworthy

    sjleworthy Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    3D & Architectural Artist
    Cardiff, Wales, UK
    #1 sjleworthy, Apr 20, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2009
    It's pretty obvious that a game costing around $5.99 or more generally attracts price critisism and complaints. Why is this?
    Even is the game is superb and worth the hype we still moan about it, and to be fair to the devs, they won't generally charge over this price anyway.

    But why do we complain? Other main stream consol/computer games maybe cost upwards of $50 plus, yet we accept these a lot quiker. Is it because the Touch is smaller? Or the quality/enjoyment doesn't compare to the mainstream? No, it isn't.

    The price of the Xplane apps is my limit so far, and I thought they were expensive, but heck, were they? They're probably well worth the cost. But any higher I wouldn't have bought them. Why?

    I'm curious why we're loathed to regulaly spend around the $10 mark for a game if it's probably well worth it, especially when it's consol brother is 7 or 8 times as much? And I can tell you, I get much more enjoyment and value for money out of my Touch games compared to the 'real' thing.

    What's your thoughts?
  2. dashzed

    dashzed Well-Known Member

    Mar 2, 2009
    it is kind of wierd, how a thirty dollar game on the DS costs six dollars on the iphone(ie: BiA, HoS).

    I find it kind of amusing how much people gripe about 99 cent games, which would cost ten dollars on the computer.

    It is pretty much the cheapest way to get games if you think about it.
  3. djflippy

    djflippy Well-Known Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    Probably because people judge pricing relative to other games on the app store, instead of relative to pricing for games on other platforms.
  4. robertf224

    robertf224 Well-Known Member

    Mar 28, 2009
    its because of the average or app prices on the app store. Early on the markey was established as like cheap quick games for a dollar, so everyone else had to follow or they wouldn't sell. Premium is like 5 dollars and everyone else had to follow
  5. Eli

    Eli ᕕ┌◕ᗜ◕┐ᕗ
    Staff Member Patreon Silver Patreon Gold

    I think most people are just looking for value more than anything else. I can buy Digital Chocolate's latest game, Tornado Mania for $5.99, or I can buy Flight Control, Pocket God, UniWar, Skyburger, Flick Fishing, and Wild West Pinball.

    It's not a hard decision to make, and when comparing Tornado Mania it's impossible to disregard the fact that you can buy six games for the price of one. With that said, I do think it's a little funny that people can pay hundreds of dollars for their iPods and iPhones, potentially a hundred bucks a month on cellular service for said iPhone, but more than 99¢*on a quality app is just too much.

    I can see both sides of it, and you're right, it is kind of silly to be weighing pricing so heavily when your average DS/PSP/etc game are so much more expensive for (often) very similar gameplay.
  6. CDubby94

    CDubby94 Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2009
    Betty White
    This is exactly right. Early app store games set the precedent, thus we don't like seeing anything above that 6 dollar price tag. It's all relative. When you walk into Best Buy you expect a thirty dollar game at least. When you open up the app store, it's engrained in you to expect around a two dollar price tag since that's what you're so used to seeing in that situation.
  7. VoodooVyper

    VoodooVyper Well-Known Member

    Jan 25, 2009
    IPod games have changed the way I look at games when I buy them. I think that iPod games are astounding for what you get at the price you pay for it. The reason I think that is solely due to comparison. Look at DS games, no matter how terrible they are, they still charge $20+ per game. I adjusted to paying $60 for the next gen consoles after I used to pay $50 for PS2/Xbox, and I think that "most" games give you what you paid for in terms of content and the amount of work put into it.
    But now that iPhone games are being released at $1-7, how can you go wrong? The sheer amount of games available on the appstore is astounding and the prices can't be beat, but I find myself waiting for price drops ALL THE TIME. Why? Because I know that it's common for apps to drop in price after a certain amount of time. This isn't quite the same with next-gen console games, as they drop in price usually more than a year after their release. I'd never wait a year to save a few dollars.
    But now that I'm so used to AppSniping my apps, I find myself being more frugal when it comes to console games, it's quite a shock seeing a $60 pricetag now that I'm so accustomed to seeing $5 on the AppStore.
  8. Jorlen

    Jorlen Well-Known Member

    Jan 7, 2009
    Typically, the higher priced games are well worth it, usually boasting much more content / quality, mind you there are always the few exceptions. I'll drop $6 or more for quality apps like The Quest, Puzzle QUest, Chronicles of Inotia and not even blink. I've spent countless hours on the former 3 games.

    The reality though, is that people will always find something to complain about, just like those who bitch and moan when the dev has a sale on an app they already own... If you ask me, this is a 2 part thing; one half is the pricing scheme of the app store, and the other = people just want cheap sh!t.
  9. Kris Jones

    Kris Jones Well-Known Member

    Mar 21, 2009
    Producer/Publisher/Designer of Mobile Games
    This is the main reason why Apple is introducing the Premium section. There is a lack of "top notch" games coming out since developers are unable to recover those costs given the small sales price.
  10. VeganTnT

    VeganTnT Moderator
    Staff Member Patreon Silver Patreon Gold Patreon Bronze

    Jul 19, 2008
    Freelance Entertainment Analyst
    Orlando, FL
    I think it has more to do with many of our more active buyers getting burned.

    Console games are worked on for a LONG time, years in a lot of cases. After a dev cycle that long you expect a certain level of quality. In the case of 360 and ps3 games you also expect updates with bug fixes, new features, etc.

    For the most part Iphone devs haven't had the chance to prove themselves to us. It's tough to buy a game for 5-10 bucks when you run the chance of buying a broken game that will never be fixed.

    Apps like BeeJive and Jaadu have a big price tag. BeeJive had a full featured web based version before the appstore was made. Jaadu was on Installer under a different name. They both show that we are striving to make their product the best. That's why people are willing to buy them at 15.99 and 24.99 respectively.

    Once a dev puts out a serious game on par with a ds game (a normal ds cartridge holds 128mb but a 256mb card is available) then they can charge anything they want and people will buy it.

    Until then most people will treat iphone games as what they are, throw away games that they keep on their iphone/itouch. That stigma is what keeps people from spending too much.
  11. Big Albie

    Big Albie Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2009
    Casual gamer/marketing dude
    San Francisco, California
    The iTunes pricing structure is one of the strangest out there, and you can make some assumptions that it's based on the large number of apps/games available, the economy, or demographics. But my guess is that even if the economy were stellar right now, people would still be complaining about prices. I think a large part of this can be attributed to the demographics (younger audience will tend to have less dollars to spend and thus want more value...I'm generalizing here). Having said that, comparatively speaking, people don't seem to have any issues spending $30-40 for a DS or Playstation game, yet they will complain about a $5.99 iTunes game.

    On that note, another consideration is that many of the apps/games in iTunes are simply not very good so the general view is that they aren't worthy or not on the same ground as other software out there. Of course, there are also plenty of good and great iTune apps/games that are either overlooked or don't get any consideration because of the flood of new apps each week, the perceived value or just the user's warped sense of entitlement. People tend to be in a fantasy world when it comes to iTune pricing. You certainly wouldn't see demands for price drops outside of iTunes which btw is ridiculous.
  12. rmatheso

    rmatheso Member

    Mar 17, 2009
    I think the early perception of Iphone/touch games were that they were cheap, simple games not on par with the PSP/DS console releases. This is true in some cases (Hero of Sparta is nothing compared to GOD of War on PSP). However apps like Puzzle Quest and Uniwar are EXACTLY the same game that they would be charging $20-$30 at your local store for a DS version. With the iphone, there is no "resale", you can't trade your games back in if you don't like it.

    Games are cheaper on the iphone for a couple reasons.

    - No "physical" packaging/shipping costs.
    - More experimental games/indie developers
    - Very large community of "online" buyers, basically companies are making mad bank charging a buck and getting 300,000 to 400,000 downloads.

    I'll admit, the iphone/touch is great for bargain gaming.

    Wolfenstein 3D $4.99
    Uniwar $.99
    iDracula $.99
    Freeballin $1.99
    Hero of Sparta $5.99

    Seriously, how can you complain?
  13. spiffyone

    spiffyone Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2008
    #13 spiffyone, Apr 21, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2009
    Oy vey with this "premium section" stuff again:

    Give me actual proof of a premium price section coming soon.

    And I mean actual friggin' proof.

    It ain't happening. A premium section based on price is not going to happen. A premium section based on developer "brand" might (that is, a separate section for EA, Sega, THQ, Gameloft, etc. from the "indie" devs), but one base on price has no proof behind it whatsoever.


    Because the friggin' devs could've priced above $9.99 since the beginning and, in fact, they can price above $9.99 RIGHT NOW. Most haven't gone over $9.99. Why? Because of market forces, and because of early precedent.

    Someone stated that early precedent made it so low prices were the only way to go:

    BUT...that's not really accurate.

    The first "real" games released in the app store, the first "big" games (Super Monkey Ball and Crash Nitro Kart 3D), and even the "smaller" games (like Moto Chaser or whatever the hell Freeverse first called it) were priced at $9.99.

    And THAT is the early precedent. $9.99. When Sega released at $9.99, the market was pretty much determined: release at $9.99 to match Sega.

    The indie devs are the ones that raced to the bottom, because their only way to compete with Sega, in their view, was to undercut Sega, THQ, Vivendi, EA, etc. with lower prices. But it's bitten them in the ass completely.

    It's been pointed out numerous times how releasing at $0.99 is completely and utterly STUPID. Not just foolish, IMHO. Not just silly. Nope. Stupid. Friggin' stupid. And when I state "friggin' stupid" I actually mean to state "really, really full f word dropped on your head as a baby stupid".

    There is no momentum when releasing at $0.99. There is no longer term plan for revenue gains. There is, in fact, most likely no revenue to be gained. You have to sell in bulk to offset costs at a buck, and that happens very, very infrequently. But devs, particularly smaller indie devs, btw, just keep lowering their heads and running straight into that wall, hoping that their much fantasized momentum at a buck will be enough to crash through and leave them unscathed. It's fool's gold...and now the larger indie devs are starting to buy into it.

    The myth is that it's "all about eyes" and to get the eyes you must be in the top of the charts...but that doesn't happen all the time. It doesn't happen most of the time. It rarely happens. But devs keep thinking they'll be the lucky ones, and then whine and moan about how the app store market for games is unfair.

    Here's the FYI on this market, and just about any market: It's not about eyes alone, and it certainly isn't about getting eyes at the expense of losing out on potential revenue. It's about revenue generation. It's about sustained revenue generation over time. Anyone who thinks differently, thinks that it's about selling huge bulk at low, low prices, the lowest price to charge at that (a buck) is a goddamn moron.

    The developers, IMHO, have no one to blame but themselves. They've created the market in which their stupid race to the bottom has created an unrealistic price expectancy on the parts of the potential consumer base. And it is an unsustainable model. It doesn't make a friggin' lick of sense.


    And who is at fault?

    The developers. We've got too many fly by night devs that just aren't business savvy, and they've created a situation where even the larger devs feel they need to follow the tide, and, quite frankly, at a buck or two it's not really sustainable. It just isn't. Not for the projects with larger costs. It simply is not a sustainable model for selling a product.

    And, quite frankly, a "premium price" section isn't going to help one lick. It might be too late for that. And a "premium price" section isn't needed now, nor was it needed from the get go. $4.99 - $9.99 has proven to be a sustainable and very lucrative model, and one that meets market expectation for higher quality offerings. One look at how Sega has played their hand with Super Monkey Ball, and how Vivendi played theirs with Crash Nitro Kart, shows how it can be done. Of course, those are not only "big brand" devs/publishers, but also "big brand known IPs". There lies the inherent advantage the larger devs will always enjoy, and why a "premium price" section is very unnecessary for them. What they need to do is stay the course and not race to the bottom.
  14. I think a premium section would be attractive to the big names.

    Right now there is room for x number of hits at one time on the store, due to the was iTunes displays games in the store. x might be 20 or 50 or whatever, but there is some limit.

    Right now the big games can be in that top x, but they will also be getting squeezed out by the $1 wonders.

    If there is a premium section, Apple can tell the big names - don't worry, you are guaranteed a top spot in the premium section, displayed before the $1 games, and so you are much more likely to make back your investment, and a huge profit.

    Then they can also control that section the was the big 3 console makers control their game releases, managing it so not too many games are released at a time, etc.

    As for the prices people are willing to pay, there is also a possibility that the people on TouchArcade, or at least those who complain, are not representative of the iPhone population as a whole. Maybe the majority of people are willing to pay $5 or $10 for games they think are worthwhile, and there is just a loud minority here on TouchArcade.
  15. Crypton

    Crypton Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2009
    Just flown over the thread, so I don't realy know whether this has already been mentioned:

    One thing which is easily overlooked is the price (at least) Nintendo asks from the devs to realse titles. There are of course the d/l titles which seem a little pricier but the cartriges must be payed for in advance by the devs if I'm not mistaken. Therefore the higher price of those games.

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