iPad why developers shouldn't lower prices

Discussion in 'iPhone and iPad Games' started by Tennisking1o1, Nov 15, 2008.

  1. Tennisking1o1

    Tennisking1o1 Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2008
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    I know a lot of people have been complaining about this and posting different things in different thrads, but I think all devs on this site should see this.

    Whenever a pricey game comes out, countless people wait for the inevitable price drop, and it usually comes, screwing the people who bought the game early and really wanted to support the developer. If developers put a game in the store at an introductory low price, I am more tempted to buy it soon, not knowing how long the sale will last. If the price is higher, I just wait. Developers then get some fast money, in which they can pay anyone who helped then in the gane easier. Also, if they already had paid the other people or paid of of loans ( probably not for an iPhone game?) then they can work on an update, which will make their customers happy. The developer can make a quick fan base that spreads the word about an "awesome, cheap game that will only be cheap to so long so you better pick it up now!". Instead of starting at a high price and losing fans, starting at a low price and eebrualkt raising it will get more fans that will hopefully purchase future products from the developer.

    So this is my 2 cents, sorry if its a little sloppy, I'm yltyping this on my touch in hope of getting better at using the keyboard. I hope I get some eeaponses from ganess and developers alike!
     
  2. Little White Bear Studios

    Little White Bear Studios Well-Known Member

    Aug 27, 2008
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    This sounds great in theory, but usually falls apart on the App Store. Say you introduce a game at the low price of $1.99 for two weeks only. Your rank shoots into the top 50. After the two weeks, the price changes to the intended $4.99, as advertised. What almost always happens is that reviewers claim it's a money grab, and give low reviews. And because the price is higher, you sell a lot less copies, which makes your ranking tank. I may be wrong, and any other devs are free to correct me on this, but I've yet to see any app hold their rank, let alone increase sales, when they raise the price, regardless of how much notice they gave.
     
  3. Tennisking1o1

    Tennisking1o1 Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2008
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    I know this would probably be the case, and it's a little annoying. I'm not insulting you by any means, I love tanzen, but I think reviewers and buyers alike should learn that is how the app store should work. I doubt it will happen, but it would be great if it did.
     
  4. Mr. Charley

    Mr. Charley Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2008
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    Should...would...could...
    That's just not realistically how it works.

    With so much competition in the App Store, and with the horrible lay-out of iTunes/App Store, it really appears that the best way for an app to be noticed/remain noticed is to be in the top 100, period.
    Because of that, developers really have no choice but to keep their app at a price that the public deems acceptable.
    In the case of TanZen, I absolutely love this game, and is one of my favourite games I own at this time. Unfortunately for Little White Bear Studios, I have to admit that I would never have taken the plunge at the original price of $2.99. At $.99, I think it's a steal.

    Speaking strictly as a consumer, I want the best deal. When I want to buy something, I can go shop around to various stores and see who has the best sale that weekend for instance. In the app store, there is no shopping around, it's all about who has the best price. And sometimes (or even often times lately), the best price is the lowest price.
     
  5. Little White Bear Studios

    Little White Bear Studios Well-Known Member

    Aug 27, 2008
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    Yeah, we have no desire to lower prices, but if we don't, we eventually lose to the latest and greatest app that appears every 10 seconds.
     
  6. PoV

    PoV Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2008
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    Yeah, the price crazyness hurts all us developers. There's so much you can do to promote a game, yet it's become so commonplace to just drop or jack up the price. It makes it EXTREMELY difficult for anyone to take your price seriously.
     
  7. tkphotograph

    tkphotograph Well-Known Member

    Jul 31, 2008
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    You are a sad strange little man
     
  8. Tennisking1o1

    Tennisking1o1 Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2008
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    I respect your opinions, I juat think that m iidea could work better than the system right now, although I am now realizing it is rather unrealiatic with iTunes in it's current state.
     
  9. Knight

    Knight Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2008
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    Is the price difference from 2.99 to 0.99 really a huge deal to most of you guys? I'm just wondering. Or is it the principle of the thing?

    Whenever I see this, my brain immediately starts thinking: 'wow price drop, I think I should get it now', but if I step back and think about it, its not much of a difference to my wallet. I spend more than $2 on donuts and coffee when I am working during the day, every day. Honestly, I rather pay the $2.99 to the developer if I think the game is worth it, even if its on sale for $0.99.

    Now I might be a bad example here as I have only bought about 5 or 6 games so far. Mostly because I really don't have any time to play them.
     
  10. Tennisking1o1

    Tennisking1o1 Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2008
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    For someone that doesn't buy many games, no, it probably doesn't matter. But if you buy a ron of games full price, and then you see them go on sale, all the sales added up could have put an extra $20 or maybe more in your pocket, which equals anywhere from a handful to 2 or 3 games from the app store.
     
  11. jlake02

    jlake02 Well-Known Member

    Oct 17, 2008
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    I think Apple should freeze the prices of new apps for a limited amount of time. We published an editorial behind this reasoning. I think it will help everyone, including the developers.
     
  12. Tennisking1o1

    Tennisking1o1 Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2008
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    I enjoyed reading your editorial and it is a pretty good idea, but like you said, with apple and itunes and the app store in there place right now, it probably won't happen. Would be really nice if it did though...
     
  13. ChaoticBox

    ChaoticBox Well-Known Member

    Oct 8, 2008
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    I find it amazing that people will come out and directly ask a dev to lower the price even when it's absurdly low to begin with. I don't know how many times I've seen my game Pinch 'n Pop! described as "pricey" at $3.99, but I haven't changed the price since launch and I have no plans to do so. It's an experiment in stubbornness at this point :D

    What Apple could do to avoid pissing off customers is offer a a 14 day price guarantee (like they do with their hardware). If a price drops in that period you get a credit for the difference.
     
  14. Tennisking1o1

    Tennisking1o1 Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2008
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    that is what the editorial talks about, how there should be a 30 day price freeze period, which is a great idea IMO
     
  15. Little White Bear Studios

    Little White Bear Studios Well-Known Member

    Aug 27, 2008
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    Accounting nightmare. Who would get the money taken away from them, Apple or the developer, or both? Let's say I sell 1,000 copies on November 25, at $5.99. Then I drop the price to $1.99 on December 1st. You're now in the position of taking away $4,000 from someone, across two pay periods no less. So Apple loses $1,200, and the dev loses $2,800. Now add to the mix that there are multiple iTunes stores, and currency conversion to deal with. It just isn't going to happen.
     
  16. ChaoticBox

    ChaoticBox Well-Known Member

    Oct 8, 2008
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    That's entirely different - I don't think mandatory price freezes will fly with developers, but if you have a price guarantee in place developers will think twice before dropping prices since they'll be sacrificing revenue. A guarantee will effectively freeze prices without affecting a developer's freedom to set their own price at any time. Now, some sticky financial situations could arise if devs manage to put themselves in the red, but that should be predictable and disallowed.
     
  17. ChaoticBox

    ChaoticBox Well-Known Member

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    Ya I know - but that's the whole point. Right now devs are yo-yo pricing - they drop the price immediately when their positioning drops, then quickly raise it back up. If you knew you'd be sacrificing money you'd only drop the price as a last resort when sales have tanked for two weeks straight. These cheap marketing tactics would effectively stop.

    I highly doubt this will ever happen, but I don't think it's an accounting nightmare - Apple already hands out refunds for apps, and this isn't much different accounting wise.
     
  18. Little White Bear Studios

    Little White Bear Studios Well-Known Member

    Aug 27, 2008
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    I agree, yo-yo pricing isn't great, but it works. What I think might be better is a notice to developers that they can only change their price every two weeks. You may initiate the first price change at any time, but the moment you do so, you're informed up front that the price will stay fixed for two weeks. I think that would make devs think a bit more on their pricing strategy. Plus they'll be able to figure out how well their app really sells at a particular price.

    But there's no getting around the fact that the cheaper an app is, the better it sells. And the better something sells, the more visible it is on the store. Visibility means you get to stay in business. Until those rules change, the prices of apps will always be dropping.

    I think refunds are so far and few between, and they make the process to get one difficult enough, to the point where you can't compare the two. With a price guarantee, you could be talking about tens of thousands of dollars per app.
     
  19. Tennisking1o1

    Tennisking1o1 Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2008
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    Yea, but having this fixed price may mean some developers lower their starting price, in order to get a solid fanbase. Some devs definately knowingly overprice their apps, but if they know that price will stay for 2 weeks, and a few people buy it on day 1 and spread the word that it's overpriced, then that could be a solid 7-10 days of minimal sales for the developer. It's am incentive to developers to price their games fairly.
     
  20. ChaoticBox

    ChaoticBox Well-Known Member

    Oct 8, 2008
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    No one in their right mind would lower their price if they knew they'd be taking a huge hit, but they should still be free to do so (IMHO). Price protection is pretty standard practice, and wouldn't be automatic - some people wouldn't realize, others wouldn't care - but anyone who feels ripped off could do something about it. Fact is, Apple offers 14 day price protection on everything for sale in their web/physical stores and offering this on the app store wouldn't be stretching their sales policies. It might make sense to cut the time down to 7 days but other than that I don't see a problem. Then again, I'd rarely if ever change the price of my apps so it wouldn't affect me much if at all.
     

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