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Has the App Store changed your perceptions of games pricing?

06-08-2009, 05:38 AM
#1
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 633
Has the App Store changed your perceptions of games pricing?

I haven't had an iPod Touch for very long, before that gaming mostly on PC or Wii. On other platforms I would think nothing of sepnding 25 to 30 a game.

Then I got stuck into the App Store, where I have gotten some absolutel killer games for as little as 59p. The most I have paid is 5.99.

The fact that the App Store games provide such great value for money has really made me think twice about buying games for other platforms. Indeed on the forums here, people will think twice about buying games at 1.79, stating that this is 'expensive' when in actual fact it's still a pittance compared to gaming on other platforms.

The traditional idea would seem to have been that iTouch/iPhone games were just 'pick up and play' and not as in depth as games on other platforms, although they now seem to be delivering much more depth and are becoming more and more like 'proper' games.

Do you still buy games for upwards of 30 on other platforms or has the App Store completely shifted your starting point on games pricing?
06-08-2009, 05:49 AM
#2
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Italy
Posts: 1,452
Just bought Punch-Out Wii (and it rocks!)
On iphone I just buy much more games (and still spend less), but this hasn't affected me too much. It's just a different market with its own rules.

06-08-2009, 05:53 AM
#3
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,045
Sometimes pick up and play games don't cut it, I enjoy a game with a long drawn out plot. With twists in the story, and all sorts of gameplay elements. While the iPhone is getting there, gaming consoles hold a very special place in my heart.
06-08-2009, 06:56 AM
#4
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Singapore
Posts: 534
Send a message via MSN to Sierra275
It all depends on what platform you're talking about. I just bought Red Faction: Guerilla and Battlestations: Pacific at one shot for $141 SGD (singapore dollars), while I have put most App Store purchases on hold. Even games such as Real Racing, Knights Onrush and Assassin's Creed, for the iPod Touch, are on my waiting list, while I anticipate the purchase of yet another Xbox 360 game tomorrow. (Prototype)

The reason I bought my iPod Touch was because of the myriad forms of entertainment available to the platform. Thus, I did not expect iPod games to simply be a 'pick up and play' affair. However, in terms of quality and pricing, they still take second place as compared to console gaming. However, I find that they are far more accessible because of the portability of the platform.

So, in terms of pricing, I think that pricing models for both the App Store and other consoles are appropriate. App Store games are simpler and lower-spec, and therefore warrant a lower price than full-scale games for dedicated, high spec gaming platforms.

Development also plays an important factor. It is obvious that games such as Real Racing required a considerably large effort to develop, as opposed to 99c apps. Similarly, $9.99 games require relatively less effort to develop than full-scale games like Red Faction Guerilla, Assassin's Creed, etc.

In conclusion, I believe that the price of a game is, and should be, proportionate to the amount of effort required to develop it. Whether it turns out to be a success or failure simply depends on the quality, and it is up to the user's discretion and research as to whether to buy it or not. So, the App Store hasn't really changed my expectations of game pricing, as App Store games and console games are of entirely different leagues altogether. At least for now.

Sierra275 on Gameloft Live, Openfeint, Gamecenter, and most other social gaming networks on the iTouch.
06-08-2009, 07:24 AM
#5
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Formerly Zimbabwe - now England.
Posts: 1,394
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra275 View Post
Development also plays an important factor. [...] In conclusion, I believe that the price of a game is, and should be, proportionate to the amount of effort required to develop it.
Speaking from a customer's point-of-view, I would love for that to be the case, but sadly, it's just not true.
Speaking from a seller's point-of-view, the price of ANY product is determined to be the highest price that the largest number of people are willing to pay for it, to yield as high an amount of profit as you can.

The price of anything is based on it's worth, and the "worth" of anything, be it games or shoes or potato-chips, is determined by how much people are willing to pay for it. "Worthiness" is a subjective term, one that differs for everyone. What IS worth something of a certain value for one person might NOT be worth that same value for another person.

People might like to claim that the worth of something is determined by how much time, effort and money went INTO making something, but frankly, that's not true. If that were the case, then once a game had reached a certain point where input-expenses and a certain profit were met, then the game would be made available for free. And guess what... that never happens.
What does happen is the game continues to sell for as long as people are willing to buy it. If the willingness-to-buy persists, then the game keeps on selling. On and on and on...
If the willingness-to-buy drops, then so does the selling-price, to try and increase that willingness again.
Sellers try to get as much money as they can out of ANY product they sell, not merely what it is worth.
The other thing is, even if a game takes 12 months to develop, if at the end of that time when the game is released, the public pans the game and calls it a load of crud, then, as far as the public is concerned, is it "worth" all the time, effort and thousands of Dollars that was poured into it? Simply, no, it isn't.
Time does NOT equal money when it comes to sales: a game that took 12 hours to develop can outsell a game that took 12 months to develop.

Allow me to sidetrack for a moment, but still stay on topic... Take diamonds, for example. They are merely "rocks" found in the ground. Sure, they're a bit shinier than the average rock that you'll dig up in your back garden, but they're still rocks nonetheless. They don't "do" anything special, and to the average Joe in the street, they look no different to glass costume-jewellery. But some people are willing to pay a premium price for them. The reason? I'm not entirely sure myself. But the point is, they have such a high value because that is what people are willing to pay for them. They don't cost that certain amount to mine and polish up. They're that "valuable" merely because they're rare, right? But hey, if there was another mineral that was even more rare, but looked and smelled like dog-turds, then would they be even more valuable? No. Why? Because people wouldn't want them, that's why.
My point in all this? I'll simply say it again: The "worth" of anything is determined by how much people are willing to pay for it.

So to get back to the actual specific topic in question, iPhone games...
Is a PSP game worth 30? If people are willing to pay that much for it, then yes.
Is the exact same game on an iPhone worth the same 30? If people are not willing to pay that much for it, then no.

Worth for the seller is a pretty simple affair: If the profits are higher than the input costs, then it's worth it.
Worth for is a much more complicated issue, and sellers can never accurately predict the worth of something in the buyer's eyes...

Website: www.NotHowItLooks.com Twitter: @BrettArchibald
Artwork, animation & UI-design for Beyond Ynth Parachute Panic Chicken Raid
Multiple icon-sets design for Thingy Blox

Last edited by BrettArchibald; 06-08-2009 at 07:41 AM.
06-08-2009, 07:27 AM
#6
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: In AMERICA.
Posts: 643
Nope. Console games come first because, quite frankly, they're a lot better. Hell I don't even consider most games on iPhone/iPod games. More like "small bursts of slight entertainment". Games like Zenonia that actually have a story, have a fun factor, and decent amount of gameplay are what I consider games and sadly, the app store seems to be lacking.
06-08-2009, 08:24 AM
#7
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 568
Quote:
Originally Posted by crimson. View Post
Nope. Console games come first because, quite frankly, they're a lot better. Hell I don't even consider most games on iPhone/iPod games. More like "small bursts of slight entertainment". Games like Zenonia that actually have a story, have a fun factor, and decent amount of gameplay are what I consider games and sadly, the app store seems to be lacking.
Exactly. Other than a few games on my iPod, I get bored really quick, even for games like CJS, Zen Bound, and hell, I'm gonna get bored of Zenonia as well. I've probably have $200 worth of apps (well no all were bought), and I'm actually not that satisfied with them in the end, except for a special few.

360 games on the other hand, last me so much longer than their price (months at least, and some even years), are higher quality, and I feel their value is a lot more justified. Even when you compare arcade games one the 360 my $5 on Geometry Wars was better than any $5 spent on iTunes.

In terms of handheld gaming though the App Store has definitely changed my pricing views, when games like Assassins Creed are 2, 3 times cheaper than on the PSP or DS.
06-08-2009, 08:35 AM
#8
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,013
I think the games are cheap for a reason, most of them truly lack replayability. Not only that, but some of them are just simple flash games that should be free (you can play them on the internet). Firemint for example, I love Flight Control and play it daily, sometimes for hours at night on the weekends. Its a truly fun, but cheap, game. Real Racing is only $10. Now Im not sure how long it will last, but $10 is nothing...

Xbox 360 on the other hand has soooo much replayability for all the games I buy. I've been playing Sacred 2 and Im like 20% done with it, my playing time is around 16 hours. Skate 2 I've been playing a lot to and Im still in love with the game. I currently have 4 games on my 360, and thats all I really need. I'd glady pay the $60 for 360 games, but I always hesitate with iPhone games just because I know the iPhone isn't a true gaming device and most games are short (*cough* Gameloft *uncough*)
06-08-2009, 08:48 AM
#9
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Formerly Zimbabwe - now England.
Posts: 1,394
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCal_Sponger View Post
I think the games are cheap for a reason, most of them truly lack replayability. [...] Firemint for example, I love Flight Control and play it daily, sometimes for hours at night on the weekends. Its a truly fun, but cheap, game. [...] Xbox 360 on the other hand has soooo much replayability for all the games I buy.
You've just contradicted yourself with your own examples there... You just said you get so many hours of gameplay out of Flight Control, but claim that iPhone games lack replayability.

And I get truly unlimited "replayability" with a simple Solitaire card game on my iPhone, because every shuffle deals me a different layout — so by your logic then, should I be expected to pay $60 for this iPhone game? Or for Flight Control?

I certainly would not, and as such, I'm not sure I agree with your overall point at all...

Website: www.NotHowItLooks.com Twitter: @BrettArchibald
Artwork, animation & UI-design for Beyond Ynth Parachute Panic Chicken Raid
Multiple icon-sets design for Thingy Blox

Last edited by BrettArchibald; 06-08-2009 at 08:52 AM.
06-08-2009, 09:01 AM
#10
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,013
I said "most" of them, as in the page full of games on my Touch that i dont play anymore. There is still a few that I play, such as Flight Control.

The thing with the iPhone is this: most of the better games are simple 2D animation with good drawings. The 360 has revolutionary 3D graphics that get better and better (sure the iPhone games will get better, but its not made just for games, there is a limit). The 3D games aren't bad on the iPhone, but a lot of them focused more on the graphics than the gameplay.

Would I rather pay $1 for a simple game such as Flight Control, or $10 for a game such as Terminator? I'd buy Flight Control, even if Terminator had "amazing revolutionary graphics," it still only has like a 2 hour story length. Thats not worth the $10.