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Your opinions on the recent drop to 0.99$ of games from big studios

06-24-2009, 08:34 PM
#1
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: St-Hubert (Quebec), Canada
Posts: 133
Your opinions on the recent drop to 0.99$ of games from big studios

Hello fellow developer, especially indie developer such as myself.

Well you might have seen that recently several game from big studios have been dropped to the bottom price of 0.99$.

I wonder what's your opinion about the big guys such as EA, Game Loft, etc... competing on the same price level as most other indie developer.

In my opinion I think this is not good for us smaller indie developer team as we don't have the financial and/or marketing team to compete head to heard with those juggernauts. I know for originality and quality we can probably compete fairly (though it can be hard on some parts like having great graphics and/or music if you are only a programmer).

Let say for example I was making a third person action game base on roman mythology (similar to hero of sparta). I think my title even it was price at 0.99$ it will have a hard time to get visibility since I am not a known developer and wont have the marketing budget to advertise it massively like big studio can.

In the past the strategy for most indie developer to gain visibility was to put out a lite version for FREE and/or lower their game to 0.99$. But imagine if all the top list get filled with those big studio titles, how can we grab the gamer attention when they have the choice between the latest EA title at 0.99$ of a know IP and a unknown name from Joe Basement Game?

I wonder what should we do as indie developer to still thrive beside big studios and get visibility. As I was already disappointed to have to price my games at 0.99$ to compete against other indie developer, but now to go up against EA, Game Loft this is quite depressing .

I know people told me already that this is a free market and I should stop whining/rant/doom gloom. I am looking for some enlightenment from other developer.

Fred
06-25-2009, 12:21 AM
#2
Joined: May 2009
Location: La Coruña, Spain
Posts: 191
Well, they have the right to do so cause this is marketing competence and sales.

Anyhow, us the indies can't hardly compete against the big studios with prices like this, cause we don't have the resources they got. They deserve also my anger and I really doubt to buy something from them in the near future.

So the unique chance by now is doing something more creative, innovative than his games.

Another thing we could do is joining in any way, making an association for having more visibility, but this will consume time and also money. Worthwhile? Who knows.

Regards,

Pablo
Scoreloop ID: coolman

My game: GeoRain in the AppStore, July 1st - 0.99$

06-25-2009, 12:38 AM
#3
Joined: May 2009
Location: La Coruña, Spain
Posts: 191
Another problem with this such low prices is that people will not valuate our work, and could be get used to only pay a buck for a game that deserves more.

Regards,

Pablo
Scoreloop ID: coolman

My game: GeoRain in the AppStore, July 1st - 0.99$
06-25-2009, 12:42 AM
#4
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 731
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolman View Post
Another problem with this such low prices is that people will not valuate our work, and could be get used to only pay a buck for a game that deserves more.
I think this has already happened to a large extent. The idea that $5 is too expensive for a game seems to have taken hold of both consumers and reviewers.

I don't think we've got any reason to complain about EA though, they do what they can to make as much profit as possible. The big question is whether they're breaking down their own market this way. People might be hesitant to pay the "big" bucks for upcoming EA-titles if the company start making a habit of $1 sales on most titles...
06-25-2009, 04:01 AM
#5
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,634
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolman View Post
Another problem with this such low prices is that people will not valuate our work, and could be get used to only pay a buck for a game that deserves more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickFalk View Post
I think this has already happened to a large extent. The idea that $5 is too expensive for a game seems to have taken hold of both consumers and reviewers.
I agree. It is not Gameloft's fault, it was caused by a lot of other devs before them. That doesn't mean that I think they are doing a good thing.

In the short run, this is good for consumers -- they can get great apps for close to nothing. In the long run though, it is bad for everyone, i.e. both devs and consumers.

The price drops I see everywhere is also killing the companies themselves. I have read in so many threads that people aren't going to buy their other products since they are likely to drop to .99 at some point anyway. And I understand people who bought the game at 9.99 not long ago and complain about the sudden price drops. Again, they are killing themselves.

It is not solely some companies fault, it is also Apple's. As the top lists work now, they promote cheap apps. Easiest way to solve this mess is to do something about how the lists work, and that's something only Apple can do (for instance sort by revenue). Another solution is to tell every developer on the planet not to drop the prices to .99, but that is illegal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartel), impossible and also in general a very bad idea for everyone.

With that said, I'm also extremely grateful that Apple allow me and my friends to make a living out of making games.
06-25-2009, 05:20 AM
#6
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 659
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickFalk View Post
I think this has already happened to a large extent. The idea that $5 is too expensive for a game seems to have taken hold of both consumers and reviewers.
.

I dont think thats true. You're not going to get too many good games if your budget is $1 believe me I know.

There's some cheap thrills and old games that are now obsolete but that's about it.

As an indie developer you need to make something original which is sort of the point. Dont go out and try making an "indie" soccer sim because you wont stand a chance against the big boys.

Last edited by 99c_gamer; 06-25-2009 at 05:23 AM.
06-25-2009, 05:36 AM
#7
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 731
Quote:
Originally Posted by 99c_gamer View Post
I dont think thats true. You're not going to get too many good games if your budget is $1 believe me I know.
Seriously? I'm not an active bargain-hunter, but I've picked up a few on-sale games for $1. Peggle, Flight Controll and Mecho Wars comes to mind. These three are among my favourite iPhone games period and have given me far more entertainment than a lot of higher-priced games that I bought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 99c_gamer View Post
As an indie developer you need to make something original which is sort of the point. Dont go out and try making an "indie" soccer sim because you wont stand a chance against the big boys.
Dag nammit! I'm just about finished with my next game: "The great indiedev soccer simulator 2009". No, not really. I sort of agree, but think the main problem for the developers comes down to a combination of lacking presentation-skills and exposure. Most games are just lost in the backwaters of the App Store never to be seen again...

Personally I think $1 should be reserved for truly crap games and really short games. By constantly dumping the price of higher profile games the risk of destroying the entire App-market might go from obscure theory to harsh reality...
06-25-2009, 06:06 AM
#8
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickFalk View Post
I think this has already happened to a large extent. The idea that $5 is too expensive for a game seems to have taken hold of both consumers and reviewers.
I think what we're overlooking is the fact that these are not top-of-the-line games as far as graphics and sound go. We're basically in the business of games that, graphically, lie somewhere between Playstation 1 and Playstation 2. I paid $10 for a lot of my XBOX 360 games (used but play fine)- I'm not going to pay that much for a Nintendo 64 game (unless its Chrono Trigger... then money is no object)
06-25-2009, 06:23 AM
#9
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 731
Well, it's a fair view I guess, but if your view is the norm I believe you can more or less forget about the iPhone becoming a truly prosperous gaming-platform in the long run.

The Nintendo DS is the biggest selling console, despite being the least powerfull of all current platforms when it comes to graphics. While developing something like Final Fantasy for the PS3 is as expensive as it comes, much due to the extreme quality of the production-values, it's not exactly cheap to develop something like New Mario Bros either.

I see your point, and it's quite reasonable from a consumer's standpoint. I do believe however that if the App Store had started out with a minimum price of $5 per title we would have had less titles, but probably less crap. If no-one expects to pay more than $1 - $2 per game it is unlikely that many developers in the long run will risk making any AAA titles. We will probably end up with more crappy ports akin to the recent Ghostbusters fiasco...
06-25-2009, 06:27 AM
#10
Joined: May 2009
Location: La Coruña, Spain
Posts: 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickFalk View Post
if the App Store had started out with a minimum price of $5 per title we would have had less titles, but probably less crap.
Agreed,

See this post from a newbie here:

http://forums.toucharcade.com/showth...258#post320258

I think that this trend will increase.

Regards,

Pablo
Scoreloop ID: coolman

My game: GeoRain in the AppStore, July 1st - 0.99$