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i can't believe games are this cheap!

12-11-2009, 11:07 AM
#1
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 41
i can't believe games are this cheap!

really! I'm new to iPhones, and to this forum, but I find it SO crazy that games are actually this cheap! I remember when I was buying for PC or PS2 (now, this was 5 or so years ago) and spending between 20-75$ for a game. It seems like such a great deal to me, compared to buying games for PC or any other platform.

Anyone else find that $.99-$5.99 is a great deal for a game? Or am I just living in the stone age?
How do the developers make any money?
12-11-2009, 11:10 AM
#2
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: 夣胧桃源
Posts: 1,869
It's the iPhone. They're not supposed to have prices like $50 because of the following reasons:
- They're all electronic, no physical discs required, no marketing costs, no packaging costs, just plain development costs
- They're not in the same league as console games; you can't fit games like the real Resident Evil 4 onto a cellphone, it doesn't have the memory or graphics capabilities
The current prices are mostly reasonable. There are occasionally the over-optimistic indie developer trying to push for a price tag like $4.99 for a minigame that could mostly be worth $0.99, but those usually end up being ignored by the audience anyways.

12-11-2009, 11:21 AM
#3
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Hungary
Posts: 3,949
Yup, games are cheap, but I'm happy, because otherwise, with my low budget, I'd have to play MUCH less games, lol.
12-11-2009, 11:29 AM
#4
Many devs skimp on the beta testing, resulting in apps that appear in the app store before before being sufficiently tested on each of the officially supported devices

That means you're taking a bigger risk with both money and your time whenever you click the buy button. The game may not load at all, have sound glitches on your model, have inconsistent performance from device to device, erase your saved games and stats, or crash just as you finish a level. It doesn't help that devs are always adding new features without fixing all existing bugs. Some devs have admitted to not even having access to certain devices such as a 3rd gen itouch, or 2g iphone for testing purposes. Or, they have exactly one of a given model lying around, and conclude from experience with a single unit that a build is stable on that class of device.

Add control and memory management issues of many apps to the above, and what you have is value somewhat compromised by aggravation. Ideally, a person should never have to pm or email a dev unless to clarify instructions. As soon as such an action is required to get something working, then that effectively increases the price by whatever that amount of one's time is worth.

Example of correspondence with dev:
I: "Game keeps freezing at such and such a point..."
Dev: "I've had no such problems on a variety of devices"
I: "Ok that sucks for me. For what it's worth, I'm using OS 3.12 on a 2nd gen itouch"
Dev: "OOOHH.... I didn't test it on OS 3.12....I'll have to do that for the next update....Have a nice day buddy "

Last edited by Grubjelly; 12-11-2009 at 11:40 AM.
12-11-2009, 11:36 AM
#5
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Georgia
Posts: 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurora View Post
it doesn't have the memory or graphics capabilities
When you're talking about the iPhone this doesn't apply quite so strongly as for most other mobile phone platforms. The iPhone/iPod Touch have some pretty hefty (especially the most recent models) graphics capabilities as well as a decent amount of device memory to work with.

Yeah, you're probably not going to be able to fit as much content as you can in a console or computer based game, but you can come significantly closer that with most other mobile phone platforms.

In the iDevice world the problem isn't lack of capabilities in the device. The low prices themselves are becoming a part of the "games lack depth" problem. Many many games for the platform could easily include significantly more depth in both content and gameplay, but development studios choose not to go that far simply because the development cost to sales revenue scale quickly tips in a negative direction. Developers have to carefully consider how much they can afford to develop in light of the consumer demand for dirt cheap games.

I firmly believe that if the consumer mind-set on the platform was geared more toward considering $10 to be an average price for a game, instead of wanting every game to be $.99, you'd see a lot more of the releases contain significantly more content and gameplay depth than we are seeing at the moment.

Q

Quorlan
12-11-2009, 11:37 AM
#6
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Finland
Posts: 329
Also take a look at your iPhone screen. Then take a look at your computer screen.
Divide your computer screen size with your iPhone screen size. Then divide your regular PC game price with the result of the previous calculation and what do you get? Your ordinary iPhone game price.

Well, maybe not exactly, but that could be one explanation.
12-11-2009, 11:37 AM
#7
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 1,359
As I've said elsewhere, the iPhone may have some nice games, but it's not an ideal platform for gaming. The screen is smaller than the average display, and virtual joysticks / d-pads are still a problem for most people because their big thumbs cover too much of the screen. Many developers started offering their games at low prices to compensate for these, and other, drawbacks.

I'm not complaining, however. I've spent at least $90 in the app store.
12-11-2009, 11:50 AM
#8
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 426
Developers don't need to buy packaging, pay for distribution, shipping to retailers, organise a way for payment, etc.

The appstore is simple, and people trust Apple so there's no qualms about clicking 'buy'.

Also volume. The sell in volume. You know, the louder you can make your game, the more it will sell.
12-11-2009, 12:38 PM
#9
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 3,741
Trust Aurora to argue against the only sensible topic I've seen in weeks.

Yes, they are cheap, but that won't stop all the poor malnourished little kiddies from complaining that $2.99 is way too much to trade for the hundreds of hours poured into the making of a decent app.

Just because you take away packaging and distribution doesn't suddenly mean the devs don't need money. How is anyone supposed to live off the shit pay they earn on the App Store? It's ridiculous.

I still maintain that $4.99 should be the minimum price for a game. If a game is submitted that really isn't worth just five measly bucks (which isn't many at all, unless you ask freedog), it should be rejected for not complying with standard quality regulations. If the kids wanna moan, let them. The iPhone is an expensive device, generally aimed at the kind of people who can afford to spend five little dollars on a game.

  /l、
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12-11-2009, 12:51 PM
#10
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 2,411
Send a message via AIM to eeenmachine
Quote:
Originally Posted by meme View Post
really! I'm new to iPhones, and to this forum, but I find it SO crazy that games are actually this cheap! I remember when I was buying for PC or PS2 (now, this was 5 or so years ago) and spending between 20-75$ for a game. It seems like such a great deal to me, compared to buying games for PC or any other platform.

Anyone else find that $.99-$5.99 is a great deal for a game? Or am I just living in the stone age?
How do the developers make any money?
Most of them don't!