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iPhone: OT: Pricing question...

10-06-2008, 04:29 PM
#1
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 363
OT: Pricing question...

It seems that many programs have lowered prices recently. With more and more apps available there is more and more competition which drives down the pricing.

I would think that developers who now may have less potential income from an app may abandon apps that would have been made leading to less "quality" apps.

Does this seem logical, and if so , what can apple do about it?

I think that apple will make less money then planned since prices are dropping.

Will we see more "in-app" ads, less apps... I'm worried about less quality apps in the future.

Last edited by nippyjun; 10-06-2008 at 04:34 PM.
10-06-2008, 04:37 PM
#2
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,438
I think some of the crazy price dropping is due to the fact that there's so much competition and not with just the other good apps, but the shear volume of apps out there.

Apple hasn't helped by removing the All iPhone Apps link either. At this point it's really hard for a new app to get much exposure on the App Store unless it's picked up by various sites.

I think the long term the price drops are a bad thing. Already we're seeing people talk about how they are going to wait until an app drops in price rather than buy right away.

Over time, this is going to reduce the expected price of apps in the store. Which is good in the short term for users, in the long term it will prevent developers from being able to invest into major projects.

High profile titles require massive investments and unless the iPhone economy can support it, I don't know if it's going to happen.

The thing is this is not a problem specific to the App Store. I think some might have been spoiled by the built-in marketing when the App Store launched... there were only a few apps. In the end, this is how other markets work -- devs also need to be good at marketing their apps in some ways. Apple certainly could help by making it easier to find new apps.

arn

10-06-2008, 04:57 PM
#3
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 536
I think the larger developers (Sega, Namco etc) will keep their prices consistent, at least until they bring out a new game. Super Monkey Ball hasn't dropped in price since it was launched and it's still been a hit (though being promoted on two Apple keynotes most likely helped), and Pacman remains at 5.99 because it will sell at that price.

I'd totally buy a 19.99 game if it were like God of War, or Command and Conquer, or Worms. Worms on the iPhone would easily be worth those pennies if it was done right. The problem is that many developers release too early and omit features that should have been there in the first iteration. Perhaps this is also a problem with perceived rejection of apps, and it is merely just developers testing the water, so to speak.

Of course with price drops left right and centre, it is like a minefield out there. Fortunately we have sites like this one that are willing to take the plunge on new games, because they have the resources to do so.

Last edited by different; 10-06-2008 at 05:02 PM.
10-06-2008, 05:00 PM
#4
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,654
Can you imagine if they could pull off Command and Conquer on the Phone? I'm happy with Reign of Swords and Fieldrunners. Command and Conquer would be a little too good.
10-06-2008, 05:03 PM
#5
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 4,491
Quote:
Originally Posted by nippyjun View Post
It seems that many programs have lowered prices recently. With more and more apps available there is more and more competition which drives down the pricing.

I would think that developers who now may have less potential income from an app may abandon apps that would have been made leading to less "quality" apps.

Does this seem logical, and if so , what can apple do about it?

I think that apple will make less money then planned since prices are dropping.

Will we see more "in-app" ads, less apps... I'm worried about less quality apps in the future.
I don't think that competition is what is driving down prices.

The appstore has tons of games and many in the same genre. The issue really comes down to be noticed.

Unless you regularly troll the app store for new games (which I do) chances are you aren't going to notice the vast majority of apps.

If you release an app you made then chances are no one will know about it, unless you post on a forum like this one.

So devs update their apps and cut prices because that brings their apps to the top of the appstore. Once a bunch of us get an app a discussion goes up, arn will take notice (if he hasn't already) and put up a post. So that brings even more business in and helps people take notice of the dev.

Space Monkey is a prime example. I bought it when it came for 4.99. I didn't think much of it because it is a port of a cellphone game, The only difference in gameplay is that you touch the screen to rotate instead of the keypad on any other phone. That digital movement doesn't work well with a touch interface.

No updates have been made for it and now the game is FREE. Now their app is getting high ratings and more people are talking about it. With a little update they can add an icon to show you other games they made or will make. Pretty smart because with a fun free game everyone will be getting it so they will have a lot of people taking notice.

Seems like devs are just selling low" so that they can get their name out there.

Also, Apple has stated that they keep itunes running at "just above cost". The money they get from apps/music/movies go back into the cost of running the itunes store. So essentially running it is free and everything else is profit. I'm sure they would love to have more money coming in but they don't complain about free money.
10-06-2008, 05:05 PM
#6
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 536
I don't see why it couldn't be done.

I'm going to take a look at Fieldrunners once they release an update with some more levels. It certainly looks like a great game though.
10-06-2008, 05:15 PM
#7
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 294
Apple should have a new price policy where in a developer/publisher can't change the price of an app until a specific amount of time has elapsed. These seesaw prices are just driving consumer and developer confidence down.
10-06-2008, 05:22 PM
#8
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,438
Quote:
Originally Posted by different View Post
The problem is that many developers release too early and omit features that should have been there in the first iteration. Perhaps this is also a problem with perceived rejection of apps, and it is merely just developers testing the water, so to speak.
I don't want to judge much, cause I know developing is hard to get an app complete. But I think Fieldrunners was a missed opportunity.

I think once there are other levels and sound effects, it will be a bargain for $4.99. If he had waited until those features were in place I think he could have charged $9.99 and it would have been well worth it.

But without sound effects, I can't yet give it a hearty $4.99 recommendation.

arn
10-06-2008, 05:42 PM
#9
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Boston
Posts: 1,268
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotYou View Post
Can you imagine if they could pull off Command and Conquer on the Phone? I'm happy with Reign of Swords and Fieldrunners. Command and Conquer would be a little too good.
there is a game similar to Command and Conquer coming to zi iphone, again the name escapes me

and worms is also rumored to be in development

as for pricing, I've given this a lot of thought as I am nearing completion on my first app, which took a good solid month to develop
I am considering running a first two week price cut to introduce the app
then put the price back up to what i was originally going to sell it for

my approach is not to release a buggy piece of software so ive done a lot of beta testing, and adding new features
but at some point I do need to actually release it, so even though i want to add multi-language support, which would take a few more weeks to program, I have settled just with english for right now with promise to add this feature later on

its hard to pick and choose what you want to add into it, cause there are so many possibilities...and then the big question...what do you think people are willing to pay for your app and what to charge

I refuse to jack up the price, have a few people buy it, then drop the price the next day, cause if i was the customer i would be pretty scorned
so i am going to be consistent on my pricing structure and find the optimal price per feature price with extra features built in for more bang for the customers buck cause I am approaching it as if I was a customer, not from a devlopers standpoint.
10-06-2008, 06:13 PM
#10
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 4,491
Quote:
Originally Posted by arn View Post
I don't want to judge much, cause I know developing is hard to get an app complete. But I think Fieldrunners was a missed opportunity.

I think once there are other levels and sound effects, it will be a bargain for $4.99. If he had waited until those features were in place I think he could have charged $9.99 and it would have been well worth it.

But without sound effects, I can't yet give it a hearty $4.99 recommendation.

arn
If they add sound effects without giving me an option to turn them off I will not be happy. The problem with sfx in TD games is the vast amount of towers firing at once. In fieldrunners there are so many towers firing at the same time that the sfx get mashed together and just make noise.