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IPad pricing

04-02-2010, 09:50 AM
#1
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 126
IPad Game Pricing

I'm not a game developer or programmer, so I may be totally off in this thread. If you are involved in game development, then please set me straight. As I'm sure everyone has noticed, the "HD" versions of games are coming out and they are pretty much double the price of the ipod/iphone counterpart. In my mind, it takes the same amount of overhead (if not less, since the base codes are the same) to develop these IPad games. Since the only difference is the fact that it's presented on a larger screen, then what's the justification of the price hike?

I think it's related to the fact that the App store pricing has gotten way out of control. Full featured DS games being sold for a buck (and given away for a day) leading to $1.99 being 'expensive.' It appears that developers are taking advantage of the opportunity to just jack up the prices to shift the norm.

Again, I could be TOTALLY off here, but it just doesn't make sense.

Thoughts?

Last edited by colbertj; 04-02-2010 at 10:44 AM.
04-02-2010, 12:20 PM
#2
HD means high definition so a lot of iphone companies will have to redo their artwork from scratch if they did not anticipate the growth of the screen size from 320x480 to 1024x768. The PC companies who ported over their games will already have high fidelity artwork or textures.

A lot of users scoff at the notion of spending $100k to develop a game. Here's the cost to make a AAA quality game for different generations of consoles.
PS1 --> PS2 --> PS3
3M --> 10M --> 30M
At the same time, team sizes have grown from ~10 to ~100 today.

If you haven't noticed, most original content are coming from indies while others are porting over their games from the PC. Porting an established brand is cheaper and less risky than making new IP. At GDC, I've talked to indies who've had "successful" games in the top 100, but haven't broken even yet. Others have quietly moved on to greener pastures (dayjob, android, ipad) There were also more developers attending Android sessions than iphone sessions.

Unless you want to see more than stick figure games or ports, then developers will need to charge more in order to continue making games. It isn't about the past since the costs have already been incurred; It's more about the future and making sure games aren't undervalued again.
04-02-2010, 01:12 PM
#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSolarSoftware View Post
HD means high definition so a lot of iphone companies will have to redo their artwork from scratch if they did not anticipate the growth of the screen size from 320x480 to 1024x768. The PC companies who ported over their games will already have high fidelity artwork or textures.

A lot of users scoff at the notion of spending $100k to develop a game. Here's the cost to make a AAA quality game for different generations of consoles.
PS1 --> PS2 --> PS3
3M --> 10M --> 30M
At the same time, team sizes have grown from ~10 to ~100 today.

If you haven't noticed, most original content are coming from indies while others are porting over their games from the PC. Porting an established brand is cheaper and less risky than making new IP. At GDC, I've talked to indies who've had "successful" games in the top 100, but haven't broken even yet. Others have quietly moved on to greener pastures (dayjob, android, ipad) There were also more developers attending Android sessions than iphone sessions.

Unless you want to see more than stick figure games or ports, then developers will need to charge more in order to continue making games. It isn't about the past since the costs have already been incurred; It's more about the future and making sure games aren't undervalued again.
That pretty much sums up the whole entire thing
04-02-2010, 01:50 PM
#4
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 5,766
However - the iPad is not even in anyone's hands, and the numbers of price drops in appshopper is growing by the minute.

Many apps that that were 3 - 5 dollars are now dropping to $0.99 or free and many of the more expensive 9.99 - 14.99 are dropping substantially as well. Nice for the buyer I suppose..

GameCenter ID : oldestgamer
04-02-2010, 02:17 PM
#5
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 126
That's awesome (Blue Solar Software), thanks for all the information. I do appreciate what goes into a game which is why you won't find me buying used or illegal. You have to admit that it is a bit weird how the appstore 'mentality' is so skewed compared to console games. Could you imagine if games in the appstore were pushing 50 bucks? On the other hand, it would be nice to see console games coming down a bit. Of course, if you can just wait a few months, everything drops to at least 40 bucks.

Thanks again for taking the time to compose this response. What games do you work on?
04-02-2010, 03:14 PM
#6
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 74
There are a few factors at play here. iPhone/iPod apps were priced down considerably from the get-go because of the small resolution. Because the iPad has a considerably larger resolution, these same developers that based their pricing on resolution are feeling justified in raising the price up again. Also to consider is that the aspect ratio has changed. So not only do the artists have to recreate some of the artwork (although this should be rare - good artists do their work at high resolution, far beyond the 1044x768 resolution which the iPad has), the programmers have to adjust the UI, mouse click locations, etc. Then there is also the overhead of testing on those additional devices, tracking additional projects in the source code and in the app store, etc. Then there are other random factors - many developers took a loss jumping into the iPhone games market and are still trying to find ways to get out of debt.


-Adam Winiecki
Game Sculptor at Artwerkz