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Are iPad game prices too high?

04-05-2010, 08:49 PM
#1
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Brampton, Ontario
Posts: 344
Are iPad game prices too high?

This is something I've been thinking about over the last couple days since I got my iPad, and it really hit home when I read this article on Engadget about how iPad prices are way too high: http://www.engadget.com/2010/04/05/e...l-kill-us-all/

Basically, iPad prices are freaking high right now. Not compared to other gaming platforms, but compared to the iPhone. At first this seems likes a great thing for developers, now we can make more money! ... but will we?

I'd argue that in the very short term, it'll be good for some devs while the iPad is new, but once users start getting their iPad app bills, they're going to tone down their purchasing a lot. On the iPhone even when I bought a ton of games, I'd never end up paying more than $40 a month, but now people are reporting bills of over $100 in just a day or two.

I think that this is bad for indie devs. Whether you like it or not, what this means is that users are going to buy fewer games. If users are buying fewer games, it means they're probably not going to be buying my game and your game. Instead they're going to be buying games from names and brands they trust. If they have a choice between a 4.99 Gameloft game and your 4.99 game, most of them are going to buy the Gameloft game, because they know Gameloft makes high quality games and there's a risk that your game could be a giant dud.

Even if we price our apps well below the $4.99 mark, I think we're still going to see fewer sales, because users don't have infinite money. They're going to be spending more on all the other expensive games and apps that the iPad has. For every 9.99 app that they buy there could be up to 10 indie games that they're missing out on.

I know that games will tend have higher prices on the iPad because it's definitely more work to develop for, but I'm worried that the very high prices(although they will eventually mellow out somewhat), are going to create an ecosystem where users are more concerned about prices and their budgets. I don't know anyone who keeps track of their purchases on the iPhone, but on the iPad, users are going to start thinking carefully about each thing that they buy, which is bad for us. What do you think?

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04-05-2010, 09:23 PM
#2
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 1,151
Prices are already dropping. The iPad market is guided by the same principles the iPhone market is - purchases are driven by visibility, and visibility is provided by the Top Lists, which are calculated based on # of units sold, not revenue generated. Therefore, the incentive is still to make it onto the top lists, and people are trying to do that by dropping the price.

I think the iPad App Store is going to look a lot like the iPhone store in about a month.

04-05-2010, 09:28 PM
#3
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Venice, CA
Posts: 790
I've personally never seen people so distraught over paying $5-10 for software.

If making software was as quick and easy as pushing a button, I might agree that prices are high. However people need to realize that quality software takes highly skilled, and talented, people a good deal of time to make. And if the people making the software can't earn a living from doing so then the software is not going to come out anymore.

Instead, what was bad for the market was putting pricing in the hands of non-professionals, and letting the market fall in love with 99 cent apps. You can say that's capitalism, but even the most desperate company in the console market knows you can't lower prices to the bear minimum and expect to be around next year.

Of course the two markets are different for a great number of reasons but there's fact remains that there's no way to even come close to break even at that price point.

There is always room for quality apps. The rest of the market should, and will, fall by the wayside.

As for the engadget article, that individual has a page full of software for under $100. Where I come from that's a steal and in the console market he'd not even be able to afford two games for that amount.
04-05-2010, 09:31 PM
#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrWalrus View Post
I've personally never seen people so distraught over paying $5-10 for software.

If making software was as quick and easy as pushing a button, I might agree that prices are high. However people need to realize that quality software takes highly skilled, and talented, people a good deal of time to make. And if the people making the software can't earn a living from doing so then the software is not going to come out anymore.

Instead, what was bad for the market was putting pricing in the hands of non-professionals, and letting the market fall in love with 99 cent apps. You can say that's capitalism, but even the most desperate company in the console market knows you can't lower prices to the bear minimum and expect to be around next year.

Of course the two markets are different for a great number of reasons but there's fact remains that there's no way to even come close to break even at that price point.

There is always room for quality apps. The rest of the market should, and will, fall by the wayside.

As for the engadget article, that individual has a page full of software for under $100. Where I come from that's a steal and in the console market he'd not even be able to afford two games for that amount.
this may be true and all, but just because I have a $500 device, dont assume im a millionaire. And as bad as it may be, Why should i pay 3x for the SAME game with some new art?

The Life Blog
Minecraft
04-05-2010, 09:44 PM
#5
Then don't buy the same game with upgraded art. If the games don't sell at high prices, the prices will drop.

And everybody knows the market's prices will be driven down soon, so why complain?
04-05-2010, 09:58 PM
#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastbound View Post
Then don't buy the same game with upgraded art. If the games don't sell at high prices, the prices will drop.

And everybody knows the market's prices will be driven down soon, so why complain?
exactly!

The Life Blog
Minecraft
04-05-2010, 11:10 PM
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottColbert View Post
Yoiu don't have a too. The iPad and the apps are a luxury and not a necessity. Nowhere does it say you have a right to pay lower prices. If you want something on the app store, either wait until it's on sale or until you have the money. Don't bitch about devs trying to make a living.
im not really bitching, i have the many for the apps. Im just stating excuses I've seen places...

like this: COUNTERATTACK: well if you want to make a better living dont develop app store games.

now insert your valid statement

The Life Blog
Minecraft
04-05-2010, 11:30 PM
#8
Did you just into a forum for developers, then say developers are bad for not underselling thier product?
04-05-2010, 11:42 PM
#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrWalrus View Post
Instead, what was bad for the market was putting pricing in the hands of non-professionals, and letting the market fall in love with 99 cent apps. You can say that's capitalism...
Actually, I think that might be the opposite of capitalism. Capitalism follows a supply/demand structure with a focus on maximizing profit per unit. There are elegant equations (formula) to figure this out, and it kind of confuses me that programmers, people who are supposed to be knowledgeable in math, simply do not understand this.

But I do agree that the idea of $0.99 apps is bad for the market. We let it happen and I am guilty of it myself.

I can't think of any developers that ended up with LESS profit after they raised their prices. Unfortunately, it is a tough sell to convince devs to raise their prices.

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04-05-2010, 11:55 PM
#10
In the dope game, when you catch someone underselling, you kill them.