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launch pricing (.99 vs 1.99)

10-19-2010, 01:03 PM
#1
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 26
launch pricing (.99 vs 1.99)

Hello! Our first game is well into development (two programmers, one artist) and we've been thinking about pricing. Do you guys have any advice/experience to share regarding launching at .99 vs 1.99? 1.99 gives us flexibility to put it on sale but it looks like all the top apps are .99. Any thoughts would be helpful. 2.99 definitely seems too high.

I'm excited to share our progress with you all once we've got stuff we feel comfortable showing
10-19-2010, 02:16 PM
#2
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,068
Well, most of it is down to how much content is offered with the game.

Is it a simple casual game with not much level progression and low replayabilty? Then people might not be so willing to pay $1.99 for it.

Otherwise if it offers great content, but not enough to be priced at $2.99 then $1.99 would be your best bet, but also adds flexibility like you say to do a sale.

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10-19-2010, 02:21 PM
#3
First, I have no real experience on this as we have not launched our game either, but I have been doing a fair amount of research.

One argument I keep seeing for starting at 1.99 is that you can always go down and, in fact, many sites track a reduction in price so you would get a bump in awareness for a price drop.

That being said, your most opportune time is your first few days of release so I'm not sure it's a good idea to over price from the get go.

Then again, Apple did it and well, seemed to go OK for them

I'm looking forward to hearing some real world feedback on this.

Code Critical LLC
10-19-2010, 02:27 PM
#4
Quote:
One argument I keep seeing for starting at 1.99 is that you can always go down and, in fact, many sites track a reduction in price so you would get a bump in awareness for a price drop.
You can always put up the price for 2 or 3 days and then lower it to get mentioned on the price tracker pages.
10-19-2010, 03:23 PM
#5
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by minyx View Post
You can always put up the price for 2 or 3 days and then lower it to get mentioned on the price tracker pages.
That is not a very kind way to treat your first customers, making them pay more because they supported your app early on.

I think .99 is a good “launch sale price”. It incites consumers to buy it early before the price goes up. Also, all of the top five games are 99 cents; 90% of the top ten and 68% of the top 25 also are (Octobre 18th 2010, App Store). This leans heavily on the assumption that iphone consumers are very prone to apps priced at 99 cents.

The issue is of quantity(sales) vs quality(price value). It’s better to have three people buy it .99 then one at 1.99. However, this is all subjective to the price range of your game. I took for granted is was in the 1.99-.99 range, meaning a casual game with a decent amount of content. Of course, this is all opinion. Hope my thoughts could help.

Last edited by CreadGames; 10-19-2010 at 03:25 PM. Reason: Typo
10-19-2010, 04:07 PM
#6
We'd recommend pricing low initially to incentivise sales that hopefully give you visibility in one of the charts. You can then increase the price a few days or week later. And then, if you're still not getting many sales drop the price again to get awareness through the price trackers.

We believe this to be fair to your customers and makes commercial sense.

I would also strongly recommend stating when the price will increase in your app description and stick to that date.

Nigel @DistinctiveGame

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10-19-2010, 04:18 PM
#7
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 977
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CreadGames View Post
That is not a very kind way to treat your first customers, making them pay more because they supported your app early on.
On the other hand, early adopters in almost every type of market usually pay more.
10-19-2010, 04:22 PM
#8
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 977
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Quote:
Originally Posted by distinctivegames View Post
We'd recommend pricing low initially to incentivise sales that hopefully give you visibility in one of the charts. You can then increase the price a few days or week later. And then, if you're still not getting many sales drop the price again to get awareness through the price trackers.
For Trainyard, the developer started at $2.99 and rode the initial wave of exposure. Then, when it got featured by Apple, he waited a bit until the initial rise leveled off and then dropped the price to $0.99.

Result? A nearly instant skyrocket to the top. Trainyard passed Angry Birds for a while as the #2 overall paid app and is still sitting at #5 after a week.

Of course there were other factors in play, but the price drop at that specific time seems to have been a major factor. He showed a chart of the sudden increase in the hours following his price change.
10-19-2010, 04:35 PM
#9
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Hollywood, CA
Posts: 1,869
if you have any kinda visibility at all prior to launch, or your app looks like it has decent production quality, I would suggest going for 1.99. The people who are interested to buy it no matter what (and those who support you) will not likely mind paying an extra buck; they just want to play your game, and I would suspect a decent percentage of them wouldn't mind being supportive.

Depending on how it does out of the gate, you'd want to carefully drop to .99 if you think it's doing well already (getting reviews, posts in your thread, showing up on the chart). .99 will be a nice boost for all those "on the fence" people.

what you don't wanna do is gouge (start at 4.99 or 6.99 or whatever) and then soon after drop your price. this will anger your early supporters and they will get their revenge in the reviews/rankings.

finally, bear in mind that everything dominating the top ten is almost always .99
10-20-2010, 03:46 AM
#10
I was thinking about the exact same thing for my next release and I think I'd go exactly for the way distinctivegames described.
Launch with a sale price of .99 for a few days, then up it to 1.99/2.99 so you can later go on sale if necessary.
If you create any pre-launch hype (which you should, I think) it would seem like a fair treatment to your early adopters, as opposed to starting high and shortly after settling for the bottom price.

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