Game Price Rises: How High Will You Go? Premium Apps
The App store is a wild success. No one can deny that. With over 15 000 apps, it is proving every major naysayer wrong. However, there are many trends in the store. Everyone is out for a quick buck and with some apps certainly requiring no more than a few hours programming, it is like a crowded lazy person’s lottery. In fact I can story this with my own creation, iNails®. It is super top secret — basically you just shake the iPhone near any wall and it will make fingernail-on-chalkboard sounds. Naysayers beware, it will make me a rich man because the market is huge. Idea thieves, beware, this is in before you thought of it!
Possibly to rid the tidily cheap image emerging in the App Store, Apple are looking to broaden their selection of high-profile games: games that may carry prices that hover between 10 and 20 dollars. According to pocketgamer.biz, the selection of games in that price range may harbour their own exclusive niche within the App Store. This in turn, would make them easier to spot and thus easier for potential buyers to find. One more thing… this exclusive section may be limited to dominant developers.
However, the initiative will only be open to a restricted number of large publishers, rather than the thousands of smaller developers currently selling their titles on the main App Store.
Firstly, in support of this move. If the iDevice (thanks Young) is to compete properly with the likes of the PSP and the DS juggernaut, Apple need to keep console-defining games — and hopefully apps — visible where buyers can see and purchase. What Apple have strongly in their favour is immediate availability of any app with only one stipulation: possession of a credit card and typing ability. DS and PSP have simply come too late to the pay-and-download game though Nintendo are not resting on their laurels while a gaming upstart like Apple takes the ‘i’ out of Wii!
On a personal note, I am anxious about this possibility. If games receive a rise in price once, similar price rises can and will likely occur again. No matter how good an iteration of a game is on the iPhone, the same game will be better on a DS or PSP because of dedicated tactile inputs. However, games that are programmed from the ground up for the iPhone and released only on that platform have promise at any price, saving only that they remain cheaper than the bleedingly expensive Nintendo and Sony games. I think that few people would pay 30-60 dollars for a game with no box, no manual and 1,5 hours of battery life, but then again – I have been known to be wrong.
Finally, small or independent makers of top-notch titles such as TouchGrind, 7Cities, Blue Defense! etc., may find themselves with harder sells when a dedicated section that exposes legendary developers’ opuses debuts. What has made the iPhone App Store launch so special has been the games that are not fit for other systems. The iPhone is a unique portable in the gaming market but with the coming entry of large app developers, will that uniqueness be thinly spread in order to support the combined research of iPhone as well as other platforms?