Important information

This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. By continuing to use our site, you consent to Steel Media's privacy policy.

Steel Media websites use two types of cookie: (1) those that enable the site to function and perform as required; and (2) analytical cookies which anonymously track visitors only while using the site. If you are not happy with this use of these cookies please review our Privacy Policy to learn how they can be disabled. By disabling cookies some features of the site will not work.

The Question

By , on August 19, 2013
Last modified 4 years, 9 months ago

Hello there loyal Appspy readers! It’s another Monday and it’s time for another question. This one has been brewing in my head for a while...

When it comes to pricing, the App Store is certainly its own beast. Pricing and value are completely independent of any other gaming platform, with the normal price point of a game to be expected to be only a couple of dollars. With the glut of free to play and $0.99 games, there are those who won’t even pay that, and while it sounds ridiculous, you can somewhat see their justification for such a stance.

Then you have companies like Square Enix, and Gameloft (before it moved into the free to play sphere). They have constantly been pushing the premium price point higher and higher, and have shown that with the right game, iOS users will pay up to $20 (for the sake of this argument, i’m not including the large amounts some people spend on in-app purchases. That’ll be another question at another time).

What I’d like to ask our community is what is the most you’re comfortable paying for an iPhone or iPad game, and why?

We often set these payment barriers for ourselves, but actually working through the reasoning behind them can be an interesting exercise.

I look forward to your answers, and on Friday I’ll let you know what I think! Enjoy your week in the meantime.


Jastootie 4 years, 9 months ago

I would pay up to about $20 for a game, if and only if the quality of the game was as good as a console game. Most mobile games have one type of gameplay and just give you the same thing over and over...much like a mini-game in full fledged console games. That's why I understand that console ports would have a high price point. Sure, I wait for the the price to drop (thank you Appspy), but I'm only human. Also, I would be much more willing to pay more if the darn touch controls didn't take away from the experience. Had the use of controller peripherals been available for many more games, especially the good ones, I'd be much more willing to pay more (and that's assuming the controller worked very well). I guess in my head, paying more is more understandable the closer the games moves to the console experience, because let's face it, for the most part, console games usually have not higher quality gaming experiences than mobile games (not saying all console games are better, and vice versa).

zol 4 years, 9 months ago

It depends what I'm paying for. I happily paid $10 for kotor, because it is a magnificent game. But I have felt guilty about paying even a dollar for an app because it looks okaaaay...

iJaKe246 4 years, 9 months ago

Though I have been guilty of shelling out 4.99 USD for more than a couple games... I had beforehand researched them through multiple reviews and YouTube game plays. I find myself being ok with 1.99 if it looks fun and more if I have in store credit. I feel that most people will admit to paying 4.99 or more for at least one game.

I have a belief that when a game that is liked by many and costs more will have a better game experience and more stuff to do than one that is .99. Not to say there aren't any that are .99 and still fun, much as where's my water? And (when I bought it) jet pack joyride.

Chesco 4 years, 9 months ago

for a small screen - I will ONLY and HAVE paid $.99 MAX!

I'll wait all year for a sale if I have to. Any company does more than that or has a inapp purchases to win, equals a boycott from me.

To date I own 250 of the greatest iOS games - ALL purchased for $.99.

Deebs 4 years, 9 months ago

$1.99 I think. I end up feeling ripped off if it's higher. Although if it was an indie developer worth supporting I would be willing to pay a little more.

WavingPeople 4 years, 9 months ago

The upper barrier for me is Bastion's price: $5.49 AUD or $4.99 USD (I think). Although I do shy away from games that are $2.99 and up.

I have this feeling that, when it comes to iPhones and iPad games, they're mostly time-wasters. I personally find it a much more immersive playing games on the computer screen, compared to ports for iOS devices. Plus, on other consoles, I feel like the really big games are more likely to receive massive updates and additional content - I haven't done my research on that aspect, though, so don't take my word for it.

Certainly, that doesn't mean I don't enjoy those narrative-driven products with amazing gameplay and rich environments (Bastion 4 lyfe). But for the majority of the games, they don't have as much content or hours of gameplay as other consoles, plus the many limitations in terms of controls, screen size and such means that, even a port, the price shouldn't go past $10. There are always exceptions, obviously, but the ones I came across with that high a price just wasn't justifiable for me.

DarkScience 4 years, 9 months ago

I have said before that I see IOS gaming in 2 halves really, quick time killer games that generally go on my iPhone, then longer more in-depth / high quality games that I play on the ipad mini.

The quick games for the phone generally its 69p games for me. I really don't like the free to play games because you never know how much money you are expected to pay to get the feeling that you have access to the whole game. I have paid £1.50 £1.99 for phone games before (Pumped BMX was one - great game) But thats my limit for games on the phone.

If they have iCloud support - they cross over into the iPad realm then thats different.

My ipad mini is now my gaming platform of choice (simply because I get more opportunity to play this than I do the console), before that iPad 2 and before that PSP-Go. So I used to fork out for the PSP games which were much more aligned with console prices. There are more and more games coming out on IOS now that rival the PSP's quality and depth (surpassing it in some cases) , so for me spending £5, £10, £15 on a game that I know I will like from watching review videos, or reading about, and that will provide hours of good gaming, I think its a bargain!

Baldurs Gate was the first 'expensive' game I bought, it was about £7.00 and I did not regret the choice - I do think that with the premium games you get a lot more for your money.

I guess it boils down to where do you spend most gaming hours - if its console then your money will go there, for me its IOS so thats where mine goes!

Shinypoint 4 years, 9 months ago

Honestly $0.99 is my maximum price for a app that I have little idea of what it is other than reviews.
However if I knew what the app is by playing free version of the game or watch a gameplay video and I am convinced that app is worth it's price I am willing to pay more.