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The Answer

By , on August 25, 2013
Last modified 12 months ago

Hey there loyal Appspy readers!

The Answer is a little late this week, but you all know that I wouldn’t leave you hanging... so here we are. Once again our community gave me a lot to think about in terms of what constitutes value for an iOS game, and why. We had readers who won’t move passed the $0.99 mark because of the screen size and nature of most iOS games, and on the other end we had those willing to pay $20 if they got a deep, satisfying console-esque experience for the price. Most hovered in-between, preferring to pay as little as possible but willing to go higher if the experience was worthy of it in their eyes.

Like our readers, I prefer the $0.99 price point, but I think that it also carries a stigma with it. $0.99 will buy you a time waster of some variety; an endless runner, or a physics puzzle game. Seeing the low point of entry, a lot of people will take a chance on such a game and happily plough through its levels (and updates, as more game content patched over time has become a given in the iOS space).

When you start raising the price, even to the $1.99, $2.99, and beyond, people expect more. Your game has to offer a greater experience, either in production value, content, or novelty. Funnily enough the higher the price gets, the more niche titles seem to become, with the strategy game Xcom and most Square-Enix RPGs occupying the space between five and twenty dollars. The inclusion of iPad only games in this price window due to its increased power changes things as well, lending a game like Xcom or Deus Ex: The Fall a more premium aura to it, that might interest a potential buyer due to the experience not being available on the iPhone.

But a good point was raised in the comments about these console-like experiences on iOS. Even though the price is much cheaper, why would you choose to play an inferior version of a game if you had access to the PC or console version? The only answer I think can think is mobility or control interface. A game like Frozen Synapse offers a great strategy experience that players could engage with on public transport or at a coffee shop, and the tap and swipe controls give it more novelty than the mouse would on a PC.

To answer the question though, I will usually consider paying for a game up to about the $5.49 point. My reasoning is that this is on average what i’ll pay for a cup of coffee when I’m out and about, and if I happen to gain an enjoyable experience for a few hours, that’s equal to the pleasure i’d get from enjoying a hot caffeinated beverage for fifteen to twenty minutes.

Well that’s it for another week. I want to once again thank everyone for their involvement. I’ll be back with a new question on Monday, but if you have a question you’d like to ask the community at large, or you’d enjoy to hear me answer, leave it in the comments and we will certainly consider it for future weeks . Enjoy what’s left of the weekend, and happy gaming all!


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