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Epic : 99c apps are killing us.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by n0mad, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. n0mad

    n0mad

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    Last edited: Apr 22, 2011
  2. PrimeDerektive

    PrimeDerektive

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    Not that I disagree with him, but he doesn't cite ANY evidence that supports his claim. Their own game, Infinity Blade, is priced at $5.99, one the highest price points in the games category of the app store, and it broke a record for earning over $1,000,000 in less than 3 days.
     
  3. spinaljack

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    Actually pricing your games low lets you compete with giant publishers with millions of advertisement budget and hundreds of workers and it lets you earn a decent profit, especially with fewer wages to pay if you're indie.

    This is only for mobile gaming though, if you sold your PC game for £1 you'd make much less profit than selling at £10 because you wont see 10 fold increase in sales. You only need to look at games like Gratuitous Space Battles to see the numbers (cliffski is very open with his sales figures and marketing/pricing research)
     
  4. n0mad

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    I understand your point of view, and you are right in some way. But that's precisely what I do call the hurting method : compete with giants by tearing our price down. This is not the right way to keep a good overall quality imho. As I said, if a dev feels his game won't sell at a certain price, he should work longer and harder on his game, not play the dark ways of downpricing.
     
  5. spinaljack

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    Sadly it's not all about how good your game is or how much time you spent making it, you can never compete on an even footing with a popular franchise or heavy marketing push from a large publisher, just look at how much money EA spent to push Dead Space when it came out.

    Still, there are plenty of indie games priced over the minimum amount that do well.

    That said if you have a niche market with few potential buyers you're better off pricing higher because
    a) your target audience will be willing to pay it because of their niche interest
    b) pricing lower wont attract more impulse buys because it has narrow appeal

    You wont ever get on the top page except maybe in your own category but you'll generate a loyal fan base
     
  6. Frank Oz

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    Heh, it begins! Been saying this was coming for years, it's about damn time and will eventually "reboot" things back to normal once it all implodes in on itself and clears out the trash leaving just the talented and experienced ones to reform and build up the next generation of real developers.

    Edit: So there's no confusion, I should point out my definition of normal was how it was in the old days, before everyone and his aunt was making games, sites, blogs, and other noise that pollutes everything these days. So yeah, happy to see the end is coming, once those that provide the abilities to all these realize the mistake and stop making it so accessible, cutting off the talentless ones and leaving just the serious developers behind, both new and old. Which will be better for everyone. No more pretend company kids, no more MMO wannabe's, no more crap! Yay :p
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  7. Tudor-Nita

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    Thank god it's killing them. They should have seen this coming, given big names (mostly publishers but EPIC is also to blame) started this race to the bottom. As the market is right now, it's one of the few ways indie games can still compete.

    Lower marketing budgets | fewer salaries | less focus on bling = lower prices for the consumer and occasionally less superficial games. Unfortunately it also means lower chances for that particular dev., but at least there are some chances. Try tagging Angry Birds (before the whole craze) at 5.99$. Do you think it would still catch on and make millions ?
     
  8. n0mad

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    That's where I don't agree :)
    What makes a game successful, and it's been proven over years, is its quality, not its marketing (just take Minecraft for example, no marketing at all as it was beta).
    Marketing helps selling indeed, but if there is poor quality, all the marketing in the world won't help.
    I do agree with your view on pricing a niche game, though ^^

    This is where I put my same old argument once again : No I don't think Angry Birds in its current state would have made millions if was priced at 5.99$, therefore if Rovio wanted to put that price tag, they would have needed to put proportionally more content/features instead of lowering the price ;-)

    Ok, all in all, it appears that the synthesis of this pricing debate spins around how confident a dev is in his game quality besides giant studios. I understand it's hard to evaluate ourselves in front of 40 men studios, but there's something to be done here though. If your game rocks, it rocks. If it blows, it blows. May it be made from one man or a full studio. It is not because of the size of the team that appstore users complain about prices over 1 dollar. They don't care about that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  9. Aiursrage2k

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    Good if we can somehow price them out of competition I would say good. There budget is way beyond what most of us could do, so they are pricing us out. I dont even think that is the case with infinity blade they priced it 5.99 and it sold over a million units.
     
  10. GiusCo

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    I think Epic and many people in the AAA industry do not realize fully the business model for mobile platforms yet: tiny wings, angry birds, cut the rope (the latter is somewhat more polished) are made of simple concepts, nice graphics and catchy music... they fit perfectly the devices they're aimed to

    you do not need to be the Mighty Epic to produce 3-4 smart titles per year hoping to win a hit

    you do not need any AAA, MMPORG, RPG, YOU-KNOW-WHAT megagame to buy your place in the AppStore (and yes, $0.99 is the price many of these little gems are worthy just because they sell at that price)
     
  11. PrimeDerektive

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    Minecraft was an EXTREMELY rare case, he basically won the lottery. For every Minecraft (tbh, I can't really think of any stories similar to Minecraft's), there are a dozen Psychonauts, Beyond Good Evils, and Okamis.
     
  12. n0mad

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    I'm not sure that if we put decent prices on our apps these big studios will keep theirs the same. Inevitably they will rise their AAA games prices, by logic. Whatever small producers do, the bigger productions will always cost higher prices, whatever market you aim at.
    You could say it won't change anything except having higher average prices on the store, but it's more subtle than that imho : the higher the average price will be (staying in a reasonable range indeed), the higher quality standards will be required to be by users. And honestly, I'm not sure the average appstore game has the perfect quality standard for now.
    It's all about driving quality up.

    Yeah there is luck indeed, and I admit a minimum of marketing is vital. But it's not the biggest game changer really. Especially in video game industry where gamers don't give a shat about ads. Gamers learn about upcoming hits by lurking in forums, searching videos, reading dev blogs. We gamers have been building our tastes like that for ages, as games were considered an underground culture not so long ago. We learned to target what would make a great game just by seeing screenshots, dev blogs, videos or feature lists. Not ads :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  13. dissidently

    dissidently

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    Angry Birds sells for 99cents. I'd have thought that was the end of the discussion.

    They've openly admitted to a budget of about $140,000 to make it, and 53 or so previous games made across various platforms as their development experience.

    NOT a fluke. Not something easily replicated. Lots of experience, focused talent, enormous quality testing, perfect timing and brilliant product concept and execution. I'll say this one more time, by VERY experienced and talented people.

    Not likely to be replicated anytime soon. By anything less worthy. Look, it's STILL selling strong. And they're continuing to develop it.

    And they've made an ENORMOUS amount of money with the 99cent model. Almost single handedly justified the existence of the 99cent model. And perfectly demonstrated what needs to be done in that environment.

    99cents is here to stay. FOREVER. Accept it. Work to it, or around it. Your choice. Both valid choices. However trying to change the existence of the 99cent model is NOT going to work, not a smart choice, not something to bother with... it's a lot bigger market than any of us can control or conceive control of.

    We're simply in it. Not of it.

    And somebody from Epic quoted as "whinging" ... it's a story... for some "journalist". Not a reality. They know what's going on. And they've single handedly set the bench mark for premium mobile games. Don't believe the hype.
     
  14. simone007

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    And that's where I don't agree... this is the greatest argument against your opinion. There's no way Angry Birds could have been so successful priced at 5.99$
    But, most importantly, gamers could not care less about more content and more features Rovio could fit in their game. Angry Birds is good as it is (with its low price and features)

    Big publishers want to raise prices without giving gamers what they really want. Gamers want cheap and fast games. They want cheap games because they like to buy many apps at very low prices.

    Why dont you consider that gamers have always the same spending budget, indipendently by the price of games?
    If prices of games for mobile devices will ever raise, people will be able to buy less games, thus killing indie developers instantly
     
  15. PrimeDerektive

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    True,we gamers know our tastes and ignore ads, but unfortunately we are not the target market for those ads. The casual market is.
     
  16. n0mad

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    Ok, but I'm not sure putting a 1$ game to 5$ will really kill the ability for people to buy 3 games a month. Even 3 games a month is a lot, considering it's casual gaming. You can't beat 15 games per month, even if you play continuously, even if they have a 5 hours lifespan.
    When you look at hardcore iOS gamers forums like Toucharcade, you even see threads titled "I want to stop buying 1$ games because I don't have the time to play them all" ;-)
    Although you are right about some casual games not needing to be more complex.

    You got a point.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  17. n0mad

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    So overall ok, there are pure casual games like Angry Birds that couldn't be priced over 1$. But does this mean we'll have to deal with casual games on our devices all our life ? What about big RPGs ? Complex action games ? MMORPGs ? What if we want to experience a deep advanced mobile game over a long period ? Are we stuck with having to buy a dedicated handheld console ?
    Smartphones are gaining more and more horsepower over time, wouldn't it be a bit stupid to let this great power being unused by big AAA, original, long lasting games ?
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  18. dissidently

    dissidently

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    No. not at all unreasonable. But you're going to need a sponsor or investor with faith and understanding to invest in that sort of development... cause there's very little proof it's going to work. It's a LONG shot investment. Extremely long shot. Where's the equivalent of a star director, major acting talent and director of photography that go someways to ensuring success in the movie industry?

    Games on mobile devices don't have that level of sureness for an investor yet. Not in the realm you're talking about. So why should someone take that kind of risk with their money? If you can answer that...
     
  19. n0mad

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    Thank you, that's precisely, I mean ... precisely why I really think the average price should ramp up a bit.
    As you said, investors don't have trust by definition in unproven products -> So they will never invest in something that costs a lot but is priced 1 dollar -> And that's why we won't see any original, long lasting AAA games on the appstore as long as games will follow that price model -> The less we'll have AAA titles on the store, the less it will attract and inspire other AAA studios to try their chance on big titles.
    :)

    This situation is a snake biting its tail ...
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  20. dissidently

    dissidently

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    Not really. It's about sureness of product, distribution, marketing and consumer more than it's about pricing returning the investment.

    There are plenty of products that cost only a dollar to buy but there's MASSIVE investment involved in getting into or at that market.

    Consider Coca-Cola releasing new soft drinks. It's their sureness of distribution, marketing, consumer research and ultimately product that allows them to spend 10's of millions on creating, launching and supporting new brands and product lines. All at around the dollar or 2 mark.

    The same goes for chocolate bars. Or candy. Or gum. Or 2 minute noodles.

    In the entertainment realm, the distribution model is changing rapidly, the platform is changing almost as rapidly, marketing is unsure and the consumer base growing so fast it's hard to pin down what they're thinking... especially when production of product takes MONTHS not weeks. Sometimes a year or two.

    So there's this issue of sureness that's the concern, not the price.

    What should excite everyone here, and using Unity is this... for the first time in a long time, it's possible for small teams, individuals and talented groups to beat big companies to the market. Because big companies don't know exactly how to approach this market and can't take agile risks like small Indy's can.

    So I'd say GET CRACKING. Make as many good games as you can, as quickly as you can. Study as much as you can about the market and let your knowledge and intuition guide you as to what constitutes good in the time it's going to take you to produce. And get it done.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  21. n0mad

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    Where you got a point is that we can't really know concretely if higher prices would attract more AAA game prods, as they are not yet higher.
    That is where I speculate I admit.

    This is also why that Epic quote pushed me to believe a bit more in that speculation ^^

    You're also right in saying that in some way, indies are the testing ground of big AAA investments. That's comforting for us. But if indies keep producing short casual games only, never will they become AAA derivated ideas elsewhere (you can't revolve a whole AAA adventure around a simplistic casual concept). It's that huge gap between those 2 gamedesign worlds that kind of boggles me down. Feels like nothing will evolve.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  22. Tudor-Nita

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    They've actually already started doing this. The trick is pretty darn simple. They play by our rules [indie]. NAMCO Romania is actually what was left of Vivendi Mobile. Mostly everything they do is now aimed at the sub 4$ iOS - Android market. This is easily achieved in developing countries, because wages are 7 times less than in developed ones.

    7 times less budget for 1.5 times less talent (which in itself is a massive under-appreciation, as most of the time the ratio is exactly 1:1). So, they use this opportunity to penetrate the hand-held market. Less risky but with some really interesting financial possibilities if/ when they score a hit.

    This also allows them to invest in somewhat more complex hand-held games (RTS', RPG's, etc) while keeping the bean counters happy.

    If you add the fact that hand-helds are getting way more powerful with every revision, one can extrapolate that the indie boom that happened with the release of the iPhone is in it's final year/ years.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  23. n0mad

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    This is also one downside of underpricing that I never liked on appstore. It was Gameloft's policy too. Being forced to exploit a lower wage country to make a high quality game. Decentralization is not the right way to let AAA games enter the market. Even if it's good for this country's industry, I feel it's like exploiting a weakness. I know it's common, but it doesn't feel right. Plus it's moving out working opportunities in the initial country. If you want to work for big videogames in France for example, you just can't. Every active studio has left to other countries.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  24. spinaljack

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    Except Blizzard who make all the money in the world each time they release an expansion or DLC horse (my friend moved to France to work there)
     
  25. dissidently

    dissidently

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    I would hold up "CollisionEffect" to defeat your answer. I think the kind of creativity and nuance in this game is only possible from truly small, truly independent thinking developers. More thinking along it's lines of "out of the box" creativity of gameplay and there'll be a long pathway for Indy development.
     
  26. n0mad

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    Blizzard France is only for administration and server stuff, nothing related to game production :)
    (I guess production is in their HQ, is it ?)
     
  27. PrimeDerektive

    PrimeDerektive

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    There are plenty of deep, high-quality games on the app store that are not $1 (usually $5-7) that have been commercial successes.
     
  28. RElam

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    This is silly, Epic is quite transparently arguing that everyone should use their business model, so that people like them flourish. Yea, big game makers want prices as high as possible, that raises the barrier for entry and reduces competition for them. I will accept no argument that it's somehow righteous, or good, without some kind of evidence, it's just based purely on self interest, not 'what's good for the industry'.
    Well, at the risk of inspiring nerd rage, I say 'So What!'. We're talking about mobile platforms, gaming is not their primary role, and there are plenty of avenues for AAA games. These markets were not cultivated by AAA developers, and they didn't care about them at all till they started making big bucks, now they want to change what clearly worked for the customers so they can make a profit in an untapped market. When they say 'it's killing us', just make sure you know which 'us' they're talking about, cause it ain't us.
    Again, describe to me the problem with this. Is there some reason why this experience can't be had on the devices that were built and designed to deliver that experience? If the argument is that you are targeting mobile markets so you can make AAA games with a much smaller budget, then you are missing a point that has nothing to do with the platform, and that's that AAA games are made primarily by money, not creativity and risk.
     
  29. n0mad

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    True. I was more talking about full sized 3d games, though. Actually, smartphones have the horsepower of a PS2, soon of a PS3. So why can't we see as many original AAA titles on iOS/Android than on PS2 ? Or even than on DS/PSP ?
    Or even simple ports of those platforms hits ?

    As soon as there is a new DS or PSP, studios jump over it and deliver tons of huge production games. Why aren't they targetting iPhones too if it's equal hardware ?

    @RElam : answer to "So what ?" is pure nerdy one I admit : we have devices that are capable of communicating, web browsing, music listening and video recording. They also have the hardware to play console games. So why should we be forbidden to have this dreamy all-in-one wonder ?
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  30. Tudor-Nita

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    I really wasn't implying that they are already there. They've still got quite a bit of work. And of course, true run-away, never-seen-before, wow who-would-of-thought-this-would-make-money hits will never come from the big boys. That's what happens when the bean counters actually run the game companies.
     
  31. PrimeDerektive

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    I was too (talking about full sized 3d games). Games like Rage, Infinity Blade, Aralon, Dungeon Defenders, CoD Zombies, most any Gameloft title.

    I think you're seeing more and more of that. They have no reason not to, if the game is already developed and porting it to the platform would not be too difficult. You see Square Enix doing that already with Final Fantasy III.
     
  32. n0mad

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    As good as those titles are, Rage and Infinity Blade were demos for their engines (they're onrails shooter/tapper, not quite a full sized 3d prod), CoD Zombies is a campaign, not a full CoD game, and Gameloft games are not original productions. I didn't play the other games (I wish I could), so I can't judge. This is it, those big titles look grand, but they're not full sized as much as we expect from a console game to my eyes.


    Square Enix is starting something yep. They're a good example for this thread :
    They had the balls to put a higher price (13$), but look at how the community reacted... So many people complaining it was way too much expensive, some even called it a scam :/
    Talk about convincing investors to put beans on the next title :s
     
  33. PrimeDerektive

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    I wouldn't say Gameloft games are not original productions. It's not like they're stealing codebase and artwork, they're still building the games from the ground up. You can't say in one breath that you want console experiences on a handheld and condemn someone for doing just that with the next.

    As for games being simple or shallow short-session time killers, I think that's a conscious choice that these developers are making because that's what the market trends show them people want to play on their smartphone. Maybe not us hardcore gamers, but the vast majority of the population of owners of smartphones. I caught the disgruntled 40-something accountant in the cubicle next to me playing Angry Birds just a few days ago.

    side note: I strongly suggest you check out Aralon. Its a Unity game, too; probably the best AAA open world RPG on iOS. Oh, and I forgot to mention Dead Space as an example :)
     
  34. Dreamora

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    I partially agree with him but also disagree.
    Cause the day $60 are the norm for pure digital distribution where the whole costs of middlemen from physical are gone will be the day I finally stop playing games. I've beared with it for years that digital prices were approaching physical, I've stopped using Steam when their european offering forced the 20% VAT even on countries not applicable and I swear at EA and Ubisoft everytime that I see a great Impulse offer that those greedy bastards only ofer to US citizens cause it would be 50% cheaper than their steam pricing.

    if it weren't for amazon.co.uk I would basically even have stopped buying new physical games too cause at $110 for console games and $90-$100 on pc games and that for barely 10h of gameplay if at all on many games its exceeding what I'm willing to pay as it costs more than our overpriced cinemas in its $ / hour of entertainment ratio.
    Even skipped Portal 2 on Steam to get it from amazon.co.uk cause its 50% cheaper

    If we talk about higher prices in the $20 to at max $30 range for really large and content right games, then I'm fine with it cause thats what they are worth and what they deserve.
    But beyond it gets unreasonable cause you can't daydream / weed dream about console prices if you don't have to offer the fidelity, optimization and resolutions you have to do there and we are still 11GB / 93% away from HD game sizes so anything that exceeds $20 is just not worth it unless it offers 40h+ gameplay at least.
    They might naturally disagree but they also forget (or intentionally ignore) about one fact: these new "dollar platforms" but especially AppStore made their targeting simpler than ever before. no negotiation with 50 distributors, caring for transportation, negotiation with 10 digital platforms etc, its 1 place, 1 world, the only platform available today that gives you a guarantee that all users will end there which for iOS at the time means up to 200M users which makes it the second largest real targetable platform on the world after facebook (thats also a guarantee consoles can't give due to the physical games) so they should finally adopt to it and learn how to handle it instead of trying to enforce their "well established monopol control" patterns on a field they have no control and never will get it (cause apple, if required, will care more about the top sellers than the top brands with crap sellers and a apple growth unfriendly attitude as apple cares first for themself, then their users and at very last for their supporters).
    If they create games that are worth $20+ then people will pay $20+ as Square Enyx top games show, if they create tech demos like infinity blade, then a major flop would be what I would like and prefer to see to send out the clear signal "stop your F***ing eye candy nil content game kiddos, this platform is about content, not 3h of look with $1 game mechanics like your past 3 years of XBox - PS3 - PC Offerings"
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  35. PrimeDerektive

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    I would say I agree, but I'd be a hypocrite. Why did I dump so many hours into it?
     
  36. Dreamora

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    Cause simplicity is attractive and can be addictive.
    None the less the game doesn't offer more than tiny wings or angry birds out of my view, but its production cost 10+ times more.

    One could say that they did it cause they assumed it was required, but to me it seems more like they hope that their lame advertisement patterns from consoles will apply to iOS thus wasting hundreds of thousands on graphics if you could have gotten the same experience, potentially even at a better mass attractivity with some style not realism, at far less money. (take Infinity blade, give it a slight toonish style, theme it in something it in something suitable - potentially ninja though they are a bit worn out - and it will sell at least as good as IB without its marketing and hypi hypi push and I'm pretty sure you get it through at $50k to $100k)

    So what? I think its extremely lame that they try to blame it on devs operating at appropriate budgets for the gameplay mechanics etc they offer instead of trying to "win by force" and throwing around half a million where obviously 70%++ went into overdriven realism focused eye candy. If you look at the history on iOS, you will see that only a handfull eye candy were successful, its normally the stylized, mass attractive titles that are successful in the end, those that leave room for imagination, enjoyment and distraction from the reality from which we want to flee when we play games (if we wanted reality, we wouldn't need to play games would we?)
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  37. n0mad

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    Yeah sorry, I didn't mean to look like a jerk. English not being my native language makes it hard to find the right words in touchy subjects like that :p
    Anyway, these games look like console games, but I find originality is very important in chosing a game to play. I don't call an XXX-like (some say a clone) game a full production, because novelty is a huge part of investment. It drives graphics, gamedesign, audio. In fact a game production cost can just double if the producer want it to be original, as there will be many more art iterations than with a sequel or a clone. So I can't think that Gameloft is going full sized production yet.

    Yeah, I still have difficulties accepting that reality :)
    (voice in my head : "Come on ! Video games can be deeper than that !")

    Yeah absolutely, that's the work of AmazingRuss and Crescent Moon Games ! That's why I wish, but I only have Android OS as decent hardware :/


    @Dreamora : you couldn't express better my opinion.

    Well I should stop spitting posts now, or you'll all think I just want an argument fight :p
    But this has been a very interesting debate.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  38. RElam

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    First off, regardless of processing power, iPhone is not 'equal' to DS or PSP, input systems are quite important to games. Secondly, and this is my point, they put big games on DS and PSP cause that's what they were designed for, and that's where the market is.
    Are you suggesting the existence of $1 apps forbids companies from selling their software on the same platform? So, a 5-star restaurant can't exist because McDonalds exists? The guy in the article argued that he should be able to sell a $60 game, the highest prices in history, to a market that has play sessions likely averaging 10X less, and with a fraction of the paying market already paying a fraction of the price. It's just as logical as trying to charge 5-star restaurant prices in a drive-thru.

    Again, nobody's forbidding anything, but just because the customer isn't as willing to pay super premium prices for games doesn't mean there's a problem. The demand for AAA experiences is just WAY, WAY less than it is on dedicated game systems, and that's not a problem, and most certainly will not be fixed by everyone raising prices (assuming a fix was even a good idea).

    You should keep in mind, you are getting this 'rally cry' from a company who's business model is the absolute polar opposite of mobile/casual gaming, so let me rephrase his statement so it's more accurate... 'What we don't do is not helping us'. Boo friggin' hoo.
     
  39. d36williams

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    I don't believe that CEO and he's not very good at it. He may be missing out on mobile platform sales but the game industry will not be taken over by casual games. Just a new layer added.
     
  40. Dreamora

    Dreamora

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    d36williams: The last one who said that some years back was Sonys CEO some years ago, before the PS3 got crushed left and right by the Wii and the PSP by the NDS.
     
  41. dogzerx2

    dogzerx2

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    1) if games keep getting cheaper, quality will decrease!

    2) if quality decreases, better games will stand out and get more sales

    3) GOTO 1

    X)

    Anyway, I think the market will settle itself with the laws of offer and demand :p
     
  42. Redbeer

    Redbeer

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    This is absolutely nothing new. It's just a reflection of the PC market. Everyone in the gaming "loop" talks about big titles like COD and GTA being such a big deal when they sell 5 to 10 million copies at $59 a pop, and it is, but the reality has always been that for every 1 COD purchaser there are 10 to 100 people playing free flash games, games built into windows (solitaire anyone?) for free or buying the cheap discount stuff online or at Walmart, and it has been this way since computers became consumer devices. It's not the 99 cent pricing, it's their lack of understanding of the MARKET. 99 cent apps dominate phones and mobile equipment because they aren't as used by "enthusiast" players. This is no surprise, given that most people who play on a phone/mobile device don't have time for some massive RPG, let alone a limited controls FPS. They either need to address their game development to the market (make smaller games more quickly with more agile development strategies), or raise their prices, market heavily, and try to make a buck selling to the "niche" of enthusiasts that actually want an expansive and expensive game, on a mobile device.

    Pay attention also to the top "selling" games, and the top "grossing" games lists. There are titles that hit both lists, but very often there are 2.99 to 5.99 apps that top the grossing list over 99 cent apps that have sold many hundreds of thousands of copies that month. There are also games that make it to the top of the sellers list that don't hit the top 20 in the grossing list. Sell something to 1 million people for 1 dollar each, or sell something to 200K people for 5 dollars each, either one is a million bucks. There's a place for both, but in the end you need to make games that people want to buy, that make sense in the market your selling to.
     
  43. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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    Really?

    So you'll target the '99c' games - what about the tens of thousands of free games out there? Why haven't you mentioned them?

    The 99c games will only destroy a market that can't get customers - capitalism.

    ----

    For perspective:

    Avatar - $237Mn to make - $30 to buy.

    AAA Game - $28Mn - ~$90 ('pends on how long from release :p)

    Angry Birds - ~$150,000 - $1.19

    That's $7.9Mn, $0.3Mn, $0.13Mn invested per $ retail.

    These Dev's aren't pricing bottom of the battle, they are pricing significantly higher than their peers.

    http://www.develop-online.net/news/33625/Study-Average-dev-cost-as-high-as-28m

    (Prices are all rough, based on AUD).
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2011
  44. n0mad

    n0mad

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    [ I didn't mention free games because it's not the same quality at all (except freemiums, but these aren't in the same business model as full paid games either, so are not comparable imo) ]

    Also, I see what you wanna mean with prices being above the real cost ratio, but I don't feel it's a good way to calculate a price.
    But if you want another kind of perspective :

    Ubisoft Game Developer Salary in India : 270k - 290k Rs (6110 - 6562 $)
    Ubisoft Game Developer Salary in Montréal : 49000 - 70000 $

    Instant reaction of a new fund studio seeing those numbers :
    "Hey, why should I bother searching for a senior talent in Montréal ? Let's take 2 juniors from India."

    This is the same kind of price anomaly consequences this debate is talking about.
    (I know wages differences between countries are a total different subject, but I found the analogy to explain it quite well)
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2011
  45. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

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    They're only whining about the price because they don't have an exclusive market to work in. Oh my god, you mean you have to compete with normal people like us unity developers? oh my..... poor poor epic. GTFO. Online price wars have been going since time began, on portals.

    The day apple prioritises big people and not apps on their own merits is the day I lose total respect.

    Check out this quote:

    Thats the problem right there. Can you tell me an AAA game on a handheld retailing for $60 on a downloadable store?
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2011
  46. n0mad

    n0mad

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    (p.s : Capps wasn't talking about pricing appstore games 60$, these 60$ games he was talking about are the console retail games)

    (p.p.s : this is not Epic versus the indies here, he's not complaining about how hard it will be for Epic to survive. He's talking about the global AAA retail market.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2011
  47. RElam

    RElam

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    'How do you sell someone a $60 game that's really worth it ... They're used to 99 cents. '
    Unless the article is cutting a significant portion of what he said out, it's clear that he is comparing 99c apps to $60 apps, which is still pretty silly. Cheap and free games have been around forever, nothing has changed. A more reasonable argument is 'How do you sell someone a game when you give them 1/3rd of it for free?' (referring here to the shareware model, without which Epic might not exist). When people STOP buying games at all kinds of pricepoints, then I'll start to worry, but until then I'm not gonna imagine the sky is falling.
    So, he's not talking about self preservation? Do you not get what kinds of games Epic makes, and who they market their engine to? They're arguing entirely for their business model, I'd love to know how they convinced you that their argument is borne of benevolence.
     
  48. n0mad

    n0mad

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    RElam, Capps talks about retail games, not apps.
    And where on earth did I mention "benevolence" ? Please stop poking, this is a touchy subject that can go flamewars pretty easily.
    The concern of 1$ games is not about Epic, Epic is only a big voice to undig the subject, it is about the price/quality expectations overall (it was mentionned in here before).
     
  49. RElam

    RElam

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    Cause if he's worried about others, and not self interest, then that's the very definition of benevolence. There is no real price/quality problem, clearly. If you had a precedent where this was a problem, then perhaps there would be reason for concern. The PC currently is home to every price model, tons of free games, and also home to the larget, most profitable, highest cost mass market game in history, and these seem to coexist on the platform just fine. There is no precedent for concern here, certainly not for a market on a whole, but if your business model flourishes with the protection of price setting that exists on consoles, then sure, makes sense to want others to play your way. But there is no 'market' that is in danger here, and I certainly see nothing that's good for gamers, or game developers as a group, that's in danger because prices are low in a specific market.
     
  50. CharlieSamways

    CharlieSamways

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    Prices are fine here at molecube, Its bringing in mega sales :) Its the way forward, You get much more buyers