Apple: We wish people would pay for mobile games

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#1 Posted by darkspineslayer (21923 posts) -

http://www.polygon.com/2014/7/24/5931351/why-banner-saga-is-avoiding-the-budget-price-pitfall-of-the-app-store

Yes, shamelessly ripped from Neogaf.

I would just like to point out, much like a gaf user later in the thread there, remember way back when, Iwata was warning people about this several years ago at GDC. Apple and mobile games have devalued games to the point where many consumers don't value them either. and why should they? This was all dismissed as "anti mobile talk because they make handhelds". Wonder how much more a decently successful 3DS title made, and how many of those are held in higher regard than some flavour of the week fee to pay game.

The chickens have come home to roost. The question is, Apple made the bed that Mobile currently has to sleep in. When and how will they get out of it?

The actual development of The Banner Saga's tablet port has been relatively smooth, Watson explained. The game was ported from its native PC platform to the iPad in just two days. The majority of the work that's now going into the tablet version boils down to painstaking optimization, as well as the other factors, including wrestling with the "black magic" required to succeed on the platform. The biggest decision is, of course, how much The Banner Saga should cost on tablets.

It's a decision that Stoic is still struggling with — and, surprisingly, it's one that Apple has been advising the studio on.

"Apple is frustrated, along with everybody else, about the mentality that's gone rampant in mobile app markets, where people don't want to pay anything," Watson said. "They want to pay as little as possible. They think that four dollars is an exorbitant amount to pay for a game, which is very illogical considering most people's lifestyles. They'll spend $600 on an iPad, and $4 on a coffee, drop $20 on lunch, but when it comes to spending four or five dollars on a game, it's this life-altering decision. I'm frustrated with that too."

"Apple clearly knows this, and I think they're hoping developers are going to be using that on iPad Air, because it can push it now," Jorgensen added. "So they're telling us to go higher-end with our game. We're still making those decisions."

Banner Saga is suited for the platform, they hope, and will justify a premium price tag. What that tag will be is still up in the air — Watson quoted XCOM's mobile port at $20, the recently launched Monster Hunter port at $15, and Broken Age at $10. There's no set norm, which makes compressing the PC version of Banner Saga's $25 launch price on PC a tricky proposition.

The Banner Saga: Factions was a free-to-play multiplayer title designed to give players (and Banner Saga's Kickstarter backers) an early look at the full, single-player game's combat mechanics. It offered only a few purchasable items, including swapped color palettes for each of the playable characters, and an option to unlock all of the game's veteran units without earning them by playing the game. Money made from those purchases went back into the development of The Banner Saga — but there simply wasn't a lot of interest from players.

"I've often said, and I really believe this, we could have made as much, if not more, if we had put a tip jar on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen," Jorgensen said.

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#2 Edited by charizard1605 (76117 posts) -

Lol. No, Apple. You guys did this. You were the once who created an ecosystem that emphasized a race to the bottom, all in the hopes of short term profits. It wasn't a sustainable strategy over the long term, and now you're going to realize that.

God, I hope developers migrate back to Sony and Nintendo en masse next gen, so we have a handheld resurgence.

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#3 Posted by inb4uall (6564 posts) -

Mobile gaming is garbage that's why people refuse to pay anything for games. The games that are "premium" are more often than not ports from superior platforms. Mobile gaming suffers hugely from the same thing the vita does. Sure it can do word processing, music, video etc. better. However when it comes to gaming, anything worth playing has already been released on a different platform.

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#4 Posted by Netret0120 (3301 posts) -

@inb4uall:

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Mobile gaming is for the short bursts on the train 5-10mins at a time. Won't ever buy a mobile game. Utter and complete waste

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#5 Edited by MuD3 (1954 posts) -


life style has nothing to do with it... put out games that are worth 4 dollars and i'll pay 4 dollars. the only game i have done this for so far is reaper... don't know if it's on apples store as well but i greatly enjoy it. and the only reason i even spent the money on that is because they let me play enough of it for free to know that it was something i was willing to spend 5 dollars on. i think that's actually the only mobile game i've ever spent money on.

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#6 Edited by SakusEnvoy (4610 posts) -

Mobile doesn't really have to get out of it. It's already been established as the de-facto platform for short, casual, on the go gaming. Mobile spending is definitely growing, and reports state it's becoming one the most lucrative sectors for entertainment and software [link]. It was never the platform for AAA software development.... I mean, it's mobile, it wasn't too long ago that the only game these things could play was "Snake".

Obviously, it's a shame that high quality software titles are hard to find and people hesitate to spend premium dollars on App Store games. But given the low barrier to entry for many of these games, and the lack of high profile advertising and reviews, customers are wise to be careful with their money. That doesn't mean it's not sustainable though, because it certainly is, it just means that mobile gaming will never aspire to become something at the level of quality of home consoles. Which is probably appropriate, given that it's just a tablet/phone and gaming was never really its main purpose to begin with.

I've played some good iOS exclusives and timed-exclusives so far this year, Wayward Souls, Republique, Hitman Go, and (of course) Threes. And sure, most of the good content is available on other platforms, but sometimes the fact that it's often cheaper on iPad actually makes the iPad version more appealing than it otherwise would be. Doesn't hurt that the 2048×1536 resolution screen is absolutely gorgeous when contrasted to the low resolution 3DS.

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#7 Edited by PapaTrop (1792 posts) -

Maybe Apple should partner with a controller maker, or create their own proprietary controller accessory they can sell for $100, and then set up a "Premium" section on the app store that sells bigger, more fully-fledged games. Games that have gone through certification with Apple which signals to gamers that they're worth their price tag.

It's really hard to pay for games on the app store now because you see a thousand other free/cheap POS games all around it that are all considered to be on the same level.

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#8 Edited by Gaming-Planet (17505 posts) -

Apple - We want our customers to use up all of their money.

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#9 Posted by foxhound_fox (95462 posts) -

Then they should have made the software seem worth paying for by giving it some depth and extended replay value. And not allowed developers to release games for "free" with paywalls, or let them rely on ad revenue for profits.

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#10 Posted by FireEmblem_Man (14555 posts) -

Mobile gaming is PC gaming, but smaller and weaker. Handheld gaming is console gaming.

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#11 Posted by freedomfreak (48925 posts) -

Haha! $4 coffee.

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#12 Posted by Shielder7 (5191 posts) -

$4 for the game and $40 in micro-transactions.

Get lost Apple we'll start paying $4 for games when you stop selling yesterdays hardware at tomorrows prices.

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#13 Posted by NoodleFighter (8508 posts) -

This is what the app store is, if it ain't free or in the top charts/front page people will completely ignore it, espescially at the prices they're asking, even a $3.00 has some people complaining. I guess people assume since mobiles are small they shouldn't have to pay as much for software as they would on a desktop.

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#15 Posted by speedfreak48t5p (11990 posts) -

LOL Mobile gaming.

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#16 Posted by deactivated-57ad0e5285d73 (21398 posts) -

I've been saying this on this forum for years now.

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#17 Posted by Blabadon (32740 posts) -

Exactly. The race to the bottom has affected a lot of potential buyers included me. Long ago I used to go out of my way to support iOS developers who tried. Then the race to the bottom really started.

The quality gradually increased, but why pay $6.99 for a Batman game when it's guaranteed to be 99c one day. How do I know it won't just be updated to be F2P?

Plus the sheer amount of apps getting made everyday hurts so many potential developers. I wanted to try things that were new but with the race to the bottom in pricing and the lack of QA I stopped caring about mobile gaming.

Plus I don't have a personal Apple device. My wife has an iPhone, but I have a Note 3 I'm constantly using. I care about battery life way too much to game on it.

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#18 Posted by NoodleFighter (8508 posts) -
@farrell2k said:

I would never charge money for a mobile game. Why the hell would I want to make a one time fee from a user when that user could be generating me a continual amount of revenue from advertising and or in-app purchases?

That's exactly why when I start my first mobile game it's going to be simple and arcadey. Not many people will appreciate the effort of games like Banner Saga and standard PC/Consoles. They want the equivalent of a game you can play at an arcade.

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#19 Posted by aroxx_ab (12753 posts) -

Ofc they do...

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#20 Posted by bbkkristian (14971 posts) -

I have no sympathy for Apple after attempting destroying the handheld gaming market. They are part of the reason Square Enix has been acting like brainless idiots these past couple years.

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#21 Posted by Wiiboxstation (1005 posts) -

Apple should make the pippin 2 so they can lose even more money

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#22 Posted by Zelda187 (1047 posts) -

Because most people don't give a **** about playing games on an iPad or a 5 inch cell phone.

From what I've seen, it's mostly chicks who play games on their phones and it's almost always quick little pick me up games like Candy Crush, Angry Birds or Words with Friends.

Apple rakes in billions every year from iPhones, iPads, iTunes, Macbooks, etc.

So sorry if I'm not crying a river for these fucking mooks if no one wants to pay for lame ass mobile games.

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#23 Posted by Meinhard1 (6790 posts) -

Apple should do something about it. They've certainly shown themselves to be good at getting people to spend relatively large amounts of money for "quality."

Have a premium apps section to the store with games above 5. Maintain strict quality control. Present the games as excellent content, rather than overpriced apps.

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#24 Posted by edwardecl (2241 posts) -

Maybe because Apple have already raped their customers for $600 is the reason why they can't afford to buy anything for the device...

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#25 Edited by helwa1988 (2154 posts) -

Apple, when will you get it. People don't want to pay for mobile games because they are horse doo doo. They have terrible controls. The games that are ports often have features and levels omitted and are watered down.

The only game that was worth price was the walking dead game. But that even had bugs where it wouldn't load certain levels.

Like I always said, handheld gaming here to stay. A 3ds or vita still beats ios and android gaming by miles.

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#26 Posted by CrownKingArthur (5262 posts) -

haha, that's a good story.

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#27 Posted by cainetao11 (28682 posts) -

I think I have played about 20 minutes of gaming time on my tablet and phone combined. I dont care for it. I use my handhelds for mobile gaming. Apple has a point in the ridiculousness of what people get uppity about, but it is their creation to begin with. So look in the mirror first at the mentality you helped foster.

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#28 Posted by Ballroompirate (25460 posts) -

Lol mobile gaming, I'll stick to hand helds when I'm not gaming on a console or pc.

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#29 Edited by Shadowchronicle (26969 posts) -

Well yeah they'd spend $600 on an iPad and $20 on a meal. What makes a shitty game worth more than things that are actually relevant?

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#30 Posted by GunSmith1_basic (10330 posts) -

It's pretty insulting when a dev makes a mobile or tablet port and charges so much less for it. I don't care about the expectations. It's just a bad faith move for the consumer. Banner Saga should be the same price on tablets.

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#32 Posted by inb4uall (6564 posts) -

Sure would love to hear what @musicalmac has to say about this.

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#33 Posted by silversix_ (24379 posts) -

@inb4uall said:

Mobile gaming is garbage that's why people refuse to pay anything for games. The games that are "premium" are more often than not ports from superior platforms. Mobile gaming suffers hugely from the same thing the vita does. Sure it can do word processing, music, video etc. better. However when it comes to gaming, anything worth playing has already been released on a different platform.

+1. This is the only answer

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#34 Posted by AdrianWerner (28437 posts) -

Unfortunatelly nothing can be changed. The sad thing is that these days the only way to create a perception of a mobile game worth a larger (10 dollars and more) price tag is to release it on PC or console first. When later ported mobile gamers treat them very differently than mobille-first games

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#35 Posted by wis3boi (32507 posts) -

@inb4uall said:

Mobile gaming is garbage that's why people refuse to pay anything for games. The games that are "premium" are more often than not ports from superior platforms. Mobile gaming suffers hugely from the same thing the vita does. Sure it can do word processing, music, video etc. better. However when it comes to gaming, anything worth playing has already been released on a different platform.

aaand thread