iPad game pricing is gonna suck - Macenstein

iPad game pricing is gonna suck

Macrumors managed to get a peek at the iPad app store main page and was able to snag the following pic showing some of the upcoming prices on the new iPad-specific “HD” games.

Now, admittedly I have not played any of these games, but from the screen shots I’ve seen I have not seen a whole worth paying 5 times (or more) for any of the games I already play on the iPhone. I suppose developers think people are used to paying more for something with the words HD in the title, so they’re going to come out of the gate at least TRYING to charge more for the iPad versions of their games, but I must say seeing this screenshot has given me yet another reason to double think an iPad purchase.

I certainly support developers making money from their efforts, but if I am going to be re-buying a game I already own (and quite frankly in my mind, only recently bought), basically only to get a slightly higher-resolution version of the game so it looks nice on a larger screen, I’m not sure I’ll be laying down $5 for the likes of Flight Control (despite its Crack-like addictive qualities). In speaking with developers, it appears the process of porting a game from the iPhone to the iPad is FAR from a total rewrite, so this large a price increase seems a tad on the high side.

Perhaps developers are trying to make up for under-pricing their games on the iPhone originally, and odds are these games might sell well initially to those people who blindly pre-ordered iPads and will be desperate to get some sort of content on them, but I think it would be wise for these developers to remember many of the most successful games on the iTunes charts are priced UNDER $3, and have made their developers millions. Of course there’s always the chance these “enhanced” games have a ton of new bells and whistles in them, but for the most part they simply appear to be reformatted for the larger screen, and quite frankly a game like Flight Control does not need bells or whistles – it’s the simplicity of the game that helps it be so addictive.

I suppose time will tell how the iPad pricing eventually shakes out and whether there is any real added value in the iPad games to justify their cost. The initial batch of iPhone games started out priced about 50% higher than the average now as well, so there is some hope, and odds are there will be weekend sales and the like on iPad games just as there are for the iPhone versions, so reasonable prices may be had for those patient and vigilant enough to watch for them, but for the moment I’m not loving the HD prices.

8 Responses to “iPad game pricing is gonna suck”
  1. Maybe they could cover 25% of the screen with ads that slow down the load times?

  2. @Michael Quinn

    It’s been done.

    – The Doc

  3. Ted Lemon says:

    Five bucks? Give me a break, dude! I just spent $7.99 on a novel that’s going to last me maybe five hours, if I’m lucky. How much did you spend on your last movie? I’m not saying you shouldn’t hold out for a lower price, but for god’s sake at least have the decency to admit that the reason you’re doing it is to be cheap, not because five bucks is an example of ruthless corporate greed!

  4. NickMMI says:

    It is amazing how our perception of App/program/game costs have changed since the iPhone. I am not a game player (I am a developer) and I was never tempted by games on the iPhone, but I can see the iPad being a different story with its bigger screen. In terms of non-game Apps I have been surprised at how much of a change in mind-set from iPhone development is required.

  5. Gus says:

    @ Ted Lemon

    Ditto! You are absolutely right Ted. If you don’t want to pay $5 for I game, I invite you to get games for the DS or the PSP (hint, it won’t be cheaper).

    To the writer of this story, how do you know that the HD versions won’t be bundled with more maps, other game types, etc?

  6. Jonro says:

    I think the mostly low pricing on iPhone games has contributed greatly to the success of the developers. Look at it this way: If a developer sells ten times as many games at $1.99 than at $4.99, they are way ahead. There is no manufacturing cost, so the more you sell, the more you make. The music industry still struggles because they are unwilling to take a chance on lower pricing bringing greatly increased sales.

    I was hoping that most iPhone apps would become universal apps that are optimized for both platforms. I was also under the impression that all of my iPhone apps would run on an iPad at the original resolution.

  7. William says:

    What will end up happening is: the 2.99 Apps will b successful, yet nobody will buy the 9.99, thus forcing the developers lower their App price

    William, theamazingipad.com

  8. Bob says:

    I bought CroMag Rally for the iPhone when the game first came out for $9.99. My kids and I used it a few times, but it never really caught on with us. Then the price was reduced to $2.99. There’s no way I’d re-buy the game again for iPad at $9.99. I’d fell kind of ripped off re-buying it again at $2.99, unless there was some more significant change than a better image resolution.

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