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  1. #1

    How much should we charge for our first smart phone game?

    I'm working on a game with an artist (as in, he's doing the sprites, UI, etc while I do the programing) and we intend to release it for iPhone and Windows Phone. I've never released a game before, but some research seems to suggest that $2.99 hits the sweet spot of high enough to not be garbage, and low enough that people won't have to think too heavily on the purchase decision. However, I'd like to see what other people think about this, possibly people who've actually released games in an app store before. Thoughts?
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  2. #2
    Member DreamerBrian's Avatar
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    I have not released apps in an app store before. That being said, if your game does not have a fan-base or a major new feature above other games then don't expect to charge more than your previously mentioned $2.99 and expect others to buy it. If your game is awesome and it gains a fan-base then I would think that you could charge significantly more (5.99-9.99) for the next release and still sell a significant amount of units.

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  3. #3
    Member JonSimonzi's Avatar
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    As DreamerBrian said, I have no experience releasing a smartphone game. But I do have experience being a smartphone user, and I'm just an average consumer. So take my feedback with a grain of salt.

    I'd suggest actually starting at $0.99.

    Looking at the app store right now (on an iPhone, at least), out of the top 25 paid apps, only 3 of them are more than $0.99. Apps from independent parties are a dime a dozen, and as an average consumer, I wouldn't pay more than just the $0.99 for a game I've never heard of, from someone I've never heard of. There are just too many free games out there to spend more than that $0.99, unless it's something that has something behind it. World of Goo, for example, I had no problem dropping the $2.99 for it. But that's already an established PC game.

    It really is hard to say without knowing anything about your game, though. It depends on the type of game. Is it a game where you can just pick up and play for a few minutes at a time, like Angry Birds or Doodle Jump? Or is it something like an RPG with some actual content?

    Again, I'm no means a market pro, or anything like that. Just input from your average consumer, I wouldn't pay $2.99 for a game that's unknown from an unknown maker, when the market is already saturated with thousands of free games, or ones for just $0.99.
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    A free version and a paid version maybe?
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    +1, if your game isnt known Id go w/ it being a free app to a certain extent with the option to buy. If you think its worthy, maybe free and $5 if thats what you want but the game better be worth it. Hell, it cost $5 for COD for my son just to put things in perspective.
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  6. #6
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    Prici.g depends on if its worth it or not. I suggest a free version and full version as well.

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  7. #7
    Thanks for the feedback! I'm seriously considering the free and paid versions now, and now that I think about it, Angry Birds did that as well.

    As for the type of game, I wouldn't really call it anything remotely like an RPG. It does have a story behind it, but it's a bullet hell game (top scrolling shooter with way too much going on).

    $0.99 is good. We'd like to make some money off of it, but that doesn't mean we think it has to cost a lot per user. I mentioned $2.99 because I thought people wouldn't take $0.99 apps seriously (as in, "Oh, yet another app for $0.99. Must be crap.").
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    People will look at cost to product before looking at $.99 games as cheap. I know I do atleast. If I can get a great game for $.99, then why not buy it? IDC if its cheaper. Some games cost more and suck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebelwarlock View Post
    $0.99 is good. We'd like to make some money off of it, but that doesn't mean we think it has to cost a lot per user. I mentioned $2.99 because I thought people wouldn't take $0.99 apps seriously (as in, "Oh, yet another app for $0.99. Must be crap.").
    Making some money off your app is never a bad thing, or too much to ask. I don't think people have that mentality (Oh, yet another app for $0.99. Must be crap."), or at least all the people I know don't. Hell, most of the top downloaded and grossing games are $0.99. At the same time, I don't think people have the mentality of "Oh man, this game is $2.99. It MUST be good because it's not $0.99!".

    Anyway, let me know when it comes out. I'll check it out
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebelwarlock View Post
    I'm working on a game with an artist (as in, he's doing the sprites, UI, etc while I do the programing) and we intend to release it for iPhone and Windows Phone. I've never released a game before, but some research seems to suggest that $2.99 hits the sweet spot of high enough to not be garbage, and low enough that people won't have to think too heavily on the purchase decision. However, I'd like to see what other people think about this, possibly people who've actually released games in an app store before. Thoughts?
    i would definitely consider releasing on android market also it will be bigger than the itunes app store in a years time. and i would go with the 99 cent price tag.you would probably make more money from having higher sales than charging more and selling less=)
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  11. #11
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    One thing...

    Be prepared to wait.... and wait..... and then wait some more for the Apple App Store to approve your entry; if they do at all. There was this documentary a couple months ago on the new smartphone app industry and how people/companies were cashing in on it and the common denominator for the people/companies interviewed was that the approval system from the Apple app store was "random" at best. They even followed this one App from conception to submission at the App store and it took Apple almost three months to accept it into the network. It doesn't happen with all new apps/games being submitted, but it happens enough times to be noticed.
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    I think I'd do a free version and a $1.99 version.
    If the 1.99 doesn't sell, drop it to .99, you can always drop a price (I think, I don't know for sure, might want to check app store policy on that one) but it causes annoyance when you raise it.

    Free version is key.
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    No Android love? Why not do a free with ads version. Seems to be the rage on android these days
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  14. #14
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    Personally when it comes to games I look at only two prices...free and .99. I play on an iphone and have never seen a game worth more than that. I did make the mistake of paying for COD Zombies and have barely used it since because of the controls. To me iphones just don't have the ability to play games enough to pay more. I can't speak for other smart phones but if they use similar control setups then they will be just as bad imo. I would say stick with free or .99 then charge for extra material. Then you can build a customer base and a reputation then start charging more down the road if you wish. It would be better to make a little off of each sale then some of a couple expensive ones to me. The word of mouth and rank would be greater with cheaper.
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    likely being part of your target market, I would not say a $2.99 game is better than a $.99 game just by looking at the price. I would assume it either has a lot more content than a normal game would, or to look/expect a free version somewhere. Word of mouth will sell a game very quickly.

    A big thing I look for when looking at iPhone games is the screenshots, and description, if I have never heard of it... Often times try to locate a free version to "try" before I buy.. Make it useful, and make the screenshots show what the game is like. Show a menu, show an early level, show a later level, or "full speed" game. Depending on the product, a free version is an excellent way to get someone hooked to buy a full version (i.e. Field runners/Angry Birds/Cut The Rope).

    Also consider iAd support. I don't know the details on the program, but it may provide income aswell.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonSimonzi View Post
    I'd suggest actually starting at $0.99.
    +1, depending on your dev costs that is.

    At that price point people are much more likely to purchase it to simply try it out, simply due to the low barrier to entry. But as mentioned it may come off as low quality.

    Another suggestion is possibly $1.99.
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