iPhone’s App Store is great for indie developers because it makes it so much easier for them to get their games in the hands of consumers, but it’s also causing a problem. Many iPhone developers are cutting the prices on their games lower and lower. Sure, cheap games are great for us, but it’s making it difficult for other studios to turn a profit. Capybara co-founder Nathan Vella spoke about this problem in a recent Gamasutra interview.
“The push to 99 cents is the single most frustrating and terrible thing about App Store pricing,” said Vella. “Since it became ‘expected’ by consumers, it forces a lot of developers, specifically indies, to devalue their game and significantly increase the number of sales needed for developers to get back their investment.
“I always use Canabalt [an indie game developed by Adam Saltsman] as my example — that game is 100 percent worth $2.99,” he continued. “Adam Saltsman bucked the trend and priced his game at a level he thought was fair. We’re on board with what Adam is doing — not letting the 99 cent pressure define how you price your game. Rather, just price it fairly. Having control of your pricing is great — being able to define, at a fine level, what your game is worth is something you often don’t get control over.”