Take-Two CEO Says XCOM's iOS Success Shows Consumers Willing to Pay Premium Prices on Mobile

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Last month, Firaxis and 2K Games released XCOM: Enemy Unknown for iPhone and iPad, an extremely popular and well-regarded title on both consoles and the PC.

    XCOM is known as an 'AAA title' in the industry; a major game with significant investments in both marketing and development. The company set the price of XCOM's iOS version at $20, well above the price for most games on the platform -- but the gamble worked out.

    Strauss Zelnick, the CEO of Take-Two Interactive -- the corporation ultimately behind the game -- gave an interview with GamesIndustry.biz (via TUAW) where he explained that XCOM proved that customers are willing to pay a premium price for a premium experience, even on mobile devices.

    XCOM: Enemy Unknown can be downloaded from the App Store for $19.99. [Direct Link]

    Article Link: Take-Two CEO Says XCOM's iOS Success Shows Consumers Willing to Pay Premium Prices on Mobile
  2. macrumors regular

    Jul 15, 2008
    NYC, New York
    I hope more big devs see this and start producing more console type games. I would pay 20 to 30 dollars for big titles. Hats off to take two for taking a chance with their pricing model.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 20, 2012
    Yes! Mobile game developers, please keep making more premium titles and less freemium games.
  4. macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2012
    Especially important now that iOS 7 is bringing gamepad support.
  5. macrumors 65816


    Dec 30, 2006
    I feel like this'll be happening more and more when iOS 7 comes out and there are MFi gamepads. Next gen iOS devices should be able to play games close to PS3/360-quality games, which will be awesome.
  6. macrumors 68040


    Dec 19, 2004
    The question is how many more copies would they have sold at $10 or $5. As the cost of distribution is the same either way being a straight percentage. Would they have sold more than twice as many or more than four times as many respectively? It may be that they would have made more money in volume sales.
  7. macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    I've done this experiment, lowering the price of an app to see if more copies would sell. What happens is there is an initial burst of downloads for about two days. Then the number of sales drops to where I am averaging less revenue per day than at the higher price, resulting in me making almost 2X lower daily income for a price drop of 2X or more (but increasing my potential support costs because of all those additional customers). The additional number of copies sold don't make up for the lower price.

    This seems to prove to me that most real buyers for my apps are willing to pay significantly more than 99 cents. So, IMHO, many iOS developers should raise their prices if they are using their app business to help feed their families and pay the rent. $19.99 seems like a perfectly good price point for a well polished and reasonably unique iOS app.
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2013
    I hope companies like Nintendo are seeing this and realizing the huge market they're missing out. Some of those DS games would translate pretty well on an iPhone.
  9. macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2011
    It's Never A Good Night To Have A Curse
    That'd be nice, but the chances of Nintendo releasing any of their games on a platform besides one of their own are about slim to none. They'd probably make their own smartphone before doing that.
  10. macrumors regular

    Oct 1, 2012
    I hope this leads to an era of very powerful games on mobile devices.

    I can't wait to see what devs end up doing with the game pad interfaces that are planned :D
  11. macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2013
    I concur with this. Infact I found increasing my price has INCREASED sales as if people see a quality product with a proper price tag and good reviews it makes more sense to them than something offering the earth for 99c (to good to be true).

    The age of the 99c app/game has to end as unless you have a massive (and I mean MASSIVE) hit you don't make enough to survive.
  12. macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    Nintendo probably don't care because... well... they're Nintendo. They never have.
  13. macrumors 65816


    May 25, 2012
    Very excited to see some grade a titles to follow. Honestly I think some of gamelofts games are already pretty good but hopefully this pushes even them.
  14. macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2011
    I've already got it for Shooterbox 360, but the game would be fantastic for iPad. I wish I didn't already have it so I could play it for the first time again on tablet.

    I hope games can soon use Airplay as a second screen. Playing Civilization on iPad, using my 1080p screen as a larger tactical display, would be brilliant.
  15. macrumors 68040


    Feb 10, 2008
    United States
    They've just dropped the price to $14.99. And that's my cue to buy it.

    It's still a lot but I've no problems paying around 15 for an excellent game. Now if only RR3 would have ditched the iAP model and gone this way instead...
  16. macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2002
    This is a great game, which I already own on PC/Mac.

    I'm waiting to get the iOS version until they are clearer about the future of DLC for iOS. There's something big coming...
  17. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 23, 2011
    Leeds, UK
    Great news, I too hope more devs act on this (yes, Civilsation ( a good version) please!).

    That said, XCom still crashes a lot for me. I would put this down to iOS 7 beta, but a lot of people have complained about it who I doubt are all using iOS 7.
  18. macrumors 68030


    Jul 7, 2009
    While I agree with you 100%; the problem is that too many developers (mostly independents) think that their game is awesome and deserves the $19.99 price. When in reality it's just another tower defense game or something hacked together and really isn't that good. What happens then is that people don't buy it, and they turn around and make the claims that people aren't willing to pay $19.99 for a good game.

    XCOM is a big name, high quality game. Well worth the price tag. But other games that are trying to establish their genre, name, style, etc, $2.99, $4.99, or $9.99 may be a better place to price the app. Generally, if it's not moving, there's a reason why.
  19. Nightarchaon, Aug 1, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013

    macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    Proof that a GOOD quality AAA title with no microtransactions can sell well, IF its well done.

    X-Com, Baulders Gate, the upcoming Space Hulk, all games i will happily pay £10-£20 for on iOS

    this , however, does not open up the rights to increase the price of "throwaway" games like Angry Birds to those sorts of price ranges.

    Now, EA, release a version of Real Racing 3 for £19.99 with no microtransactions or enforced wait times and ill buy it !

    Can we now have, Eye of the Beholder (1 , 2 and 3) , Day of the Tentacle (talkie version), Ultima Underworld 1 and 2, ZooL, Turrican, and pretty much any of the space quest series ... people will pay , !!!
  20. macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    Not always. Almost all app don't move. Around 99% of all paid apps are well below the top 200 of their category. But a lot more than that top 1% are useful to somebody. So there's still good money to be made in the top 5% to 10% of all those apps that "don't move". Especially if the app is priced well above 99 cents.

    99 cents is only a sales tactic to get or stay in the top 200 to 500. But kicking for a well defended goal from mid-field is pretty stupid. So a better pricing strategy may well be a fairly high price to bring in more revenue per for that limited number of downloads, unless an app is already close to scoring position near the top of the rankings. A low price for a non top selling app is rarely beneficial to the developer.
  21. macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2010
    Provo, UT
    For me the big issue is really the quality of the game play experience. I use steam for my game playing and while I wouldn't call my self a hard-core gamer (mostly because I'm not very good) I am definitely not a casual gamer.

    There have been many games that I bought for .99, that after playing I felt like I had over paid (I know that sounds terrible, but the games were also terrible).

    If I can have an experience that is comparable to my PC/Mac on an iPad, I don't see an issue with paying more for iPad apps. The problem has been that most good games utilize both hands and multiple fingers. To have the same experience using just your thumbs is a tall order.

    I also am really cheap when it comes to games. Steam's summer sale spoils me so it takes a while before I can spend much on games. I spent a lot this summer but I got a ton of good games. Yeah, some were a year or two older (or more) but I hadn't played them so, who cares?

    So, I'm not sure that I can pop even $14 for an iPad game. I wish I could try it out and then buy.
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2013
    I wasn't just mentioning Nintendo, it was just one of the companies off the top of my head that haven't ventured in the smartphone department.
  23. macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2013
    it's more of "forced" than "willing", these apps are the future, we have to adapt with time (and all of us love playing games, dont we?), one thing i really dislike about apple and it's partners is that they price their products way too high, about 30-40% higher than the competition. all of these companies need to think about this, stop screwing us.

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