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Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by maahes, Oct 20, 2008.
<edited for legal reasons - sorry>
I've spent over $300 on apps so far, but the majority of those purchases were in the first month of the App Store being open - since then, my spending has tapered off dramatically because I am sorely disappointed with most of the games I've bought so far. You asked what people are looking for in an iPhone game, and here's my answer: everyone keeps talking about how great the iPhone is for games, how it has more horsepower than a DS or PSP - but I've YET to see a game come close to the level of polish I've seen on either of those platforms. I'd LOVE to see a DS or PSP quality game, rather than the beta version proof of concept **** that we've been paying for so far in the App Store. (oh, and the games that actually do have some polish are ports of mobile phone games, which is insulting because the iPhone is FAR more capable than most mobile phones when it comes to graphics and processing power) ...
Anyway, that's just my opinion. Oh, and one more thing: it REALLY pisses me off to buy an app on launch day only to see the price drop in a week or two. Why don't developers do launch specials - tell people that the price will be $X.XX only for the first week, after which it will increase to the regular price of $X.XX - doesn't that make more sense than penalizing early adopters by slashing prices in a week or two? I've learned to wait on new apps, because the $300 I've spent on apps so far is now worth about $100. If only I had waited ...
I've spent a small fortune on apps and I'm being careful what I spend on now after buying some real turkeys. I now look for outstanding reviews, demo/lite versions or videos before I spend my cash (screen shots really don't show how the game works), and even more so on the expensive titles. So many have failed to deliver any more than eye candy. I find myself going back to the simple but clever games such as field runners, idefend and even solitaire more than any of the clever 3D games I've bought.
I've also been annoyed about buying apps full price only to see it on-sale a few weeks later.
The thing about Super Monkey Ball is that is was heavliy advertised and demoed by apple before the apps store release. So by the time the launch day came i was already rather blindingly ready to part with the £5.99 (GBP) asking price. Star Wars on the other hand i wont buy as i think its lifspan is too short for the asking price.
I would suggest dropping a free one level demo onto the app store and take it from there as some people a weary of paying a lot without playing a demo first. If things dont pick up then drop the price rock bottom for a few days like you suggested.
However I dont think its necessary your game thats the problem, to me shooters on the iPhone mean a short lifespan and limited replay value. Star wars is a good example of this. Puzzle games are usually long lasting and racing games offer some replay value even if they are initially a short game. I think it will take a while before shooters really take off on the iPhone.
I hope things pick up for you and this doesnt deter you from further development on iPhone games.
Thanks for the fast and detailed feedback guys.
<editted for legal reasons - sorry>
I have about $200 (ASD) worth of apps and this game is one of the few apps that was worth the money.
It is quite an amazing game, much better than Billy Frontier.
Good Job on Making it and I hope to see more updates.
Thanks quanza. Thats always great to hear.
There is an update on there now. I think you'll really like the boost improvements and the destructable walls add a bucketload of gameplay I think. They are first seen on level 4 and are used quite a lot in levels 10 and above.
I really wanna give the boss battles some more love / variety, so I'd expect an update to that in the near future with some more interesting boss defenses in some of the later bosses...
3D games in particular have burned me on the iPhone, so I admit to holding off until the price dropped. Not that it has, I've purchased it and am downloading it now.
I really, really want to see more turn-based strategy and classic RPG titles. I think those allow real depth of play and replayability, are well-suited to the iPhone interface, and can be coded with considerably less graphical overhead/expense.
Those are the titles I'll pay top dollar for (those, and dictionaries , but I'm a professor...)
I'm interested in this too, I'm due to release my first game in a couple weeks and I'm not sure what to release it at. I was going to start it at $1.99 with a week long promotion of $0.99 to get reviews coming in. I think this is fair but who am I to judge!
Of course one great way to improve sales would be to put up an entry on MacRumours asking about whether you think your game is overpriced or not
Sorry for being cynical but this would not be the first time. As to your game well now that I know it exists I have just had a look and to be honest the screen shots do not impress. The Red and Blue predominance just does not work - What are we supposed to be flying over. Are you too worried that if you made it silver grey it would look too "deathstarry" ?
The premise for your game looks good and I would probably go for something like this but for £2.39 its not leaping out at me at present.
That said I do think that on the whole, games seem very cheap for the iPhone, I would gladly pay £9.99 for a game such as Doom on the iPhone.
I don't think price has ANYTHING to do with sales of an app, except in the extremes - apps set with unreasonably high prices are not likely to sell overly well.
It's the availability of a free trial/lite version that makes the choice for me. I won't buy software without a trial first. I know Apple isn't making that easy, but that's just how it is, for me. That goes for all platforms, not just iApps*.
If your game is good/fun making a free trial version will spur sales, imo. Sure you might "lose" sales to people who the free version is enough for, but they almost certainly would have never bought the game to begin with (it's like people who pirate movies/music. Yes, they might pirate hundreds, thousands of pieces of media, but that doesn't mean the owner lost those sales - there's very little chance they would have purchased any/many of that media to begin with).
What's more likely is that if the free version is good it will wind up on the top 10 or 25 downloads list, at least for awhile, giving your paid app some publicity as well as incentivizing people to pay for the full version. If your game doesn't lend itself well to being 'split' into a full/lite version then you should consider adding new features to an updated version making that the paid-for/full edition and leave the old as a free/trial version of the game.
Finally, there's also opportunity out there for ad-supported games. If you can't split the game into a full/lite version you could consider a free version with ads in it and a paid one without. You might not see as much revenue from the ads as direct sales, but you might also increase sales through widening your audience which could bring you back to "even".
* I think I'm going to try to coin iApps as being iPhone/iPod touch apps because the latter is too long to type all the time.
Just a heads-up: This game has just been updated. There is a new boss monster, missiles have been added, you can penetrate some enemies' energy shields by "modulating" the color of your laser shots, and the balance of the game is improved (e.g. enemies leave behind more shield and missile upgrades). And most importantly: You can finally shoot the damn mines! There are also some graphical enhancements. Overall a big improvement. Kudos to the developer!