Steve Allison believes that iOS gamers will pay any fair price for a good game.
The Android OS may be something of a pirates' playground these days, but apparently, developers can still turn a profit by charging for iOS games. Not only that, but they can often charge more than the standard 99¢ that seems to be the sweet spot for mobile games. Veteran adventure game company Telltale Games has been selling episodes of its Walking Dead episodic series on iPhones and iPads for $5 apiece, and has already seen a promising return on its initial investment.
"We've had good success selling episodes of our other titles on the App Store for $6.99 on iPad and $4.99 on iPhone," says Steve Allison, Telltale's senior vice president. "We've had a great initial launch as a top 10 title with no signs of slowing down." While the prevailing wisdom of mobile game pricing has been to sell massive quantities of cheap games, Allison believes that a sub-dollar price tag would not be indicative of the game's overall quality, or fair to players on other consoles. "The idea of a 99¢ gamer on iOS is more myth than fact, it's the quality and depth of each product that will drive the right price for consumers," explains Allison. "This is the right price for our game and it has not impeded our ability to get people interested in buying it."
This strategy stands in stark contrast to reducing the price of a mobile port, or varying prices between mobile operating systems. However, both smartphones and tablets are much more powerful than they used to be, and their utility continues to grow at an exponential rate. If developers can program the same experience into a more compact platform, is there any reason why gamers shouldn't pay the same price?