Stoic's John Watson has said that mobile users are only willing to "pay as little as possible" for video games.
Much ado has been made in recent years about the expansion of gaming beyond the clichéd demographics of nerdy shut-ins living out of their parent's basements. In today's world video games are everyone and played by just about everyone. Kids, adults, parents, grandparents; a majority of people in the United States have at least tried one sort of video games or another.
That being the case, a trend has emerged from the spread of game-dom that is leaving many developers a tad on the miffed side of things. Namely, while mobile and tablet gamers are becoming an increasingly prominent demographic in the game industry, the audience as a whole has demonstrated a remarkable unwillingness to pay for things. It's an issue Stoic Studios, the developers behind The Banner Saga have been facing down as it moves forward with plans to bring the RPG to iOS and Android.
"People don't want to pay anything," said Stoic co-founder John Watson in a recent interview. "They want to pay as little as possible. They think that four dollars is an exorbitant amount to pay for a game, which is very illogical considering most people's lifestyles. They'll spend $600 on an iPad, and $4 on a coffee, drop $20 on lunch, but when it comes to spending four or five dollars on a game, it's this life-altering decision."
It's an issue that Watson says has left many developers wary of mobile and "frustrated" companies like Apple that want more premium priced content to take off on their respective platforms. "They're telling us to go higher-end with our game," said Stoic's Arnie Jorgensen. "We're still making those decisions."
Whatever the company's final price tag for the mobile editions of The Banner Saga may be, it's clear that the mobile gaming market, for all its potential, still has some dents to be hammered out. What remains to be seen is just how much hammering is needed before companies like Stoic can sell more expensive titles to mobile gamers without fear of abject failure.