Has pricing gone too low on the App Store? Capy (formerly Capybara, the makers of Critter Crunch) co-founder Nathan Vella certainly thinks so, and he let his voice be heard recently in an interview with developer-focused gaming site Gamasutra.
“The push to 99 cents is the single most frustrating and terrible thing about App Store pricing,” he said. “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.”
Vella went on to discuss Canabalt, which he thinks is a great example of how to be a success without stooping to the $.99 low.
“I always use Canabalt as my example– that game is 100 percent worth $2.99,” he says. “[Canabalt developer] 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.”
We’re not entirely sold on this rationale, however. It’s very likely that the $.99 price helps drive up the number of games people are willing to buy. Plus, low prices can give extra exposure to smaller indie games that some people might not be willing to take a chance on if they weren’t so cheap.
What do you think? As consumers, would you be willing to pay more for the games that cost $.99 right now?