Banner Saga Dev Says Apple "Frustrated" With Cheap Mobile Gamers

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Banner Saga Dev Says Apple "Frustrated" With Cheap Mobile Gamers

The Banner Saga header

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.

Source: Polygon


The price of the actual product to play on it, as well as the amount of time spent on it is the problem. My parents both have I Pads that they use for various things. If they play games on it, they play a few minutes a day at most. They don't want to spend money on something they are barely going to play. Also, when paying $100's of dollars for the I Pad alone, being able to recoup the cost of it by getting as much stuff on it for free or almost nothing is what they will want to do. A few dollars spent here in there can be a lot for a person, especially with families that need to be fed and taken care of. The games you are giving out are for little bit's of time, and aren't being played hours a day like dedicated gamers.

It goes both ways though, I'm sure gamers are frustrated with skinner box tactics and microtranscations in their mobile games. You get careful with your money after being burned multiple times, I don't think people are unwilling to pay for a good game, rather they really just question if the game has value in it.

And to be told, Apple can only blame themselves in the end, because they made the "cheap gamer" with their free and less than $2 apps. One has to be extremely out of touch with the market when they create said market and are mad at the consumers that enjoy that market.

What? I just don't understand.

Why would ANY consumer base expect mobile games to be cheap? It's not like the mobile industry has TRAINED them to expect cheapness by selling tens of thousands of trash games for $0.99 for the last many years.

It's not like the glut of all the f2p mobile games (w/microtransactions) has given non-savvy consumers the impression that their mobile games SHOULD be cheap.

It's not like these mobile game makers have more than made up for the cheapness of their mobile sales by porting their trashy $0.99 mobile game over to PC where they then try to sell it for $10-$20 just because "We can charge more on PC because PC players are used to paying more" even though the product is the same (or worse) version as their mobile counterpart.

I agree whole-heartedly with Apple here. Just because Apple helped make their cheap, trash-filled bed the way it is doesn't mean they should actually have to lie in it. Like all large corporations they deserve to be protected from any and all negative consequences of their business practices.

And for anyone not catching on to the tone of my post I am actually making fun of Apple and other mobile game sellers. They helped make mobile gaming what it is today, they don't get to complain about the consequences.

Edit: And Insanity beat me to the punch.

Is this really a shock to them? Most people who game on mobile devices use it as a tertiary activity. Heck, as a hardcore gamer myself, my mobile devices service a primary function (phone calls and e-reading) and I only game on them as an aside when I have a little time to kill. They aren't my primary source of gaming entertainment, so I'm not likely to sink much money into them. Meanwhile, people who don't even view gaming as their primary hobby are even less likely to want to sink much money into the hobby, especially if they just view it as a minor distraction next to the primary reason that they have the device.

For second there the title made me think Apple was thinking about going into the AAA blockbuster field. That would be surprising and good/bad depending on the view.

Anyway yeah when you offer the app store, a market where almost everything is designed to be cheap, expect people who go there to want stuff cheap.

This issue comes primarily from the fact that the majority of the population still aren't "gamers" as we've come to know them. To many of them, video games are still only just a distraction - a browser-based little chore like farmville or something to give to small children to keep them from complaining when they have to wait in the dentist's office, like angry birds. The idea of games as something to be thoroughly enjoyed on the same level as books or movies is still a very foreign concept to the public at large, the idea that they could be priced at something similar will also be scoffed at and ignored.

Though I'll personally say as a PC/Console gamer I simply ignore mobile titles because compared to my regular gaming experiences they come up incredibly short, especially in the area of controls. That said, I pre-ordered The Banner Saga, thoroughly enjoyed it, and am anxiously awaiting the sequel.

Not even thinking about all the freemium cash grabs on the android/ioS market, I suspect most people find that their enjoyment of games on tablets is really limited and very specific. When I first got my Nexus 7 I downloaded all sorts of stuff, and focused mostly on games I was sure I'd like and which had a set price or minimal buy-in. Two years later and I think I've spent maybe 10-15 hours in all that time actually playing games (and keep telling myself one day I'll play Baldur's Gate on my Nexus, along with Shadowrun Returns). When the actual time:enjoyment ratio is so low even for otherwise decent games, $4 for a cup of coffee starts to look like a seriously smarter investment than clogging my tablet up with yet another game I'll ignore.

Bottom line....when I have time to game, it's going to be spent on a console or PC where I can get a rich experience that doesn't strain the eyes and piss me off with annoying touch screen controls. Literally the only time mobile gaming comes in handy is when I am on vacation or traveling....and guess what, my PS Vita is more useful because I can actually play games on it without a wifi connection; next time you're on a trip without a wifi point to connect to, try out your tablet games and see how many of them actually's so bad on my Nexus 7 I don't even bother bringing it along on trips anymore except for reading.

I play a select few games on ios. I have baldurs gate, chronotrigger, and that one good version of pandemic.

I tend to prefer high quality games and damn the price point, which is similar to my interaction with steam.

What apple needs to wake up about is that their store is non-functional for pushing anything except that weeks most popular viral drivel.

I can kind of understand this. I mean if I'm honest with myself I wouldn't flinch at dropping 10-20 dollars on a PSN game I want to play, even if it's one that I know very little about. However, you take a game like Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition or any of the Final Fantasy titles available on Android and those are games I know are great but I'm still crazy hesitant to buy. Crazier still is that if I add up all my time spent gaming my tablet/phone most likely rather easily double or better my time spent gaming on my PS3.



This is bullshit logic, the mobile gamers aren't cheap... I'm a mobile gamer and just dropped 35 bucks a few weeks ago on Tomodachi Life... Or what about when TWEWY Solo Remix came out?! That shit was twenty dollars!


I'm so fucking sick of these higher ups bitching and moaning about shit like this... It's as bad as EA's bullshit about Dungeon Keeper innovating too much or Sims 4 Premium being announced before the game is out.

$25 is a very good price to pay for The Banner Saga. A very good price.

As others have said, I think this is at least partially a miscalculation of the sort of experiences desired by the mobile game market at large. Just because mobile hardware these days can play more fully fledged games, it doesn't mean that that's what the majority of mobile gamers want in the games they do buy. We're talking mobile gamers who buy maybe only a few games a year and who buy them on a market place where most games cost in the neighbourhood of $0.99 and who are just looking for time wasters. That's your market writ large.

It's sort of like picking a convenience store or dollar store as the location to try to sell a $300 romantic evening set up with champagne, steak, lobster and all of the extras. Sure there may be some takers, and your product may be absolutely great, but it's pretty silly to blame the average shopper at those establishments if they turn their nose up at what you're offering.

It's 'cos touch screens are crap for gaming on, you can play shit like bejeweled (I am not mentioning the other similar game) or a TD game but anything that requires more dexterity or accuracy is impossible!

Plus, look at free to play games, they expect you to pay a significant amount of money for things that don't exist/exist infinity. Warframe on the PC has £15, £30, £30 and a £75 ... I am pretty sure the PS4 version has a £100+ one as well. I wouldn't spend £100+ on a game! I wouldn't even spend £75.

Half those prices and you will get a lot more money.

I am not touching the valid points about how the same companies created the market to be what it is so....

Obviously they are not thinking about volume sales and instead are thinking of individual sales. If they think volume they will make plenty of money, this is why there are so many cheap apps available. sell for a low price and get plenty of customers. Sell for a high price and get far fewer customers. When you sell for the low price you may get very little per sale but it is the volume of sales that makes the difference. If it is affordable and sounds like a good product it will get enough sales to be profitable and even more profitable than a high priced product selling a fraction of units.

In this case they create the product and forget about it. Apple hosts the product on it's servers and runs the store. What does the studio need to do? advertise a bit to get the name out and forget about the product since there is no manufacturing and packaging to deal with. So 4-5 months later the game has started to make a profit, from that point on it will continue to make a profit. If it takes a year to hit profitability they will make a profit. they can be like Campbell's Soup and have dozens of profitable choices. Or they can have a $20 mobile game that gamers will find to be pathetic and casual mobile users find to be too expensive and profit will be reached in say 10 years if the market suddenly freezes.

Biggest issue is the corporate mentality of big profits right now and sell fewer units for more money rather than more units for less money. They forget that 10 sold at $100 is $1000 and 100 sold at $10 is $1000 and the $10 will get far more customers that that ratio comparison because it is fucking affordable.

"Stoic's John Watson has said that mobile users are only willing to "pay as little as possible" for video games." This has to be the biggest... HUGEST "YOU DON'T SAY" phrase I've seen since I started reading "game news".

It's kinda funny to me how this guy seems completely baffled by how people "got used" to paying the minimum price (99c) or nothing at all for games, considering how that was a thing Apple brought on itself.

I completely loathe the idea of not having actual keys, since all I've ever used my phone for is, you know, texts and calls, and the sole idea of having to deal with how bad these "touch-screen keyboards" are is just completely upsetting, but even then, I know a good amount of people with these, and to date, none of them has actually played a game that's not free.

I'd happy buy Banner Saga for $25, in fact, I can't wait to play it.
Then again I'm also someone who bought 20-30 dollar games on the IOS before, so I guess I'm in the minority.

This attitude mostly comes from Apple's own store front. If hundreds of games are sold for 99 cents then of course that's what most customers are going to expect to pay. IOS also caters to the more casual market since the IOS systems can be phones and internet browsers too and more people have them. These customers usually don't have a lot if experience with more expensive video games on consoles and PCs. They also don't care (much) about the studio that makes the game or the higher quality. AAA, AA, idie, they don't really care so long as it plays well.

I have friends who have this attitude as well. Why buy a console or a gaming PC when they can play games on the iPhone for a lot less?

99% of the people who play on mobile devices are not gamers. You can't expect them to appreciate your efforts and your game.
It's like me buying music. I'm not willing to pay even a dollar for a song. Just because I know I'll listen to it twice and then forget about it's existence.
Yet, I'm more than willing to pay serious money for gaming.
You should know what to expect from every platform.

Well maybe people don't want to drop down a fiver on something when it'd cost far more than the industry standard for AAA games on a console or PC to purchase the entire game? If you offered me a complete game for a fiver I'd be able to evaluate it against indie games and decide if I feel it is worth the cost. If I look at your business model and see that I may have to spend that five dollars again and again you can shove your game up your ass.

1. Most iOS Gamers (meaning people for whom iOS is the primary/only gaming platform) aren't really Gamers. And I don't mean that as an elitist thing, they just aren't. Gaming isn't a hobby for them, it's an extra distraction while they poop or wait for a bus. As a result, they aren't really willing to drop money for that aspect of iOS.

2. As others have pointed out, Apple has only themselves to blame for fostering a consumer culture where $5 is a huge amount. Why buy a game for $5 when you can buy a game for 99 cents? And no, saying that the $5 (or $25) is likely a bigger, better game doesn't count - see the previous paragraph, these people aren't gamers. They aren't looking for deep, rich gaming experiences. They are looking for occasional timewasters.

3. iOS is a shitty platform for gaming. The touchscreen interface only works for a specific range of games, everything else needs contrived and lackluster control schemes. Sure, there are peripherals that allow for controller functionality, but that diminishes the practicality argument, which is one of the biggest selling points of iOS gaming.

4. All this simply means that there's not much of audience for major titles on the iOS. You are looking for people who care enough about gaming that they are willing to pay for a more robust experience, want those experiences on a mobile device (for whatever reason), but at the same time don't want to get a dedicated mobile gaming device. I'm not saying those people don't exist, but they aren't a huge market...

There is no market for deep, high-end mobile games because mobile gaming is, by definition, gaming on the go. You're away from home (and your vastly superior gaming devices) with a little bit of time to kill, so you turn to your phone or tablet for some quick, simple fun. You're just filling in the gaps between whatever activities caused you to leave the immediate area of your console or desktop in the first place. When those activities are completed, you'll go back to your house and (if you so choose) game with a non-tiny screen and a non-shitty interface. Because you're not a complete moron.

As someone who is rarely ever stranded away from home for more than 10-15 minutes without actively participating in some activity, I've made almost no investments in mobile games for my phone. The few mobile games I do have are exceedingly cheap and simple because that's all they need be in order to successfully waste 10-15 minutes at a time. The idea of paying premium prices for legitimate games on my mobile devices is laughable. Honestly, I can't even imagine the target market for such products. Kids are easily entertained by simpler games. Adults with "time to kill" away from home are either a) students, who usually prefer to study/socialize, or b) travelers, who usually prefer to rest/read/sight-see.

Apple can pine for bigger dollar signs all they want, but this is one market they won't be able to conjure from thin air.

Ahem. I can drink my coffee. But I cannot drink 25 purple gems. I'd better leave those four bucks for another cup of coffee, y'know, something real. Also: I live in Ukraine, and this point is actually about 5 or 10 times more valid for our country XD

What most devs don't seem to realize: they are not alone out there an in fact competing with a lot of other entertainment options for a limited amount of money (and time).

Basically it comes down to this: Either one or two of the all the devs out there get a big cake and the rest gets NOTHING or a lot more devs get a smaller piece of the cake.

What you prefer is rather up to you.

1. I can only speak for myself as a gamer, but I am sure there are others like me who feel that mobile gaming as a platform isn't up to a standard I hold dear. There just aren't many (if any) games that draw my interest, nor is a tablet/phone a viable portable gaming system compared to any iteration of a DS, PSP or Vita.

2. Most mobile gamers aren't core gamers, so they would be more along the lines of people who play games like Bejeweled, Peggle, Angry Birds, etc. Something easily consumed and not in need of much (if any) investments in the game. Higher than a few dollars here and there is more than they're willing to spend on something they'll play for snapshot moments in time. I'm sure there are dedicated mobile gamers, but I doubt they're many beyond kids playing Minecraft (or to a lesser extent Terraria).

3. Touchscreens as the sole interface (without peripheral attachments) just don't cut it for larger scale games. It doesn't hold up, neither does the tilt sensor as a replacement for analog sticks or even a d-pad.

4. No marketing for the larger games means no sales. I've not once seen any form of advertisement for a larger scale game for any tablet, iOS or otherwise. Let me qualify the "large scale" term by saying anything that has more substance than the current trend of games. See: Angry Birds series, Candy Crush Saga, etc. If Apple wants games to really matter, then they need to step up their game so to speak and market their products as a handheld console that can stand up on its own. It can't, because the 3DS and even the Vita would blow it out of the water due to the capabilities of those systems, but it would be wiser of Apple to do something if they really want to tap into a larger gaming market.

In short Apple doesn't seem to realize the people playing games on their handheld products aren't anything more than casual gamers, not people who actually look at the game itself and decide the price is worth the product. Instead they have cultured an impulse buying class of casual gamers who want cheap games. The only way they can overcome this is to attempt to court the more "core" gaming audience but without any real support from developers, there's little chance of that happening. Face it Apple, gaming is one corner of the market you'll never have.
Reminds me of the days when I used to go to electronics stores or computer stores and wander over to the PC section and see at least a couple rows or a whole section devoted to PC and then a bin with Mac games most of which consisted of Myst and Marathon 2: Durandel.

i think its probably inherent to the way the people use "mobile devices".

outside those who have loads of free time (say "kids and students" for the sake of argument) they are games that people are only largely gonna play when either "travelling" and or "waiting" and people won't drop serious money on "time wasting" activities.

lets face it for most people there is a fundamental difference between a "gaming session" that people commit to for a period of entertainment/immersion as in "ok now i'm gonna play a really cool game for a few hours" and playing a few rounds of the latest tetris wannabe at a bus stop and/or on the bus.

sure there are more involving mobile games and some people will sit "right into" a handheld game for hours...some people...but thats not how most people use or play games on these devices.

and i don't think they are ever gonna change one group into the other.

"cause some people gotta work for a living".

and if truth be told "mobile games" kinda have more naturally i common with the like of fruit machines in a bar (in that people use them in a casual manner to "fill time" entertainingly) rather than games consoles being deliberately played for the sake of enjoying gaming.

and if all these billions of people actually wanted a handheld gaming console, if they were that invested...they would have been buying them in their billions before the birth of "smart phones".

This is why microtransactions are a thing. Devs weren't doing it out of cynicism... well maybe they were, but thtas what microtransactios are all about. A little bit of money, all the time.

But the point about games pricing especially when compared to say, lunch, is laughably true. As much as 'everybody' is a gmaer now, ther is still a clear divide between those that play mobile game son the way to work, and those that frequent forusm and sites like the Escapist.
Games aren't as mainstream as movies in regards to casual reach, but as proven by the state of Transformers continual success, even still are movies trully mainstream.

Have a read of this:

Unless you're lucky enough for one of your titles to go viral most of these games will barely break a few hundred sales if they are not free. A lot of small devs go into this and actually make a loss, naff all or, at best, single figure earnings per hour.

If you've got a squillion dollars to throw at advertising, like King, it's easy and you'll get your investment back as 5 year olds burn through their parents' weekly wage by repeatedly mashing the 'BUY MOAR JEWELZ!!' button.

It's a neat way, especially for younger people, to get into coding, learn a bit about what business entails but if you're in it for the money you need serious backing and the main article is spot on - no bugger will pay $25 for a mobile game up front, but a small percentage of those people may spend hundreds (or thousands!).

It's becoming too much of a gamble unless you're already established.

We gave mobile game development the serious consideration we thought it deserved. Ten seconds later we fucked off to the pub to discuss what UE4 would mean to our time schedule.

Okay lets start from the beginning; there has been a push in recent years to eliminate some of the skepticism and elitism within gaming coverage and the community at large. This has lead to a very apologetic coverage of mobile gaming, the mobile industry and mobile gamers at large. It's kind of a "Well i don't like it but..." situation and mostly that's the right line to take. What wasn't the right line to take was the idea that "Mobile and freemium is the future and all those that resits are elitist casual-hating neck-beards who hate people playing with their toys" many gaming 'analysts' now have a lot of egg on their face for predicting this, they also seemed to be the same people pshing the "PC gaming will be dead soon" Idea and look how that turned out. (For a few giggles look at MovieBob's hilariously off the mark video from 2007)

BUT from the fraud charges and slow fall of Zynga onwards this wind seemed to change and the discontent crystallized with whole "Free to Wait" and horrendous Dungeon Keeper thing. What has been revealed to us is that a mutated gaming monster had been growing in the mobile sector with indie devs abandoning the platform that showed so much promise. Premium has fled and both users and developers fight an uphill battle to see it come back. Here's why:

1. The structure of the monolithic monopoly 'app stores'; The EU is doing something about this but "FREE" is a powerful marketing tool and the way the play store is laid out gives them an in-built advantage. Putting a 'free' game side by side with a £8 port of a full game like X-Com is never going to be a fair fight if you give them equal weight. Actually freemium games seem to get MORE wight as they can appear in the "Top Free" and also the "Top grossing" apps (a situation that is laughable).

Once they bed down into the most popular section of the single solitary store it creates a massive marketing machine, making them popular for being poplar and visible. Paid games by contrast will sell less 'units' because of higher barrier to entry. Being free and then simply being a front for micropayments is a dirty trick that paid apps refuse to use. Therefore the Play Stores of this world put them at a disadvantage.

2. The 'Free' to play Psychological war; Like i said above "Free" is a powerful word even if it is a lie (again the EU and UK lawmakers are working on this). The mobile audience has been trained to accept these models are normal. Most of this is covered above with the added bonus of the monopoly store rewarding this behavior.

3. Cloning One word. Vlambeer. If i was Vlambeer i would tell every indie developer who is thinking about going into mobile gaming to just not bother. Theirs is a story of trying to make great games that didn't bow to the freemium gods and getting systematically taken apart for it by endless clones. You also need to just look at the story of Three. Why would anyone want to be in a market making a premium that has a prevailing culture of stealing? Zynga did it, did it all the big boys do it. They clone and steal and bully and make the market a toxic wasteland of cartoon animals and cow clickers.

4. People are fiscally irresponsible, mathematically illiterate morons: Ok maybe i am getting into the "Mobile gamers are stupid" territory but most other sectors show out that most people have no sense of value. Would you rather pay $400 for your thing right now or pay the low low price of $50 a month for a year? Many consumers don't do the math. Yes a game can look "Free" but of you're pumping $5 in it every week you would have been better just paying up-front for a better experience. It's false value. It's another case of the freemium trick.

We need to be open and honest about mobile gaming and mobile gamers; The platform has driven away any kind of idea of 'serious gaming' and with it has put off the majority of the traditional gaming audience. The mobile audience has been raised in this kind of bubble where the norms of gaming suit the peddlers of freemium. Everything about the environment encourages them not to think about their games and their money and instead act on impulse. 'Mobile gamers' have been separated off as the dedicated audience and creators of games wrote the platform off, quite rightly, as an artistic wasteland.

So it's kind of a feed-back loop; Premium is put at a disadvantage, therefore mobile gamers are trained not to buy premium, therefore premium dries up, therefore people see less premium and are less inclined to but it, therefore it is put at an even greater disadvantage.

Mobile games are not seen as 'real' games. This is largely because of the front runners in the sector being a load of piss to be honest. How are you going to convince someone on a $10 experience when what they expect out of a mobile game is just a match 3 clone? There needs to be a fundamental shift is the quality of content and value people can expect.

This is undoubtedly true, but I think a contributing factor is just the low quality that tends to permeate mobile

90% of games on the app store aren't worth any money, let alone the asking price. This leads to the perfectly understandable conclusion that any amount asked for any game (Even when it's worth it) is too much. If you want someone to blame, blame Apple for setting it up this way.

$25 is a very good price to pay for The Banner Saga. A very good price.

As much as I loved it to bits, I'd rather have paid twice that and got a third act.

What I'm hearing is a game developer crying that he can't charge more for games because market expectations (which have been shaped by the business tactics of other developers) won't allow higher game prices. Then, he just tries to rope Apple into his reasoning without any real evidence; Apple is mentioned only in passing and not given any real connection to the problem, but BECAUSE IT'S APPLE, it MUST be put into the headline (gotta bait those links and eyeballs).

As for mobile gamers not wanting to pay much money, most mobile games aren't worth more than $1-2 because they give a $1-2 gaming experience. The microtransaction and F2P rip-offs give $0.02 gaming experiences and then try to rob you blind with in-app purchases. After going through that cycle enough times, mobile games are GOING to become super cautious, especially when they see a pay2play game loaded with microtransactioning, which an increasing number seem to be. IT WAS THE GAME DEVELOPERS WHO DID THIS! NOT APPLE! It was the game developers who built their games this way such to engender a high level of caution and distrust from the gamer, not Apple. It was the game developers who abused the system and trust of the gamer in a shameless attempt to SWINDLE (and I mean it just like that) money from the gamer. Apple merely put the system out there, but it's the GAME DEVELOPERS WHO ABUSED IT! So, no, I don't buy it. I don't believe one second that Apple is frustrated, at all. Apple is ticking along just like it always does. I believe only this particular game developer is frustrated that he can't get what he wants, and he's just trying to grab attention by crying "Apple!".

Another thing, it has been well established that it tends to be Android users who are less inclined to pay for mobile app. iOS users tend to be more inclined to pay for apps, and even pay a fairly high price for the app. Also, a game that is actually good and well worth the money will easily sell for as much as $10, but a piece of shit will struggle even for free (often cause of the shameless, obvious money-grabbing IAPs the free games often get saddled with).

"Illogical"? I don't think so. If anything paying less for a game than a cup of coffee makes a lot of sense, games have no inherent value, there's no limited supply of them and they can be replicated infinitely at no cost or effort to anyone. The fact that people are willing to pay anything for that sort of thing at all is something of a miracle, considering it's less like a transaction of goods and more like a selfless donation by consumers in order to support the production of more games.

Back to the main topic though, this shouldn't be at all shocking to anyone. There are a lot more mobile and "casual" gamers than there are "hardcore" gamers, but by definition they aren't as interested in games, and won't be willing to pay much for them. The only reason they play games at all is because they are free, or extremely cheap, and as soon as that's no longer true the interest will usually be lost. Developers just need to decide which audience they want to go for and adjust their expectations and goals accordingly, the smaller group of high paying hobbyists or the larger group of lower paying "casual" gamers.

"Illogical"? I don't think so. If anything paying less for a game than a cup of coffee makes a lot of sense, games have no inherent value, there's no limited supply of them and they can be replicated infinitely at no cost or effort to anyone. The fact that people are willing to pay anything for that sort of thing at all is something of a miracle, considering it's less like a transaction of goods and more like a selfless donation by consumers in order to support the production of more games.

This is true and deserves to be repeated, but it's not much of a miracle, because most people haven't got a clue about the value of things anyway.
Most of the time it's about making a product appear desirable to the masses through marketing.

Back to the main topic though, this shouldn't be at all shocking to anyone. There are a lot more mobile and "casual" gamers than there are "hardcore" gamers, but by definition they aren't as interested in games, and won't be willing to pay much for them. The only reason they play games at all is because they are free, or extremely cheap, and as soon as that's no longer true the interest will usually be lost. Developers just need to decide which audience they want to go for and adjust their expectations and goals accordingly, the smaller group of high paying hobbyists or the larger group of lower paying "casual" gamers.

Yeah but why choose just one?
Sell the game at $30 on PC and console in the first months, then gradually drop to $5 over the years and do a $2 port for the apple store halfway. When that's done make a couple cents on every sale through humble bundle.
It adds up until the impatient consumers learn to wait and when will that ever happen?

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