iPhone Games

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by filharvey, May 6, 2008.

  1. filharvey

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    K, everyone knows that the iPhone is coming, I have some success getting opengl working on the phone.

    Now the big question, is if I worked on a couple of games, and they are of the same quality of a PC casual game, what price range do you think would work? Would $20 like PC games work, or would it need to be more like $10?

    Any input and thoughts from people would be nice.

    Thanks

    Phil
     
  2. Scurvy Lobster

    Scurvy Lobster New Member

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    http://unity3d.com/ is getting (or already has) an Iphone SDK. You could look at that.

    The problem with the Iphone is really the small numbers they still have sold. Have many are sold until now 3, 4 or 5 million? That is peanuts compared to almost any popular Nokia phone. If I remember correctly Nokia N95 sold 16 mio. units before Iphone managed to sell 2 mio. and they launched around the same time.

    What is even worse. All Iphone owners I know have hacked their phones (Jailbrake or something it was called). I would not hope to sell a lot to people who know how to hack a phone because then they probably know how to pirate too.
     
  3. Matthew

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    I wonder what the average iPhone user is like, though. It seems like the average Apple computer owner is very conditioned into buying small programs, iTunes tracks, and so on. If that attitude extends to the iPhone it may be very profitable regardless of the diminished market size...
     
  4. Adrian Cummings

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    I'm sure it'll all work out fine regards this platform and hey if it all goes tits up later then it's not a huge amount of cash lost the developer end anyway (like some platforms) is it?
     
  5. Scurvy Lobster

    Scurvy Lobster New Member

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    With the small sales numbers we still see on the iphone (en less than five million is a very small number in my opinion) it is a difficult market to enter. I would recomend looking for other developers who have tried selling iphone software and listen to their story. I would also see if there are any high traffic portals that have succes selling iphone software because I am not sure it is easy reaching your target audience even if you ended up having a really good product.
     
  6. Adrian Cummings

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    That is pure speculation tho given the iPhone games store is not even open yet? and there are no 'native games' for the consumer to buy as of time of writing.

    I gather that only Apple will be selling end iPhone product too which for me is great as it removes most of the dodgy distributor cowboy outfits in java mobile at least for me if true.

    iPhone cannot be worse than java mobile platform is now whatever happens next IMHO.

    Oh and to answer the orignal point of the thread I personally think... $9.95 ($14.95 tops).
     
    #6 Adrian Cummings, May 7, 2008
    Last edited: May 7, 2008
  7. filharvey

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    Thanks adrian,

    I also think between $10 and $20 max for top quality

    Phil
     
  8. Michael Flad

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    I guessed that price range too (just like Windows Mobile and to some degree BlackBerry) but I recently had a look at the available games from the iTunes store (for iPod Nano etc.) and they're all available for 4,99€ including pretty good stuff like Peggle.

    Nevertheless what a great and fun platform to develop for - after years of pain in J2ME world it's worth every second I work on my iPhone projects even if it doesn't end in great sales (I sure still hope to get some :))
     
  9. Adrian Cummings

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    amen - I'm with you brother :)
     
  10. Sirrus

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    Its apples and oranges. The bigger point is that Apple is removing the barrier to entry in the cell phone market. It is incredibly difficult to get carriers to carry your product, and even more difficult to have them actually showcase it. Only a handful of developers make anything.

    Not only is it not very easy to get on a cell handset (one that is more highly distributed than a lot of handsets), but it also has significant tech behind it to do some pretty impressive stuff.

    Focus on conversion rates and put less importance on the actual size. The market for it shows no signs of slowly and getting in there early is going to make a massive difference. Its always dangerous developing specifically for one platform anyway (without widespread penetration like a PC), but the payoff can be even bigger.

    My prediction is that it will experience an XBLA trend. The first 20 titles will do gangbusters, then it will level off as the noise increases.
     
  11. Sillysoft

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    For pricing I say try to go for $15-20. A good game should be able to sell for that.

    Alternatively: free. They won't have demos, right? So probably a good idea to also make a "free" version that advertises them to buy the full one.
     
  12. Jack Norton

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    I don't understand why devs here always say that's better to try lower prices. I always put high prices on my games and never had to regret it. Of course, probably depends also on the game type :)
    If I'll ever make a game on the iPhone I'll probably try it at $20.
     
  13. chanon

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    The Apple WWDC Keynote is happening ... Sega has shown their Super Monkey Ball game to be priced at $9.99.

    Pangea Software has also shown 2 games both also to be priced at $9.99
    Interesting is Pangea's Cro-Mag Rally game, where the iPhone's tilt sensor will be used for the steering.

    I have to say.. the graphics for all the games shown look wonderful.

    Update: The developer gets to keep 70%. So for a $10 game the developer gets $7 per unit.

    Next question will be how many will a good game sell?
    Another interesting question is .. will there be any MMO games for the iphone made, and how successful would they be?

    Update2: New iPhone 3G with GPS, 8GB version to be sold at only $199, 16GB version to be sold at $299. To be available in 70 countries within this year. Beginning in 22 countries on July 11th.

    I have to say that that is insane! How will Nokia/Moto/Sony-Ericsson/Samsung/Blackberry compete? Also there will be no reason to get a GPS navigator when you can get an iPhone for less.
     
    #13 chanon, Jun 9, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2008
  14. Sillysoft

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    $10 for games seems to be what they want to launch with. I wish it had been higher. There's going to have to be some price differentiation though (Apple says devs get to pick the price). How premium do you have to be to sell for $15?
     
  15. Adrian Cummings

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    LOL I think you gotta get a little real here perhaps?... for me at least $7 per unit as an average is very good on this mobile platform.
     
  16. Oaf

    Oaf
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    Yes $7 is a fantastic amount compared to the $1.50 you'd get direct from phone operators, or between 25c and 50c from aggregators (if they pay you at all ;) ).

    I found it interesting that they'll allow file of up to 10MB to be transferred OTA - that's a lot higher than the ~200K J2ME games on operators' decks.
     
  17. Dan MacDonald

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Give it away for free on itunes and sell items as in game upgrades :)
     
  18. cableshaft

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    Yeah, I see this as a huge opportunity to build a quick reputation/fanbase if you get in near the beginning, like XBLA, so I picked up a Mac for the first time ever and... smacked into a solid brick wall when it came to trying to do anything with Objective-C and Cocoa.

    Wow. Coming from a heavy Java/Web/C#/Actionscript plus extremely little C++ background, this is like trying to become fluent in written Cantonese in 2 weeks. I thought I was going to have something simple up and running in a couple weeks, but my upbringing has not prepared me at all for Mac development, apparently. I'm no longer confident I can get into the market in time before the big names get established (I'm just one person, and they've already announced their lineups...).

    That's not to say that I couldn't still carve something out for myself after they've jumped in, especially since my game ideas are more unique, but my games will likely look like crap visually compared to these fully 3D offerings with ripped art from past retail games that they're going to sell for $10 apiece.

    If only there was some books that could hold my hand through this process, as that's the quickest way I learn a new platform (okay, now let's draw something on the screen. *pats head* good! okay, let's move that sprite with touch commands. *pats head* good boy!) but of course it's too early for books to have come out in that style already (Amazon's saying November... way too late).

    That said, I'm still hacking away at it, because it's a great challenge, I could still do well regardless (just not a guaranteed 300k+ seller), and who knows, maybe in a few weeks it will all just suddenly click and I'll crank out the first game in a couple of months.
     
    #18 cableshaft, Jun 19, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2008
  19. PrefixEx

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    Wow, that's a bummer. I just had an email debate here about the iPhone. I'd love to get something going on that platform but our resources are stretched too thin after scaling back on our mobile development on Palm OS and going PC.
     
  20. gmcbay

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    You can program the iPhone (and the Mac) in mostly C/C++ if you want. You do have to learn enough Objective-C/Objective-C++ to glue things together and make serious use of the native APIs, but if you want to (I do, I've never liked Obj-C's syntax), you can have 99% of your code be standard C or C++.

    The original post is valid though in that there is a pretty nasty learning curve hump for people who have never seen or used Obj-C. If Apple were any other company they'd have tons of samples showing how you can use C++ in your projects, but they aren't and so they don't and so samples are hard to come by and when you bring the subject up with people who are diehard Mac developers they'll often be unhelpful and berate you snootily for not using 100% Objective-C.
     

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