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Dollar Apps Killing Traditional Gaming? 343

donniebaseball23 writes "There can be no denying that the rise of smartphones and tablets has had a major impact on the gaming business. The prevalence of free and 99-cent apps has changed consumers' perception of value. Mike Capps, president of Gears of War developer Epic Games, said, 'If there's anything that's killing us [in the traditional games business] it's dollar apps. How do you sell someone a $60 game that's really worth it? They're used to 99 cents. As I said, it's an uncertain time in the industry. But it's an exciting time for whoever picks the right path and wins.'"
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Dollar Apps Killing Traditional Gaming?

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  • by symbolset ( 646467 ) * on Thursday April 21, 2011 @06:37AM (#35891300) Journal

    The installed base for iOS is over what, 60 million units? And Android is like, 40 million. So if you develop a game that costs a million bucks to develop and sell it for ten bucks, you have to get 0.13 percent of the users to buy it to break even. And if it's a 99 cent thing you and your mom cooked up in a few weeks during summer break that's cute and catches on, you may never work in a real job ever in your life - before you're even out of middle school.

    An interesting game. It sounds like the only way to lose is not to play.

  • by AliasMarlowe ( 1042386 ) on Thursday April 21, 2011 @06:56AM (#35891402) Journal

    An interesting game. It sounds like the only way to lose is not to play.

    Many will lose simply because the number of popular game apps will be a tiny fraction of the number developed and marketed. The losers will include quite a few who invest time/effort/money in developing a game that gets bought by essentially nobody.

    Right now, these mini-games have novelty value, but that might wear off, and the potential rewards for success will shrink if the punters don't play.

    Of course, I'm not really in the "gamer" demographic. The last game I bought for a PC was Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe, maybe 20 years ago, for about $40. Since then I've bought precisely three PlayStation games for the kids, costing a total of about $150. The number of app-style games I've purchased for our smartphones is exactly zero, and unlikely to change.

  • Casual Gamers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bigbutt ( 65939 ) on Thursday April 21, 2011 @07:40AM (#35891678) Homepage Journal

    There was a report here a few months back or so that linked to a game company's discovery that quite a few people only played a $60 game for a few hours and many never completed it before moving on to the next game. These are the folks that are being lost. Instead of spending $60 on a game they don't complete, they spend a buck or a few bucks on a game for their phone. It lets them play a little when waiting or idle without having to go to their computer, power it up and go back in.

    I was a pretty heavy gamer back when Doom, Command and Conquer, Red Alert and StarCraft were popular. As multi-player became more popular, I found I didn't have the time to invest in trying to beat some twitchy 15 year old who had nothing better to do all day. I still get the newer games like StarCraft II and even play them, but I haven't finished it yet. I'll get the other two when they come out as well and may finish it they, or not.

    I also have several "games" on my iPad and iPhone ranging from Angry Birds (it's really a puzzle solving game), Popper, and Pocket God to Small World, Rage, and Red Alert with several others in between. They're fine when I'm sitting here at work at lunch or in the car with my wife going somewhere.

    The game companies have less of my money because I'm not interested in sports or super realistic multi-player gaming (battlefield 2 or crysis for instance). I like the games like Castle Wolfenstein, Duke Nukem, Doom, Quake, Command and Conquer, Red Alert (the original one more than the newer ones), Carmageddon, and StarCraft. Heck, I'd be excited to get many of the games I played back then simply updated to work on the current tech.


  • by Idarubicin ( 579475 ) on Thursday April 21, 2011 @09:44AM (#35892890) Journal

    If a $1 game provides me with about 1 week of entertainment, a $60 game should provide me with 60 weeks of entertainment.

    If I can buy a $15,000 car that drives 100 mph, why can't the $60,000 car hit 400 mph?

    If I don't mind a five-minute commute in my $1,000 used clunker, I should be just as happy with a five-hour drive to work in the $60,000 Lexus, right?

    A $200 bottle of wine probably isn't twice as "good" as a $100 bottle of wine (though a $10 bottle probably is twice as good as a $5 bottle).

    My $1000 camera doesn't do five times as much as a $200 point and shoot, and it definitely doesn't do twice as much as a $500 camera. I've got it for the small but perceptible improvement in image quality, plus the ten percent (or so) of photographs that would be impossible with the cheaper cameras.

    The price of luxury, leisure, and entertainment goods does not necessarily correlate linearly with simple measures.

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle