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.99 Cent Games are Coming for Your Children

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Headline courtesy of Todd.

Epic President Mike Capps is terrified of 99 cent games. Seriously. I mean, if you can get a good game for a dollar, why would you possibly pay 60 bucks for a game? And if you don’t pay 60 bucks for a game, how is he going to keep rolling around in piles of filthy, filthy lucre?

Here’s the quote from Big Mike himself:

“If there’s anything that’s killing us, it’s dollar apps,” he said. “How do you sell someone a $60 game that’s really worth it … They’re used to 99 cents.”

Well, Mike, let me take a stab at this. People will pay 60 bucks for a game when they can get games for a dollar for the same reason that people buy an Acura when a ’73 Vega does the job, for the same reason they buy a $500,000 house when a three bedroom apartment does a job, for the same reason they spend more money on things they perceive as being valuable when a cheaper alternative would do the job. Games are not one size fits all. Some people want to do nothing but fling birds and match gems. Awesome, they have a game for that. Some people want to play Gears of War 3 and awesome, you’ll have a game for that. I seriously, seriously doubt that anyone who plays Gears of War 3 after playing Angry Birds would ask why the GoW 3 experience costs more. They may ask why they should pay for it when Angry Birds does them just fine, but that’s a different point altogether and one that would be asked if your game was ten bucks or twenty or three hundred. Now, if you want to ask why I should pay 60 bucks for your game when games like Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes and Section 8: Prejudice, both with long single player campaigns and awesome multiplayer components, are 15 bucks. I think that’s a much better question because then you’re on a more level playing field.

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Seen at Industry Gamers.


Brandon loves games, which shouldn't be a surprise given where you're reading this. He has written for GameShark, The Escapist and G4, and made them all less relevant as a result.

11 thoughts to “.99 Cent Games are Coming for Your Children”

  1. That is a hilarious quote. Just hilarious. Seems like you have a conundrum there, Mike! Seems like a question YOU should be answering for US. How *do* you make it worth it?

    Did he actually just question whether or not his own price point is “really worth it?”

    edit: by the way, gamasutra is technically linking from They have the original quote.

  2. Maybe if EPIC released a decent game once in a while- rather than releasing derivatives of other, or their earlier, games- maybe he wouldn’t have a problem.

  3. “Did he actually just question whether or not his own price point is “really worth it?””

    Sounds like it to me. I think most of the big publishers were happy with all the new ways they could increase income (DLC, direct download, etc). It was a great way to rake in cash while reducing expenses. But it’s also led consumers to question why they’re paying full price on an outdated pricing model, so now these same publishers are now crying foul. I’m sorry, but if you can’t tell me why your game is worth $60 when compared to a $1 game, then maybe you need to rethink what you value your game at.

  4. This guy has three options:

    1) Make sure your $60 game is *actually worth $60.*

    2) Price your game *appropriately* for its relative value and rely on greater volume and quality DLC to match (or potentially exceed) your old profits.

    3) Take your ball and go home.

    I am sick to death of game developers bitching and moaning about app games. What Brandon says is true, too – there is more to this than .99 cent games. Put up or shut up, guys.

  5. Here’s an easy answer.

    I more commonly have one dollar spare to spend compared to sixty dollars, and I’d rather buy a coke or a dollar game than save up for your generic crap.

  6. I respect that there’s guys who have to make this work as a business, but they really shouldn’t openly declare they are having trouble doing their job.

    If they pump thousands of man hours into rendering brown dust, and expect it to pay for itself, you gotta wonder if they even understand what business they’re in.

  7. Is there a place where I can still get 49 cent tacos because the Taco Bells around here now charge nearly $1. It’s madness I tell you! Madness!

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