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iOS Dev Calls Out Take-Two's Zelnick On $40 Tablet Games

iOS game developer Appy Entertainment told Gamasutra that recent comments from Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick on $40 tablet game pricing are a product of outdated practices in the console space.
An iOS game developer told Gamasutra that recent comments from Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick on tablet game pricing are a product of outdated practices in the console space. Zelnick, who heads up Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two, said that $40 table games are feasible, recently stating, "The reason the price point is currently lower for an iPhone app is it is used for five minutes, and not for a hundred hours." He added that tablets' larger screens can offer a more "engaging entertainment experience," thus warranting a higher price point. But Appy Entertainment, developer of iOS games such as Trucks & Skulls Nitro, disagrees with Zelnick's theory of introducing console-like price points in the mobile space. "Price points aren't lower on iPhone because of five minute games -- our latest game, Trucks & Skulls Nitro, clocks in at six hours-plus for $0.99, and our metrics indicate players return to Trucks several times a week, with average sessions longer than five minutes," stated Appy brand director Paul O’Connor in an email. O'Connor added, "Prices on iOS games are compressed to free or $1 because this platform is at the center of the most competitive entertainment software market in history. Surviving here, it requires a new kind of thinking that, frankly, most of the console industry has been unwilling (or unable) to achieve." "Display size is a consideration in game development, sure, but drawing a direct relationship between screen size and depth of play is like saying 'movies can only be robust and entertaining when viewed on an IMAX screen,'" he said. Success in the space is about taking advantage of the mobile platform's other strengths rather than simply relying on a big-screen experience. "A larger screen can make an image more engaging but if your game isn't designed to take full advantage of this new, connected (and unique) touch-driven platform, then all a larger screen is going to do is amplify the shortcomings of your game," O'Connor said.

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