It's no secret major studios are worried about the effect cheap App Store prices will have on consumer expectations and the viability of traditional development models in the coming years. As some of the mobile 99-cent apps approach a level of quality offered by more expensive downloadable titles or portable releases, AAA game makers are feeling an increasing pressure to compete with a growing taste for cheaper games. And according to Epic Games boss Mike Capps, this is a stress that's outright murdering mainstream developers.
"If there's anything that's killing us [in the traditional games business] it's dollar apps," admitted Capps in an interview with IndustryGamers, continuing, "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."
Capps added there's never been a more unstable time to run a studio like Epic Games considering the rising number of distribution models and gaming technologies, many of which remain unproven and therefore a considerable risk.
“We have not been this uncertain about what's coming next in the games industry since Epic's been around for 20 years,” said Capps, explaining, “We're at such an inflection point. Will there be physical distribution in 10 years or even five? Will anyone care about the next console generation? What's going on in PC? Can you make money on PC if it's not a connected game? What's going on in mobile? … [there are] tons of scary things.”
Wary though he may be, Epic Games was recently brave enough to release Infinity Blade for iPhones and iPads late last year, earning more than $1.64 million in its first five days in the App Store, and becoming the fastest selling iOS app ever. You know, something tells us Epic will be just fine.
Apr 20, 2011
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