So last week at GDC, I was part of the Independent Game Developers Rant and I decided, sorta last minute, to rant about how I hate the appstore and how I feel it is a way for larger companies to sell a brand. Companies like Capcom, Sega, etc, they put out dumbed down, nearly unplayable versions of Megaman and Sonic to sucker people into buying a game. I fell victim to this as well, as I'm one of the people that purchased Sonic 1 on my iPhone a while ago. To this day I have yet to get past the second level in Marble Hill Zone (or whatever the second world is). I related this back to the Tiger Hand Held games of my youth and how they were shitty versions of games I loved. I thought I made a good point, also I love to bash Apple any chance I get. As part of that rant, I talked about an experiment I did where I had a game, Zits n' Giggles, up on the appstore that I would raise one price tier each time someone bought it. The end of the rant I revealed that Zits n' Giggles was up to $349.99. Pretty hilarious. Take a look.
On March 15th, 2010, about one year after I put Zits n' Giggles on the appstore originally, Apple pulled the game from the store even though I did absolutely nothing wrong. Its kinda bullshit but I did expect it and I want to clear some stuff up:
1. Games are never listed as $1 or $2, they are instead listed as $0.99, $1.99 respectively. So the theories that people thought it was $4 instead of $400 are inaccurate. Listed on the appstore, it would have been listed as $399.99. There are too many digits there to mistake it for $3.99. If anyone did, they probably shouldn't be on the internet using a credit card.
My Theories on why people bought it are either A) They wanted to see what it was, which is stupid or B) It's an elitest thing, where they want to brag that they have "The Most Expensive Game on the App Store" or C) They know who I am and they just want to support. Personally I feel B is probably the most likely. Think of the number of people with iPhones on the appstore, quick google search shows 30 Million sold as of Mar. 2009. If we take that number and assume that maybe a 10th of that actually use the appstore (which I'm sure is higher, but whatever) that means roughly 0.000013% of the people bought the game that have an iPhone. Those are pretty good odds to have rich people, elitists, etc to buy the game and NOT RETURN IT.
That's another point...you can return Apps on the appstore within 90 days. Some have returned, most have kept the game.
2. Some people think I scammed people. Here is an equivalent scam in the same terms that pricing an app on the appstore.
Me: "Hey, I'll give you this pencil for $399.99"
That's it, how is that a scam? If you ask someone for something, and they give it to you knowing that the value of the item you are giving them is much less than the price being paid...then they either really want it..or they have more money than brains...or they just want to give you $399.99. As far as it being unethical, etc...that's hilarious. I mean seriously, who in their right mind would pay $399.99 for an iPhone game thinking it was "Worth that". That's more than Xbox 360 or a PS3 a Netbook but only slightly less than an iPad. I believe in the Zits n' Giggles game we mocked how horrible the game. Never did we make any claims that it would make your phone run faster, or clear your face of acne, or get you laid...we said it was a crap game and it was. It was made in about a total of 10 hours over a few weeks. It isn't something I care about.
Think about this for a moment. How much is an iPad...and how much is a netbook that does more? If I'm a scammer for charging $399.99 for a stupid app, Apple is a scammer for charging a starting price of $500 for a sub par netbook, and charging more than double the market price for RAM and etc etc....I could go on and on how Apple abuses their fanbase by inflating their prices because they have an Apple logo on them, but I don't want to get into that.
Either way, I couldn't care less they took it down, so long as they paid me for what I earned. They can hold it for the full 90 days (even though they have a 45 day cycle) for all I care. I have no intentions on doing anything for iPhone or iPad ever...I hate the platforms and I hate the stores. I will end up doing a Mac version of Super Meat Boy, but thankfully that isn't sold through their crappy AppStore. You are more likely to see Super Meat Boy on an Android phone then you are to see Super Meat Boy on an iPhone, but you won't see it on any phone because A PHONE IS NOT A GENERIC GAMING PLATFORM. IT WORKS FOR SOME GAMES, BUT NOT EVERYTHING. I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH. JUST BECAUSE SOMETHING HAS THE ABILITY TO RUN GAMES THAT DOESN'T MEAN EVERY GAME SHOULD BE MADE FOR IT. That is all, now I'm going to go play Pokemon on my TI-83 while you enjoy screenshots of SUPER MEAT BOY.