March 19, 2013 4:30 PM | Staff
"But since its almost impossible to do F2P in a non-evil way and without sacrificing the elegance of your game design, we'll prefer to charge $3."
-Ridiculous Fishing developer Vlambeer responds to a question about whether the mobile market undervalues games in an Ask Me Anthing thread on Reddit (we're not sure exactly who to attribute the quote to, as both Rami Ismail and Jan Willem Nijman were posting from the same account).
Vlambeer is echoing statements we've heard a few times now from high profile developers who haven't yet dipped their toes into a microtransaction-based business model. Most recently, Thatgamecompany's Jenova Chen said that in-game purchases only work when the player is unhappy, and that he'd only give them a shot if he could figure out how to make his players pay because they are happy.
It's funny to think that a full game for $3 is seen as higher-tier on a platform like iOS these days, but as Vlambeer explains, even a $0.99 price point wouldn't have worked for Ridiculous Fishing.
"The problem is that at $0.99, you'll need to sell endless amounts of copies to be able to survive as an indie developer," it said.
"Most games don't even get close to that. A direct result of the whole race-to-the-bottom in prices is the prevalance [sic] of Free to Play on iOS - it seems to be a safer bet."
Gamasutra recently spoke at length to Vlambeer about its struggles completing Ridiculous Fishing, and how the developer fell victim to cloning before the game was complete. Check it out here.
[Frank Cifaldi wrote this article originally for sister site Gamasutra]