Why an iPad game should cost more

Pat Wylie, from Big Fish Games, spoke at Casual Connect in Seattle this week, telling an audience of developers and publishers about making Amazon: Hidden Expedition originally for the iPhone, and then adding an iPad version just seven weeks before shipping the title.

He explains the company's general iPhone philosophy, keeping in mind the player: "We try to make something so if they have experienced our game on the PC or the Mac, when they do get it on the iPhone, they get something new."

That philosophy was stretched even further when it was decided to create a version for the new iPad as well. The reason for adding the platform was a belief that "we can actually add some value," says Wylie. Whilst a typical hidden-object game, Big Fish discovered the screen-size of the iPad allowed for adding a split-screen multiplayer feature.

iPad games should cost more, and have new features, says Wylie. For one thing, it costs two or three times more to test iPad titles. The problem is all the iPhone players are used to paying the $2.99 price.
"You essentially don't want to punish your very loyal iPhone consumer," says Wylie. That led to a decision to lower the iPad price, which "didn't allow us to create two price-points for the two versions," he reports. And in the end, the customer satisfaction paid off.

"Don't just port," warns Wylie. "Nobody wants to see the same game over and over again if they've already played it."

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