According to a report from Tiny Cartridge, hackers are starting to delve into the 3DS, illegally. This may open up pathways for pirates to obtain and distribute games on the black market. The good news is that Nintendo has the ability to put up a good fight against pirates due to 3DS system updates and such. Let’s hope this is enough to stop piracy. Time will tell.
Piracy on the Nintendo DS crippled the DS retail market, especially in Europe. We’ll never know how/if Dementium II landed in as many hands as the first game, Dementium: The Ward, due to the rampant piracy at the time. Dementium: The Ward sold more than 100,000 copies worldwide, which is a great success for an original mature-rated title on the DS. Recorded sales of Dementium II are less than half that. We’ll never truly know why that was so, but many seem to believe that piracy had a lot to do with it.
If piracy gets bad on the 3DS, we will have no choice but to stop supporting the platform with new games. Some say that piracy leads to more game sales, claiming that it enables players to try before they buy. Bullshit. The percentage of people who will spend money on a game that they already got for free is surely very small – especially with so many “free” games already in the market. The line between what should/should not be free is getting very blurry.
If these hackers really want to mess with the guts of a 3DS, why not become legit developers for it and let the world enjoy their talents? Many of today’s great programmers used to be hackers back in the day. It is a great way to learn the craft. Putting ones efforts towards the creation of legit games instead of potentially crippling the market seems like a much more fulfilling path.
Monday, December 10, 2012
A question I have been asked is why Mutant Mudds costs only $0.99 on the App Store when it costs $8.99 on Nintendo eShop. I’ll try to justify it.
Mutant Mudds was first released on the Nintendo eShop on January 26, 2012. The Nintendo eShop was a very new market, so all I really had to go on in regards to comparable pricing of platformers was DSiWare – the digital download store on the Nintendo DSi. The two main titles I looked at were Shantae and Cave Story. Shantae was priced at $12 and Cave Story was $10. I felt that Mutant Mudds was similar in scope to these, if perhaps slightly on the lighter side when compared to them, so $8.99 felt like a competitive price for a platformer in a Nintendo handheld market.
When the game released, most people agreed that the price was fair, even though it was the most expensive title on the Nintendo eShop at the time – if you do not count DSiWare titles, which are also available on the store. Including Shantae and Cave Story.
So then it came time to think about the pricing of Mutant Mudds in the App Store. I was new to the market in terms of being a consumer, so I did not have an immediate feeling of where the game should be priced competitively. I knew it could not be priced as high as the Nintendo eShop version, due to lack of buttons and 3D, but I was not sure how much lower I should go.
I did a lot of research on other titles and gauged how successful they had been. What is nice about the App Store games is that the data is fairly transparent. You can see top paid titles, highest grossing titles, number of reviews, number of active players on Game Center, and other such indications that give you a decent impression of how well a game has sold. Looking at the top paid apps today, you’ll notice that the majority are priced at $0.99. Sure, there are a few that are priced higher, but they typically offer a well-known brand or perhaps a state-of-the-art experience with cutting edge graphics and such. Mutant Mudds is not a large brand that can command “premium” price, nor does it sport state-of-the-art graphics. J
I even considered going freemium with the game and chopping up all of the game contents in purchasable chunks, but quickly ditched that idea when it just didn’t feel natural for this game. But, I am glad I at least considered that pricing model.
Other research that I uncovered suggested that even pricing a game above $0.99, say at $1.99, would result in less than 50% sales – meaning; if you can sell 100 copies at $0.99 you should expect to sell less than half that when priced at $1.99. That’s crazy!
Another painfully obvious fact is the quality of games now available on the App Store for $0.99. In an interview with GimmeGimmeGames, I recently said:
“The quality of games that can be purchased on the App Store for $0.99 is very high. Titles like Jetpack Joyride and Bad Piggies make it a very competitive market. We have to try and compete with that quality and price-point.”
Each market is different, not only due to the audience that is actively purchasing goods in those markets, but also due to how that market is presented to the public. After only spending a short time buying games in the App Store you are quickly conditioned to hunt for games that are free or $0.99. Only a well-known brand or an out-of-this-world impressive game can demand “high prices” such as $4.99 and above. It’s a crazy thing. But, it’s real.
We make games because we love to. We also want to continue to make games. That means we have to position our games competitively in each market in an attempt to maximum on the cash we receive. The inevitable result is that some people will get upset. I don’t like that fact. But, it is unavoidable. What makes it bearable is the fact that there are just as many people, if not more, who are ecstatic about the price of the title in their market, because that’s where they live and they understand or can appreciate the business side of things.
I hope this helps shed some light on how we approach such things. Happy gaming.
Friday, December 7, 2012
Austin, Texas – December 7, 2012 – Today, Renegade Kid announced that Mutant Mudds, the critically-acclaimed “12-bit” platformer, is available for download on the App Store for the iPhone®, iPad®, and iPod touch®.
Our hero, Max, may be just a 2D sprite, but he can leap into the third dimension by jetting between the background and the foreground playfields with his trusty jetpack in this unique dimensionally-woven experience.
Armed with a heavy-duty water cannon, Max has what he needs to vanquish his long-time nemesis: the Mutant Mudds. Max must blast and hover his way across the soiled landscape to seek out mysterious Water Sprites. Legend says collecting all of the mysterious Water Sprites will wash the filthy Mutant Mudds away for good!
“We’ve worked diligently to ensure Mutant Mudds maintains its authentic platforming experience on iOS devices,” said Jools Watsham, Owner and Director at Renegade Kid. “The result is something I am extremely proud of. We’re excited new players around the world will get to enjoy our 12-bit baby on their iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.”
Mutant Mudds is now available on the App store for all iOS devices. To download Mutant Mudds, check out the official iTunes information page at: https://itunes.apple.com/app/mutant-mudds/id571172432
About Renegade Kid
Founded in 2007 by Jools Watsham and Gregg Hargrove, Renegade Kid LLC is an award-winning independent video-game development studio based in Austin, Texas. Having created many memorable gaming experiences for the Nintendo DS™ and Nintendo 3DS™, with titles including the Dementium series, Moon, ATV Wild Ride, Mutant Mudds and Bomb Monkey, the studio is expanding its portfolio by exploring additional gaming platforms. Renegade Kid is excited about the future of video-games, and continues to devote its efforts towards creating fun, high quality games.
For more information about Renegade Kid and Mutant Mudds, please visit http://www.renegadekid.com.
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iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. Copyright © 2012 Apple Inc. All rights reserved.
Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DS are trademarks of Nintendo. © 2012 Nintendo.
Mutant Mudds, Dementium, ATV Wild Ride, and Bomb Monkey are trademarks of Renegade Kid LLC. © 2012 Renegade Kid LLC. All Rights Reserved.