The long-awaited iOS version of XCOM: Enemy Unknown is almost here. 2K Games has announced that it will be available on the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch Thursday at a premium price of US$19.99.
Firaxis' excellent remake of the old PC game arrived on consoles last year to critical acclaim, and now it's coming to iOS with all of the single player features of the main release. Multiplayer mode is coming later on, and will be added in an update a little further down the road.
That price might be the most notable thing about this one. Lots of developers are going with freemium on iOS lately, claiming that there's just not a big enough audience willing to pay a higher price to justify anything but giving games away for free. But XCOM is definitely a premium experience, and I think that there are plenty of gamers out there willing to pay $20 for a game worth the quality (XCOM is still selling in stores for $50 or $60 on consoles and PC). Firaxis apparently agrees, so if XCOM turns out to be a hit, we may see more developers and publishers trusting the premium price for their highest quality games.
A hit here could also kick off a trend of even more developers bringing out their AAA titles to iOS, possibly even closer to the same day and release date of consoles and PCs. We'll see how this all plays out. If nothing else, we're all set to get another excellent game on iPhone and iPad this coming Thursday.