When 2K Games and Firaxis released their iOS port of the popular console title XCOM: Enemy Unknown, they decided to buck the conventional wisdom that mobile games needed mobile pricing. Rather than a price in line with the $.99 to $5.99 gamers have come to expect in the iOS store, XCOM was released for $19.99. Despite that premium price tag the game hit the Top 10 Grossing Apps charts in its first week of release.
Take-Two chairman Strauss Zeinick is pleased with the news and has pointed to it as proof that premium pricing can work in the traditionally cheap mobile market.
As the computing power of smartphones continues to grow, the reality of bringing games that match the quality of consoles to mobile gamers moves closer than ever. However, with the increased cost of developing these games expect to see premium pricing become the new normal for top tier titles. Still with games like Candy Crush putting players on time out every five lives, with the option to pay to keep playing of course, maybe it will eventually become a pleasure to pay more money up front to be able to play whenever you want to.
The success of XCOM: Enemey Unknown for iOS illustrates that consumers are willing to pay a premium price for a premium entertainment experience on any platform. This bodes well for the opportunity to deliver profitably our most immersive new AAA titles to mobile platforms as they evolve.