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Dev raises price of $3 app to $40 just to spite customers


I like the way Schiau Studios thinks -- when customers complained about the price of their $2.99US App Store game Alchemize, they raised the price up to $39.99. Over on the TouchArcade forums, they make their case: most devs, they say, when faced with complaints about price, will just lower their price even though their software is already cheap. So they wanted to buck the trend, and instead raised it up to almost $40 (which, incidentally, is slightly more than what you might pay for a handheld console game).

Lest you simply complain that they were greedy, they say they were only out to make a point: everyone who purchased the game at the higher price point will have all of their money go to charity, and now that the game's back at the $2.99 price point, 33% of all the profits to be gained will go to the same charity. Regardless of whether the game's any good or not, we like their thinking.

Can we all agree to stop griping about price points? I've actually heard this come up lately on a comedy podcast of all places -- when Chicago broadcasting legend Steve Dahl (and one of my favorites) started up a podcast about a month ago, and introduced an app to go along with it. Steve was inundated with comments complaining about the $2.99 price, which he responded to with a great argument on the show: he's put a lot of money into the app and the show behind it, and if you're already a fan of his, paying less than the cost of a cup of Starbucks should not even be an issue.

Sure, when the App Store first started up, it was the Wild West -- both prices and quality were all over the place. But at this point, Apple's review system has more or less settled down, and blogs like ours are full of recommendations, with enough free apps to last any rabid app user most of their iPhone time. If you have any interest in an app at all, a couple of bucks shouldn't be enough to give you pause -- either pick it up and make sure the dev gets their due (small as that may be), or move on to find an app you'd rather buy.

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