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Rock Band on iPhone is a hit


Disgruntled TUAW commenters, I'll save you some time: "OMG Mike of course a game powered by EA and one of the most popular franchises of all time is a hit. Try reporting some real news!" But not so fast -- Rock Band, which hit the App Store top 10 and conquered the Top Grossing list just days after its release this week, is actually a more unlikely hit than you think. For one thing, it sold at a price of $9.99 only -- no free versions, no trials, no pricing sales or schemes that have become the rule rather than the exception on the App Store lately. And for another thing, it had a comparable competitor in Tap Tap Revenge 3, selling for just 99 cents. TTR3 is a hit as well -- it's topping the list of paid apps that Rock Band is on -- but many people figured consumers would pass on the $10 app for the 99 cent one, and many people were wrong.

In short, even though, yes, Rock Band has EA's power behind it and it's based on an already popular game, it actually has bucked what we've seen so far: prices racing to the bottom, and tough chances of making a hit game, much less a profitable one, at the $9.99 price point. We don't yet know whether the game is profitable (or how either Rock Band's or TTR3's microtransaction models will do in the future), as it's just too soon.

But Rock Band is already seen as a game that stands as a shining example of what many were thinking wasn't true: big publishers with big name titles can put out big games at (relatively -- $10 is still cheap when you're talking about Rock Band at large) high price points and see them sell.

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