Two more big companies have joined the flurry of sales popping up around Valentine's Day next week. Sega has jumped in with prices dropped on plenty of its titles, from US$2.99 down to 99 cents. Capcom has also joined the holiday celebration, bringing Street Fighter IV down to the incredibly low price of just 99 cents. As crazy as these deals are (and they are crazy, even though we saw lots of them in one form or another over the holiday season last December), I expect even more to show up by the end of this week.
You don't have to look far to see why this is happening. EA led the charge with a huge 99 cent sale last quarter, and as a result, it showed record numbers both in terms of sales and profits. Both larger and indie game developers have seen that trend happen, so they seem to be forming a consensus of how to make big money on Apple's App Store. First, release premium games at a premium price, usually $9.99, especially when extremely popular franchises are ported over. Then drop the bottom out of the prices once that initial audience has sold through -- and when a new audience appears, like the Verizon iPhone owners this weekend -- conquering the charts and rocketing the numbers.
We'll have to see how well that works over this weekend. Back during the last holiday sales, EA was pretty much on its own, and other developers had to catch up. This weekend, more companies are on top of the price drops; as a result, we might see fewer sales per company. But as always, it's an experiment, and when sales drop like this, we customers end up getting great games for super cheap.