Is Apple planning opening up a premium games section on the App Store?

Thu, Jan 29, 2009


Pocketgamer is reporting that Apple has plans to open up a section on the iTunes App Store dedicated solely to games priced over $19.99.

..The initiative will only be open to a restricted number of large publishers, rather than the thousands of smaller developers currently selling their titles on the main App Store.

The rumour has been buzzing for a few months now – we even included it in our predictions for 2009 feature – but our sources suggest that it’s now actually happening.

On one hand, a premium games section seems absurd since customers are already used to buying apps for less than 5 bucks.  Even some of the more advanced games such as Rolando seemed to have trouble selling enough copies when priced in the $10 range.  Rolando even had to lower its price down to $5.99 in order to boost up what we can assume were lower than expected sales.

Why, then, would anyone think that premium priced games would do well in the App Store.  Well, Pocketgamer raises an interesting point:

From some viewpoints, introducing a premium games section to the App Store makes sense. Apple is keen to pitch iPhone and iPod touch as potential DS and PSP killers, but before they make the necessary investment in higher quality games, large publishers will surely want higher price points and more guarantee that these titles won’t get buried in the App Store crowd.

Interesting.  I’ve long held that Apple should open up a bargain-basement section of the App Store that contains all of the poorly reviewed and/or seldomly downloaded apps.  This would make browsing the app store more enjoyable and efficient for users.  Perhaps a premium section of the App Store would be just as helpful.  I guess we’ll have to wait and see.


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