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Game Strategies: iPad vs. iPhone

July 8, 2010 Article Start Previous Page 2 of 3 Next

But up at Vancouver-based IUGO Mobile Entertainment, director of business development Sarah Thomson says the six-year-old indie developer of mobile games has recently standardized its approach to i-platforms.

As a way of rewarding customers who already have a copy of the company's iPhone and iPod Touch builds of Implode! XL, Zombie Attack! Second Wave XL, Cliffed XL, and Escape: Norm's World XL, no added purchase is necessary to download updates, including iPad support.

And IUGO's upcoming iPad titles will be universal builds, she says; if you own one, you can play it across all three devices.

"That's a strategy that Apple actually recommended to every developer from the get-go," recalls Thomson, "so that was part of the reason we adopted that strategy.

"The other part is that even though the iPhone is and will continue to be very much our priority, we wanted to immediately jump on the hype about the iPad as soon as it was announced earlier this year and we now believe that, ultimately, a multi-platform mass-market approach is the real key to big success."

"Jumping on the hype" meant quickly selecting the four games that could best be ported to the iPad -- but "not simply by doing minor tweaks and then throwing it on the iPad," according to Thomson.

In keeping with IUGO's philosophy of creating content that is customized for a particular platform or handset, the developer took each game and fashioned some sort of value-add. A level-editor was built and added to Implode! so that gamers could create their own levels and share them with friends.

A "same device head-to-head" feature was added to Cliffed so that two gamers could race each other on the same iPad. Multiplayer modes were added to three of the four games. And IUGO pumped up the graphics for all four titles to make the most of the iPad's larger screen size.

Despite the amount of work that went into the add-ons, IUGO decided not to boost any of its prices, except one -- a dollar was added to Implode!, increasing the fare to $2.99, when it was determined that there had been so many updates and content added that the higher price was well worth it.

Implode! XL

Zombie remained at $3.99 for iPhone and iPad; Cliffed, $1.99 for both platforms; and Escape is a free app for the two platforms but with in-app purchases (two more difficulty levels and a multiplayer mode, each $.99).

"Our goal is to use our lower prices to our advantage," reveals Thomson. "We knew that a lot of our competitors intended to price their iPad games higher and we felt that we didn't need to do that. The idea wasn't to make millions of dollars more, it was to get our name out there as a quality developer of iPhone and iPad games."

Thomson doesn't believe most developers are on the same page though and she suspects the majority will create two different iPhone and iPad builds, sell them separately, and charge more for the latter.

"A few may adopt the universal build philosophy," she says, "but I'm guessing most won't -- which is not necessarily a bad way to go either, to be honest. The jury is still out on which strategy will be the better one... and we're going to take a wait-and-see attitude on whether we'll try the non-universal approach as well."

Article Start Previous Page 2 of 3 Next

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