creator Rocketcat Games launched its action adventure game Wayward Souls
on Apple's App Store for $5 today, but there's a catch -- the price will increase by $1 every time the developer releases a major content update for the game.
Rocketcat co-founder Kepa Auwae reportedly told The Verge
that the novel pricing structure is "an experiment to see how each price point works" in the mobile market, which is dominated by free-to-play games monetized by in-app purchases.
That free-to-play model infamously proved a financial failure
when it was applied to Punch Quest
, and Rocketcat decided to slap a price tag on the game a month after it was released.
While plenty of games are released early at a discounted price and gradually get more expensive as their creators add more content -- the alpha versions ofMinecraft
and The Castle Doctrine
immediately spring to mind -- Rocketcat's approach seems far more novel. It's much akin to the way KnapNok gradually increased the price of its Wii U eShop party game Spin the Bottle
last year, bumping up the price of the game alongside each major content update.
"We'll probably shoot for $8-10, that'll put it at the price of the expanded PC edition," Auwae told Gamasutra when reached for comment about whether or not Rocketcat has a 'price cap' in mind for Wayward Souls
. "There's the FTL
reasoning of 'it's the same game on all platforms,' but FTL
got away with that because it was a port of a popular PC game, not an iOS-native game. Huge difference in perceptions there."
"Really, Wayward Souls
has to get above $6. If super-minimalistic games sell for $3-4 now, it seems like a huge game should be more than a few dollars. I don't think our games will be sustainable anymore unless the price point goes up," continued Auwae. "Then again, I think every other developer on iOS has learned that minimalist games are the only games that survive on there."