Take-Two CEO Says XCOM's iOS Success Shows Consumers Willing to Pay Premium Prices on Mobile

Last month, Firaxis and 2K Games released XCOM: Enemy Unknown for iPhone and iPad, an extremely popular and well-regarded title on both consoles and the PC.

XCOM is known as an 'AAA title' in the industry; a major game with significant investments in both marketing and development. The company set the price of XCOM's iOS version at $20, well above the price for most games on the platform -- but the gamble worked out.

Strauss Zelnick, the CEO of Take-Two Interactive -- the corporation ultimately behind the game -- gave an interview with GamesIndustry.biz (via TUAW) where he explained that XCOM proved that customers are willing to pay a premium price for a premium experience, even on mobile devices.

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Zelnick said the game was not just critically acclaimed with a Metacritic average of 92, but commercially successful as well. In its first week of release, Zelnick said the adaptation was on Apple's top 10 grossing iPad app chart.

"The success of XCOM: Enemy Unknown for iOS illustrates that consumers are willing to pay a premium price for a premium entertainment experience on any platform. This bodes well for the opportunity to deliver profitably our most immersive new AAA titles to mobile platforms as they evolve."
XCOM: Enemy Unknown can be downloaded from the App Store for $19.99. [Direct Link]





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79 months ago
I hope more big devs see this and start producing more console type games. I would pay 20 to 30 dollars for big titles. Hats off to take two for taking a chance with their pricing model.
Rating: 9 Votes
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79 months ago

The question is how many more copies would they have sold at $10 or $5.


I've done this experiment, lowering the price of an app to see if more copies would sell. What happens is there is an initial burst of downloads for about two days. Then the number of sales drops to where I am averaging less revenue per day than at the higher price, resulting in me making almost 2X lower daily income for a price drop of 2X or more (but increasing my potential support costs because of all those additional customers). The additional number of copies sold don't make up for the lower price.

This seems to prove to me that most real buyers for my apps are willing to pay significantly more than 99 cents. So, IMHO, many iOS developers should raise their prices if they are using their app business to help feed their families and pay the rent. $19.99 seems like a perfectly good price point for a well polished and reasonably unique iOS app.
Rating: 8 Votes
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79 months ago
Especially important now that iOS 7 is bringing gamepad support.
Rating: 5 Votes
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79 months ago
Yes! Mobile game developers, please keep making more premium titles and less freemium games.
Rating: 4 Votes
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79 months ago

I've done this experiment, lowering the price of an app to see if more copies would sell. What happens is there is an initial burst of downloads for about two days. Then the number of sales drops to where I am averaging less revenue per day than at the higher price, resulting in me making almost 2X lower daily income for a price drop of 2X or more (but increasing my potential support costs because of all those additional customers). The additional number of copies sold don't make up for the lower price.

This seems to prove to me that most real buyers for my apps are willing to pay significantly more than 99 cents. So, IMHO, many iOS developers should raise their prices if they are using their app business to help feed their families and pay the rent. $19.99 seems like a perfectly good price point for a well polished and reasonably unique iOS app.


I concur with this. Infact I found increasing my price has INCREASED sales as if people see a quality product with a proper price tag and good reviews it makes more sense to them than something offering the earth for 99c (to good to be true).


The age of the 99c app/game has to end as unless you have a massive (and I mean MASSIVE) hit you don't make enough to survive.
Rating: 3 Votes
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79 months ago
I hope this leads to an era of very powerful games on mobile devices.

I can't wait to see what devs end up doing with the game pad interfaces that are planned :D
Rating: 2 Votes
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79 months ago

I hope more big devs see this and start producing more console type games. I would pay 20 to 30 dollars for big titles. Hats off to take two for taking a chance with their pricing model.


I feel like this'll be happening more and more when iOS 7 comes out and there are MFi gamepads. Next gen iOS devices should be able to play games close to PS3/360-quality games, which will be awesome.
Rating: 2 Votes
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79 months ago
I hope companies like Nintendo are seeing this and realizing the huge market they're missing out. Some of those DS games would translate pretty well on an iPhone.
Rating: 2 Votes
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79 months ago

I hope companies like Nintendo are seeing this and realizing the huge market they're missing out. Some of those DS games would translate pretty well on an iPhone.


That'd be nice, but the chances of Nintendo releasing any of their games on a platform besides one of their own are about slim to none. They'd probably make their own smartphone before doing that.
Rating: 1 Votes
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79 months ago
Great news, I too hope more devs act on this (yes, Civilsation ( a good version) please!).

That said, XCom still crashes a lot for me. I would put this down to iOS 7 beta, but a lot of people have complained about it who I doubt are all using iOS 7.
Rating: 1 Votes
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