Epic President: Cheap Apps are Killing Us

April 20, 2011 -

Epic Games president Mike Capps says that $1 game applications are a real threat to full priced games, going so far as to say that they are "killing" companies like his. While Epic Games has jumped into the space with games such as its popular Infinity Blade on iPhone and iPad, Capps expressed concerns when it came to his company's full priced games:

"We have not been this uncertain about what's coming next in the games industry since Epic's been around for 20 years," he told Industry Gamers. "We're at such an inflection point. Will there be physical distribution in 10 years or even five? Will anyone care about the next console generation? What's going on in PC? Can you make money on PC if it's not a connected game? What's going on in mobile? Tons of really scary things."

"It used to be, 'Well, of course PlayStation 3 will be successful because PS2 was amazingly successful,'" he continued. "But can you say for sure that you know everyone's going to jump to the next generation? I sure hope so. "I'm going to try to make some great tech that will make everyone want to. But it's scary."

"If there's anything that's killing us [in the traditional games business] it's dollar apps," he continued. "How do you sell someone a $60 game that's really worth it? They're used to 99 cents. As I said, it's an uncertain time in the industry. But it's an exciting time for whoever picks the right path and wins."

Source: C&VG


Comments

Re: Epic President: Cheap Apps are Killing Us

Just because Call of Duty has a bunch of games named after it doesn't make them any better than a $1 app I can buy and download online.

People pay $1 for "cheap apps" because that $1 gives them the same satisfaction as the $60 they could have otherwise paid on what truly is a cheap game that shares very little in the way of innovation for the gaming industry today.

There are exceptions to this of course, games where I will gladly hand out the "full price" for them where I simply refuse to do so for other games but these games come from developers or publishers I personally deem as reputable.

How convenient the game's accessibility is or not has no real weight on whether I buy it or not (though since I'm no longer on a high-speed internet connection, having a retail option is preferred even more-so than it already was), it's simply a matter of quality over quantity.

-- Randi Tastix

Re: Epic President: Cheap Apps are Killing Us

Wow, what an anachronistic view. They're not just beating them on price, they're beating them on convenience. People drop a buck on a game and they get it right on the spot. There is no lengthy installation, no CD-key to input, nor any calling home to validate the app. It's easy. Just pay, download, and then play. This is why Epic is in a weakened position. They still expect people will want to march to the store, pick out a game, haul it to the checkout, pay for it, take it home, fight with the security tape that's sealing it, put it in the machine, wait for it to install, enter the CD-key, and then, if there are no horrid bugs and/or DRM conflicts, you can play the game, after you watch all of the splash ads for their technology partners. GAAAAAAAWWWWWDDDD WTF!!!! I WANNA PLAY IT NOWWWW!!!! I PAID $60 FOR THIS! WHY DO I HAVE TO KEEP THE DISC IN THE DRIVE?!?

Just price the games at a point that people will just buy it and download on a whim, because it's cheap, easy, and, without DRM, it's hassle-free.

-Greevar

-Greevar

"Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

Re: Epic President: Cheap Apps are Killing Us

"Can you make money on PC if it's not a connected game?"

Um....let me check my games collection...   Why yes you can!  Single player games like Torchlight have made all sorts of unexpected waves in the industry!

"How do you sell someone a $60 game that's really worth it?"

You can't, so please stop trying.  I and most of my friends only buy games at around the $10 to $20 price point.  We don't play multiplayer except maybe some Counter-Strike now and then.  We generally only play the single player game once.  Multiplayer is useless to us.  We love a good story and good solid single-player gameplay - both aspects are generally mediocre these days, which is why indie games are quickly becoming way better than most AAA titles.

- Left4Dead

Why are zombies always eating brains? I want to see zombies that eat toes for a living. Undead-related pun intended.

- Left4Dead Why are zombies always eating brains? I want to see zombies that eat toes for a living. Undead-related pun intended.

Re: Epic President: Cheap Apps are Killing Us

Then mabye its time to halve the price of "full priced games" or go out of busniess?


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Re: Epic President: Cheap Apps are Killing Us

Just what I was thinking.  Maybe they need to take a page from Valve's playbook and look at the numbers pulled from Steam sales.  They are not insignificant.

The other thing that's going on is maybe, just maybe, nobody gives a crap about the next generation of graphics tech?  Have we reached a point where it doesn't matter how much more bump mapping you can cram on Nathan Drake's smug face?  I think we're just about there.  Maybe he's making stuff that nobody wants anymore.  I suppose that would be scary.

 
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