Apple's affordable App Store may be introducing some slightly steeper prices. The company is planning a "premium" games section with selections starting in the US$20 range, according to an unnamed source quoted in British gaming blog PocketGamer.biz.
The Premium Games Rumor
The rumor — and let's be clear, it's presently nothing more than that — claims the new high-end App Store section will be limited to only big-name game publishers. PocketGamer.biz suggests Apple could break the news at this summer's Worldwide Developers Conference.
Naturally, Apple and all other potentially involved parties are staying mum about the possibility.
App Store Analysis
So could the idea of a "premium" market be for real? A $20 pricetag for a quality game doesn't seem entirely unreasonable — heck, just look at the prices for downloadable PC games, and $20 will look like a bargain. Still, given that the average price of an App Store game currently comes in at well under $5, you can see where $20 would seem suddenly high.
There's also an interview published just one day ago with Apple iPhone marketing VP Greg Joswiak (kudos to AppleInsider for tracking it down) in which Joswiak discusses the benefits of the App Store's low pricing system. When asked about the pricing "sweet spot" for apps, Joswiak describes it as most often being under $7 — or, at the higher end of the spectrum, still under $14.
"What we typically see is people buying more titles, because it's a lot easier," Joswiak says. "It's a much smaller investment, and it's a much smaller decision to try a new title that only costs you [$7]."
He said, she said. Or — perhaps more accurately — he said, we speculated. As is the norm, only time will tell the truth behind this happy little hearsay. The few people who know it now certainly won't be sharing any time soon.