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Capps: 99c apps are killing us

Epic president says cheap app store is core business' biggest threat

Epic Games president Mike Capps has spoken about the threat posed by 99 cent apps to the traditional $60 games market, saying that cheap app store games make it very hard to sell a player a ful-priced game, no matter the quality.

Speaking exclusively to Industry Gamers, Capps spoke about the challenges which market uncertainty is raising for the industry.

"We have not been this uncertain about what's coming next in the games industry since Epic's been around for 20 years. 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.' 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, it's dollar apps," Capps admitted. "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."

Epic has been a proponent of the app store, having seen particular success with Infinity Blade and the potential licensing profits for the UE3 SDK which that could connote, but Chair Entertainment's Donald and Geremy Mustard called for changes to the App Store charts, claiming that they favoured cheaper apps over higher quality, more expensive projects.

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