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Chair: App Store should support more high-end games

But Infinity Blade studio says Apple is coming around to gaming and "looping" industry into new developments

Chair Entertainment's CEO and CTO, Donald and Geremy Mustard, have said that they'd love for Apple's App Store to do more to support higher-end, big budget iOS titles such as Infinity Blade, because the current layout is too weighted in favour of 59 pence titles. spoke to the pair at Epic's stand at San Fransisco's GDC earlier this month, where they spoke quite frankly about what they'd like to see in terms of evolution from the runaway success of the platform's storefront.

"It certainly affects our visibility to people looking for the game," said Donald when asked how the current layout affected Infinty Blade's exposure. "The first thing that people see is the top apps, and those are all by numbers so, yeah, if you're a 99 cent game then you're going to have a lot more numbers than say a $5.99 game.

"That totally affects the charts. I would love for it to not be that way. I would love for it to be something that didn't actively encourage 99 cent applications to be so prevalent. But, that's entirely Apple's call. It's their store.

"I wish and long for a day when that would change, because it would help encourage developers to not feel like they had to make their app 99 cents. I think that if we're really going to get applications and games... To create something of the quality of Infinity Blade costs a considerable amount of money. It was almost hard to justify selling it at $5.99, let alone 99 cents.

"We want to play more games of the scope and production value of Infinity Blade, and it would be great if the App Store could support that more widely."

"Well yeah, I would agree," continued brother and CTO Geremy. "I think to encourage developers of any sort of app to create something that's of the quality level of Infinity Blade, that's requires them to sell enough to justify that cost. If we want to see that trend continue in that direction, and we want to see more games like Infinity Blade that are high-resolution, fully realised 3D worlds, versus flash-based games like we're used to on the iPhone - that's what you get when you're targeting 99 cents. If you're targeting something higher then you can get something more.

It was almost hard to justify selling it at $5.99, let alone 99 cents.

Donald Mustard, CEO, Chair Entertainment.

"So yeah, I agree, I believe all that Apple has to do is to swap the top paid category with the top grossing tab, make the top grossing tab the first one you see. That would solve that, make it so it's more about how much money you're actually making. So it really would show the quality games, or the quality apps, versus whatever happens to be the current fad of whatever people are into."

However, the executives certainly believe that Apple is heading in the right direction, coming around to the idea that games are going to become a core pillar of its business.

"Their attitude to games has certainly changed," said Donald. "Three years ago, I believe you could find quotes of them saying 'the iPhone is not a gaming device', regardless of how many games were on there. But now it's undeniable, their attitudes are definitely changing."

"They're coming to us more for advice about changes to hardware," continued Geremy. "They're looping the games industry into their thoughts. Whether they like it or not is one question, but they obviously see the benefit.

"What are the numbers? I believe it's something like over 50 per cent of the revenue that they make on the App Store, is from games. They definitely see that it's a huge, huge market."

For a full transcript of the interview, head to the front page.

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Dan Pearson