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Developer hits back at Take-Two $40 app comment

Trucks & Skulls creator refutes Zelnick's "five minute" game argument

Mobile developer Appy Entertainment has hit back against comments yesterday from Take-Two's Strauss Zelnick - which speculated that $40 tablet games could become a reality - by insisting that the length and complexity of mobile games has no impact on the pricing of iOS titles.

"'Price points aren't lower on iPhone because of five minute games - our latest game, Trucks & Skulls Nitro, clocks in at six hours-plus for $0.99, and our metrics indicate players return to Trucks several times a week, with average sessions longer than five minutes," said brand director Paul O'Connor.

"Prices on iOS games are compressed to free or $1 because this platform is at the centre of the most competitive entertainment software market in history. Surviving here it requires a new kind of thinking that, frankly, most of the console industry has been unwilling (or unable) to achieve.

"Display size is a consideration in game development, sure, but drawing a direct relationship between screen size and depth of play is like saying 'movies can only be robust and entertaining when viewed on an IMAX screen.' A larger screen can make an image more engaging but if your game isn't designed to take full advantage of this new, connected (and unique) touch-driven platform, then all a larger screen is going to do is amplify the shortcomings of your game."

When asked whether Take-Two would attempt to sell mobile games for $20 or more Zelnick had argued that, "The reason the price point is currently lower for an iPhone app is it is used for five minutes, and not for a hundred hours".

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David Jenkins