I’ve received a few emails about the price of Jabeh on the app store, so here’s my reply to all of them. :-)
I understand that Jabeh is more expensive than the alternatives out there, but I think the quality of the app and the puzzles more than make up for the difference. The quality of the programming, music and graphics speak for themselves, so I’ll leave that be. With respect to the puzzles, the puzzles in the other apps are very poorly made (probably generated from a poor algorithm), and as a result they’re just not that fun to play. Granted there are 1000+ of them, but the easy puzzles are insultingly easy (3+ zero rows/columns in an easy puzzle?? c’mon!) and the more difficult puzzles require outright guessing, which is not Shinro anymore.
All the puzzles in Jabeh are hand made, so every little twist in a puzzle is something that my friend (and sometimes I) has thought through and thought the player would enjoy. Additionally, you never have to guess to solve a puzzle. You just need to break out those skills of deduction to figure it out. :-)
Not that I haven’t considered lowering the price of Jabeh. When I first launched Jabeh, it was only $1.99, and it didn’t really catch on. So I lowered it to $.99 in hopes of it picking up steam, and still nothing. I raised the price up to $2.99, then to $4.99 where it is now, and demand tapered off only very slightly. It seems most of the people who are interested in a high quality puzzle app are fine with paying $4.99, if it means they get to play it in a beautiful interface with great content. The $2 difference in price isn’t worth the frustration of dealing with an inferior app.
I guess my point in this is that if my app would have picked up and rocketed to the top of the charts at $.99, I would have gladly left it there for all to enjoy and for me to make my profit in volume. Since that’s not that case, I’m fine with leaving it at $4.99 so I at least make some cash to make updating the puzzles and the game worth it (because at $.99, I would have stopped a LONG time ago).
Now, I’d like to throw down the gauntlet here; if people can generate enough buzz about Jabeh to make it start climbing the app store rankings, I’ll gladly return the favor by lowering the price. I’ll start with a modest goal of getting Jabeh into the top 100 of the board games category, and if that happens I’ll lower the price to $3.99.
Also, if you’d like to check out a very interesting post on iPhone app pricing from another developer, this piece by David Frampton is well worth a read.
BTW, I’d like to thank all the Jabeh players for supporting my app, and I hope you guys continue to enjoy all the puzzle updates. And don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about those feature requests (work has just been getting in the way).