Recently, Apple announced two new low price tiersfor apps and games on the Indian App Store.
The increased variety of price tags is of particular significance to the Indian market, which has typically struggled to find a fiscal sweet spot for its diverse spread of players.
The exchange rate between rupees and foreign currencies is often skewed – a dollar’s worth of rupees is often of far greater expense to an Indian player than it is to an American one, for instance.
So this week we asked our India Mavens:
What do you think of Apple's new price tier system?
How big an issue is App Store/Google Play pricing for the Indian games market?
And, what is the ideal minimum price point for Indian gamers?
Shailesh Prabhu is an Indie Game Designer from India who has been designing games for over ten years. Seven years ago he founded Yellow Monkey Studios and is the recipient of numerous game design and entrepreneurship awards around the world. Socioball, HUEBRIX, It’s Just a Thought are some of his recent games. Shailesh is also an excellent cook, loves playing tennis, gardening and DIY projects apart from sporting facial hair.
I think it's a step in the right direction for sure.
For a long time people have speculated that Rs. 10-30 ($0.16-$0.47) is a sweet spot for Indian consumers, now they have a way to verify that.
Personally I dont think it will create much difference in revenue for our games. We will try out the new pricing tier (Rs. 10 for India) just to see what kind of bump we get.
Will be happy to share the results.
Poornima has been part of the gaming industry for over 15 years and undertaken roles varying from Game Designer to Producer to Studio head and Entrepreneur.
She has been part of companies like Indiagames (Disney India), Jumpstart, GSN Games etc.
She is currently a Director of Design at Zynga.
She has worked on franchises like BioShock Mobile, How to Train your Dragons, Neopets, and FarmVille 2: Country Escape to name a few.
She is a Women in Games Ambassador and also a Hall of Fame Inductee at the Global WIG Awards 2020, making her the first Indian game developer to receive such an honour.
Rs.10 price point could help more customers get used to the idea of purchasing.Poornima Seetharaman
If it has to be low price. Rs. 30 would be my ideal target since it's almost half a dollar as well, which is a nice fraction.
Rs. 10 is obviously better, but does affect the developer a bit more taking into account that Apple takes 30% of the share.
In fact, if we are looking at less than Rs. 30, the introduction of these price points for IAPs could be more positive.
On the other hand, the Rs.10 price point could help more customers get used to the idea of “purchasing” digital goods off the store.
This will eventually allow them to purchase apps and games at a higher price point and be comfortable with IAPs as well.
The pricing structure is already available for IAPs. It is definitely something that is well worth trying out.
I remember the developers of Sudoku Quest trying prices based on Purchasing Power Parity in some developing countries on the Facebook app version of their game. Their experiment was a big success, they increased transactions in these countries by 1100% and revenues by 400%, albeit from a small base.
It is definitely a step in the right direction by Apple.
The only counter argument is if it will devalue games in these markets. I think it will rather bring the price closer to the value in these markets.
7+ years of experience in Gaming Industry. Currently spearheads underDOG Gaming as a Game Designer, Business and Product Guy.
Rs.10-30 will be far more convenient for people to try out new games.Vaibhav Chavan
Definitely a move most of us were waiting for. Considering the fact that most of the revenue is made through IAPs, this change will help players in India for freemium games to move a step forward and start upgrading their in-game progression which was avoided due to pricing range.
For paid games, this would be a gateway to create a premium gaming audience here which will try buying the games.
Rs.10-30 will be far more convenient for people to try out new games than the current pricing.
In the long run, this would definitely benefit the developers as I believe the first step to start this was important and Apple has done it.
Just a thought that came up - the whole scenario of what Uber is doing to Indian customers here. Getting everyone to try out the rides with free rides with an objective to make it a habit. People are already used to it and it's definitely going to help them in long run.
Also, the major problem here is not just the price range but the method to buy the games/apps. Majority of the people here do not have credit cards to do the same even if they want to. Coming up with a solution to tackle this help.
Agreed with Shailesh, that it will not make much of a difference now but it will surely help us build an audience that will benefit the whole community in long run. Let's try and see the results.
My name is Rituraj Behera and I am Co-founder of Cympl, an Indie game studio started back in November 2012.
I had begun my career as an application developer but I always loved playing games which attracted me to the fast growing mobile games industry.
I had started the organization with a vision to create high quality mobile games and an attitude to learn & improve everyday.
It is good to know that Apple has finally decided to introduce lower price tiers in India. They have done something similar for iTunes music offering songs for Rs. 12 and 15.
I don't know about statistics but that definitely convinced me to buy a lot of songs from the iTunes as compared to before. The price point in iTunes seems fair and relevant for the local market.
pricing is only a part of the problem in terms of monetizing Indian gamers.Rituraj Behera
For the Indian game market, the current pricing in Google Play/App Store is definitely an issue as Rs. 60 in India is not the equivalent of $1 in USA. If IAP pricing is set based only on USA market then we can expect far less transactions in the Indian market.
Ideally I would consider Rs. 15 (as equivalent of $1 in USA) as a fair price point for the Indian market. Also, as Poornima pointed out earlier, I agree that lower price points will also encourage more micro-transactions and give people a taste of making IAP in mobile games, which eventually will translate to more transactions and revenues in the future.
Anyways, I believe that pricing is only a part of the problem in terms of monetizing Indian gamers. Other factors like credit card penetration and lack of other payment options are also affecting Indian gamers from purchasing virtual currency in the game.