I received an email from a blind user of the games expressing disappointment that the games cost more than she wants to pay. Here’s what she said:
It is with great sadness I write that I feel I must remove all the games I have downloaded from my phone. I had downloaded hearts, spades and crazy 8s but inasmuch as I enjoy playing each and would probably enjoy some of your others, I feel we are being nickel and dimed to death.
I had paid for starter packs with them when I initially downloaded each but now it seems like each one of the games wants me to purchase more starter packs.
Now, I do understand it costs to produce these games but I only wish there had been a one time charge, a starter pack that would cover all the games in one.
With another game competitor I only paid one price to rid myself of the ads and it covers all of their games I’ve played. That competitor also provides keyboard play which your games do not.
I am sure I probably won’t be missed but i did want to voice my opinion and let you understand why I feel as i do. of course it is what it is. I might also mention I know of others that for the various reasons mentioned above, they’ve chosen not to consider downloading your games.
(end of her email).
I asked the dozens of blind people who test the apps what they thought about her comments, and I really appreciate their answers. While several people mentioned that many in the blindness community are on fixed income, and live on a tight budget, they realize that building the games requires an investment of time and money, and they appreciate my efforts, and most think the games are priced fairly. Several of them were indignant about how some people expect everything to be free.
The following reply sums it up best. He broke out his answers to her comments and how he would have replied:
Customer: It is with great sadness i write that I feel I must remove all the games i have downloaded from my phone.
His reply: You did not have to delete them, and if what you say below is true, I don’t understand your “sadness”.
Customer: I feel we are being nickel and dimed to death.
His reply: You are not being forced to pay.
Customer: I had paid for starter packs with them when I initially downloaded each but now it seems like each one of my games wants me to purchase more starter packs (for new games).
His reply: This is true. Listen to AppleVis Extra #36 from January where Marty explains this.
Customer: Now, I do understand it costs to produce these games but I only wish there had been a one time charge, a starter pack that would cover all the games in one.
His reply: The abovementioned podcast talks about this as well.
One of the testers also mentioned: “I am guessing the one she paid for ads to be removed is Dice World. Those are very simple games”.
In almost all cases, the prices are set based on how many hours of unique play the game offers, how many varieties of games are included, and how unpopular it was (a few games failed to gain a following). Prior to announcing the game, I ask the testers how it should be priced, and in most cases, I set the prices lower than their suggestions.
All games follow the model of initial free plays so someone can learn the game well enough to decide if they want to buy it, and price if from $3 to $5, with optional add-ons that are priced between $2 and $4. They all come with a $1 option for 10 to 25 more game plays, so you can continue to play at a very low cost prior to buying unlimited usage. Many of the games that offer multiple games (such as Word Games), let you get everything for one lower bundled price.
I’ve been toying with the idea of also charging a monthly subscription to have unlimited access to all of the games (there are 35 as of today). If you have an opinion on that, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.