Blindfold Unhappy User (#114)

IEP Technologies :  Expanded Core Curriculum Games for Visually Impaired Students

IEP Technologies is our new company where we are building ECC interactive simulations for vision impaired students, based on each child’s IEP . 
The child’s progression in acquiring skills in our curriculum-based games and interactive simulations will be preserved in a private secure cloud, accessible to the IEP team in a web-based console . 
If you are a Special Ed Teacher , click for additional information on using these types of games as part of maximizing student outcomes, relating to their 
IEP Process

Unhappy User

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


  1. Hi Marty:
    I absolutely love the word games app and purchased the unlimited use option. I like the idea of an unlimited purchase option for all of the games if possible. I have been blind for many years and have purchased many products that were supposed to be accessible for the blind. There were many times when I felt that the price for the product or service was over inflated. However, I felt that I needed the products and somehow found a way to purchase them. And, yes, some of the products were very disappointing and found their way into the trash. but I have never given up on looking for assistive devices that improve the quality of my life.
    Please know that your apps are truly wonderful! You give users the opportunity to download trial versions of each of them at no charge and the apps are truly accessible. As for the price of the games, well, the individual who posted a comment about you “Nickel and diming,” users, it is obvious that she has not purchased the very popular screen reading software used by many blind PC users. A copy of that software goes for$895. and, if she is in the market for a braille embosser, she will have to come up with $2,400 for the least expensive model. And, oh yes, lets not forget the service maintenance agreements (SMA’s) that go for $150 every couple of years.
    I am sure that you did not acquire your knowledge of writing apps without your personal investment of your time and education to do so. You have the knowledge and skill to offer a product to consumers. and only you can put a price on your intellectual investments.
    Sadly, we live in a day and time of entitlement. There are those individuals who honestly believe that they deserve to reap the free benefits of other’s hard work. The bottom line is that people will spend money on the things they really want to spend money on. So, for all of the rest of us who love your games, thank you for making your talents with designing apps for the blind available to us.
    Kind Regards, S.R.

  2. Growing up, I would pay a quarter per play at the arcade. Then I would pay $3.99 for a rental on the Nintendo. Your prices are fair, especially considering the trial period. Keep up the good work.

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