Mac App Store

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Post: #46
(Oct 22, 2010 09:02 PM)AnotherJake Wrote:  I recall Ryan Gordon was on this back then too (search for iTunes on the page): http://icculus.org/cgi-bin/finger/finger...e=14-05-38
Wow - he pretty much described what happened with the App Store. He's a witch!
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Post: #47
Skorche Wrote:They haven't said that you can't sell your software through multiple channels

Right now a number of users are on 10.5 and the app store (which is going to be released before 10.7) will not function on 10.5, so it's hard for me to imagine that they'd do that. At least initially, it might even be worth the effort to having an alternative purchase option.

I also wonder how the app store will affect MacUpdate. Maybe it'll eventually die, or maybe not.
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I think I will give the Mac developer program a shot for one year and see how it goes. But I think I will do more iOS apps than Mac apps.

"When you dream, there are no rules..."
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Post: #49
(Oct 22, 2010 08:38 PM)MattDiamond Wrote:  I think we'll see a flood of $1-$3 stuff, some of it good, some of it bad, but I don't think it's going to pull down the price of games that are currently selling on Steam or MacGameFiles for $5-$15.

In our experience, people won't be able to (or maybe won't care to) differentiate between crappy $1 games and quality $15 games. We've had people say our Mac games cost too much- I can get this game for $1... and they'll point at an iPhone game.... and a crappy iPhone game too, perhaps. There will be market pressure, whether it's unfair or not, for high priced games to compete with lower priced games.

In normal retail, cheap stuff does win a lot. However, sometimes people will buy for quality and be willing to pay the price. I just don't feel like the broader video game market that people will respond to quality the same way they might with organic food, or Craftsman tools, etc. Maybe that time will come after people are burned by low quality stuff.

I think the key difference is that you won't find a Jorgensen hand clamp for two dollars, but you will find a harbor freight discount clamp for $2. (Do not buy them, they are garbage!) I'm sure the materials alone for the Jorgensens cost more than that. In the App Store, people are willing to sell a 20 man-month app for 99 cents. There's an illusion that volume will make up for the low cost, due to the fundamental economy of scale of the store. There's something magical about the fact that producing 1000 copies of a game is the same cost as producing 1.. this leads people to strange pricing conclusions.

I don't see how the Mac App Store will behave differently than the iOS App Store in this regard. In either case, there's no "cost per unit" like in a manufactured product. Add to this a very large number of suppliers, some who are just doing it for fun, and I'd expect a rush to the bottom again.

Howling Moon Software - CrayonBall for Mac and iPhone, Contract Game Dev Work
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Post: #50
(Oct 23, 2010 06:47 PM)AndyKorth Wrote:  ... or Craftsman tools, etc. ...

[Off-topic] You mean Snap-On Rasp Craftsman is *relatively* low quality in the tool department by my standards, although they do make good screwdrivers at least. Wink That's pretty snooty of me huh..

(Oct 23, 2010 06:47 PM)AndyKorth Wrote:  In our experience, people won't be able to (or maybe won't care to) differentiate between crappy $1 games and quality $15 games. We've had people say our Mac games cost too much- I can get this game for $1... and they'll point at an iPhone game....

This reminds me of something one of our reviewers for Devil Voice said just a few days ago, and I quote:

Quote:As a free app it would be ok.

I feel flattered... I've seen people complain about great free apps, so at least this one is worthy of being free. LOL

(Oct 23, 2010 06:47 PM)AndyKorth Wrote:  In the App Store, people are willing to sell a 20 man-month app for 99 cents.

That right there is the situation in a nut-shell!
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Post: #51
I agree completely with you Jake, except for the Snap-On comment!!!! My Craftsman router and sliding compound mitre saw are modern works of art! This really does make the Mac vs. Windows debate pale in comparison!

Howling Moon Software - CrayonBall for Mac and iPhone, Contract Game Dev Work
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LOL
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I don't think this will spell the end of openness for the Mac, though it will be very similar as far as the end user is concerned. This will be more convenient for the users overall, and some developers will benefit from having the distribution tools provided, while others will suffer from the price depression. (at least in the games area, I don't think that would happen so much in the utilities area) However, one side effect I can see is as users use the app store more, they will only look there for apps. While being rejected from the store doesn't man you can't sell your app on the Mac, it means that very few people will be exposed to it, since the general community won't look anywhere other than the app store.

It may not be a walled garden, but a rope barrier is being put up. You can trivially step over the rope barrier, but most people will see it and just never step over. If you want to set up a lemonade stand, but aren't able to set it up within the barrier and had to put it behind some trees, most people wouldn't even notice, let alone step over to go to your lemonade stand.

Right now, every app is pretty much hidden on the internet, and it's up to users to find them or to see other people recommend the good apps. The relative difficulty of finding an app is approximately equal for any developer starting off, which then changes based on their ability to market it. With the app store, everything is in one place, which makes it easier to find any app, but if Apple rejects any app the relative difficulty of finding it compared to apps on the store becomes ridiculously higher. You almost have to be a huge corporation with good marketing and an already huge user base, like Adobe, Microsoft, Autodesk etc. to survive that. Overall that's fine, and can be an overall benefit for the community, as long as it's easy to get in the store, with transparent and lenient guidelines (with no anti-competitive causes, no limitations on what language is used, etc.) that are strictly adhered to. Apple has shown just the opposite, so I don't see this as being a good thing overall...
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Post: #55
I'm thinking I might pay for the Mac App dev license once and see how it goes. I'll probably just convert Slope Rider and if it gets some traction I may consider it for future games. But I'm not going to put much effort in initially. It's kinda funny since Slope Rider started as an OS9/OSX game seven years ago, then went to iPhone, now might be back again on OSX.

One thought that struck me over the weekend though - Apple TV and Mac App Store? Could this be the place users will be able to download apps directly on the Apple TV?
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Post: #56
Ugh. This is terrible news Sad

Given that the app store for the iPad was actually worse than the one they released for the iPhone, I see no reason to be hopeful about any of the problems that have been brought up. I haven't been following Mac development for as long as I know a lot of people here have been, but since I've started programming, the general thing that I've seen is that Apple is perfectly happy sacrificing openness for, well, pretty much anything it's going after, whether that be profit or it's perceived design-ideals.

(Oct 21, 2010 02:14 PM)AnotherJake Wrote:  The problem has never been that Apple is being the central source of distribution

I totally disagree here. If Apple did not force itself on developers as being the only source of distribution, then when the app store repeatedly burned developers, they could move elsewhere, and the app store would either have to improve, or wither and die. As it is, the app store has no reason to improve anything, because they have no direct competition.

(Oct 22, 2010 12:25 PM)FreakSoftware Wrote:  To me, the questions of 2a and 3 are needless worrying. I have full confidence Apple isn't going to go there, because that'd just be insane.

To us developers, it'd be insane, but I doubt the average user would care. In my experience, many users think that Apple is directly involved in producing any application that runs on a Mac; they have no separation between the operating system and the things that run on the operating system, and the idea of a complex relationship between developers of applications and the developers of the operating system is, to them, a completely foreign one Sad

Worlds at War (Current Project) - http://www.awkward-games.com/forum/
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Post: #57
@PowerMacX : excellent link! 60K to 262k apps in one year is sick! .. not to mention the clear price depression.

@akb825 : excellent analogy! What you're talking about is why I think they should either a) gtf out of the "app featuring business" period, but still host/distribute apps or b) get serious about Zwilnik's "Minimum Featured Price" angle to actively help support unit prices. ... and they should also stay out of the ad business! ... I smell new federal regulations coming out of all of this if they don't. Their "control" over this market, unintentionally or otherwise, is very clear to everyone.

@monteboyd : "Apple TV and Mac App Store?" I was thinking this last year too, and now there's even more evidence that it's going that way. Game Center? All the pieces are almost in place, except for Steve's apparent embarrassment about games.

@wyrmmage : "I totally disagree..." I fully agree with what you're saying actually, but my angle was more from the viewpoint of the App Store being a good thing for everyone, except for the price depression Apple causes as a side-effect (i.e. simply because they have no reason to do otherwise, as you point out).
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I should point out that while my minimum price for chart/feature inclusion is a possibly good idea for devs, from Apple's point of view the downward spiral of pricing could be a good thing as it's certainly good for consumers in the short run. They have no shortage of decent devs wanting to work on the platform and by not applying any sort of price controls they're staying clear of any federal worries about market control etc.
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Both valid points. They could be countered with:
- what if Apple ultimately earns less on royalties because the prices are too low? We don't know their numbers though, so maybe like Wal-mart they get higher profits off of our lower margins and their higher volume.
- couldn't it also be considered market manipulation to provide distribution in such a way that it knowingly devalues the entire sector relating to that platform? I still say that if there isn't federal regulation which covers this situation already, there will be. As it stands right now, it seems anti-competitive, but I can't quite see a clear argument.

Further, while it may ultimately be to Apple's advantage for market prices to be depressed, in favor of their cut of the volume, if developers as a whole are earning less income, then the government collects less taxes. Surely there will be someone on capitol hill who would not favor this. ... and I am only speaking of the US here. What about other governments?

Taking the possible consequences into even more light: depressed revenue for developers during a fierce world-wide recession? Not to mention Apple being one of the few companies to actually have thrived during the period?

[edit] Oh wait, I totally forgot about iAds. Apple *likes* free apps. They'll have iAds for the MAS soon, if not coming out of the gate.
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also every app is an ad for the iPod/iPhone/iPad and now the Mac, so it's in Apple's interests to be only worried about apps not losing money (I believe it's just above break even for Apple at the moment, which must suit them fine).

I don't think it's anti-competitive to be providing distribution knowing that the devs will undercut one another, that's basic capitalism. Apple aren't forcing prices down at all, just letting devs decide.
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