It seems like more and more titles are debuting at a $2.99 price tag. If you think about it, it’s a perfect price for publishers, leaving the door open for future $1.99 (33% off) or $0.99 (66% OFF) sales if they find that the $2.99 price is producing slower than expected sales numbers. So why do we consider $2.99 a sweet spot for Publishers? Well, there are actually several compelling reasons for this..

Perceived Value

In an App Store crowded with $0.99 titles, to many consumers there is a perceived value to the higher priced titles. The following (though often ill-conceived reasoning may come to mind): “It costs more, so it must have more content.” or “It must be really good to cost 3 times as much as this similar looking title, so it must be better!” We are not saying that all $2.99 titles are not worth their asking price, because many of them are, but if you don’t have the goods to back it up, customers may feel cheated or burnt for spending too much. At $2.99 you certainly won’t get money from those folks that say “I could get three other games for the same price…forget that $3 title!“, but don’t worry, they’ll be back…

Never Under Estimate The Power of A Sale

At $2.99, publishers can still expect a fair number of impulse buys, though probably not as many as a $0.99 title would garner. Although, as demand for the title eventually starts dwindling, publishers now have a couple of (profitable) price points at which to market their game to reinvigorate sales. If the game had been initially priced at $0.99 the only place to go is a FREE APP FOR A DAY SALE. Instead, the publisher now looks like the hero, offering the game at a Black Friday-like fever inducing 66% off sale and their game sticks out from the crowd, because of it’s “limited time” status. Remember those 3-for-1ers we mentioned earlier, well they’ll be first in line to scoop up the sale title.

Even if a publisher had originally planned on selling the game for $0.99 in the first place, we suspect you may see more experimentation with these initial $2.99 prices, with rapid drops depending on the actual quality of the title. We have no issues with this pricing scheme, and in fact, if it helps the smaller indie devs compete (profitably) against the big dogs and (more importantly) allows them to stay in the business of making games, then we are all for it. In the end, it is the consumers that will decide if this is where the App Store is headed.

Below are three recently released (and somewhat eagerly anticipated) titles falling into this pricing category. As a special treat (since we are always looking for a deal) we’ve also included a list of FREE new releases to help you average down your costs. 🙂

Plants vs. Zombies (PopCap Games)

PopCap Games has ported there amazingly popular (and fun) PC tower defense game to the iPhone. We loved the PC game, so we’ll definitely be picking this one up!

B-Boy Beats (Tag Games)

A hip hop, breakdancing rhythm game from the same guys that brought us Car Jack Streets…our interest is definitely peaked! We’ll be letting our fingers do the moonwalking.

Ski Jumping 2010 (Vivid Games)

With Olympic Fever infecting much of the world, this seems like a a perfectly timed release. It looks to be a fun ski jumping game which is already receiving some good press.

FREE New Releases