So I wake up today and instantly I am not happy. Friday is the busiest day at work every week and when you work a job where getting yelled at is a large part of your day this is not awesome. However, this is not a story about how awful my day would be but how it turned around all because of a black and white game for Xbox Live Arcade called Limbo. Now I know you guys are thinking “WTF?!? I know I didn’t click that other awesome website I have bookmarked!” But while I was playing this incredibly awesome game I realized something that might influence my handset decision in the next couple of months. I may already have hundreds of dollars worth of Windows Phone games. Read on for enlightenment…
As soon as I fire Limbo up I know it’s for me so before I’m even done playing the demo I’m pounding the buy-this-game button. Seconds later my Xbox is making the otherworldly noise confirming that Microsoft has pillaged my bank account and as this happens I get slapped in the face with an idea. Will this be a Windows Phone 7 game? It seems like a prime candidate as an Xbox Live exclusive title with a simple control scheme (jump, action, and run around. That’s it,) and minimalist art style. If so, I’ll be spending a great deal of time jumping around a strangely anonymised grey scale world.
What concerns me most is how Microsoft plans on handling pricing for all of this. Typically when you go up in size you go up in price, but in the world of non-physical phone applications where all that’s required is a little bit of photoshopping I don’t think the maker is justified in charging twice as much for the app. Especially when the source code is more than 90% the same. Yes, I’m talking about Apple because paying twice as much for a slightly higher resolution of identical software is a scam that even gives Bernie Madoff wet dreams. Scaling up is one thing, but with Microsoft we’re going to be scaling down. I want to go from my 42″ screen to my 4″ screen like Chrome-to-Phone. Despite not having a catchy rhyme to denote the feature this is something I really hope pans out.
Either way I feel like Microsoft has a couple of options open to them at this point. They can try and bring in customers by handing out big discounts on ported games that have already been purchased or they can rape the consumer and fill the coffers. I’m hoping Microsoft realizes they need the customers more than the revenue at this point but I can’t find any information relating to the merging services’ pricing and how it will be affected. If Microsoft decides that extending the “mobile” version of games purchased through Xbox live for free to phone users then I’m going to be about 150-200$ into a software investment in Windows Phone. I don’t think I could justify that amount of software difference between WP7 and Android at that point. How do you think Microsoft should handle the app launch of Windows Phone 7? Should they please consumers and offer big discounts on previously purchased titles or court the developers and let them set whatever pricing they want?