Sunday, October 11, 2009

Busy iPhone Dev: Price Rising Controversy + Charity Campaign

Schiau Studios SRL says it has raised the price of its game Alchemize from $2.99 to $39.99 "in protest to all the emails received by people saying that 'the price is to high at $2.99.'"

Personally, I hate most of the whining comments left on the App Store complaining that even $.99 is too high a price for an app. I just dismiss them and go about my day, which is exactly what Schiau Studios should have done.

We'll see how far contempt for customers goes in the App Store price war. I feel the press Schiau is getting is not good for its own business.

The price of the game will go back to $2.99 on Monday, October 12th. On that day, Schiau will give 33% of the Alchemize game price of $2.99 to Ioana Costea, a 19-year-old Romanian girl who has a severe medical condition and needs a stem cell allotransplant costing about $191,000 US. Even with the ongoing fundraising, Ioana needs another $118,000 US to cover that cost.

UPDATE: Someone pointed out to me that the post about the price protest was changed this morning with information about its new charity campaign. I also tweeted @schiaustudios and it has confirmed that the price protest is entirely separate from the Ioana's charity campaign.

I am torn. While I do want to help this girl to live, I don't want to reward Schiau for its contemptible action regarding its app price. It does seem a little petty to complain about e-mails it has been getting because of the price of its game while this girl needs to raise $118,000.

I might buy this game tomorrow, but I will leave a review on its App Store page saying that people who e-mail them are usually a vocal minority and smart app buyers do not need to be patronized.

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