The rumor mill has started again, this time in regards to Apple creating a $19.99 premium games section in iTunes. Sources say that due to the excessive price tag these games will have to meet specific requirements for quality and value which will be decided by Apple.
Although this could be a great opertunity for thousands of innovative new developers to step up to the plate, it seems that Apple will be restricting the new section to only a certain number of commercial game publishers, which is odd as it is these smaller developers that have helped the App Store become a success from the start.
This won’t be the first time Apple has tried to promote these premium apps. In November, Apple invited a few choice app developers to a press event highlighting many $9.99 apps and games. While several of these high profile apps have been introduced at the $9.99 price point, many have recently seen price drops in the highly competitive App Store market.
No-one has confirmed a date for the release of this premium section, but one source has suggested that Apple’s WWDC conference in June could be a possible launch venue.
In an interview this week, Apple Vice President of iPhone and iPod product marketing, Greg Joswiak spoke on the subject. He defended the existing system by which games and applications get to prime placement in the App Store, pointing out the App Store’s reviews “because if a small guy makes a title that gets good ratings, it tends to bubble up: the cream does rise.” He further said, “You get one or two developer shops like the Pangeas, who are doing great business, with anecdotal stories like paying off their mortgage after a month or two of being in the store.”
Although the idea of a premium gaming section would be great, not allowing the “little guys” a chance to shine and develop their skills is a little unfair.