Will you pay for games and apps 3 times ?

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In a demo a Tech.Ed Middle East, Eric Rudder showed how a single project (in this case a game) could be published and run on 3 entirely different platforms. Running on Windows, Xbox and Windows Phone 7 which all have different input mechanisms – keyboard and mouse, controller, touch-screen and accelerometer, this begins to get very interesting.

This gets a whole lot more awesome when you find out that your game/app can sync across platforms. So hit the save point on the Xbox, run out the door and continue playing on your phone. Someone should sort through the old beyond 2000 footage, this technology is probably in there somewhere. It sounds like futuristic and probably will be some ways off before you get a triple-platform app in your hand.

My biggest question out of this is the pricing model. Are we expected to buy the game 3 times to get ultra-portability ? It’s important to also recognise that this isn’t functionality everyone wants. So building it into the price of the first purchase will hurt those who only want it on one platform. For the right price, those that want ultra-portability should pay for that feature, but at a subsidised price. Maybe after the primary purchase, you could then pickup the same app/game on the other platforms for 5-10% of the original cost. I think that’s a model that would work.

For a $100 Xbox 360 game, you should be able to get the PC version for an additional $10 and maybe an additional $5 for the mobile version. Currently pricing models don’t recognise that people game in different places, when in reality that’s very true. Imagine if you didn’t have to make the console vs PC choice, but could have the game on both for an affordable price. Crazy thought right ?

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