Gameloft joins EA's App Store price crash

Gameloft joins EA's App Store price crash

By Rob Crossley

February 9th 2011 at 11:48AM

Further seasonal cost-cutting from the iPhone elite

Mobile games publisher Gameloft has sunk the price of its iPhone games just days after EA’s latest discount spree.

The French mobile publisher has reduced the price of 13 App Store games to $0.99 until Valentine’s Day.

Yesterday it was revealed that EA had made a similar reduction to 27 of its own iPhone and iPad games, again for a limited time.

The two publishers, both major players in the mobile games market, could force other companies to make the same seasonal discount deals in order to remain competitive.

In the run up to Christmas, EA employed the same tactic where the increasingly digital publisher slashed iPhone game prices to $0.99 and £0.99 in the US and Britain.

That previous deal got EA closer than any other company to holding a monopoly on the App Store charts.

Days before Christmas EA had seven of its titles ranked in the Paid Games Top Ten. Only Angry Birds had a similar presence on Apple’s games chart.

The fierce cost-cutting has angered a number of indie game developers competing in the space, some of which believe a low price-point once distinguished them favourably from the publishing giants.

Ray Sharma, founder of Canadian mobile developer XMG Studio, recently said at a panel discussion; “I think Electronic Arts really screwed the industry at Christmas time, and it's unfortunate, because of what Apple did to support them.”

EA continues to talk up the importance of digital entertainment for the future of the business. Last week the firm reported losses of $322 million for the final three months of 2010, though its mobile division generated $59 million.