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A while back, Tommy Refenes (creator of indie gem Super Meat Boy) put a largely pointless app on the iTunes App Store: Zits & Giggles.  You pop zits, and that’s about all; it’s actually kind of gross.  It hit the store at the boring old app price of 99 cents, sold a few copies, and then the sales inevitably dried up.

Instead of dropping the price to free to re-spark interest (as many app devs are wont to do), Refenes tried something different: he raised the price to $15.  Three people bought it anyway.  So he raised the price to $50, and four more bought it.  And so our tale begins…

Refenes decided to perform a “social experiment:” he would raise the price of the app every time at least one copy is sold.  By the time it hits $300, he’s still selling.  Fourteen people pay $300 for it, and a handful more pay $350.  This proves, in Refenes’s own words, “the people who you’re selling to on the App Store are not necessarily gamers,” the App Store “is the Tiger handheld game of this generation” (meaning that licensed drivel sells better than original ideas nine times out of ten), and that he “absolutely f***ing hate(s) the iPhone App Store.”  That last line was delivered at this speech at GDC 2010.  Harsh.

So, what does Apple do?  They pull his app from the store.  He even sold one at $400 on the day it was pulled.  Why?  He didn’t break any rules about inappropriateness, and the price can change at the whim of the developer (Apple gets 30%, so I don’t know what they’re complaining about).  Unable to get a hold of Apple so far, it seems he must resign himself to his fate: Steve Jobs laid the smack down.  Don’t bite the hand that feeds you…

Source: GamaSutra, and Kotaku via Negative Gamer

  1. I love that someone paid $400 for that. So awesome.

  2. avatar Chris Carter

    One purchase doesn’t price anything imo: it could have been a friend, a Refenes supporter, or just a really eccentric wealthy gamer.

    • avatar Emanuel

      ksonwil on September 20, 2007 PLEASE DONT READ THIS. YOU WILL GET KISSED ON THE NEAREST POSSIBLE FRIDAY BY THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE. TOMORROW WILL BE THE BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE. HOWEVER IF YOU DONT POST THIS? COMMENT TO AT LEAST 3 VIDEOS YOU WILL DIE WITHIN 2 DAYS. NOW UV STARTED READIN DIS DUNT STOP THIS IS SO SCARY. SEND THIS OVER TO 5 VIDEOS IN 143 MINUTES WHEN UR DONE PRESS F6 AND UR CRUSHES NAME WILL APPEAR ON THE SCREEN IN BIG LETTERS. THIS IS SO SCARY BECAUSE IT ACTUALLY WORKs

  3. Epic Win. So Epic, admin rage banned him lol

  4. avatar Silucu

    cmc033098 on September 19, 2011 Giving away this lptaop because i just got a macbook pro so theres no need for me to have it all you have to do is comment saying GATEWAY FAVORITE LIKE SUBSCRIBE THANKS FOR WATCHING! Category Film Animation

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