Tiny Thief Released On Steam For 1700% More Than Mobile

By John Walker on December 17th, 2013 at 11:00 am.

Oh Rovio, you are such scamps! Now richer than China, the Angry Birds developers can’t seem to get enough money. Despite the income stream from Angry Birds lunch boxes, Angry Birds towels and Angry Birds flip-flops, their need to tower bundles of banknotes to reach the moon is unsated. So it is that 69p mobile game Tiny Thief has just been released on Steam for £11.99.

And what do we get for this 1,738% mark-up?

A 69p mobile game.

A good one, certainly. Tiny Thief is a fun little game, and a nice surprise from Rovio insomuch as it isn’t Angry Birds. It’s more involved, little bits of point-n-click adventure ideas put into a very cute cartoon puzzle game, but playing out in distinct levels. But, now on a bigger screen! For only 17 times more money!

This presents an interesting dilemma. Tiny Thief is over-priced at £12 – it’s a short game, with limited replayability (unlike Angry Birds) – but it’s obviously a game that released first on PC would be acceptable well over 69p. But it wasn’t released first on PC, and this creates a rather big problem. They’ve given their game a value, and it’s been available at that price for a good long while. I paid it. It undeniably affixes a sense of what one should pay for it. I think people would have accepted an increase for a PC version, but not something this ridiculous.

So what on earth were they thinking? Oh, we know. Someone from developers 5 Ants has addressed some of the frustration about this on the Steam forums with:

“In this version we have made an additional effort to make the game look as good as possible, with high-quality graphics and other improvements to make the experience as smooth as possible. Additionally, the game is 3$ on mobile platforms: prices are set differently on each platform and these two markets are very different.

We’ve been developing Tiny Thief for over 2 years, the game has around 3.000 animations and 700 sound effects plus music; crafted by a small team of passionate game developers. We truly believe Tiny Thief to be a unique and great game with a correct price for this platform and we hope you feel the same way once you get to play the adventure.”

Um.

It’s true that it’s £2/$3 on iTunes for iOS handhelds. But there’s no question that they’ve priced it on the Google Play store at 69p/89c/$0.99. But anyway, er, pointing out it costs a quarter of the price on another platform doesn’t enormously usefully address the issue. And those high quality graphics? They’ve upped the game to run at a whopping 1024×768. That’s it. It seems that it can only run at 1024×768 in a window, and there’s no way to adjust that yet. Fullscreen it will scale up to your native desktop resolution. Clearly some more options are needed here, but at least it does get higher when fullscreen.

If you’ve got a mobile device, tablet or phone, I do recommend checking out Tiny Thief. It’s pretty good. But otherwise, perhaps wait until they come to their senses and drop this to the £5 or so it clearly should have been for PC.

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121 Comments »

  1. zeekthegeek says:

    Think this is daft, check out the retail console versions of Angry Birds: Star Wars. That game on the Xbone is $50. $50 for Angry Birds: Star Wars. Fifty dollars.

    Tiny Thiefs or big Thiefs?

    • Widthwood says:

      Wasn’t it normal and universally accepted for a long long time?

      Game and movie pricing was hardly ever connected with how much effort or time was put into it (otherwise DNF would cost hundreds of dollars, and blue-ray with Avatar – upwards of a 1000) or how good it is viewed by public or critics (BG2 then would cost hundreds instead of 10$ on GOG) or length.

      Pricing is determined by “normal” price of a platform, evaluation of buying ability of potential customers, evaluation of interest, evaluation of potential value, evaluation of marketing effectiveness, etc.
      When you get corner cases with current system such as buying one of the best examples of genre with tens of hours of hand crafted story and dialogue and visuals for pittance – no one has problems with it. Then why all the surprise when pendulum swings in other direction?…

      I do perfectly understand the need to advise potential buyers more affordable legal ways to get the same – that’s why RPS has Bargain bucket etc, but the outrage in comments really baffles me..

      • Simon Hawthorne says:

        I agree with your last sentence – my reaction to this is “Well that’s silly of them” and I think the article is written in the same vein.

        But of course Rovio have the right to do this – its their game. People, as well as companies, can make daft decisions – there’s enough proof that they already do. There’s no point getting angry or outraged about it, just chuckle, shake your head and move on.

      • Kitsunin says:

        I for one, just, don’t get the price-hiking at all. A PC version ought to be worth less than a mobile version, since you can’t carry it around and play it wherever, surely?

        Dunno, it just seems like a “you don’t own a smartphone” tax. If I owned a smartphone, I can’t see why I would ever purchase a mobile game on my PC, even for the same price, unless there were some sort of added content. I own a 3DS and if I could purchase PC games on my 3DS for twice the price I totally would, just to be able to play them on the bus or while lying in bed or on the couch. I would never expect a game to be cheaper just because the system is smaller, that’s silly!

        • Widthwood says:

          This isn’t a question of WORTH or FAIRNESS, this is a question of financial planning, marketing, etc. For example, legal digital download of a game in Russia will cost much less than in South Korea. Now, surely price of internet traffic in Russia is higher than in South Korea, so it doesn’t make any sense from perspective of WORTH, and South Koreans (and Europeans, Americans, Australians, etc) can be rightfully pissed off about this. But as a business decision this makes perfect sense, because games with lower prices become much more popular in Russia, thus leading to higher total income for publishers.

          In this case their decision process could be something like this – their game was popular enough on mobile, so they new people will be interested in it on other platforms. 15 bucks is not an outrageous price for an indie PC game, and since they knew for a fact that their game is good they thought there is no need to lower it from the very beginning. 15$ price also gives them more headroom for 50% and 75% off sales that PC gamers are used to, and those sales also give them promotion and advertising opportunities.

          • Kitsunin says:

            I suppose that’s true enough. But if they don’t care about worth or fairness, then I certainly won’t either.

    • Simon Hawthorne says:

      And how much is it on Google Play?

      Free.

      $50 v Free.

    • Mctittles says:

      This type of pricing is perfectly acceptable everywhere else, I don’t see why it would be different here. When you buy the exact some bottle of beer at a fancy hotel for 3 times the price as the local bar you don’t bat an eye. It’s all relative.

      • Graerth says:

        And the local bar sells that beer for 3 times the cost of buying it from store in a bottle to enjoy with your best friends anywhere you carry it.

        I mean bar beer is even constrained on location, i can’t carry that one out!

  2. TheIronSky says:

    You tell ‘em, Walker!
    *grumblemumbleAngryBirdsgrumbleRoviomumbleEvilPublishersgrumble*

  3. Alex Ball says:

    1024×768 is DOWN from what I was playing it at on my Nex5…

    • thekeats1999 says:

      It is also down from an iPad as well.

      If they have done it as a proper retina display the native resolution on an iPad is 2048×1536.

      So I would have expected it to match my 2.5k monitor.

  4. Eight Rooks says:

    Yeah, this is… questionable at best, and lots of very rude words at worst. I bought, tried and hated Tiny Thief: I think that pricing things down on Android is not as cut-and-dried as you make it seem (there is compelling evidence Android owners will not pay out anything, full stop, as readily as iOS owners), and I have paid and will continue to pay premium prices for mobile games (I have absolutely no problem with Square Enix’s pricing model, say). But even given all that this just leaves a sour taste in the mouth, all the more so with Rovio’s “But look, look, we totally worked for it!” crack.

    • djsarcher says:

      This highlights the issue with mobile game pricing. I’m all for premium mobile games at a higher price, but I think developers feel that the only way to reach a wide audience is to go low-price + in game purchases.

      Whats interesting here is wondering what their forecasting fore the PC market is. Presumably they found it worth taking the time to port the game based on estimated sales. whether the sales estimates were based on an £11.99 or £2.99 price is the key point.

      Personally I suspect the pricing reflect that the game will probably be in the Steam Xmas sales at 75% off, which, hey presto, is the games normal iOS pricing.

      • Baines says:

        Estimates probably based on the higher price. I doubt they started at £2.99 and then increased it based on low expectations. More likely they started at or above £11.99, picking it as an “accepted” short PC game price, and worked the expectations out from there. It likely isn’t about what price can make a profit, but rather how much profit you can make at the “accepted” prices on a particular platform. (Basically, if it was a straight low to no effort port with little cost to produce and maintain, they’d probably still base its price on what other companies manage to get for their own games on that platform.)

    • ChainsawCharlie says:

      Rovio, the cancer of the mobile gaming has arrived on Steam! Mark this day lads!

  5. almostDead says:

    John, could you take a crack at grumbling about this aspect of it:

    I just checked the steam page, and they are linking to reviews of the mobile version of it. The first review is a glowing one from destructoid, for the mobile version at the mobile price.

    That’s some disingenousin’ right there.

    • bateleur says:

      There’s no point going half way on a money grab though, is there? Might as well just shove the slider all the way up to maximum evil and see what you can get away with!

    • Bull0 says:

      Yeah, that’s fucked up. Steam needs some kind of reporting system for those reviews. The number of pages that link to early previews and call them “Reviews” is unbelievable

      • Baines says:

        Space Hulk says hi.

        Steam’s review section is turning out to be another idea that Valve threw out and let go to seed due to no concern for maintenance. It is hard enough getting Valve to police broken games and fictional store descriptions (both of which pretty much require a widespread rush of negative press, and even then it isn’t guaranteed to get a response from Valve). It is probably impossible to get them to do any kind of enforcement of quoted reviews.

        • Bull0 says:

          Yeah, I didn’t want to mention Space Hulk because I’m a guy who regularly bashes Space Hulk, but yeah. Space Hulk.

        • Moraven says:

          At least Space Hulk holds up to the preview quote now since patch 1.2.

  6. thekeats1999 says:

    On the other hand they want £30 for Angry Birds on the consoles.

    I would have payed £3.00 tops for this.

  7. lordcooper says:

    They are mad in the head.

  8. zizekian says:

    another post from the lead programmer I think just made it worse… “more than 2 months” to port to windows is what he’s justifying the inflated price over.

    “TiRSO! 34 minutes ago
    Hello everybody, Tiny Thief lead programmer here!

    I am a bit surprised to read a few comments saying that “the graphics are vectors”, “It auto scales”, etc… I simply wanted to say that there are *many* graphical assets (user interface, backgrounds and many in-game objects) that use bitmaps so trust me when I say that we had to work very hard to make it look good on your screens (which may have less resolution than the iPad but are *much* larger).

    Also, and without getting too technical, we had to make a major overhaul of our engine and assets pipeline to make the same code work for iOS, Android, OS X and Windows (we are too small to have multiple teams maintaining multiple versions). We have also spent a lot of time working with a fantastic quality assurance team making sure that the game is compatible with as many different PC/OSX configurations as possible.

    To sum up, creating the desktop version of Tiny Thief WAS NOT an easy or automatic process. The process lasted more than two months and involved reprogramming complete modules of the game, repainting assets and many QA rounds.

    Anyway, we all know that Steam will give opportunities to everyone that wants this game.
    Last edited by TiRSO!; 27 minutes ago”

    • almostDead says:

      [quote=TiRSO!;648814738475566761][quote=uuuuu;648814738473633343]
      Do you seriously think it will cost 15$ a copy to cover a 2 month porting period? There are indies who spend YEARS on original titles for PC and break even charging the same amount. [/quote]

      Please note that it was two months just to “port” the game, it took around 2 years to create the full game.

      Look, I wish I could but I can not share numbers with you. Believe me or not, we are not the bad, “greedy” guys you think we are and we are definitely not making this to become rich… In any case we would be doing this to *survive* and keep doing premium, artistic and refined games instead of jumping to the free to play wagon. Unfortunately, it is starting to look impossible :(

      As someone commented before, developers are free to set the prices of the games and consumers are equally free to choose if (or when) to buy the games depending on how much they like it and how much does it cost. [/quote]

      • The Random One says:

        It’s still strange that two months’ worth of porting apparently cost them three times as much as three years’ worth of designing the game.

      • solidsquid says:

        But surely, seeing as this was originally built just for mobile, those 2 years should have been reflected in the iOS and Android prices? It’s the price disparity that people are complaining about more than the actual price of the game

        • Shuck says:

          The fundamental problem here is that you can’t charge more than a certain amount for mobile games because of pricing expectations. (More copies are going to sell in the mobile market and, most importantly, no doubt like in Angry Birds there are microtransactions – where they make their real money – that are absent on the PC version.) They’re conforming to pricing expectations for the various platforms created by consumers. Those pricing expectations are already bad enough for sustainable development – look at the sorts of games that 20 years ago would have sold for $50 – now people expect to get them for $15 or less, but development costs haven’t changed that much.

          • Shuck says:

            @JKJoker: Sales haven’t changed that much. The average AAA game gets something like half a million sales (which is a huge loss); indie games get fewer. And I’m comparing the game of 20 years ago with its modern (indie) equivalent (in technical and graphical complexity), so development costs are comparable. Also, the “99 cent” app doesn’t really cost 99 cents – they’re designed around microtransactions that raise the “real” cost to the typical user. So comparing the cost of the mobile app with the PC version is not comparing like with like.
            In the end, the game will be like most PC games, no doubt – they release at a certain price, get as many sales at that price as they can, and then reduce the price, likely several times.

    • Random Gorilla says:

      I’m a mobile app developer and I once ported one of our apps to OS X. It wasn’t fun. Doing it for OS X + Windows would have been several orders of magnitude less fun.

      I sympathise with Tiny Theif’s developers. Charging £12 is probably the only way that they’re going to make their money back on this port.

      • greywolf00 says:

        As a gamer with no experience coding or programming I’m just curious what makes porting from apps so bad. Difficulty of programing? Lack of experience with the platforms? Time consuming? Cost differences?

      • mukuste says:

        I’m not sure setting the price so high will actually net them higher profits. Pretty sure the sweet spot between “maximum profit per copy sold” and “maximum number of copies sold” is quite a bit lower than that, price-wise. Otherwise Steam sales wouldn’t be a thing. Remember, these are digital goods they are selling, there are no manufacturing costs.

        • Baines says:

          Steam sales have altered it further, exaggerating the “sale” effect. Now it can be more profitable to price high and give steep sales than to just price lower. (Not just because a $20 game at 75% off will draw more attention than a $5 game at full price, but because an increased percentage of buyers won’t even consider buying until they see “75% off” regardless of the base price.)

    • TechnicalBen says:

      “which may have less resolution than the iPad but are *much* larger”
      This person fails maths, logic and reality. REALITY is what they fail at.
      They will 1) Make a brilliant PR manager/Director of a company and 2) Make tons of profit.

      But only because their maths, logic and reality distortion field is so large and skewed in favor of lies and profit.

      *Resolution == size of the bitmap, lower resolution == lower size bitmap, higher resolution == larger sized bitmap. I’m not going over the details here, as someone is bound to troll or disagree, but no, the developers comment is false. Perhaps it’s a misunderstanding or mistake in the post, but it’s still wrong.

      • Baines says:

        He means your 1080p monitor might have a lower screen resolution than your retina display iPad, but your PC monitor is a physically larger object. The end result is that graphics made for a smaller screen still may need to be remade for a larger but lower screen resolution display.

        His comment is accurate enough with the wording that he chose.

  9. mrmalodor says:

    5 Ants = tiny thieves.

  10. tomimt says:

    Yeah the game is nice and all, but definetly not worth 12 pounds, euros or dollars. Even a fiver would be stretching it.

  11. Low Life says:

    We should put them on a Pyre and burn them.

    (This is a pun thread, I swear!)

  12. Pop says:

    Guy, guys. This is just like where you pay people in developing countries a tiny wage, because paying them more would destabilise the warp matrix. Except in reverse. 99p PC games would doom/undermine the way things are.

    I guess in other news: waiting for the £50 XBox One release.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Pretty much. iOS users have more disposable income than Android users. PC gamers are willing to pay more still.

      You price something at what people will pay for it. Once a bunch of people have bought it at this price, they can throw it into a crazy Steam discount sale and get the people who are grumbling at the disparity to buy it for a couple of quid.

      And if this went up for sale, new, for 69p on Steam, most people would just assume it was shovelware and ignore it, because most things priced 69p are.

      • qrter says:

        Who is saying the game should be 69p on the PC? John is just saying it shouldn’t be 12 quid, more like half of that.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Well, people seem to be grumbling that there’s even the difference between Android and iOS?

          Even if you say £3, a figure from these comments, instead of 69p, that’s not exactly shouting “this is a good game and we are confident in our efforts”.

    • LTK says:

      We’ve been buying indie games in bundles for 99p for years now. Have you forgotten about that?

  13. 2Ben says:

    Easy fix :
    1) Go to http://www.genymotion.com/
    2) Download their (very fast) Android Emulator
    3) Do a little hoopla to get Google Play up and running on your Android VM (as described here http://stackoverflow.com/questions/17831990/how-do-you-install-google-frameworks-play-accounts-etc-on-a-genymotion-virtu)
    4) Buy the game for 69p and play it on your PC

    6) Profit ?

    • lordcooper says:

      Easier fix: torrent it. I’m normally not a fan of piracy for non-demo purposes, but fuck these guys.

      • rustybroomhandle says:

        No – if you feel that strongly about it, just don’t play it. If you value it enough to want to play it, then you value it enough to pay for it. Going on about pirating something because you disagree with the developers is not you teaching them a lesson, it’s just you being a cock-stain.

      • almostDead says:

        Damn dude, if this is what you’ll do for 69p, then you are well and truly prepared for the reckoning.

        • The Random One says:

          You’re falling for that “missing dollar” mind trick. He’s not doing it for 69p, he’s doing it for £11.30, which is what he’ll save.

  14. Lars Westergren says:

    It’s their game, to price as they want. I don’t see any reson for outrage.

    • mrmalodor says:

      Think again.

    • almostDead says:

      How about a question like on the steam forum:

      The game costs 0.89 Euro on Android. What are the differences between PC and mobile versions?

      Or does that have too much audacity?

    • Squirly says:

      Yes, let’s just allow developers and publishers to charge over-inflated prices for a ‘meh’ port of a game they’ve been selling for 1/10 of the price. Not like that would set a terrible precedent or anything.

      • Random Gorilla says:

        Pricing isn’t broken on PC, it’s broken on mobile. Don’t blame developers for trying to charge a sensible price of their games on other platforms.

        How did we get to the point where someone’s hard work is only worth 69p to people? It’s not sustainable.

        • almostDead says:

          When the only way to have so many people trying to make mobile games is to price at impulse levels !!!111!!!!

        • tomimt says:

          Not really, what’s broken is the quality of games offered to mobile platforms, of which most are really not worth more than a dollar. There’s plenty of mobile games in the 5-10 dollar bracket that have sold more than 100k.

    • Frank says:

      This.

      It’s an interesting question whether it’s a good idea, as far as profits and consumers’ goodwill goes, to price like this; but …. you know, if the price is “too high”, they’ll just make less money than they could have and the message of this “precedent” will be “don’t f*** up by pricing too high like those folks did.” It might be an interesting post-mortem on gamasutra later.

      As far as using mobile reviews to advertise the game on Steam goes, sure that’s shady. Complain away.

  15. Yargh says:

    Full sized crooks?

  16. Yemala says:

    This seems to be par for course with mobile game ports, though?

    The increase amount might be silly-higher here, but I know I don’t buy things when the price increase from mobile is in the 200-300% range, which seems rather typical.

  17. Ich Will says:

    I bet they are doing the supermarket wine thing, where they want to put it up at a stupid price for a while, so when it hits the inevitable sales, they are getting what they believe they really should be charging for it, but with a 50% off sign that we all know gets consumers attention.

  18. greywolf00 says:

    These markups seem to be a very common practice for mobile ports moving to Steam.

    Arma Tactics – $5 iOS & Android $9 Steam
    Ravensword: Shadowlands – $7 iOS & Android $15 Steam
    Iesabel – $6 Android $15 Steam

    I completely understand it costs money to port the game over. My question is, does it really cost that much, especially if there’s minimal changes/upgrades to the game? The argument that the markets are different doesn’t sell me that this practice isn’t an attempt to take advantage of gamers, though maybe that evens out with Steam’s massive sales.

    • almostDead says:

      Isn’t the real issue that mobile games have to be priced at impulse buy level. If you develop for mobile, unless you have Tetris(TM), regardless of effort or quality, you have to price at this crazy level.

      Then you grumble about this absurd pricing when someone questions the price increase on the Steam forums for your extra content-free PC version, and say going for the panacea and universally loved f2p is your future.

      • greywolf00 says:

        Considering the difference in quality and length of games on mobile compared to PC, I don’t consider the lower prices on mobile absurd. Basically looks like a $9 porting charge per unit which seems geared more towards additional profits than covering costs. After all, if mobile prices didn’t make the company money, they wouldn’t be around or using that market anymore. Of course making money is the point of running a business, but you can’t expect customers to be happy with markups they view as too much.

        On a side note, for me personally, at an additional $9, I expect $9 worth of additional content. The value of content is of course subjective and will vary from person to person, game to game, and genre to genre. Considering the amount of PC games available and the low prices so many of them can be had at these days, $9 can go a long way to getting another game or two.

        • almostDead says:

          I said content-free, not free-content. I said there was no additional content between the two versions.

    • John Walker says:

      Those strike me as far more reasonable price changes. They’re not 17 times higher, which is what’s been pulled here. Or six times at the non-sale price.

      PC gamers are willing to pay more for games than mobile gamers. Although it’s a very different type of buying, more informed and less impulsive. We certainly wouldn’t have posted a story if it were on sale for a fiver, although mentioned it if we reviewed I’m sure.

      It was that in this case the hike was quite so egregious that it merited specific attention.

      • Widthwood says:

        Well, games being bundled in Humble Bundles, etc. can be had for 1$, while selling for their full price elsewhere. This is even worse, since what you are getting is exactly the same product, for exactly the same platform!

        Time to write scathing articles about Steam/Origin/Gamestop and their ilk every time that happens, eh?

        ps. sorry for kinda negative tone, i just really don’t want rps to regularly go down that road of sensationalism/outrage… leave it to kotaku, etc., please….

  19. CookPassBabtridge says:

    ALL HAIL THE REVENUE STREAM

    • almostDead says:

      Well they certainly have some admitted mobile purchasers subsequent to them finding this information out on the steam forums.

      So every cloud has its silver lining. A point of note in their next project meeting no doubt.

  20. NathanH says:

    To be honest all we should be worried about is whether it’d be worth the price as a PC game in a world where the mobile version doesn’t exist. PC game pricing is wild enough without having to worry about how PC game prices compare with the even crazier world of mobile game pricing. It’s just an entirely different world with entirely different rules.

    Obviously if you’ve got a fancy phone, you may as well buy the game on the fancy phone. If you don’t have a fancy phone, then who cares what it costs on a fancy phone?

  21. Carighan Maconar says:

    The problem is we – as consumers – tend to understand the price as being the worth of a product the producer is asking us to assign to the product.

    But that’s not how the pricing works. The price isn’t about the product at all. The product will cost however much the consumers are expected to be ok with paying for it.

    And hence, 69p on the mobile and 12 pound on the PC.

    • jrodman says:

      AND because of how price framing works, everyone knows that selling something for 12 that they KNOW is also available for 0.69 doesn’t really work. People have already got a frame of reference for the price so the 17x value is “wrong”. That’s how pricing works.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Yep. People don’t understand. A developer/company/shop can ask £500 for “artistic burps”, but the consumer may not wish to pay that at that price point.

      When a consumer stops buying, the first thing a company does is cry foul of everyone except themselves. It’s always the market/consumer and never the products quality, costs, pricing or advertising that was lacking. :/

  22. Loque says:

    I was unaware the price dropped so much. Wasn’t the game around $3 for Android too? It was on my wish list and I’ve never seen it below that price. Anyway… just got it for € 0,89 on my Nexus4. Dehiho!

  23. Teovald says:

    1024×768, even on mobile that’s not impressive at all. Many phones run at 1980*1080 and some tablets go to 2560 x 1600 (I am not sure that’s the maximum, that’s last year Nexus 10 resolution) ..
    £12 seems really greedy, especially if does not use all the platforms capabilities.

  24. MuricanMayonnaise says:

    Look, it’s very obvious why it costs so much more on PC than iPad. The market for this game on Steam is waaay smaller than it is on the iPad, and they have to account for that in the pricing. They may be wrong in assuming that it’s a price many will pay on the PC, but then again they are probably taking into account the frequency of Steam sales and whatnot.

    It’s not really important what ‘seems’ like a good price to you and what doesn’t; what matters is the price they objectively believe will give them the best return for their investment in the platform, based on what their data says will work in that market.

    As for the Android release being much cheaper than even the iPad release, I can only assume they have data to back up that decision as well.

    • almostDead says:

      Is what you are saying ‘obvious’ because it first came out on a mobile platform?

      This game could have easily come out on console or PC first, would it then have been obvious that their main market was mobile. Is that the reason it didn’t?

      • MuricanMayonnaise says:

        Well, since I’m not the developer, I can only speculate. But I would guess that if it first came out on PC or console, it would have been released at a higher price (perhaps £12), and any future mobile releases would have been priced much lower.

        I would also guess that the game design was primarily intended for mobile platforms – if PC had been the lead platform, they may have even designed the game differently. Hard to know, really.

  25. Monkeh says:

    You say it runs at 1024×768, yet the screenshots on Steam’s store-page are in 1920×1080… You lie?

    Looks very pretty to me: http://cdn4.steampowered.com/v/gfx/apps/257080/ss_47e51813a69e89d709140c3b12baa72faf3cbe8a.1920×1080.jpg?t=1387216470

  26. Shadrach says:

    I don’t see what the fuss is about – the market will pay what the market is willing to pay.

    The market is obviously willing to pay €50+ for their yearly COD/BF/Asscreed episode, even though everyone knows the prices are set by physical distribution costs, and they still sell shitloads, so why can’t these guys be allowed to aim for a more modest segment with their small game?

    I would get it but the lack of controller support is what stops me – fair enough, it’s a touch screen game, but this would be perfect for the big screen.

    • almostDead says:

      The issue, as I see it is this: they make a game at mobile pricing, do work to port it to PC and other platforms and charge 1700% more.

      Someone begged the question on Steam- ‘hey what’s with the price differential, anything new/different’.

      He gets the answer ‘we did 2 months’ work and they are different markets, and no, nothing new. Plus the price on mobiles is too low’.

      I think that’s worth a few words in response. You could talk about mobile pricing, his f2p future answer, how this wouldn’t be a thing if it had been released in reverse.

  27. Sandepande says:

    I am embarrassed for my countrypersons. Maybe I’ll buy Wasteland 1 instead for $2,99, to show some support.

  28. Yachmenev says:

    It should be cheaper, but I wonder what the right price would bee. If they had set the same price on Steam as on Google Play, it would have sold at all. People would just dismiss it because of it. Maybe double the iOS price would have been fair to them and us.

  29. samsharp99 says:

    Yes – there is pricing disparity between devices. I got a blackberry playbook (for free, probably wouldn’t buy one) and most of the apps on there that have an android equivalent are priced considerably higher.

    Although…maybe this whole debacle is a PR stunt for selling the mobile version of the game? PC Gamers (who hadn’t maybe heard of it) find there’s a new game released. You *could* buy it on PC for £12 orrrrr pick it up on the Play Market for 69p. Either way – your game is now advertised on Steam and on various gaming forums for being an overpriced PC port when the original version is actually appropriately priced!

    The ethics of doing this are debatable (release on another platform to improve the reach of your game, surely? rather than charging X times more because it took Y months of effort to port) I think.

    I follow PC Gaming news fairly closely but not what’s happening on mobile devices except for when I occasionally browse the android market.

  30. Wahngrok says:

    Maybe it’s just a marketing ploy to a) see how many people will pay the premium early access price (true release with real price during the next Steam Sale) and b) to drive the sales on the other platforms.

    And look what you made me do: I bought the game on Android for €0.89. One more for option b). That will surely show them!

    edit: got beaten by samsharp99 while posting… I’m too slow today.

  31. SuicideKing says:

    3.000 animations?!

    Anyway, seeing that, from my wishlist, i can see:
    1. A Walk in the Dark
    2. Gary’s Mod
    3. Leviathan Warships
    4. Bionic Dues
    6. Waking Mars
    7. TC’s Rainbow 6 Vegas 2
    8. Race the Sun

    for under $10, i more or less agree with John. As a $5 title, ok, maybe even as a $6 one. At $15? Nope.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Lol for $15 i could get:
      1. FC3: Blood Dragon
      2. The Swapper
      3. The Stanley Parable
      4. Brothers- A Tale of Two Sons
      5. Call of Juarez Gunslinger
      6. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

  32. Siresly says:

    “We’ve been developing Tiny Thief for over 2 years, the game has around 3.000 animations and 700 sound effects plus music; crafted by a small team of passionate game developers. “
    Irrelevant to the argument.

    The actual work that’s gone into this version that they’re charging ~£9 extra for, is features such as “high-quality graphics” and “other improvements”. Apparently “high-quality graphics” means 1024×768.

    Rovio’s the worst. No one should buy their bullshit.

    “We truly believe Tiny Thief to be a unique and great game with a correct price for this platform and we hope you feel the same way once you get to play the adventure.”
    Do we get a refund if we don’t?

  33. RedViv says:

    This is insane!
    They should just release it for free and sell a seventy quid ‘BEST CHARACTER HERE’ DLC. That’s certainly more reasonable.

  34. araczynski says:

    As with everything else in retail, you release at huge markup to milk the ones with ADD/lazy/clueless first, then you fondle the rest with random worthless sales for a while, and when everyone’s tired of your crap, you dump it into the bargain bin. Rinse and repeat, profit.

    Rovio seems to be a one trick pony, so they’re milking it for all they’ve got.

  35. pupsikaso says:

    Who cares? Some random insignificant game from some random nobody devs, making no more than a splash in the ocean.

    The situation itself is pretty interesting, though – how DO you price a mobile game that is ported over to PC? Unless it has any kind of improvements, it shouldn’t be priced any higher, in my opinion. It’s not as if the inherent nature of a game available on mobile somehow devalues the game itself. And if you did devalue your own game because of some mythical belief that games on mobile cannot be sold for more that 0.99 than it’s your own dumb fault.

    • almostDead says:

      Their publisher aren’t nobodies. Probably a small reason this has made news.

      • iseemonkeys says:

        Pretty sure your a nobody and most people never heard of your game till this article.

  36. darkChozo says:

    IMO, the only thing that matters is whether it’s competitively priced in the PC market. Most overpriced mobile ports aren’t overpriced because they’re far cheaper on iOS and Android, they’re overpriced because they cost as much as an indie title while being nowhere near as good. Why pay $10 for a shallow mobile game when I can pay $10 for, say, Papers Please? I don’t know anything about Tiny Thief but I think it should be judged on its own terms, not on market discrepancy.

    To use a tragically flawed metaphor, if I’m in a restaurant I don’t care if the soup would cost half as much if I made it myself at home. I do care if I can get a steak at the same price.

  37. Barberetti says:

    I’d sooner buy the flip-flops.

  38. spahj8i says:

    >> Jose`s report is cool, on friday I got a gorgeous Renault 4 from having made $9813 this-past/month and a little over 10k last munth. it’s by-far the most-financially rewarding I have ever done. I started this 8-months ago and almost straight away started to make minimum $70, per-hour. view it http://ho.io/Freelance

  39. Windward says:

    Yikes, of course they can charge anything they want for it; but you would be an idiot to buy it. Targeting the game you have ‘worked hard on’ exclusively at idiots and becoming a laughing stock amongst everyone else isn’t something I would want to do. But if it pays the bills…

  40. MadTinkerer says:

    Do I really need to point out that the solution is inherent to the system? Wait for a sale if you don’t like / can’t afford the price. It’s not like it’s $15 on Origin or the Nintendo online store. 15 “Normal” Steam Dollars = 7.5 Because You Waited A Few Weeks For The Half Price Sale Steam Dollars.

    Also keep in mind this fact: we are complaining over a FIFTEEN DOLLAR PRICE POINT FOR A NEW PC GAME. (Nevermind that it’s a port. There have always been ports. Frickin’ PONG was a port of Tennis For Two.) Never in the history of our hobby have we been so spoiled!

    EDIT: I consider quality to be a separate issue to price when it comes to PC games. There are games that deserve to be in my Steam / GoG / Impulse libraries and there are those who deserve to fade into the forgotten mists never to be recalled again except maybe via Saturday Crapshoot or LGR. I buy as many of the former as I can, even though I don’t have time for them all, and try to avoid the rest.

    Therefore: quality is binary to me. Tiny Thief is either a decent game at any price or not even worth 69p. There is no overpriced at $15 to me. Because, again, that’s not $15, that’s really $7.50 during the window of time I’d actually maybe buy it.

    EDIT 2: Or if you’re just being a PC snob for the sake of being a PC snob and don’t like phone/tablet ports, that’s again, a completely separate issue from price.

    • Ich Will says:

      Never in the history of our hobby have we been so gouged either.

    • Widthwood says:

      This kind of thinking works well with real products from supermarket, but when you consider worth of an essentially worthless free copy of a product by comparing it with what other companies want for worthless free copies of their products it quickly becomes all murky and recursive.

  41. Celuden says:

    This is just the latest in a long line of horrible mobile ports at ripoff prices. Angry Birds is $10 on Steam and I’ve seen a dozen other titles come up that cost at least five times what they do on the mobile platform.

  42. sub-program 32 says:

    I am quite glad the steam sale lowered this to 3 pounds, since it is now exactly worth the value it should be!