Perhaps the best Kindle App so far, app thoughts

There’s a new app out – it’s called The Warlock of Firetop Mountain and it’s a Fighting Fantasy Adventure. Fighting Fantasy is a popular series of game books written by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone.

The Kindle App itself is made by World Weaver and it’s just amazing.

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain – Quick Notes on Price

If the $3.99 price is holding you back please consider the following –

  1. The app is 3.6 MB in size. At 15 cents per MB, just the download is going to eat up 54 cents. If a user downloads it twice or to two Kindles that’s $1 gone right off the bat.
  2. Let’s say that’s $3 per app sold. Then you take off returns etc. and you end up with $2.70.
  3. Then Amazon gets its 30% cut. That leaves $1.89 in earnings per app copy sold for the developer.
  4. The app must have taken a ton of work. It’s very well polished. If the developer is getting $1.89 per app sale the only way he/she can make a profit is by volume. So, if lots of us kindle owners don’t buy the app the developer can’t make back his/her investment.
  5. Plus, $3.99 is not that much for a good game book. If $5 is a good price for a book, then $4 is a great price for a very good Kindle Game adaptation of a game book.

I felt compelled to write about this because it would be a tragedy if good apps like this didn’t get a fair chance.

Anyways, here’s more on the features.

Features worth $3.99

Firstly, it has a map. There’s literally a full-blown map which must have been a lot of work. What game book ever has a map?

Secondly, it has great graphics. eInk presents a lot of challenges. Plus we have the 54 cents per 3.6 MB download bandwidth charge. It’s a measure of committment by the company to go with a 3.6 MB app – basically, they didn’t compromise on graphics to make more money.

Thirdly, there’s a lot of polish. The images are great, the map looks beautiful. It’s just very well done.

Fourthly, there are up to 3 waypoints. So you can save your progress and try different options and restart.

Fifthly, there’s lots of replayability. It is, after all, a gamebook.

Thoughts on Kindle Apps

It’s hard to write anything here because the iPhone app market with its 100 million iOS devices and $1 apps and free apps has made things difficult. It has created the sorts of expectations that don’t translate well to an emerging app store like the Kindle App Store.

Plus there’s bias because of me being involved in Kindle app development. So I’ll limit it to stating the obvious – If Kindle owners don’t support Kindle Apps there’s no future for apps on the Kindle. Which means the probability of getting the apps you really want, at the prices you would like apps to be, goes to zero.

It’s not like books where authors will still write books for low earnings. Developers will just move to other platforms where they can make healthy profits.

The succinct way to put it would be – If you like an app, then buy it even if it is $1 or $2 more than what you would like. Because if you don’t, people are going to stop making Kindle apps.

If you don’t like an app – that’s fine. No one’s asking you to support an app you don’t want.

However, if you like an app, and want more apps like that, then buying the app is the only way to ensure the Kindle App Store can flourish and more apps of the type you want can come out.


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