Game developers have long used free or add-supported teaser apps to get players hooked on their games, hoping they will like the game so much they will be willing to purchase a full version. With the release of Rage HD, a new sales tactic has been employed: sell a limited iOS version of a game in anticipation of the upcoming console release.
John Carmack, creator of Quake and Doom, and technical director of id (the company that released Rage) explained that the intense graphics of Rage would be cost-prohibitive for just an iOS app. Since the game is in development for consoles, the graphics and gameplay could be pared down and released effectively for iOS.
And although a teaser app, Carmack expects Rage HD to make a respectable profit, and hopes gamers will be willing to shell out more money for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC versions, due in September.
Considering the retail prices of console games, it remains to be seen if consumers will be keen on spending their gaming bucks on a title they’ve already conquered on their iOS devices, instead of a fresh console-only release.