Big Fish Games announced today the release of its first true high-definition hidden object game, Flux Family Secrets: The Rabbit Hole, on its web site.
The game features four HD modes for play which will provide HD clarity for anyone with a HD monitor or video card. Developed by Skunk Studios, the game will still show pretty for those without HD equipment. Specifically, the game is designed for the following HD modes (depending on video card and monitor type):
- 1920×1200 (True HD)
- 1920×1080 (True HD)
- 1680×1050 (Good HD)
- 1600×1200 (Good HD)
• 1920×1200 (True HD) • 1920×1080 (True HD) • 1680×1050 (Good HD) • 1600×1200 (Good HD)
According to Paul Thelen, Chief Strategy Officer of Big Fish Games:
“The rise in popularity of HD screens presents an opportunity for casual games to be even more immersive. This game is a first-in-its-class HD hidden object adventure game.”
The game is being offered as a Collector’s Edition ($20) game today to Big Fish members and to the world tomorrow. A standard version will be offered later in the summer for $6.99. Will HOG’s soon be called High-Def Hidden Object Games?
Our take: Casual game companies have been trying to add bells and whistles to move the price up of hidden object games from an average of $7 per game back to $20 which was the standard price until a year ago. They are doing to add tiered pricing to the content model, much as there is tiered pricing with books (hard cover versus soft cover) and movies (a theatre release is higher price than the DVD years later in a Blockbuster).
The first game to do so, Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove, featured amazing video. This created a great story effect to the game but many grumbled that it was not worth the higher price.
Most $20 Collector’s or Premium Edition games featured wallpapers and strategy guides, all items that are traditionally free online. Now though, game companies are trying new things to justify the rise in price at launch. Gogii Games launched a 3D hidden object game Escape the Lost Kingdom as a collector’s edition and now Big Fish Games has released the first HD hidden object game, which makes sense since the games are so visual. Future $20 are rumored to actually have a lot more additional game play which makes sense, because people should be willing to pay more for more hours of play.
Game companies are searching for the magic key to justify a higher price for a download game at launch versus later in the product life cycle.
Is HD the way to go? I don’t think enough current fans of hidden object games have true HD monitors to enjoy it just yet. But as more people do upgrade to HD monitors, this could a big trend for hidden object games in the future.