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Total War Battles: Shogun devs battle the free-to-play temptation with higher prices and quality

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The indie developers at The Creative Assembly, creators of the strategy game Total War Battles: Shogun, approach mobile development like console development, with a goal of delivering games that compete with big-name developers and eschew the free-to-play market, according to an interview with Gamesindustry.biz.

"We live in the land of the clones at the moment," Nick Farley, lead artist at The Creative Assembly, told Gamesindustry.biz. "There are so many clone games out there, and we really want to avoid that. A company like Sega, we need to be better than a lot of the companies out there: you need to set the bar high, to set the standards; a code of conduct almost."

Farley sees price as a mark of quality, and he believes that developers should have the gumption to price their games relative to their overall value.

"This is personal, and I don't represent Sega by saying this, but I think we're devaluing our product by selling it so cheaply," he said. "We're devaluing the experience, and we're dumbing down the experience. I've got nothing against Tiny Wings, I've got nothing against Angry Birds. I mean, Cut The Rope is a fantastic game, but that should sell for £4, not 79p … When you sell a game for so little you have to sell millions of them to make the economics work."

In Farley's view, there is room for casual games, AAA blockbuster games and "mid-core" games like Total War Battles: Shogun that occupies a middle ground between the two. Charging a reasonable price for these games is a way for developers to form a contract with players, assuring them that the product is worth the entry fee.

You can check out Total War Battles: Shogun on iOS, Android, Steam and Amazon.