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Publishers slash app prices for iPad 2 launch

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As Apple ramps up the hype machine on the iPad 2, app publishers are hoping to ride the coattails to higher sales.

Developers both small and large are slashing prices on popular apps in hopes of capturing the attentions of people who can no longer
resist Apple's tablet device. And Electronic Arts is leading the charge.

The company has announced a weekend-long sale on every iPad-optimized
game, including Dead Space, Madden NFL 11, Mirror's Edge and Rock Band Reloaded, with some prices dropping as much as 70 percent. In total, the company is putting 19 EA-branded titles on sale.

Meanwhile, the company's Chillingo division is cutting prices on another seven games built for the iPad, with a flat 99-cent price. "The iPad 2's lighter, thinner feel will make it even better for gaming and a faster processor will create even more dynamic game experiences, especially for action titles," said a company spokesperson.

EA's not alone. Gameloft cut prices yesterday on several of
its top titles, with Real Golf 2011 falling from $6.99 to 99 cents and Final
Fantasy XIII clone Eternal Legacy dropping two bucks to $4.99. (Gameloft has
crafted a business out of making iOS clones of successful console titles.)

Smaller developers, perhaps hoping to stay competitive, are
following suit. The popular Flight Control HD has hit an all time low of 99
cents; indie great World of Goo is on sale and The Lord of the Rings: Middle-Earth
, a tower defense game set in J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy world, is half-off.

Even parents of tech-enthusiast tykes can find something at
a discount. Oceanhouse Media, which makes interactive children's books, has
dropped several titles by celebrated author Mercer Mayer down to a buck (each
filled with interactive elements aimed at youngsters).

The rush to the bottom isn't something that's likely to make Nintendo happy, given the recently aired controversial thoughts on the sector. But for publishers who are
betting on iOS to become a major part of their bottom line, like EA, it's a
good chance to win over new customers while Apple picks up the marketing bill.


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