Should cityville-like social games always be free?

03-18-2012, 01:35 AM
#1
Should cityville-like social games always be free?

Hi,

Am new here and also iOS game dev.

We've seen developers dropped from 0.99 / 1.99 to Free for a Limited Time and gained traction.

My question is. Is this a good marketing stunt for games of ALL GENRE. We've build a social game similar to cityville with a different theme.

we have not seen social games go down this marketing path. Advice?
03-18-2012, 11:59 AM
#2
From what I've seen is, that you can go the free route for Cityville types of games, because they have IAP, and you want a large user base so you can get the small number of users to buy IAP. Also, a lot of companies in the space will go with a free version with ads, and upgrade to a paid version without ads. But if the game is social, you need traction, and free may be the way you have to go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by metalbean View Post
Hi,

Am new here and also iOS game dev.

We've seen developers dropped from 0.99 / 1.99 to Free for a Limited Time and gained traction.

My question is. Is this a good marketing stunt for games of ALL GENRE. We've build a social game similar to cityville with a different theme.

we have not seen social games go down this marketing path. Advice?
03-18-2012, 02:05 PM
#3
Definitely free, especially since there is so much IAP to entice folks. You could always do a paid version that includes some IAPs for "free"
03-18-2012, 02:17 PM
#4
Joined: May 2010
Location: Lincoln, UK
Posts: 343
Some genres are more suited the freemium route than others. Cityville type games are probably more suited than any other. Free with IAP seems the best option for you.
03-18-2012, 03:16 PM
#5
Hey Metalbean,

We're in a similar scenario with our first game which is a unique mix (imo) of simulation and pets in terms of estabilishing a revenue model and it's impact on our game design.

I feel that this is one of those key decisions you and your team needs to make very early on and commit to as it does affect your game design and features significantly. We're still taking the approach of making sure our game is fun and functional without IAP before we layer it on. Nimblebit did an awesome job of this with Tiny Towers and it really should be the way that freemium simulation type games are built.

While it is possible to build a paid simulation type game with or without IAP, the evidence in the marketplace is clearly in favor of the freemium model with IAP by far. Consumers and reviewers are generally are not in favor of games that are paid with IAP from what I've observed.

G'luck on your simulation game.

DP
03-18-2012, 03:33 PM
#6
Thanks people,

It's really nice that everyone here are offering friendly and genuine advice.

Agree that since it's a social game, we probably want to go the path of gaining as many users as possible. Afterall this is the foundation of social games.

Of the social games, i especially liked how Restaurant Story and Bakery Story pushed their IAPs to users, and how they use elements inside the game itself to cross promote their other social games. Both app's ROI should be pretty high.