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Dumb Launch Strategies?

08-27-2013, 05:02 PM
#11
I think the idea of flipping the switch on ads is a poor strategy for a smaller developer. Anytime you change an app that someone has payed for, in the process of turning it free, you will alienate the people who payed for your game.
Have you thought about separate versions?
One would be paid, this version would not have ads. IAP may still be there.
One would be free. Ad supported and possibly with a slightly different game balance, perhaps earning half currency compared to paid version. You would probably still want to offer something like a "coin doubler" IAP in this version that would disable ads. As well as consumable IAP possibly.
This would avoid alienating your paid customers and perhaps offer the best of both options listed above. Switching to free from paid can kill a developers reputation (I've seen it on this site multiple times) and limit future sales.
08-27-2013, 05:08 PM
#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobunaga View Post
I think the idea of flipping the switch on ads is a poor strategy for a smaller developer. Anytime you change an app that someone has payed for, in the process of turning it free, you will alienate the people who payed for your game.
Have you thought about separate versions?
One would be paid, this version would not have ads. IAP may still be there.
One would be free. Ad supported and possibly with a slightly different game balance, perhaps earning half currency compared to paid version. You would probably still want to offer something like a "coin doubler" IAP in this version that would disable ads. As well as consumable IAP possibly.
This would avoid alienating your paid customers and perhaps offer the best of both options listed above. Switching to free from paid can kill a developers reputation (I've seen it on this site multiple times) and limit future sales.
Maybe I didn't explain it well enough, but option A is setup to protect those that paid. I updated the A description.

Last edited by nocanwin; 08-27-2013 at 05:15 PM.

08-27-2013, 05:14 PM
#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by nocanwin View Post
yeah, I agree. If the game didn't do good at zero it's not going to do good as paid. It will probably generate slightly more earnings. 1-5 sales a day is better than $0.20 in ad revenue.
I guess it depends what you call dead on the free, but while 1-5 sales would be more revenue, I think the assumption you will make them doesn't have that much basis.

Personally I would rather encourage people to play.

I think ad's and pay to remove is a good model for indie developers because it lets people download for free. It lets people remove the ad's if they want. For those who "ad's are an unforgiveable sin" they are just silly, I got the app for free and the developer isn't allowed to make anything cause it is free. I think those people are a minority. It does depend how in your face the ads are too.

I also think an IAP for a level pack or something is another good way to charge and keep all the downloads in one place. My next I plan to make any IAP purchase remove ads, but the IAP purchase is for a level pack or something so the remove ad's is the bonus.
08-27-2013, 06:02 PM
#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobunaga View Post
I think the idea of flipping the switch on ads is a poor strategy for a smaller developer. Anytime you change an app that someone has payed for, in the process of turning it free, you will alienate the people who payed for your game.
Have you thought about separate versions?
One would be paid, this version would not have ads. IAP may still be there.
One would be free. Ad supported and possibly with a slightly different game balance, perhaps earning half currency compared to paid version. You would probably still want to offer something like a "coin doubler" IAP in this version that would disable ads. As well as consumable IAP possibly.
This would avoid alienating your paid customers and perhaps offer the best of both options listed above. Switching to free from paid can kill a developers reputation (I've seen it on this site multiple times) and limit future sales.
I felt this too on going paid to free with my first game. I really regretted no going free. I didn't want to make the people who paid feel that way.

I tend to think it actually best to pick a single strategy and stick with it unless you have a good reason to change.
08-27-2013, 06:27 PM
#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Destined View Post
I felt this too on going paid to free with my first game. I really regretted no going free. I didn't want to make the people who paid feel that way.

I tend to think it actually best to pick a single strategy and stick with it unless you have a good reason to change.
Wouldn't having game that no longer sells be a good enough reason? As long as you're protecting the early adopters.
08-27-2013, 06:34 PM
#16
Quote:
Originally Posted by nocanwin View Post
Wouldn't having game that no longer sells be a good enough reason? As long as you're protecting the early adopters.
My feeling was that I could end up with a reputation for doing that. Also apple had no way of telling me who bought the app so I couldn't make ads for only the free users.

In the end i just made a lite version, and then learn from the experience with my next game.


I have had people have success going free for a short period to get lots of downloads with thigns like free app for a day.
08-28-2013, 05:21 PM
#17
Quote:
Originally Posted by nocanwin View Post
Wouldn't having game that no longer sells be a good enough reason? As long as you're protecting the early adopters.
I looked at the updated "A)" description. With a free IAP it would work for me.
You would have to do a pop up or something to alert users that they had to get the free IAP. Seems like a better strategy now.
Still, the two versions seems like the safest bet to me.
It has worked, seemingly, very well for Nekki with their title Vector.
They released a paid game. Sales were perhaps not great. Released a free, rebalanced and possibly ad sponsored version. It slowly climbed the free charts. Seemed to do well, then the paid version made its way into top selling charts, I believe.
I'm sure this has happened with other titles. This is just the one that came to my mind.
08-28-2013, 06:00 PM
#18
yeah, probably better just to keep it simple.