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Hunting Whales (Doing F2P Right)

08-04-2011, 11:26 AM
Hunting Whales (Doing F2P Right)

I read this article yesterday about doing F2P right, and I wanted to get your opinions on it. With the way the App store is going, it certainly seems like the real money is in F2P now. All this talk about "whales" that spend larger than normal amounts of money in games, and the fact that F2P removes the ceiling for how much a player can spend makes it seem very attractive.

Unfortunately in the past it's been abused and given a bad name with "smurf berries" and all that. But even then, those games gross way more than most pay-to-play games do.

It seems that traditional pay-to-play is on it's way out, and that the future of gaming is free. At least as far as profits are concerned.

So, what are some kinds of Free To Play games/mechanics that you have seen done right?
08-04-2011, 12:07 PM
I can't share any practical experience myself with F2P and the game I currently have on the pipeline doesn't really fit the schema, but it sure does look that's the direction we're heading to.
Noel Llopis has another good article on the topic: http://gamesfromwithin.com/one-price-does-not-fit-all

My games: Aeterius: Contact Wars ($0.99), BUMPscape (FREE)
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08-04-2011, 03:06 PM
The two most successful examples that come to my mind are the Smurf from Capcom mobile and Gun Bros from Glu.

The smurf has a strong networking component, which makes it naturel for the game to get a huge user base. And as in most correct social game they have a good economic system and the "wait till the task is completed or pay" system that makes the 2-4% of people who don't want to wait pay. I don't have the figures here, but seeing the huge success of the app they must have many millions users, with probably 4% of them paying 15$ a month in smurfberries. That's a lot of money.

Gun bros has also a very good economic system supported by an addictive gameplay with a good empowerment loop. You play, you buy stuff with the virtual currency, you become stronger and increase your score, then you want to level up more and you don't want to farm for ages, so you pay real bucks.

Most successful F2P games use 2 currencies in their games, it's easier to balance. But I prefer games with only one virtual currency. It's simpler for the player I think.
08-04-2011, 06:09 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Berlin, Germany
Posts: 1,674
Online Poker Games

As for generalization.. There are hundreds of thousand ftp browser games out there and they compete against each other even worser tan stuff on the appstore.

And creating a properly working ftp game with an addictive & functional looping economy is not an easy task at all.. Again there are dozens of subcategories of how to implement your monetarization in a free game and if your asking lodsys iap is the way to go
08-05-2011, 02:01 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Morestel, France
Posts: 572
Originally Posted by Emeric View Post
Most successful F2P games use 2 currencies in their games, it's easier to balance.
I'm about to port one of my game to android using VC to monetize them. I'm not familiar with f2p games but could you explain this too me? Why using 2 currencies would be easier to balance? Thanks.