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Paid to Freemium

06-28-2012, 08:15 AM
#1
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 7
Paid to Freemium

Here's my story so far:

I released Innkeeper HD last week with no knowledge of marketing whatsoever. I only started contacting review websites and journalists to request for reviews at the same day I released it (big mistake!). I got 1 review around Friday (from AppAdvice) that gave it 3 stars. The reviewer was unable to figure out how to scroll up the screen to view the higher floors (there was a tutorial that teaches the player how to do it by swiping up which the reviewer might have missed). On her review blurb, it pretty much states that the game was fun but unplayable due to that bug. I discussed it with her to clarify the issue. As you can see if you check her review now, she has updated it but I think the damage has been done.

Anyway, after receiving my first review I was hopeful that I would get more this week but that has been my only review so far. The game does not have the best production values due to it being made by a one man team but it has great gameplay and was well received on flash game portal websites (the game was originally a free flash game ported to the ipad). It even won weekly (1st) and monthly (3rd) contest on kongregate.

I do understand why reviewers did not check it out in favor of the more high profile games but I was kinda hoping an indie game with good merits would get a bit more love than this The game has sinked down after this Thursday's big releases and I don't think it will recover unless a miracle happens.

Right now I think I have two options:
1. Put an update that would change the game from Paid to Freemium (the fourth, fifth and sixth floors would have to be bought via IAP of $0.99 each)
- is this an acceptable practice? i'm just worried at its effect on the customers that already bought the paid app.

2. Put a separate freemium version with the exact same features as #1 but as a separate release coexisting with the paid app
- will apple allow this?

I think both options are viable. Not sure which one is better and I'm not sure if either of them is allowed. What do you guys think?
06-28-2012, 09:06 AM
#2
Joined: May 2010
Location: Lincoln, UK
Posts: 344
Changing a piad app to freemium is a bad idea. You will upset the customers you do have. See the Whale Trail reviews on the App Store for what can happen.

Release a separate freemium version. You are allowed to do this.

06-28-2012, 09:12 AM
#3
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Berlin, Germany
Posts: 1,674
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonjump View Post
Changing a piad app to freemium is a bad idea. You will upset the customers you do have. See the Whale Trail reviews on the App Store for what can happen.

Release a separate freemium version. You are allowed to do this.
well that goes both ways.. templerun was paid, jetpack joyride was too..

there is no rule to go by.. in the end if you barely have any customers it does not even matter

if you have a solid base make it worth their while. for example unlock all floors for them.. or for iap currency games give them a huge amount of that currency..
06-28-2012, 09:15 AM
#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.Ugly View Post
if you have a solid base make it worth their while. for example unlock all floors for them.. or for iap currency games give them a huge amount of that currency..
I'd say go this route even if you DON'T have a solid base. If you've only got 30 players, then it costs you virtually nothing to keep them happy.

Also, be sure to not remove anything they currently have if they update to the freemium version. If they currently have 6 floors to play with, don't lock those. Instead add a 7th floor and have that unlockable for 0.99 for them (or something along those lines).

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06-28-2012, 09:25 AM
#5
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 55
You are not describing a freemium model. If you are just thinking of several pay walls that's more like a trial/pay model.

So keep your current customer happy by not making them pay again.

Impressive app.

Matthew

My iOS games: JiggleSaw
My Blog: JiggleSaw development
06-28-2012, 09:29 AM
#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by MHille View Post
You are not describing a freemium model. If you are just thinking of several pay walls that's more like a trial/pay model.

So keep your current customer happy by not making them pay again.

Impressive app.

Matthew
Freemium is a business model that works by offering basic Web services, or a basic downloadable digital product, for free, while charging a premium for advanced or special features.
Its still a freemium model, just not the one we're used to complaining about on the app store

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Game Designer of:
Family Feud Matches Gaming with a side of Matchmaking!
Family Feud 2 My First Huge Apple Feature!
Pickpawcket
And more!
06-28-2012, 09:38 AM
#7
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 55
That's funny. That's an increadably broad definition of freemium. I think I'll just stop using the word and try to find another one that describes a game the annoys me until I pay them more and more money.

My point still stands though.

Matthew

My iOS games: JiggleSaw
My Blog: JiggleSaw development
06-28-2012, 09:59 AM
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by MHille View Post
That's funny. That's an increadably broad definition of freemium. I think I'll just stop using the word and try to find another one that describes a game the annoys me until I pay them more and more money.

My point still stands though.

Matthew
Garbage-mium?

Oh wait. That's mean.

I agree with your point though.

Looking for a writer? PM me

Game Designer of:
Family Feud Matches Gaming with a side of Matchmaking!
Family Feud 2 My First Huge Apple Feature!
Pickpawcket
And more!
06-28-2012, 10:52 AM
#9
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 55
nagium

My iOS games: JiggleSaw
My Blog: JiggleSaw development
06-28-2012, 11:20 AM
#10
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Here
Posts: 1,399
If you go with #1, my advise would say to give all current owners of the game the iAPs (meaning they are automatically considered owners of the iAP) as not to anger them, and then switch to freemium style after that.

I'm no dev, but I've seen practices like this happen sometimes and its always a better transition.

I don't want a signature.