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A wise move? Gameprom's 'Wild West Pinball' Now Free

06-19-2009, 03:43 AM
#1
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 731
A wise move? Gameprom's 'Wild West Pinball' Now Free

OK, I'm somewhat uncomfortable about criticising another developer, but here goes: Gameprom just dropped their Wild West Pinball to $0 (from 2.99). Now for consumers in general this is probably seen as a good thing, but as a business strategy I'm not so sure. They are ramping up to release another pinball (The Deep) game and I can see the point in trying to get as many people as possible to see the quality of their work. (I find WWP simply brilliant and it's extremely polished).

However, if you're looking for a pinball game, why would you buy "The Deep" when you can have WWP for free? In addition I'm left with the impression that this developer will make their games free if they don't sell enough copies. All you have to do is wait. To add further insult to injury, people who did pay for the game feel like they've been taken for a ride.

In my mind this is a strategy that is bound to hurt Gameprom in the long run. WWP is a quite brilliant title that is clearly worth money.

Now, I'm not really going after Gameprom here (sorry guys), but I would enjoy a discussion about this kind of tactic in general...
06-19-2009, 03:48 AM
#2
Joined: May 2009
Location: La Coruña, Spain
Posts: 191
I was annoyed by this GameProm announce. I payed for it .. and now it's free? I would like my money back.

Developers have different oppinions regarding pricing. I'm not for being in the 0.99$ wagon, but others Devs leaded me into that way.

I'll reward early adopters and after a while my game will cost more, not less. Dumping prices will confuse guys and may lead to people not buying until they see a significant drop.

So, I'm for putting an introductory price and later set the normal price you think.

Regards,

Pablo
Scoreloop ID: coolman

My game: GeoRain in the AppStore, July 1st - 0.99$

06-19-2009, 03:53 AM
#3
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 731
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolman View Post
I'll reward early adopters and after a while my game will cost more, not less. Dumping prices will confuse guys and may lead to people not buying until they see a significant drop.

So, I'm for putting an introductory price and later set the normal price you think.
That's exactly how I see things. At the moment I really don't have anything I could sell for more than $ .99 with a straight face, but your strategy is exactly what I'm planning for future projects: Give an introductory offer for a limited time then move the price to the standard-price and keep it there until the end of days.

This way you wind up rewarding those early adopters rather than punishing them. It will also send a strong signal that you should not wait before buying the title.
06-19-2009, 09:44 AM
#4
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Denver, CO, USA
Posts: 89
I mostly agree, but the reality is that it all comes down to getting exposure, and beyond the usual routes (which devs have little or no control over), releasing a quality, polished title for free is a great way to rise the charts and get your name out there. I'll admit that until this game was free, I had never heard of it or Gameprom. Now they're on my radar.

Whether or not a $3 game should drop to $0 when your next release is a very similar game, that's up to them to decide and I'm sure they weighed the options. My feeling is that Deep Pinball will do better than it would have if WWP was not free, simply because so many more people are now aware they exist.

My own strategy is to create a mix of paid and free titles, and if I do ever make a free version of an existing paid game, I'll go the Lite / ad-supported route, so that previous buyers don't feel gipped.
06-19-2009, 09:53 AM
#5
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 2,437
i dont like pinball games but when i saw this was for free i tried it....and realized that i HATE pinball games.....i prefer my own pinball machine in my basement to this.....i just cant get why the screen has to follow the ball instead of just staying in one place....im glad i didnt pay for it because i would have been extreemly dissapointed

as for the marketing strategy the game should only be free for a few days not the rest of the time its on the app store

ssɐ sıɥ dn ɯǝɥʇ ǝʌoɥs puɐ sƃuıɹ dıɥsuoıdɯɐɥɔ sǝıɹǝs plɹoʍ ㄥᄅ sǝǝʞuɐʎ ǝɥʇ ǝʞɐʇ uɐɔ ıpɹɐɹıƃ ǝoɾ
06-19-2009, 01:15 PM
#6
As much as I like getting free stuff... this bothers me a little. Not a good sign when quality apps like this need to be "given away" to get noticed.

A clear sign there's too many apps.
06-19-2009, 01:16 PM
#7
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 731
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoiledGoose View Post
My own strategy is to create a mix of paid and free titles, and if I do ever make a free version of an existing paid game, I'll go the Lite / ad-supported route, so that previous buyers don't feel gipped.
I get why they do it and agree that it will create some exposure. I just believe that in the long run this is a strategy that is bound to back-fire. There is also the fact that a lot of people who paid full price will feel shafted and that can hardly be a good thing.

I think your own strategy of releasing a combination of free and paid apps is a much better solution...
06-20-2009, 10:49 AM
#8
Joined: May 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 199
Our strategy is also to release at the lowest price that we can stand, and then raise the price slowly over time towards what we see as fair value. Yes, we sacrifice revenue (although, this is debatable, as higher sales can offset the lower price). But, we would prefer to give early adopters our best price rather than late adopters. We do an occasional sale for promotional purposes, but otherwise try to keep our pricing stable and rising. We continue to update our popular apps with new features to give us some head room on the pricing. Hopefully, this strategy will payoff in the long-term.

Developer at IMAK Creations, creator of ColorTilt and other lesser known apps, like That Ain't It!
Blog, twitter
06-20-2009, 02:16 PM
#9
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,512
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolman View Post
I was annoyed by this GameProm announce. I payed for it .. and now it's free? I would like my money back.

Developers have different oppinions regarding pricing. I'm not for being in the 0.99$ wagon, but others Devs leaded me into that way.

I'll reward early adopters and after a while my game will cost more, not less. Dumping prices will confuse guys and may lead to people not buying until they see a significant drop.

So, I'm for putting an introductory price and later set the normal price you think.
The problem with this strategy is exposure. If you release at 99 cents and are not getting the attention your app deserves, what will you do? Once you raise the price, the app will do worse not better.
06-20-2009, 02:19 PM
#10
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,438
I understand the strategy, though I understand how it might piss off a few early adopters.

There is a lot of value in app store cross promotion. I've heard that very popular free apps can drive enormous sales to paid apps. So, if they can get Wild West Pinball to the top 10 free spots, then they should be able to drive a ton of sales to their next pinball game.

arn