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Old 11-01-2012, 12:51 AM
grits grits is offline
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Can someone explain the strategy of getting a few loyal customers to spend way more money than it's worth to support a bunch of people playing a game for free? This seems like a really dirty strategy. Wouldn't it be better to have everyone pay a small amount rather than make your most loyal customers pay a ton of money? On top of that, the majority of players will have half a game for free while the other people are paying upwards of $100 for a full game that should be $5. Doesn't sit well with me. Doesn't even seem like a profitable idea.
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Old 11-01-2012, 01:11 AM
Echoseven Echoseven is offline
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People don't pay.

That's the problem. A free game will get a whole lot more downloads than even a .99 game.
And if you don't give people an upper limit, people suddenly lose the ability to regulate themselves and pay a lot more than they would if the original purchase was limited at 0.99 or 1.99
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Old 11-01-2012, 03:51 AM
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Rubicon Rubicon is offline
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Some basic points first:

1) Developers don't 'make' you pay anything.
2) Free to play games are generally free to play. How is that bad?
3) Almost all iOS spenders don't mind - they're not all tightwads like the tiny but very vocal minority who seem to get off on bitching about nearly free prices permanently.
4) If you don't like it, don't buy it. Well, don't freeload it.
5) A lot of customers like this. I'm one of them - I can pay what I feel a game is worth and if the cost balance is off I just move on, there's plenty of choice.

The main strategy here is to sell their work for a profit, which allows them to raise money to pay their staff, their mortgages and meet their running costs. The profit left over allows them to start the next project. This is not something most devs can achieve when having to sell premium games for a really low price not seen anywhere else in the games industry.

This is all based on economics 101 and not at all based on the whining complaints of a tiny bunch of people who think they have an automatic right to play games for next to nothing.

Here's a quick history check. In the early days, a lot of utter crap was released to the app store and a race to the pricing bottom was soon had to try and get customers for those shite apps/games. I'm looking at you, iFart. You can afford to do this when your development takes a month max and this set an early trend of "one dollar max" for iPhone games.

Several years on, this has transmogrified into a situation where people now:
1) Expect to pay only a dollar regardless of game quality/dev time and feel entitled to an explanation when they cost more.
2) Expect games to constantly get bigger and better without costing more.
3) Expect regular free content updates.


I hope that helps.

Last edited by Rubicon; 11-01-2012 at 04:17 AM..
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Old 11-01-2012, 03:59 AM
psj3809 psj3809 is online now
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^Agree with a fair few points above.

The reason more and more devs are turning to freemium is because (in my view) too many iOS players wait for price drops/games to be free. You hear it all the time from devs, have 300 sales in a month, change it to free and they get 20,000 downloads !

If we buy more games at full price i'm sure we'll get more and more iOS games, devs need to put food on the table. Freemium sadly is working as in it generates a lot more money for devs.

People now expect 40,000 levels for their 99c game, or moan when theres not tons of game centre achievements, i see it all the time 'game looks great but i'll wait for game centre....' i mean come on.

And again my old man rant, games are SOOO cheap, a lot of kids dont realise how lucky they are, in the 80's games were mostly $10-15 each and there was a LOT of rubbish back then. Now you get quality games for the price of a burger or two and STILL people wait for price drops as they dont want to fork out for the 'pricey' 2 dollar game !

I'm quite happy buying a game on the day of release knowing that the dev should get more money than if i waited a month for a price drop.
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Old 11-01-2012, 04:59 AM
Vovin Vovin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubicon View Post
Some basic points first:

1) Developers don't 'make' you pay anything.
2) Free to play games are generally free to play. How is that bad?
3) Almost all iOS spenders don't mind - they're not all tightwads like the tiny but very vocal minority who seem to get off on bitching about nearly free prices permanently.
4) If you don't like it, don't buy it. Well, don't freeload it.
5) A lot of customers like this. I'm one of them - I can pay what I feel a game is worth and if the cost balance is off I just move on, there's plenty of choice.

The main strategy here is to sell their work for a profit, which allows them to raise money to pay their staff, their mortgages and meet their running costs. The profit left over allows them to start the next project. This is not something most devs can achieve when having to sell premium games for a really low price not seen anywhere else in the games industry.

This is all based on economics 101 and not at all based on the whining complaints of a tiny bunch of people who think they have an automatic right to play games for next to nothing.

Here's a quick history check. In the early days, a lot of utter crap was released to the app store and a race to the pricing bottom was soon had to try and get customers for those shite apps/games. I'm looking at you, iFart. You can afford to do this when your development takes a month max and this set an early trend of "one dollar max" for iPhone games.

Several years on, this has transmogrified into a situation where people now:
1) Expect to pay only a dollar regardless of game quality/dev time and feel entitled to an explanation when they cost more.
2) Expect games to constantly get bigger and better without costing more.
3) Expect regular free content updates.


I hope that helps.

Thanks for speaking clearly. It's not usual today and not liked by the price trolls also... especially when a dev raises his voice.

I'd like to add one thing:

it's not only the fault of some cheapskates - it's also a fault of sites like FAAD (Free App A Day) or apps like Daily App Dream. They teach the people to wait because they try to make the most games free anyway. You can actually WISH for a game to drop to 0$. They are spoiling the customers. Initial revenues were higher for the devs before that free-app-site-sh!t.

Last edited by Vovin; 11-01-2012 at 05:12 AM..
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:06 AM
Royce Royce is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubicon View Post
3) Almost all iOS spenders don't mind - they're not all tightwads like the tiny but very vocal minority who seem to get off on bitching about nearly free prices permanently.
Data to back up this sweeping statement? Large scale surveys, etc. or assumption/guess/what you want to believe?

Anyway, the best point you made is that they're free, so if it's exploitative I can just delete it with no loss. Paidmium is what really grinds my gears. With freemium or paidmium, one of the major problems is you never know going in, or even after playing for some time, what the game will really "cost" to get what you were expecting out of the game. That's okay if it's free to download, but an entry fee for a gamble on the developer's interest in making money vs. actually creating a fun experience for the player isn't right. And that right there is the central issue with freemium/paidmium. Making fun games and making money used to go pretty much hand in hand. If a game is good it's more likely to sell, and make more money. With the rise of IAP, developers actually have to balance fun with frustration, time consuming grinding for the sake of grinding, and other negative factors that may influence a player to shell out cash to overcome. It puts developers and gamers at cross purposes, and all of a sudden it feels like we're working against one another.
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:20 AM
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Rubicon Rubicon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Royce View Post
Data to back up this sweeping statement? Large scale surveys, etc. or assumption/guess/what you want to believe?
I was tempted to simply answer "I don't need any data because all the whiners that say "games should cost 10c, developers must do X, etc" don't provide any either.

However, there are plenty of ways to back up my statements and probably the easiest one is to contrast the sales chart by download with the sales chart by gross income. You won't find much overlap. Or there are several industry sites reporting on it continually. There's even something in App Annie atm, all based on actual sales data. It's there and public if you want to look for it.

This may come as quite a shock to many, but there's a lot of people out there that are quite happy to pay to indulge their hobbies, some of which are computer games, and I'm damned sure they wouldn't be too happy about the self-entitlement brigade referring to them as morons etc.

Last edited by Rubicon; 11-01-2012 at 08:01 AM..
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:25 AM
Royce Royce is offline
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That's really a pretty loose correlation with numerous potential confounding factors but whatever, I'm not gonna argue with you. Do me a favor though and stop linking completely cheap players and those who dislike freemium/paidmium. It's not that black and white at all. I would love it of iOS had more high quality/high priced games. I am nowhere near cheap and I dislike those models. I'm fairly certain I'm not the only one.
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:58 AM
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Yeah I'm not aiming any of that at anyone in particular, just giving the dev's side, which is often sadly lacking when these things break out. Probably because I'll start getting slammed shorty for it.

I agree with your point that some publishers and developers overdo some of these mechanics, but again its free choice. The ultimate way to vote or make an opinion felt is with the wallet.

Last edited by Rubicon; 11-01-2012 at 08:03 AM..
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  #10  
Old 11-01-2012, 09:32 AM
awp69 awp69 is online now
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I hate IAPs in general, but am learning to accept reality. I don't mind IAPs for "shortcuts" to get further in a game quickly, full unlocks of games and add-ons. Even freemium games with "paywalls" are okay as long as it's a one-time thing that allows you to get past that paywall.

The main IAP that I cannot stand is consumables or other IAPs that you don't see an end to. I want to go into a game knowing how much it's going to cost me. And if you're having to "pay up" repeatedly throughout a game, then you don't know if you're going to pay $5 or $100 to enjoy a game fully. And, what's unfortunate, is that those high grossing app charts are usually full of games like this because once you're roped in, some people don't want to stop.

And that's that person's judgement, but I just avoid those types of games completely. I'm far from being "cheap" when it comes to buying apps. But there's a sleaziness about consumable IAPs and that's where I draw the line. Much rather pay a premium price upfront.

And the other thing I can't rightfully get behind is when a dev changes their business strategy (ie. going from paid to freemium). I understand why devs do it and there's been some examples of devs handled changes like this in a professional manner and rewarded those who paid early. However, I'd say the vast majority of devs who do this don't give a rats a** about those who paid for it early. And it's those devs who don't get my business the second time around.

IAPs are here to stay, but that doesn't mean that devs can just throw away all ethics and treat them as purely a way to empty wallets. There are fair ways to use IAPs and still generate revenue (like those I initially listed).

And, the only way to really fight the devs who do abuse IAPs, is with your wallets. Yet there's a block of casual gamers and kids that shell out the money anyway. And that hurts iOS gaming as a whole IMO.
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