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iPhone: Taxiball 1.2 is Live! (and a general question for the forum members)

View Poll Results: How should we change Taxiball Free?
Gimp the Free Version for Conversions 4 33.33%
Ad-supported Free Version w/More Stuff 6 50.00%
Something Else (which I'll write about on the post) 2 16.67%
Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll
07-19-2009, 02:46 AM
#1
Joined: May 2009
Location: Redwood City, CA
Posts: 203
Taxiball 1.2 is Live! (and a general question for the forum members)

Hey, all - in case you missed it in the haiku thread (or haiku just scared you away altogether), Taxiball v.1.2 is live! The poetry contest winners (GaiaIllusion and Jebus, from these forums!) now have their text in our App Store description!

In addition, the actual game has some stuff, too:
* A new level! (People local to the SF Bay Area who take public transportation will probably recognize it)
* Speed optimizations for 3.0 - fixes a performance bug that 3.0 had introduced

We'll be bringing the performance and no-wifi-required updates to the Free version shortly - it's at Apple, waiting for approval.

...

In addition to all that, though - I've got a question for the forums, here.

Right now, we have Taxiball - it's a full-fledged game, has something like 9 levels, we're adding 1-2 with every update (1-2 per month), online leaderboards, awards, all that jazz.

Then, we have Taxiball Free - it has everything Taxiball has, but only allows you access to two levels - N00bsville and The Green (it's made from people), and to get access to The Green, you have to earn an award - Friends With Benefits.

Here's the question. We have basically two options, given the current state of things. We either can *less* in the Free version - to gimp it a bit to encourage people to upgrade, or we can to make it an ad-supported alternative to the full game. Keeping it as-is right now is less of an option, as conversion rates aren't what we were hoping for from the Free version.

If it went ad-supported, we'd still have a benefit to having the full version - no ads (obviously), early access to new levels, and another feature that's still under wraps.

So... which option seems sensible to you? Less in the free version hoping to convert more users to the full version? Ad supported alternate free version with more stuff? Or something altogether different?

seppo
07-19-2009, 02:48 AM
#2
Joined: May 2009
Location: Redwood City, CA
Posts: 203
Ah - one of the options was gimping the Free version in such a way that you can't earn Awards or post scores unless you bought the full version. I'm not convinced it'll make a difference to most people, but, well, it's an option.

seppo

07-19-2009, 02:51 AM
#3
Joined: May 2009
Location: The Underworld
Posts: 9,230
I personally wouldn't go with the ad-supported free version of the full game...I think too many people would learn to live with the ads if they knew that had the full version of the game.
07-19-2009, 03:12 AM
#4
Joined: May 2009
Location: Bookland
Posts: 3,366
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devilishly Good View Post
I personally wouldn't go with the ad-supported free version of the full game...I think too many people would learn to live with the ads if they knew that had the full version of the game.
+1 will not help sales at all I would say
07-19-2009, 03:16 AM
#5
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 4,491
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devilishly Good View Post
I personally wouldn't go with the ad-supported free version of the full game...I think too many people would learn to live with the ads if they knew that had the full version of the game.
Thats very true, but wouldn't the ads themselves be bringing in more revenue than a one time price? (of course I mean in the long term)
07-19-2009, 03:16 AM
#6
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,512
I hate ad supported games...I never willingly download them. On the other hand, I know people who don't mind ads at all and if the whole game (albeit with ads) is free, they will never buy the ad free version.

If you had to choose, I'd go with gimping the lite version...but before you do something like that, I'd recommend finding out the reason for low conversion rates.

Front Page Tug Boat Chief Engineer
Check out the awesome Fuzion: Age of Wordcraft website
Follow me and the game on Twitter
preview thread (Fuzion is still in development)
07-19-2009, 03:18 AM
#7
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,512
Quote:
Originally Posted by VegantTnT View Post
Thats very true, but wouldn't the ads themselves be bringing in more revenue than a one time price? (of course I mean in the long term)
I think there were a couple studies showing that even in the long run it was more worthwhile for iphone developers to have a paid app than a free ad supported one.

Front Page Tug Boat Chief Engineer
Check out the awesome Fuzion: Age of Wordcraft website
Follow me and the game on Twitter
preview thread (Fuzion is still in development)
07-19-2009, 03:29 AM
#8
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 4,491
Quote:
Originally Posted by pharmx View Post
I think there were a couple studies showing that even in the long run it was more worthwhile for iphone developers to have a paid app than a free ad supported one.
I wouldn't give any study for iphone much weight. It's barely been a year, so they couldn't possibly know what the long term numbers would be on a platform that is so young that the appstore itself hasn't even hit the "long term"

I would probably release a free version of the game that is ad supported. Achievements and highscores would be gimped and would not get the updated levels.
07-19-2009, 03:37 AM
#9
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,512
Quote:
Originally Posted by VegantTnT View Post
I wouldn't give any study for iphone much weight. It's barely been a year, so they couldn't possibly know what the long term numbers would be on a platform that is so young that the appstore itself hasn't even hit the "long term"

I would probably release a free version of the game that is ad supported. Achievements and highscores would be gimped and would not get the updated levels.
I understand what you mean, but the data is based on usage statistics. The best thing to do would be to ask other developers (especially ones that have used ad supported models) what their experience has been, especially when transitioning from a free or paid model to an ad supported one.

Front Page Tug Boat Chief Engineer
Check out the awesome Fuzion: Age of Wordcraft website
Follow me and the game on Twitter
preview thread (Fuzion is still in development)
07-19-2009, 06:29 AM
#10
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 126
If there was an ad supported option, I would never upgrade to the full version. I've tuned out ads and they don't bother me at all, even if it stops gameplay. I'm sure you won't share this, but what are the numbers? Do the sponsors pay you based on the number of downloads or is it a lump sum payout for a specific time period?

Do the numbers, make some hypothetical, perhaps contract someone who knows statistics (if you don't have the abilities), and work from there.

Just my 2 pennies!


Price drop and contest/gimicky promo works well too