IAP: Divide the game up or use virtual currency?

02-13-2014, 11:48 AM
#1
IAP: Divide the game up or use virtual currency?

So, are there any articles, experience, or thoughts on these two methods of charging for a game via IAP?

1) charge 99 cents for ~10 pieces of the game (levels, units, features, etc)
2) charge for virtual currency that the user then uses to unlock the same levels, units, and features

I can think of pros and cons to each. Has anyone used one and then converted their game to use the other, what happened?

Developer of RTS Machines at War 3 for iOS, Mac, Windows.
RTS Land Air Sea Warfare for Android, iPhone, iPad, Windows, Mac
Games for iOS, Mac, & Windows - Dev blog

Last edited by Rasterman; 02-13-2014 at 11:52 AM.
02-14-2014, 06:23 AM
#2
Joined: Sep 2013
Location: Auckland
Posts: 115
I think the virtual currency is generally the way to go. It has many more benefits over simply selling the items.
1. It adds distance between the real value of an item, if something costs 7 gems it mentally seems less than if an item is $0.99, when they could be the same value. This is simply because people don't want to use the extra brain power to do the conversion and work out the real value.
2. It gives the impression of a larger selection of options. Buy 50 gems, and I can decided later what I want to use these for. Maybe I need one thing now, but I can spend my excess gems on something else later. So the purchase seems more intelligent, as it opens more opportunities.
3. Easy to show specials. So get the next size up, and you get 30% more gems for free. And you can make use of the "Decoy effect", that is have a substantially lesser offer, for only a little cheaper. For example: if you sell 20 gems $1, 50 gems $2, then 500 gems $3, many people will spend the $3 just because it seems so much better value, even if they only actually need 20 gems.

There are a few apps that don't use virtual currency, such as candy crush. I think the main reason for this is because your account is shared across many platforms, and so in this case you would be able to buy virtual currency on an iPhone, and then use those gems on an android. This is not allowed in apples terms for virtual currency. But buying a disposable item, and then having that shared across different platforms is allowed. So I assume that is why some companies are not using virtual currency.
02-14-2014, 06:58 AM
#3
Just giving my opinion as someone who plays, I very very rarely but consumable iaps, including currency, because it's not restorable, I often buy extra level packs, doublers or items that can be restored.
02-14-2014, 10:29 AM
#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudpuff View Post
Just giving my opinion as someone who plays, I very very rarely but consumable iaps, including currency, because it's not restorable, I often buy extra level packs, doublers or items that can be restored.
Very good point cloudpuff, I could see that being very beneficial to a more "hardcore/gamer" customer.

Developer of RTS Machines at War 3 for iOS, Mac, Windows.
RTS Land Air Sea Warfare for Android, iPhone, iPad, Windows, Mac
Games for iOS, Mac, & Windows - Dev blog
02-14-2014, 10:44 AM
#5
Joined: May 2010
Location: Deepest Circle, Hell
Posts: 6,535
Yeah, I'm with cloudpuff. I wholeheartedly support permanent, restorable IAP.

"I am virgin, I'm a whore! Giving nothing; the taker, the maker of war!" - Black Sabbath, "I"
02-15-2014, 05:06 PM
#6
Yeah, I too prefer restorable IAPs over consumable ones. But don't listen to us. Look up the "Top Grossing" list - it's clear that consumable currency is what makes real money. One thing to keep in mind - it's got to be done really good. Having a game almost done, then adding virtual currency will most probably fail. You need to design and balance your game with consumables in mind, while keeping it fun. Not an easy task, I guess.