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The App Store - The Free to Play Store

11-12-2014, 07:06 PM
#1
Joined: Aug 2012
Location: The Bay Area
Posts: 248
The App Store - The Free to Play Store

I'm 30 years old. I grew up without ever having an issue of paying $50 for Super Mario Kart on my SNES or any of the other thousands of games I've bought in my life. I'm also a developer and its sad that something as awesome as the App Store came about but now it's just becoming a money pit for large developers to cash in on casual gamers with the awesome microtransaction. On iOS, games are hardly being developed for fun anymore. The first thing on everyone's mind is : how can we make money off this? And the worst part of all --> the distribution outlets are now catering to this mindset, and of course it makes sense as you have to supply your customers with what they want. And considering 97% of people on the App Store don't pay for anything... you've got to supply things that are free.

Take a look at the "Featured" Tab in the App Store and then proceed to the "New" category for action games, arcade games, adventure games etc. Count the number of free games listed in the "New" section and the number of paid games listed. I think it's pretty obvious Apple knows people want free and now they are starting to only feature free even in the smaller featured sections.

I predict that in another year or 2 if devs don't go free to play then they're gonna be sunk. The likes of successes like Monument Valley and Goblin sword will be more rare and rare for games. Granted they may be great games but great games don't always rise to the top.

iOS is not anything like the console market or the PC market. It's only a matter of time until we see nothing but Dungeon Keeper, Clash of Clans and a million more flappy bird clones, white tile clones, threes clones etc chocked full of ads. Anyone who says otherwise is kind of crazy because the stats don't lie. You cannot survive in this industry unless your apps are at least in the top 100 of it's category for a paid app (and even then it might not be sufficient enough income).

I used to be optimistic, but not anymore. I hope everyone is in for the long haul of free to play. It's only just begun.
11-12-2014, 07:20 PM
#2
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,279
I am a 35 year old gamer who is more than happy to pay a premium price on the App Store for a premium game. Things like this monument valley story worry me a bit, but companies like square enix who continually don't compromise on price and quality give me hope.

Honestly, if I was a game developer making a premium game I would make it free to download, where you can play up to a certain point, and then IAP to unlock the full game.

I really thought that's how things would go early on in the App Store, unfortunately that's not how it has turned out.

I still think there's a market for premium priced games out there.

Got lost on my way to GameFAQs...
GID: stlredbird
11-13-2014, 01:29 PM
#3
Joined: Oct 2012
Location: NYC
Posts: 21
This is how the free market works.

Supply, demand and putting your money where your mouth is.

If you like something, pay for it.

Also, developers of old produced tons of crap titles for every nostalgic hit we remember today. Those games cost 50-60 a pop also.

The beauty of the app store ecosystem is that devs can produce games with low budget and take me chances creatively. If you want to see what big budget and high expectations do to the creative process, look at the Hollywood blockbusters and console gaming. There, it is all big franchises, reboots and rehashes of tired of ideas.

The point is, F2P games can fund big studios to take chances in games. Small devs can charge 1.99 and test the waters for their new way to do match-3 sports. The app store is like the IFC for indie movies or Amazon for ebooks or Sound cloud or Vevo for music. That is, we allow innovation to take place for small studio and artists to have a platform.

On that platform, there still will be the cash loaded industry giants like EA rolling out products based on greed alone. However as long as the small indie shops continue to put out quality products, there will be a market for them in the app store.

Consumers should not be worried about policing the greedy large studios. We consumer sole focus should be building support around an active and dedicated community. Only collectively as a crowd can we keep the market thriving for truly innovative and creative gaming experiences from smaller developers.