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Free to Play isn't to blame, it's the consumer

08-04-2015, 09:41 PM
Senior Member [Original Poster]
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 640
Free to Play isn't to blame, it's the consumer

Before I'm burned at the stake, let me explain.. I've used the forums daily for a few years now and there is one thing that always blows me away. People will complain about free to play and then blast a premium games price point, and generally it's the same people.

For instance, Radiation Island is a brilliant game, it's price was so cheap I didn't even look before I purchased, however, the past few forum posts show that people are complaining of lack of updates, or not enough content... It went on sale for .99 recently and people were arguing that it wasn't worth t because they beat the game in 10 hours or so.... This game by Atypical was a console quality game and a first of its kind for mobile in the survival first person genre a la Day Z or Rust.

Why would a developer, large or indie, take s chance on a price when a large portion of the users will complain or "wait for the sale". I realize this isn't everyone and this is just s recent memory that bothered me, everyone screams they want a game with depth, content and originality, but if a dev dropped a game like that and priced it at 19.99, they prob wouldn't see half the downloads they need for a profit.

If the same game were free, with a coin doubler or exp doubler for 2.99 and then optional IAP for extra gold to speed up the process to use in the market.... Which one is going to make more profit?

I really think we need to step back and think about those things before just saying I hate free games and that it's ruining gaming... As it stands, f2p gaming is keeping some devs afloat that would have drowned on the premium boat.

I love all types of games, premium, some free or whatever the case may be, I can see which way the market is trending and will continue to go. Because of how consumers view a $20 game as they do a free game, this will be the future of gaming.
08-05-2015, 07:04 AM
Totally agree.

People reaction towards Monument Valley expansion was sad to behold. We reap what we sow.

08-05-2015, 07:10 AM
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: England
Posts: 11,349
Totally agree as well. Cheap people are ruining iOS gaming, as you say Radiation Island is a great game, how can someone moan when its 99c that they beat it after 11 hours of gameplay. The games ONE dollar ! Bargain

I bought that the second it was released at full price, my thinking is i want devs to make as much money as possible so i'll always buy it on release price.

Theres so much freemium i think due to all the cheapskates who wait for sales for $2 games etc.

Monument Valley i was fine buying the expansion but yeah some peoples reaction due to possibly paying 2 dollars for the expansion was just embarassing.

As you say some devs stay afloat due to F2P, its still crazy that some people seem to moan when a games 3 dollars and will wait for a sale but with freemium games they seem okay spending a chunk of money on IAP's

For me personally theres still a lot of great premium games, already have 500+ plus games to play on my phone so i've got plenty to go through. I dont feel the app store is as good/as exciting as it was a few years back as there seemed to be quality games coming out every week.

Still an amazing gaming platform though and i love seeing some of the upcoming previews of games. Promo code chasers (non stop ones, not just the odd one) and people waiting for sales 24/7 are the ones to blame for freemium in my view.

But its funny when a game comes out for a dollar or two dollars and people still want to wait for 700 opinions or for a price drop ! Depressing
08-05-2015, 07:30 AM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,132
Blame the kids with 800$ devices whom "are not able" to spend at least 10$ per month on good premium games.

I absolutely agree with you and I still have hope,hope is something that never dies,I mean apple devices are getting more and more popular for gaming too so that probably means that a certain amount of people will spend money on premium games.
08-05-2015, 08:03 AM
Senior Member [Original Poster]
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 640
And adding to the points mentioned by others, when a developer chooses to go premium, and you purchase the game, that is all the income they will see from that game. Unless the release a sequel to the game or add new content in the form of a dlc, which if the new content isn't offered for free the comments will rain down as, I already paid for this game once, why do I have to buy the additional content.... More than anything, that is why these premium games are hard for devs to support and keep people from getting bored.

Free to play games continually update their games and pump content out because they have the option of adding new characters or new maps for free but to get them you must acquire them by gems or whatever pod currency they use. It's a very smart tactic to employ, give you something for free but leave something out there that's available but you must pay to attain t by a roulette or slot machine style mechanic. It's so very similar to gambling that it should be called such, and I mean who doesn't like to gamble every now and then

There's definitely room for both in the ever growing mobile world, but more and more it would seem that to make money and support a game through all the different devices and iOS changes that happen yearly, we will see the trend stay to free to play.

I feel like we will continue to see premium games but new content premium games may be slot fewer. Premium will be more on the lines of reboots for companies trying to get some income out of old franchises like square enix and others...

Just my opinion though fwiw
08-05-2015, 08:32 AM
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 251
I always thought Radiation Island entered into the App Store marketplace with too low of a price. I understand you don't want to turn consumers off of your product with too high of a price but if a high quality product is priced a couple of bucks it also sends the message that is what the game is truly worth. With Radiation Island they could have charged 9.99 and most wouldn't have any issue. My guess is they wanted to establish the game at a low price point and took a gamble that the tactic would generate enough interest to make up the cost and I hope they made some money off of the game.

I know some people are discontent with SquareEnix pricing of some of their premiums but their bullish stance on higher prices compared to average App Store fare is commendable. They released some all time great games in the RPG (or Japanese RPG) genre and deserve to sell them above ball and cup prices. Although I do agree with the angry mob that Squeenix could give better support/communication to customers who will gladly pay for their premiums.

Even great casual premium games such as Fishdom 3 or most Big Fish hidden object games are well worth the asking price, which is above a couple of dollars, for people into the match 3 or adventure/hidden object type of game since the good quality work that goes into the top games of those genres is obvious.

Last edited by JasonLL; 08-05-2015 at 10:14 AM.
08-05-2015, 08:40 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 339
Originally Posted by psj3809 View Post
Totally agree as well. Cheap people are ruining iOS gaming
Define "cheap".

People complain about premium games releasing for any price point above 99 cents (and will still wait for it to go free) but will drop tons of money on IAP for F2P.

I don't get this at all.

I'm with the OP, I don't care as long as the game is good. I really hate some of the cynical F2P strategies and stay away from certain games because of this. If there is no "game" there and it is just an endless skinner box wanting me to hit a button, and possibly pay to be able to hit it more often, I'm not going to play.

That said, there have been some good F2P titles. There have also been some outstanding premium titles.

I hate to say it, but I think we're in this mess because the cynical F2P tactics work and make more money. You've got developers practically begging for people to buy their $3 game while people are blowing through cash on IAP purchases.
08-05-2015, 08:52 AM
Senior Member [Original Poster]
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 640
Originally Posted by CrazedJava View Post
Define "cheap".

People complain about premium games releasing for any price point above 99 cents (and will still wait for it to go free) but will drop tons of money on IAP for F2P.
This is exactly the market that I mean, it has been created.

It's not exactly people being cheap, it's more of s bait and switch than anything else.

A price point of 4.99 is frowned upon but the same frowners will gladly buy a consumable 4.99 package to get a shot at a free spin on the wheel or a premium chest opening or door or what ever the mechanic is, and due to the gambler in a lot of people, if I didn't get a good draw this time, maybe I get it next time. Or if you did get a good draw, you are now feeling lucky and try again... Before you know it you have spent 10 dollars on chance but complained about a 4.99 game that you knew what you were going to get out of it...

It's mind boggling to say the least
08-05-2015, 10:30 AM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 955
Do you have any evidence that the people who refuse to pay for premium are the same ones who complain about freemium?

Personally I don't see the problem. Great games still exist and people can still find stuff to enjoy whether it's premium or freemium.

I also don't thing anyone is being cheap. People who sponge off their friends without paying them back are cheap. People who don't pay much for iOS games are just responding to the market, and the market as it stands lets you play great games for little to no money.
08-05-2015, 03:38 PM
The longer I have my iPhone, the more I am willing to pay for apps, the quality really is different. I really do like the sneak preview model though. Give me a taste for the game, and then charge me for the rest of it.

Server games: I never understood why e.g. hero academy did not charge a monthly fee in return for ranked play with rank based match making. Would have been perfect. Keeps the servers running, matching competition keeps my interest, and you don't have to keep introducing new teams which runs the risk of unbalancing the game. Everybody's happy!