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Preferred Payment Model and Concept Suggestions

View Poll Results: Payment Model?
Free App, But Ad Supported 5 15.15%
Paid App Containing No Ads 26 78.79%
ngmoco Style Payment System 1 3.03%
Other 1 3.03%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll
12-10-2009, 04:12 AM
#1
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 5
Preferred Payment Model and Concept Suggestions

Hey everyone,

I have been following TouchArcade for a while now, but I am new to the forums. I have dabbled in iPhone/iPod Touch game development enough to learn the SDK and coding etc, but I am now looking to start on a more major project. The basic game concept comes from a game i developed earlier for the PC, and it is sort of like the old Super Mario Brothers, but with weaponry if that makes sense. The game would have online and local multiplayer, therefore users would likely be connected to the Internet while playing.

My main question is, based of your experience, what is the best payment model? Does using a group such as AdMob to put banners in the app annoy users, or would they prefer to have ads but get the app for free? Or are models akin to TouchPets Dogs popular, where users physically can't play without a form of in-game energy?

So yeah, any feedback on the concept or suggestions for payment models would be much appreciated!
12-10-2009, 08:35 AM
#2
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: UK / Toronto
Posts: 602
I wouldn't use the 'energy' revenue model. It seems like it works in a management sim game, where people can get addicted to buying and building, but from what I've seen from user comments, the model doesn't translate well into action games.

In terms of ad-supported, another tough one. A LOT of devs around here have tried this and 99% of them have reported dismal returns. Admob give very low revenues to the developers but now that Google purchased them, that could change in the future and make it an easier platform for making money. But at the moment it seems that to make any real money from ad-supported Apps, you need an incredibly casual game that can get 500,000 regular players (e.g. Flight control, Harbor Master, or Labyrinth), or a non-gaming App that a large number of people will use frequently.

In any other situation, or if you're just not sure, I'd recommend a paid app. It seems to be the most common form of success on the app store.


But good luck, your game sounds interesting and I look forward to seeing it!

12-10-2009, 09:45 AM
#3
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 5
I've been noticing an advertising firm on several iPhone-related sites called Greystripe. They claim to offer higher revenues to developers through a different form of advertising which is more complex, eg. some are actually interactive. Have you heard of any developers using this advertiser?

By the way, thanks for taking the time to leave some feedback

--EDIT--
Btw, when you say dismal returns, could you give a rough dollar amount. I am not planning for this to be my actual career, so it might just be enough to make it worthwhile.

Last edited by EveryoneLovesPeter; 12-10-2009 at 09:53 AM. Reason: added question
12-10-2009, 09:58 AM
#4
Just sell it, man. Ads suck. I must know, i work in advertisement )
12-10-2009, 10:14 AM
#5
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 3,741
Who the **** voted for ads? I bet it was the kids. Cheap bastards, grow up and get a job. Stop playing with adults toys.

  /l、
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12-10-2009, 01:43 PM
#6
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: UK / Toronto
Posts: 602
Quote:
Originally Posted by EveryoneLovesPeter View Post
I've been noticing an advertising firm on several iPhone-related sites called Greystripe. They claim to offer higher revenues to developers through a different form of advertising which is more complex, eg. some are actually interactive. Have you heard of any developers using this advertiser?
I've heard about it too, and they definitely seem to offer a much better platform than Admob currently offers, along with better potential for revenue. Unfortunately, I haven't seen ANY sorts of reports from developers using Greystripe so I really can't say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EveryoneLovesPeter View Post
Btw, when you say dismal returns, could you give a rough dollar amount. I am not planning for this to be my actual career, so it might just be enough to make it worthwhile.
A few people have posted a few of their stats. Those with 100,000 regular players may get around $50 per day. Most others who have a few thousand free downloads per day (which would be HUGE for a paid app) are maybe earning $1-4 per day.
12-10-2009, 02:41 PM
#7
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Southern California
Posts: 58
What if we were planning on releasing an app for free simply to increase company visibility? Is it worth putting an ad in simply to make a little bit on the side or is it better just to leave that out?
12-10-2009, 02:44 PM
#8
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Hawthorne,California
Posts: 588
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathanJ View Post
What if we were planning on releasing an app for free simply to increase company visibility? Is it worth putting an ad in simply to make a little bit on the side or is it better just to leave that out?
That could work, putting an ad.

Artist and dev for Team Dropkick
12-10-2009, 08:33 PM
#9
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: UK / Toronto
Posts: 602
Yeah, for a free app it can't hurt much to put an ad or two into it.

I think the best ad-placements are one or two simple 5-second ads before you can play the game, with a counter somewhere that informs, "Sponsor message ends in X seconds…"

You could even use this to your advantage by encouraging people to upgrade to the paid version to remove the waiting time. Those who play the game frequently enough will probably upgrade.


Another time I believe free apps can be useful is if you're just about to release a sequel. Making your app free can grab up to 100 000 downloads overnight, giving you a huge audience to market the new game to, and better yet, they're all your target market.
12-10-2009, 08:50 PM
#10
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 172
How about offering both a free, ad-supported version for cheapskates and a paid version for people who want to (1) get rid of annoying ads and (2) support the dev?

I heard that ads don't pay very well but at least you're making some kind of money from people who don't want to fork over cash for your app. And, who knows, maybe if they've played your game long enough (i.e. deeper than a lite version would allow) they might realize that your game is worth the price you are asking for and convert from a cheapskate to a paying customer.