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Why make a free game?

10-24-2008, 11:06 PM
#1
Senior Member [Original Poster]
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 212
Why make a free game?

This might be an astoundingly obvious question to be asking but I'm going to do it anyway - what do devs who put their games on the appstore for free get out of it?
I don't mean free initially, and then raise price, or lite editions, I mean the full game, for free, forever.
Is there some way to make money with a free Iphone game?

Sorry, this question has just been rolling around in my head for weeks
10-24-2008, 11:11 PM
#2
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 655
For fun, or for personal reasons.
I have developed some apps (not for iPhone) and I just think of something that I want and make it. Then as it was for you and other people might want it you then release it for free.

See: http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=293283136&mt=8 as an example (read the description).

10-24-2008, 11:12 PM
#3
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 292
1) An indie dev creates apps for free so that users learn of the dev and buy other apps;
2) A dev created an app that he/she wanted to share freely with the community;
3) A dev hopes to put ads in an app in the future;
4) A dev wants to tie in a free app with a paid app.

I assume that there are other reasons.
10-24-2008, 11:15 PM
#4
Senior Member [Original Poster]
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by vandy1997 View Post
2) A dev created an app that he/she wanted to share freely with the community
Hmmm. I'm saddened that I was too cynical to even think of that reason
10-24-2008, 11:17 PM
#5
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 655
Quote:
Originally Posted by alza View Post
Hmmm. I'm saddened that I was too cynical to even think of that reason
Lol. Its does raise some interesting points though.
10-25-2008, 03:07 AM
#6
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,186
In addition to the above reasons, perhaps devs want to use it as a learning experience before they start on more ambitious apps. They would learn about the whole process from start to finish. They learn about the time involved, how to code for the platform, any tricks or potential problems, the app approval process with Apple, and they learn how to market an app. Also by providing a free app they are almost guaranteeing that people will use it and provide feedback (I have been providing constructive feedback on all the free apps I have picked up). It gives them a chance to iron out the kinks and learn about the whole process from development through to the end user.
10-25-2008, 09:35 AM
#7
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Atlantic Ocean
Posts: 665
If you look at PapiJump, Pole, and River, all these games are free andnow the dev is making plus (+) versions of all of them. You make it free for publicity reasons and then make a better version and stick a price tag on it. I mean once the dev is done with PapiPole + and PapiRiver+ he'll make an absolute ton of money...
10-25-2008, 10:08 AM
#8
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty
Posts: 395
Another reason is that the dev is trying to build reputation for themselves. If they are unknown to the public, and they release a fun free game, They will be liked more. So when they release a bigger game with a bigger price tag, people will know the developer and buy it based on past experiences.
10-25-2008, 10:11 AM
#9
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by vandy1997 View Post
1) An indie dev creates apps for free so that users learn of the dev and buy other apps;

4) A dev wants to tie in a free app with a paid app.

I assume that there are other reasons.
i think another good example is cube runner
10-25-2008, 02:04 PM
#10
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by CloneWars View Post
If you look at PapiJump, Pole, and River, all these games are free andnow the dev is making plus (+) versions of all of them. You make it free for publicity reasons and then make a better version and stick a price tag on it. I mean once the dev is done with PapiPole + and PapiRiver+ he'll make an absolute ton of money...
I totally agree with this that Sunflat took advantage of taking free, polished games with a loyal fanbase and then making a 99 cent app (doesn't break the bank for anyone still) with even more features on such a simple idea. If you look at PapiJump+ it's number 92/100 on top paid and has a 4 and a half star rating. It was 5 for the longest time.