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iPhone: Buying "Points" for Games

04-10-2009, 02:32 AM
#1
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,467
Buying "Points" for Games

iMafia, iMob, now iVampires...this is really turning into a trend in the app store! And not a good one, IMO. How many people are actually spending $19.99 or $49.99 for these "points?"

With upcoming games like Live Fire and Sims intending to charge extra for everything from a big gun to a stereo, I guess this is the future of the app store.

"If you don't like it, you don't have to buy it," I can hear some of you thinking.
The problem is that if devs have a lot of success selling these points or guns or stereos, what is the incentive for creating a game where everything is already included in the purchase price? Certainly not financial...

Last edited by gekkota; 04-10-2009 at 02:57 AM.
04-10-2009, 02:39 AM
#2
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,215
Quote:
Originally Posted by gekkota View Post
iMafia, iMob, now iVampires...this is really turning into a trend in the app store! And not a good one, IMO. How many people are actually spending $19.99 or $49.99 for these "points?"

With upcoming games like Live Fire and Sims intending to charge extra for everything from a big gun to a stereo, I guess this is the future of the app store.

"If you don't like it, you don't have to buy it," I can hear some of you thinking.
Thr problem is that if devs have a lot of success selling these points or guns or stereos, what is the incentive for creating a game where everything is already included in the purchase price? Certainly not financial...

most people that like "real" games wll pay for this crap, developers may try it at first but it will straighten it's self out as soon as people complain in masses. our buying habits/reviews will decide how things are handled like this

Boiler Up!
*Hated By Many, Loved By Few*

04-10-2009, 02:40 AM
#3
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 6,899
Quote:
Originally Posted by gekkota View Post
iMafia, iMob, now iVampires...this is really turning into a trend in the app store! And not a good one, IMO. How many people are actually spending $19.99 or $49.99 for these "points?"

With upcoming games like Live Fire and Sims intending to charge extra for everything from a big gun to a stereo, I guess this is the future of the app store.

"If you don't like it, you don't have to buy it," I can hear some of you thinking.
Thr problem is that if devs have a lot of success selling these points or guns or stereos, what is the incentive for creating a game where everything is already included in the purchase price? Certainly not financial...
Indeed, the same thing happened to XBLA and PSN a couple years ago, the people who DO buy it are enough for devs to pump out same type trash with the ever lingering stink of micropayment BOHICA.
04-10-2009, 05:40 AM
#4
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 894
I think there can be a future for micropayments, just as long as it does not give an overwhelming advantage to others on the same level. For instance, paying US$20 for a super weapon that is not available to other level1 players. I've heard of such transactions being made on online games like Everquest and WOW (Haven't played them, so I can't verify) and its one thing that has dissuaded me from playing, as I'll have my arse kicked by someone who's willing to spend more real cash than me.

Where it COULD work is in allowing players to buy new levels, or gameplay modes that exists outside of the foundation install. Everyone who's played Quake 3 knows of the standard game modes of Deathmatch and CTF, but micropayments could be made to buy the special mods like "Hulk" or "King of the Hill". They could offer incentives like "first 100 to download and play get it free" to ensure there's a good supply of players to fight against, before other's really do pay and face an empty arena. And in such an arena, only those who have played it abit more buy being an early adopter have an advantage, because they know the lay of the land. But if the latest joiner is a skilled player, (s)he can still win.
04-10-2009, 06:12 AM
#5
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Singapore
Posts: 534
Send a message via MSN to Sierra275
The whole points thing is pretty irritating, i agree. I play Mafia Wars on Facebook, and let me tell you: there's nothing more irritating than some level 1 guy coming and owning you, with points that he could never have gotten any other way than through payments.

Also, I agree that micropayments on the App Store is going to piss off a lot of people. It's a pretty stupid concept: paying for an advantage. It'll make a fair lot of people unwilling to buy the game in the first place. And seeing how many crap and dubious developers there are out there already, i'm sure plenty of them will be more than willing to take advantage of the consumer in many ways.

Though it may be a good way to buy level packs, this again is going to lead to some developers including very few maps in the original game, almost forcing people to buy more levels or maps to expand replayability. In short, this will definitely lead to more people getting scammed, and more developers abusing this feature.

Sierra275 on Gameloft Live, Openfeint, Gamecenter, and most other social gaming networks on the iTouch.
04-10-2009, 06:20 AM
#6
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 6
I think one of the better uses of micropayments/points would be for purchasing vanity add-ons: Different character/vehicle skin options, particle flourishes, expanded web profiles, auto-generated profile signature images (for forums & websites), that sort of thing. This becomes more worthwhile for Wifi games, but you get the point.

Basically, I'm talking about the kinds of things that are compelling to fans without changing gameplay or fairness while still allowing developers to monetize a (perhaps market-saturated) game.

I agree that there's a delicate line between offering vanity/perk additions and intentionally gimping a product just to bleed customers later.

Last edited by Hexabyss; 04-10-2009 at 06:34 AM. Reason: clarity.
04-10-2009, 09:08 AM
#7
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 1,652
Quote:
Originally Posted by gekkota View Post
With upcoming games like Live Fire and Sims intending to charge extra for everything from a big gun to a stereo, I guess this is the future of the app store.
ngmoco was just showing it as a demonstration - not actually intended.

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