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Potential of non freemium games

05-08-2011, 08:06 PM
#1
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,282
Potential of non freemium games

I'll start off by saying I hate freemium games.

That being said, I think the types of games that are typically freemium have so much potential as paid apps. I was playing Farm Story today, on the recommendation of a friend, and I'll admit it's pretty addicting.

What's not fun at all is the blatant money traps in the game. Wait 30 hours to play again or pay for some worthless in game speedup item? This is usually where I delete games like this. For casual gamers who don't like playing for long periods itd work well, but not for me.

I'm just wondering why no one has tapped into the market of people that would play games like Farmville, Zomebie Farm, and Trade Nations if they were priced fairly and didn't try to extort money from you every few minutes.

I'll never buy a single bean/gem/fertilizer with real money. Period. I would pay full price for a game that has the core elements of the ones I mentioned, with a tweaked system for harvesting and things of that nature though. I don't think I'm alone either.

Anybody agree with me on this?
05-08-2011, 08:11 PM
#2
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Houston/Austin, TX
Posts: 13,251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradiso View Post
I'll start off by saying I hate freemium games.

That being said, I think the types of games that are typically freemium have so much potential as paid apps. I was playing Farm Story today, on the recommendation of a friend, and I'll admit it's pretty addicting.

What's not fun at all is the blatant money traps in the game. Wait 30 hours to play again or pay for some worthless in game speedup item? This is usually where I delete games like this. For casual gamers who don't like playing for long periods itd work well, but not for me.

I'm just wondering why no one has tapped into the market of people that would play games like Farmville, Zomebie Farm, and Trade Nations if they were priced fairly and didn't try to extort money from you every few minutes.

I'll never buy a single bean/gem/fertilizer with real money. Period. I would pay full price for a game that has the core elements of the ones I mentioned, with a tweaked system for harvesting and things of that nature though. I don't think I'm alone either.

Anybody agree with me on this?
Nah, it's because games like these are so successful and because tons of people buy these in-game currencies that these games work. Check out the top 25, 50, and 100 on the top grossing charts at any time of the year and what do you see? At least half of the games at every single one of these intervals are freemium games that allow for the purchasing of in-game currency. Most people around here aren't interested in the kind of thing, but TA doesn't reflect the mindset of the core of AppStore shoppers, not even close. People want to get a taste of what the game is like anyways. Since there's so many of them, people want to know which one they'd like the most before spending any money on it. That's why a paid version would never get anywhere. Ever since the original iMafia for the iOS and Farmville on Facebook, these games have already been as successful as they get. The companies who make these game wouldn't gain anything from making a flat rate, but would be shooting themselves in the foot.

Twitter: @back2this

05-08-2011, 08:36 PM
#3
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,282
I dunno. I realize freemium is very financially successful, so this would be more of an indie project type thing, where the end goal isn't necessarily sucking as much money out of the customer as possible.

Maybe it is just a pipe dream, but I for one hope someone does something like this
05-08-2011, 08:45 PM
#4
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Houston/Austin, TX
Posts: 13,251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradiso View Post
I dunno. I realize freemium is very financially successful, so this would be more of an indie project type thing, where the end goal isn't necessarily sucking as much money out of the customer as possible.

Maybe it is just a pipe dream, but I for one hope someone does something like this
Like Hodapp always says, Pocket Frogs has already created what every freemium game should be, fun to play and void of rip offs where succeeding is possible without pouring out a lot of money. It's the same idea as common freemium titles, except that you're "farming" frogs. There's tons of interactions in the community as well.

Twitter: @back2this
05-08-2011, 08:49 PM
#5
Joined: May 2010
Location: Lexington, KY
Posts: 2,375
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I totally agree with you and I feel your pain too. I think that most of it is because the big companies with the power to make in-depth, complex and rewarding game experiences like they usually are just not willing to invest the time or energy...yet. Take a look at a Namco's stunted ports of their games, for example. Or the crappy Harvest Moon puzzle game that was released on iOS... Someone needs to invest a lot of money first.

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05-08-2011, 09:11 PM
#6
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,282
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtothis View Post
Like Hodapp always says, Pocket Frogs has already created what every freemium game should be, fun to play and void of rip offs where succeeding is possible without pouring out a lot of money. It's the same idea as common freemium titles, except that you're "farming" frogs. There's tons of interactions in the community as well.
Pocket Frogs is an example of good freemium. I've always been a fan of Nimblebit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyMuffin View Post
I totally agree with you and I feel your pain too. I think that most of it is because the big companies with the power to make in-depth, complex and rewarding game experiences like they usually are just not willing to invest the time or energy...yet. Take a look at a Namco's stunted ports of their games, for example. Or the crappy Harvest Moon puzzle game that was released on iOS... Someone needs to invest a lot of money first.
I'm sure well get one eventually, I was just curious why it hasn't been tried yet. Maybe the iPhone still hasn't proven itself a viable device to the people who make the calls in big studios.
05-09-2011, 12:17 AM
#7
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,074
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyMuffin View Post
I totally agree with you and I feel your pain too. I think that most of it is because the big companies with the power to make in-depth, complex and rewarding game experiences like they usually are just not willing to invest the time or energy...yet. Take a look at a Namco's stunted ports of their games, for example. Or the crappy Harvest Moon puzzle game that was released on iOS... Someone needs to invest a lot of money first.
These so-called big companies aren't interested in the low returns offered by the AppStore. The reward is not high enough to take the risk. Namco makes $30+ for every unit they move on every single gaming platform on the face of the planet, with the exception of iOS gaming, where they making $1-3 for every unit they sell. Therefore, they (along with everyone else) must invest less in order to make more. No one will ever invest a lot of money in the AppStore, although "a lot of money" is obviously a relative term.

I don't understand why people fall for this ridiculous freemium
model. It's a joke. Are people really that stupid? I don't have a lot of respect for casual gamers to begin with. The fact that this scam works so readily on casual gamers makes me respect them even less.
05-09-2011, 12:37 AM
#8
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,737
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradiso View Post
I'm just wondering why no one has tapped into the market of people that would play games like Farmville, Zomebie Farm, and Trade Nations if they were priced fairly and didn't try to extort money from you every few minutes.
People have tried. Most of those games don't seem to do that well on the App Store, at least from what I've seen. I think the problem is that a well-made, paid simulation game costs more to (initially) develop and has lower returns. I mean, if you look at most freemium simulation games, it's just "click here to turn gold into more gold" decorated with some nice graphics. I doubt that'd sell as a paid game.
05-09-2011, 12:42 AM
#9
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,282
Quote:
Originally Posted by dumaz1000 View Post
These so-called big companies aren't interested in the low returns offered by the AppStore. The reward is not high enough to take the risk. Namco makes $30+ for every unit they move on every single gaming platform on the face of the planet, with the exception of iOS gaming, where they making $1-3 for every unit they sell. Therefore, they (along with everyone else) must invest less in order to make more. No one will ever invest a lot of money in the AppStore, although "a lot of money" is obviously a relative term.

I don't understand why people fall for this ridiculous freemium
model. It's a joke. Are people really that stupid? I don't have a lot of respect for casual gamers to begin with. The fact that this scam works so readily on casual gamers makes me respect them even less.
Well I wouldn't go as far as saying it makes me lose respect for people that buy into it, but I certainly don't understand it either. Mostly it stems from ignorance though. Unfortunately the TA Collective's "games worth getting" list isn't written down for the average customer to see. Some of the best games I've played on this platform aren't even visible in the charts anymore, but they're still leaps and bounds over the top freemium ones.

The worst part is, freemium isn't really a scam. It wouldn't be generating hundreds of millions if it was. Business men have just put a price on impatience, in convenient bundles of beans and gems.

There's a sucker born every minute, and they're gonna milk him for all he's worth.
05-09-2011, 12:48 AM
#10
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,282
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dazarath View Post
People have tried. Most of those games don't seem to do that well on the App Store, at least from what I've seen. I think the problem is that a well-made, paid simulation game costs more to (initially) develop and has lower returns. I mean, if you look at most freemium simulation games, it's just "click here to turn gold into more gold" decorated with some nice graphics. I doubt that'd sell as a paid game.
Well I've seen varying degrees of these types of games. From simple ones like Farm Story where it is just very basic tapping for profit, without a lot of bells and whistles thrown in, to games like Trade Nations, where you assign jobs, manage resources, connect with others, decorate your empire, upgrade buildings, expand the area, etc. I love games with enough depth and content that I can play for an hour without even noticing. As it stands, I can play most of these for about 5 minutes.

I've seen a few games out there that have some of the concepts from some of the games, but none that really nail it.