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Release Free App without any difference to the Paid Version ?

05-31-2011, 02:15 PM
#1
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Germany
Posts: 265
Release Free App without any difference to the Paid Version ?

I know this has been tackled before on and off, I guess I'd want to have a quick current headsup, since Apple changed quite a few things around lately.
Basically I've been reading a lot of stuff lately about how much better free apps can perform with included Ads or other similar services.

An example.
Air Hockey and Air Hockey Gold.
In a hutshell, from what I gather it's 99% the same game and content, the only difference being ads shown inbetween each game.

So my question would be, can everyone port this idea to their own games ?
Can everyone just include some ads service in their game, call it a free/gold/lite version and submit/release it to the world ?
Or are there some other criterias as of now ?

What could be some keywords to gather more information about this topic for a first game release ?
Moreover I think I'd be interested in Services, Methods, Writeups of different possibilites of Ads in Apps.

I think any actual developers experience or thoughts on this topic might be worth sharing in here.

I'd really appreciate it

If I failed again to explain this topic once again, let me know, and I'll try to be more precise !

edit: I think I could have forgotten a difference between "Lite" and "Free" - could that be true ?
I had a pretty close look in this topic that shares many opinions of how different developers feel about different approaches to Free, Lite Versions:
http://forums.toucharcade.com/showth...highlight=Free

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Last edited by Acumen; 05-31-2011 at 02:28 PM.
05-31-2011, 02:36 PM
#2
The way I see it, removing ads isn't enough incentive for folks to pay for an app. Give them a little extra in there. Also, to make money on ads, you have to have a LOT of downloads. I mean a damn lot.

05-31-2011, 02:42 PM
#3
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Hollywood, CA
Posts: 1,869
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinecure Industries View Post
The way I see it, removing ads isn't enough incentive for folks to pay for an app. Give them a little extra in there. Also, to make money on ads, you have to have a LOT of downloads. I mean a damn lot.
If you get only like 20k downloads of your app, ads won't give you much money worth a damn. And getting 20k downloads, even of something that is free, "isn't easy at all"

Although you could probably still make a pretty, polished-looking Bejeweled rip-off and clear that easy, I'd suppose (damn, why haven't I still done that?) Call it BeNeweled..

on our Android game, we have parity between free (ad-supported) and paid versions of 180 - in the free one, you have to play to unlock features (it's all instantly unlocked in the paid). I actually feel the free is "more fun" because it is gratifying in that way.
05-31-2011, 03:10 PM
#4
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Germany
Posts: 265
But what you guys are saying is, that Apple is pretty much fine, with whatever route a developer choose to go for ?
Have the exact same content but with Ads inbetween, or have different content to stand out from the rest.

So it's not all about what Apple "wants" but what you consider working best as a developer ?

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05-31-2011, 04:48 PM
#5
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,799
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acumen View Post
But what you guys are saying is, that Apple is pretty much fine, with whatever route a developer choose to go for ?
Have the exact same content but with Ads inbetween, or have different content to stand out from the rest.
Apparently you haven't seen the dev who released the same Contra clone 5 times: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewArtistSeeAll?dkId=11&ids=333217360&softwareTyp e=iPhone

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05-31-2011, 05:02 PM
#6
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Berlin, Germany
Posts: 1,674
Quote:
Originally Posted by headcaseGames View Post
If you get only like 20k downloads of your app, ads won't give you much money worth a damn. And getting 20k downloads, even of something that is free, "isn't easy at all"

Although you could probably still make a pretty, polished-looking Bejeweled rip-off and clear that easy, I'd suppose (damn, why haven't I still done that?) Call it BeNeweled..

on our Android game, we have parity between free (ad-supported) and paid versions of 180 - in the free one, you have to play to unlock features (it's all instantly unlocked in the paid). I actually feel the free is "more fun" because it is gratifying in that way.

well just as a little bump.. getting 20k free downloads is actualy quite easy.. at least in the cases we got numbers.. there was the thread on going with promotion services like faad or going free yourself.. and 10-20k downloads a day where "ordinary" numbers without any big promotion behind it..

this was of couse for "full" games going free for a limited time..

as for android.. a dead market for most indies.. freemium being the only real way to make a dime over there.. not to mention the huge fragmentation who limits you userbase substantial..
05-31-2011, 08:18 PM
#7
I doubt I'll ever do an ad-only app, or an android-only app, but I'm glad I have limited free versions with ads and android versions. I think a good lite version can add some extra money for advertising and get some more sales of the paid version though.

I agree that 20k plays isn't enough to worry about for an ad-supported app, and it can be pretty hard to get even that many on a free game nowadays. Words is a counterexample where they have a huge user base and people play it a ton of times each.

Free with smurfberries might be the way to go. Free with ads is a marketing tool to get people to look at the paid version, and while money from ads is nice you'd probably need about 10k downloads a day for a long period to support 1 developer.

I also don't think Apple has any policy on how different a free version needs to be from a paid version.
06-01-2011, 12:04 PM
#8
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Germany
Posts: 265
Oh, brilliant move by that dev, haven't seen that, starjimstar

@Golden Hammer:
Thanks for clearing the Apple Policy thing up, I was kinda worried about

Guess it's business as usual, try what works and if it doesn't, try something different ^^

15 Coins - @Toucharcade

My humble Portfolio: www.acumen-design.de/blog
Follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/fabi_smith
06-01-2011, 12:21 PM
#9
The key with Words With Friends is that the app keeps you coming back in regularly to make your move, so it really works with ads because you're getting regular impressions. Likewise some of the freemium games where you have to check back on your crops/fish/zombies etc. They have the stickiness where ads would pay, if you have enough users.