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  #1  
Old 04-13-2013, 07:07 AM
Gabrien Gabrien is offline
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Default Noteworthy article regarding Free-to-Play

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20...f-free-to-play
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  #2  
Old 04-13-2013, 10:44 AM
Piph Piph is offline
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Truth.
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  #3  
Old 04-13-2013, 11:10 AM
MidianGTX MidianGTX is offline
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This is the best article I've ever read on free-to-play gaming. I feel exactly the same way, but it can be difficult getting your concerns across without sounding like you're just looking for something to moan about instead of ignoring it. The problem is that the whole thing is getting more and more difficult to ignore as it begins to invade (and destroy) games which originally would have had no part of such a scheme. When I complain about a F2P game, I know I could just go and play something else, but it's not actually that particular game I'm concerned about, it's what it means for the future of gaming as a whole.

One person writing a bitchy comment on an article might not be enough to change anything, but a lot of people repeatedly expressing their concerns is exactly what's needed to let developers know there's still a market for premium games. It might not be the biggest market anymore, but it exists, there are still profits to be made, and to any developer who considers actual gameplay to be the most important aspect of a game, it's the best one there is.
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  #4  
Old 04-13-2013, 12:25 PM
lena lena is offline
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From the article:
Quote:
Technically, you can play these games without ever spending money, just as you can technically walk a marathon with a washing machine chained to your ankle, but every 100 metres they add another washing machine and move the finish line back a few miles


I agree with everything MidianGTX says. There's still a market for real games. Like the article says: Tomb Raider and Hitman Absolution sold more than 3 million copies each, but Square Enix considers them failures. How can people rationalize the move to free to play with "nobody buys games anymore so developers have to go freemium" when you see these kinds of numbers? I understand the market used to be different, but still, 3 million copies sold is nothing to sneeze at.
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:43 PM
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Rubicon Rubicon is offline
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Only a few can sell that number, those that don't perhaps sell 1% of that number and this fact usually makes things unsustainable.

The sad fact of life is that if there really was a viable market for premium games on mobile, developers woudn't be switching away from it - ALL other models are far more complicated and can often break a game. But making a great title and then closing your company doesn't really appeal to anyone either.

Looking at our own earnings and the chart position from our highest earning premium game, it's clear that there's room for about 100 games on iOS to make a profit worth aiming for. We're behind that line, as are 99% of other developers.

Most are trying freemium to stay alive. Most will fail there too. In a year or two there will be few freemium games and very few second games from premium developers brassing it out.

Sorry that's a bit bleak, I'm afraid the business realities are nowhere near where the punters seem to think they are. I blame angry birds and one or two other breakout hits. The average iOS game lifetime earnings is $17.
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:54 PM
JBRUU JBRUU is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubicon View Post
Only a few can sell that number, those that don't perhaps sell 1% of that number and this fact usually makes things unsustainable.

The sad fact of life is that if there really was a viable market for premium games on mobile, developers woudn't be switching away from it - ALL other models are far more complicated and can often break a game. But making a great title and then closing your company doesn't really appeal to anyone either.

Looking at our own earnings and the chart position from our highest earning premium game, it's clear that there's room for about 100 games on iOS to make a profit worth aiming for. We're behind that line, as are 99% of other developers.

Most are trying freemium to stay alive. Most will fail there too. In a year or two there will be few freemium games and very few second games from premium developers brassing it out.

Sorry that's a bit bleak, I'm afraid the business realities are nowhere near where the punters seem to think they are. I blame angry birds and one or two other breakout hits. The average iOS game lifetime earnings is $17.
If the future is so beak, if no one can make a profit from paid games, why did the four brothers at Foursaken just create and release two smash hits? Why did Josh release Ravensword with no IAP? Why did The Room do so well? Why did Telltale release a Walking Dead port, why is Rockstar continuing to develop iOS ports, why did Supergiant port Bastion? Why was MC4 premium? Why was NFS premium?

I have nowhere near the knowledge and experience in the iOS market as you, but I do see some of these examples and wonder if you aren't just being a little too pessimistic.

As for the article, it's cool and spot on and all, but probably won't change a thing.
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Old 04-13-2013, 02:35 PM
Bronxsta Bronxsta is offline
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"pulls in over a million dollars a day"

**Runs off to start development of free-to-play game**
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Old 04-13-2013, 02:53 PM
awp69 awp69 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBRUU View Post
If the future is so beak, if no one can make a profit from paid games, why did the four brothers at Foursaken just create and release two smash hits? Why did Josh release Ravensword with no IAP? Why did The Room do so well? Why did Telltale release a Walking Dead port, why is Rockstar continuing to develop iOS ports, why did Supergiant port Bastion? Why was MC4 premium? Why was NFS premium?

I have nowhere near the knowledge and experience in the iOS market as you, but I do see some of these examples and wonder if you aren't just being a little too pessimistic.

As for the article, it's cool and spot on and all, but probably won't change a thing.
I agree. I know there's lots of devs struggling out there. But the vast majority of indie devs won't make any more money with freemium regardless. It's harsh and I acknowledge that crappy freemium games like the stuff that Zynga puts out do make a butt load of cash. But even those devs had to make a name for themselves. It's not like a cool retro platformer is going to make a lot of cash just because it's freemium. Word of mouth makes hits. Good placement on Apple's store like "New and Noteworthy" and reviews on big gaming sites. That IMO is what makes a difference.

Not saying there isn't some crappy and even slimy devs who somehow get noticed like the casino games I see on the top grossing lists.

There's been plenty of premium games like the ones JBRUU mentioned that make money because of quality and people recognizing a dev from previous efforts.

I have no doubt that Gameloft will make a killing with DU4, but I also have no doubt that they still would have made a sizable profit if they had sold it for $6.99. The Dungeon Hunter name recognition alone would have made it a hit. It's Gameloft and EA that are showing that all they really care about is greed when they come out with games that have systems like DH4 and RR3 have.

It's funny how there are some devs that do strive to balance things and make freemium work. I'm not opposed to that. Subway Surfers is a game that's also in the Top Grossing apps and it's a game that can be enjoyed without IAPs, or buying a few to give back to the devs, or if you really want to go whole hog you can. But it isn't forcing you to get them.

Also agree with the author's comments about PC shareware style IAPs where you get to play some then fork out the dough to buy the full game. A one-time IAP to unlock a game is perhaps the best freemium model there is. You still get to let people try your game, but you're not killing them with constant purchases beyond the first one.

To me, it's the big companies using name recognition like even Smurfville to abuse customers that are killing the App Store. Premium can still work and even freemium CAN be okay if done right. Giving into the companies like Gameloft, EA and Zynga is what's hurting.

I really don't think freemium is what helps small devs. You either make or you don't, but IAPs aren't going to be worth crap if no one knows about your game.

Last edited by awp69; 04-13-2013 at 03:00 PM..
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  #9  
Old 04-13-2013, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBRUU View Post
I have nowhere near the knowledge and experience in the iOS market as you, but I do see some of these examples and wonder if you aren't just being a little too pessimistic.
You're falling for the usual trap here though. Big games are released all the time and some are very successful - we even had our moment in the spotlight. But the big ones you were impressed with last month will soon be dropping out the top 100 because of these new ones you mention. They don't all get to eat.

But it's not even that. It's just not a viable model to point at a big success and hail that as proof of anything. Relying on winning the lottery is not a way to run a business. It's just not.

And nor is "build quality and you will make money". Without trying to turn this into being about me, our game has a couple of GOTYs and even a BAFTA in a non mobile category next to XCom and others. But we can't afford to make another one.

If people don't like the message, I'd usually just say ignore me and watch the marketplace. But of course people are doing that and not liking what they see. Well, it's not that rosy on this side of the fence either.

The thing about the end of a goldrush is that latecomers don't know it's over yet.
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  #10  
Old 04-13-2013, 03:43 PM
m44 m44 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awp69 View Post
Also agree with the author's comments about PC shareware style IAPs where you get to play some then fork out the dough to buy the full game. A one-time IAP to unlock a game is perhaps the best freemium model there is. You still get to let people try your game, but you're not killing them with constant purchases beyond the first one.
I agree one thousand percent. I don't mind IAP as long as it's a one time purchase. I want to know the total cost of the game.

There has to be some kind of shift in the market. Too many consumers have been burned by free to play games and are avoiding titles like RR3.

*Mini rant incoming*

Somebody should intervene with those gambling apps. I know this isn't exactly the place to discuss it, but a lot of the slot machines and similar apps are always in the top grossing charts. (There are good casino games, Video Poker by Happymagenta being an excellent example.) But, for the most part those Slot Machines, and similar apps are wrong.

A child can't waste his money at the casino, but he could easily gamble by purchasing iTunes gift cards. . . . I'm not against gambling games. I'm just saying: There's a line where a "gambling game" just becomes "gambling".
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