rolando2Ngmoco is wasting absolutely no time in taking advantage of the new policy allowing developers to release free apps with in-app purchases. Aside from announcing that their Eliminate game will be free, they have also released Rolando 2: Chapter 1 into the App Store for free.

The free version of the game offers the entire first chapter of the game and offers the remaining chapters as paid in-app purchases. So you can buy them as you need them.

The game serves as a Lite version for the game, but the Full game dropped from $5.99 to $4.99 [App Store], bringing it in line with the total cost of buying all add-on packs.

photo 3 photo 2

App Store Link: Rolando 2: Chapter 1, Free

  • Jack Krause

    Man Ngmoco is being a boss today with these great announcements. Good work Ngmofos!

  • 5j3553

    wouldnt the taxes add up?

    • Billy Bob

      Taxes on 4.99 (or 4.94 if you go the in-app purchase route, actually) are the same, whether you pay them all at once, or 1-2 dollar increments.

    • Adams Immersive

      No different from the taxes on the full game--just so long as the DLC version and the full version end up costing the same, which they do.

      I actually think ngMoco may be a little TOO generous here: with SO many games out there, I don't finish every one even though I enjoy it and am glad to pay for it. I might, in theory, pay for a couple levels of Rolando and never get around to buying the rest even if I like it a lot. I think it might be smart (and fair) for ngMoco to charge one DLC fee of $4 for all the rest of the chapters in one chunk.

      But it's an interesting experiment to make--I like the model!

  • Zincous

    54 updates?! :eek:

  • http://www.twitter.com/kudzaikun Kudzaikun

    Hmmm this is interesting, i like this method a lot better than lite versions

  • Magihiro

    I think it's time to update your apps.

  • http://www.yourpersonalrobot.com your personal robot

    Pioneer work!
    I like that.
    Hope to see a lot of versions like this in the future.

  • Bruno

    It seems very strange that ngmoco releases for today given the email was sent today to devs.

    Besides this, there is the famous approval process that they must go through doesn't it? Very odd.

    Maybe I had wrong interpretation on the news... Am I wrong?

    • arn

      Apple clearly let ngmoco know and prepared them to have something to launch on day #1. There may be other apps out there too.

      arn

    • Eric

      It is pretty interesting. Looks like they were the main company behind apple's decision

    • Wuh

      Same feeling. And we indies are tiny then.

    • Jyaif

      Wow, that's kind of a big fail for Apple. They just officially showed that they are lying when they say that they want everyone to be on the same level.

      And they are really stupid, they simply could have waited 1.5 weeks to release the update, and everyone would have assumed Ngmoco went through the regular approval process, and that they are a very quick company.

      • Adams Immersive

        Every company, not just Apple, lets certain partners use certain technologies first. It's a testing reality, and a marketing reality. And ngMoco seems like an obvious good choice in this case, too.

  • Davidson

    I think saying it is "free" is a little deceiving. Yes, technically you can download it, but you need to sign up for their +plus service (game makes you log on and connect with a username)... so it has a catch. Personally I really don't like this sort of policy.

    • http://www.drafternoon.com mek

      i also dislike this policy
      i have an ipod, i don't always have the internet, and i dislike leaderboards..
      i tried playing topple two, and couldn't play it because it wouldn't let me get passed the Plus+ registration..but i couldn't connect to the internet...
      if i had paid money, i would of been pissed

    • Adams Immersive

      I haven't bought yet, but isn't this the same as before? Didn't the non-DLC version of the game ask for a (free) Plus+ login too?

      And a free Lite game is just the same as far as "seeming free but then tempting you to buy the full game."

      Try-before-you-buy is not a bad thing. But more importantly, it's not a NEW thing. It's just easier now.

      • http://www.drafternoon.com mek

        i haven't played Rolando 2, heck i bought Rolando 1 for ten bucks and never got passed the first couple of levels..
        but i was referring to Topple 2, how initially it won't let you play unless you log into the Plus+, which is hard to do if you are not connected to the internet.. and i dont care to use leaderboards, so i wish there was a way to Opt out, I understand NGmoco's strategy to build the Plus+ base, and by offering all their earlier games for free, is a great way to do so...

      • spiffyone

        Have to agree with you, mek.

        I haven't downloaded the last update to MazeFinger, which is one of my favorite time waster games, because of reviews that state you need to log into Plus+ each time you play. WTF? Did ngmoco forget that not all of the iPhone/touch userbase has access to "internet anywhere"? Touch users don't have 3G, and WiFi access is not always readily available.

        This is the same issue I had with OpenFeint when it was implemented in Aurora Feint. To play the game, I had to log into OpenFeint. I didn't want to do that all the damn time so I took the game off of my touch. Thankfully other OpenFeint games don't force me to do that, only asking me to log into Feint if I want to upload scores or achievements.

        So why the hell can't ngmoco do the same with Plus+? It's just...dumb. Not all of us care about leaderboards and whatnot. We just wanna play the friggin' games when we want and how we want.

      • http://www.ngmoco.com Allen at ngmoco

        Hey guys,

        There's some confusion with how Plus+ works with our games.

        You need an internet connection to sign up for Plus+. Once you sign up for Plus+, you do NOT need an internet connection anymore.

        Plus recognizes that you have logged in to the app and associates the app with your Plus account. After that, you only need a connection to access leader boards and other features found in Plus+.

        The games all work without an internet connection. Yes, you do have to make sure you log in the first time you fire up each game, but after that, you're good to go.

      • spiffyone

        But why even make that a requirement at first start up at all?

        Why not make it an option IF we wish to upload scores to the servers and allow that first time play to be as all the time (offline, sans sign in)?

        Regardless of the "one time only" status, why even push the need to do it at all for those that don't want to do it at all? Why push the need to do it the first time, and upset those not around a connection that first time?

        It's about convenience, Allen. Sometimes I'll download a game to play later. With the way you guys have it currently set up, if I do that in one area, do something else, and pull out the device to play the game for the first time a while later but happen to have moved to an area sans WiFi, I wouldn't be able to play the game in that instance.

        The current implementation is not well thought out, AT ALL.

        NO ONE should be forced to sign up for Plus+ at ANY time to play the games, whether or not it is a one time thing, particularly if it means being unable to play that first time just because the player happens to not be around a WiFi connection.

      • TKO

        I must admit, I don't remember the plus+ thing interfering with my game when I first started it ..I did notice it asking for my Apple iTunes ID before starting my first game though. I almost put it in too, but thought "hold on ..am I paying for something already? I didn't want to." So cancelled that and, fortunately, was able to start the game anyway. Which was good because this grabbed me more than the prequel.

        You have to watch out for that Plus+ stuff though.. in some parts of my (metal walled) room I don't get any reception. If that had been the case I probably would have just rated the app one star and deleted it. (There's a *ton* of good stuff on the store ..I forget what I've bought, let alone the stuff I mean to try.) I was curious to try Word Fu, but its Plus+ sign-in blocks the game menu, so it got the one-star delete treatment.

  • Here comes the pain

    obviously ngmoco knew about this, it's not uncommon for Apple to let certain people know in advance. It's advantageous to Apple to have key 3rd party developers involves in dramatic decisions like this. There is also no doubt they're one of the driving forces behind this. Whether it's good for Apple and the rest of the ecosystem... the market will decide.

    Personally I think this is going to backfire big time. Micro payments for game content in the mobile space is not an entirely proven business model. Sure it might work in some markets for a certain genre of games (MMORPGs?) on certain platform but is this going to work in the mobile space? Most games are so cheap already that players don't care to play the same game again and again. They'd rather buy something different than spend another 50 cents on additional content. Also, good luck getting all those cheap skates who downloaded your free game to buy another few levels for 1 buck.

    • K

      Those same cheapos would get the Lite version and not spend any money buying the full version, so aren't lost sales.

      The whole point of some of those cracked app sites is meant to be 'try before you buy' which this enables. Technically, they will now have no purpose so we'll see if they were honest all along...

      Also, this is great for people like me who hate Lite versions and want to test the app properly...perfect!

  • RememberNathan

    I have question if I download DLC and uninstall the game and reinstall it, will I still have DLC or do I need to buy it again?

  • Zincous

    Rolando 2 was updated to $4.99 now so the prices aren't really that different anymore...

    • spamboy

      Haha yeah they caught on to that in an instant. ngmoco's on a roll today... if they'd release eliminate it would officially be ngmoco day. :D

    • arn

      article fixed.

  • bigfish

    I doubt any developers knew about this.
    If you have an in-app purchase apps ready to be launched, you can automatically set it free. I'm sure many devs were caught by suprise but can easily take advantage day one.

  • Kevlar

    It will be interesting to see how this pans out in the long run. On the one hand it will save me money and cost the devs money because so many of the games I have bought haven't be anywhere near fully played, like Rolando 2 for instance, a great game but I just haven't stuck to it due to so many other releases. In this case I probably would have only spent 59p or more before moving on. On the other hand a lot of games will now be dearer, games that were once 59p for the whole thing will still be 59p but for just a portion, like the recently released Dark Nebula.

  • Otacon91

    Seems to me the big publishers are jumping on to this form of releasing a product fast. It seems to me this move was made as more of a way to combat piracy as opposed to making it "easier" for a customer. Everyone knows Piracy has run rampant on the App store and with all the big players taking this form of releasing a product it will be interesting to see how things play out.

    I am interested to see if publishers are going to get greedy and start charging us for things that would normally be given away for free in updates. Look at the Sims. Is it fair to charge me $7 for a game and then nickle and dime me for real small content which other companies would give away for free in updates?

  • Jason T

    I'm looking forward to seeing how this works. I for one think its a great move for the software, but as others have noted is going completely against the app store layout.

    I suspect most apps will now be free initially, which will cloud up the "free" category and empty out the paid category. The quickest fix I see is to have paid and free w/ paid content on one side, and completely free on the other.

    There basically just needs to be a way to organize this new category, of semi-free

  • ramon

    What's the difference between this and a Lite version?

    54 updates! :eek:

    • Galaxius

      Well it seems like a so-so good way of doing it. Basically a lite version by giving the first level for free, then continuing the game without starting all over after purchasing the full version and just paying (about) the same amount for the whole thing through DLC. This would be the way I'd like it to work... pending that's how it does.

  • Sambo110

    This is a great idea! If I don't want to spend the whole $6 now, I can just buy chapters as I need them. Probably would have saved me a lot of money, like the first Rolando was kinda a waste for me, but this one is a lot better.

  • Peter321

    I'd also like to know where the in-app purchase history is stored:

    What happens if I delete an app and later re-download it?

    What happens if I have more than 1 device synced to the same account - will all devices have the in-app purchases?

    • Frog

      I also want to know that. That's very important to me.

      • http://www.drafternoon.com mek

        just be sure to sync often,
        i remember purchasing a song via the ipod, downloaded it, and it was in version 2.0, so the OS was buggy, it crashed, and i lost my song, because i never synced it to the computer,...
        thankfully the apple customer service people were amazing, [one of the best customer service experiences that i have ever had] and gave me a 1 song credit to repurchase the song

  • acidbottle

    many folk seem to dislike change for the sake of it. its more consumer choice and thats a good thing. whether the change in sales model will work only time will tell. as long as a one off straight out purchase is still available im with this idea, perhaps at a slightly reduced cost as extra incentive.

    i wanted to try rolando 2 but have been put off by being bombarded with others apps that took my eye.

  • redgaz26

    this will surely affect the top free apps and the top paid apps lists?
    although i do think its a good idea

  • redgaz26

    so i downloaded it, on the menu it says unlock all chapters and asks for your itunes password, what does this mean???? I didn't want them all so I pressed cancel and then it took my to each individual level!!
    maybe I just didn't get it!!!!!!
    if i had put in my password would i have been charged for the full game??

  • http://virtualgs.larwe.com Lim Thye Chean

    How come I did not see the In App Puchase menu as shown in the screenshots above? I live in Singapore though, is this a US only thing?

  • DannyV

    Hmmm, I'm not sure how much I like this new model. I mean I'm all for free at first but why can't they just give you the full game right off? I really don't feel like buying 10 different updates just to play 1 game. On the other hand, this might be good for people that want to test out a game to see if they like it. So who knows. Wait and see I guess...

    • http://forums.toucharcade.com/member.php?u=1830 Liam (aka TGR)

      There's already a full app...

      • DannyV

        I know, I'm talking about the trend. If it starts now and it's successful it'll keep on going. So, I really don't know how I feel about it yet.

  • http://www.imangistudios.com Kshep

    Hey guys, Apple keeps record of the DLC purchase. So if you delete your app and then re-install it, they app can check and automatically download any DLC that you own. Also, if you try to download the DLC again, it won't charge you for it since you already purchased it (just like apps). This only applies to DLC like level packs etc.

    On the other hand, DLC that is intended to be a 1 time consumable or that can be purchased many times (like subscriptions) can not be downloaded again without paying again, from what I understand.

    • http://www.drafternoon.com mek

      your statement is true, but..you have to sync your device to your machine that is connect to your account to confirm the purchase...and store the data just incase your device fails...

      like i stated earlier, i bought on a song, didn't sync before the device crashed, it was on the unstable 2.0 OS version back when the app store opened last year, i didn't sync..lost the song, but apple customer service was great, they do have a record of your purchase, and was able to credit me a 1 song purchase, to repurchase that song, or an equivalent but not actually that song directly...

      but the OS is much more stable now, but just to be safe, if you purchase some DLC, sync your device to secure that it is backed up in the event that your device fails

  • smc

    This app isn't "free". Epic fail on Apple's part.

  • asolja

    I have just downloaded this and you have to fill out quite a bit of personal information and then log in etc,Glad I tried it as I will now avoid it as I cant stand this type of intrusion.Hope not to many games do this as I for one will avoid them like the plague.

    • :P

      then you are lazy. enter lies and play the best game ever.

  • dumas1000

    This is a terrible idea. Serious devs, console devs and mainstream IP devs, will never take the iphone/ipod and the appstore seriously because of amaturish stunts like this. There's already someone in the Rock Band forum demanding that Rock Band do the same thing as Rolando and Eliminate. You're only providing justification for cheap/spoiled appstore customers to be even cheaper. And their delusional sense of unrealistic entitlement will only grow because of it. Now you'll have people whining and complaining and insisting that all games should be free. It's amazing that EA actually takes this platform seriously. No one else ever will. Why do you think Square Enix only produces low-budget junk for the appstore? Hell will freeze over before we ever see a Final Fantasy title of any kind coming to the appstore, because Square Enix knows that people won't be willing to pay fair market value for it. And that goes the same for all the other big developers out there.

    • DannyV

      +1! Completely agree!

    • spiffyone

      Except...devs in the PC and home console and portable game system market have actually explored taking this sort of product model into the markets in which they sell games.

      Devs and publishers brainstorm these things all the time.

      In game ads, pay-per-play, DLC, etc. have all been and are currently being explored for all platforms by the majority of devs.

      Or do you think Rock Band DLC, GTAIV DLC, is all that different?

      Or how about PSP? Is that an "amateurish" platform, because, y'know...last I checked there are games that take this same market model on that platform (Ape Quest, for one, in which the initial intro to the game is free, but each of the three "quests" are $9.99, $20 if you buy the "pack" of all three).

      Honestly, THINK before you troll a platform, especially one that is simply CONTINUING what has been done on other platforms.

    • starmonkey101

      ummm.... wrong! final fantasy was just confirmed! lol

  • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

    Except most devs make lite versions already. Demos. In fact, most big games on consoles release demos, too... and this is a way to download a demo, and when you are ready buy the actual game right from inside the demo. Isn\'t that just added convenience to the existing state of things? In other words, consumers already demand lite versions. :)

    I have reservations from the point of view as a developer and I\'m a little distressed that I may have to add another feature to my app right when I\'m closing in on finishing it up. As a (very small) indie developer this is another roadblock.

    I\'m also concerned about visibility on the \"top\" lists at the App Store. (Hope Apple is as proactive on this as it was in getting some big devs in on the game before the rest of us.)

    From a consumer point of view the only problem seems to be if you forget to sync back to your machine as mentioned earlier in this thread. (And game specific stuff that is unrelated to this issue like becoming a member of plus+)

  • estyst

    there is one catch here - after installing it again with iTunes, one will still need internet connection to download from the iPhone/iPod Touch all the chapters one had bought...

    • spiffyone

      And how is that an issue?

      If one is re-installing from iTunes, one most likely is re-installing from their PC or Mac directly, no? So they'd be hooked into the 'net right there.

      If one is re-installing from the App Store app within the iPhone/touch device itself, then one is hooked up to the 'net as well within the device because otherwise you wouldn't be able to download the original and install using just the iPhone/touch.

      Again, non-issue.

      • estyst

        it's not an issue to you, while it is very big issue with anyone don't having constant connection (unlimited data plan or wifi everywhere) because - sometimes - they won't be able to buy any DLC in the first place (if they rely on computer with buying in AppStore)...

        you can have connection to your computer, but it can be wered (not wireless) connection, so it is completely useless for your iPhone/iPod Touch

        so please don't just say "non issue, next question", however it is true that it won't be an issue to majority of iPhone/iPod Touch users

    • :P

      why cant you wait for the excitment? seriously guys dont diss an app for those kinda things

  • Will090

    You need to update some of your apps :p

    • darwiniandude

      54 updates? I'm not in the USA, but from what I've heard about AT&T, maybe he can't download the updates? Oh wait, look at the two screenshots... 1 bar coverage.... Searching... :)

      • SteffenMoss

        LOL! God i'm glad i have 99% coverage all the time! (Chess Mobile Norway)

  • Bob Thedino

    Rather annoying... I've been waiting 13 days for my app to be approved. Maybe my mistake was that I should have been called Simon Oliver and got special treatment. Bleugh.

  • TKO

    Maybe I'm late to the conversation here, but I only tried out the game yesterday. In general I do like the concept: Download the demo, and if you like it you can unlock the rest of the game (with current progress, weapons, skills, etc in place.) No need to start again. No need to go back to the store and find the full version.

    I this particular case though, I don't see enough warning that there's money involved in the unlock. {shrugs} Like the concept, just not so much here.

    I'm curious if devs will be inclined to include all assets in the initial download (with the purchase merely being a quick unlock), or if they will prefer to have additional files downloaded at purchase (which could be a problem, say, on AT&T). ;) Full assets at initial download would be the better customer experience, but make piracy easier. Dilemma.

  • borg

    To see your purchases (including DLC) - click on your email address (top right of the iTunes store page in iTunes) - then click the "Purchase History" button.

    My list includes this - item: "Rolando Island" type: "In App Purchase".

  • http://www.thebusinesscreditcard.com corporate business credit card

    sweet blog. I've honestly liked it!

  • Michele Espinoza51

    do we need anapple ID to put free games in your i pod touch because I have an i pod touch but I donthavean apple ID and password do I need those to thing tobe able 2 downloadfree games