444339_2For those who haven't picked up SGN's F.A.S.T. game, the company has converted the game into a "freemium" game alongside a major update. The update brings the following features to the game, but also restructures the content behind a core free version.

  • Fly tons of new missions to earn money and increase your rank to General with the new DefCon Map Campaigns!
  • Form squadrons with your friends, compare your squadron to others with the Top Squadrons feature.
  • Fly escort missions, bombing runs and defend territory against enemy forces.
  • Buy new gear, including the BFM-2000 Missiles from the in-game market.
  • Two new planes have been added, including a massive strategic bomber.
  • Increased performance in multiplayer competitions.
  • Adjusted campaign difficulty for an improved user experience.

The conversion from $0.99 game to Free game has caused some confusion for existing customers regarding the paid content. Forum member shawnlopiccolo explains:

If you purchased the game at any point (when it was NOT free), you will NOT have to pay for any of the feature unlocks.

The feature unlocks that are currently in the FREE version of the game cost a total of $0.99 cents, which is the same price the game used to cost prior to the update. (does not include content purchases, those are different from feature purchases)

So, if you have purchased FAST before the Free update, you will automatically have access to ALL features without having to buy an upgrade. If you downloaded FAST recently for FREE, you must pay $0.99 for those features.

So, existing customers have the same features they have always had, while new customers who download F.A.S.T. for free must pay $0.99 to unlock those features. There seem to be some issues with the content upgrades for now as Apple is still approving some of the updates, so your success with in-app purchases may vary in the short term.

App Store Link: F.A.S.T., Free

  • http://www.wolf3dmaps.com thewiirocks

    What if the customer purchased F.A.S.T. but never ran it? Will they still have all features enabled or will they get the "Free" version? What if they transfer it to a new phone without the save file? Will it still recognize that they paid for it? What if they do a "free" download to reinstall the game after having paid for it previously?

    I can think of a few dozen scenarios surrounding this situation where the customer still gets screwed. Some of them may be accounted for, but I've been in software development long enough to know that many of them simply can't.

    Mark my words. This will not end well.

    • tonyunreal

      Free download is consider a "purchase" in the app store, and in the app store whether you paid money for an app or not, after you purchase it the first time, you would be able to sync or download it for unlimited times to unlimited iDevices you have.

      • http://www.wolf3dmaps.com thewiirocks

        Right. Which means that the price is never looked at when you download. It does nothing for the content of the game itself, which is now configured to be (effectively) a demo. The content only upgrades if you download the DLC or you trigger SGN's code which says that you should have access to certain content.

        There's nothing in what Apple does that would prevent problems.

  • http://www.wolf3dmaps.com thewiirocks

    What if the customer purchased F.A.S.T. but never ran it? Will they still have all features enabled or will they get the "Free" version? What if they transfer it to a new phone without the save file? Will it still recognize that they paid for it? What if they do a "free" download to reinstall the game after having paid for it previously?

    I can think of a few dozen scenarios surrounding this situation where the customer still gets screwed. Some of them may be accounted for, but I've been in software development long enough to know that many of them simply can't.

    Mark my words. This will not end well.

    • tonyunreal

      Free download is consider a "purchase" in the app store, and in the app store whether you paid money for an app or not, after you purchase it the first time, you would be able to sync or download it for unlimited times to unlimited iDevices you have.

      • http://www.wolf3dmaps.com thewiirocks

        Right. Which means that the price is never looked at when you download. It does nothing for the content of the game itself, which is now configured to be (effectively) a demo. The content only upgrades if you download the DLC or you trigger SGN's code which says that you should have access to certain content.

        There's nothing in what Apple does that would prevent problems.

  • Septimus

    Glad I bought it before. I really really hate this 'Freemium' crap.

    • Bob Saget

      You're glad you bought it before?

      If you bought it at 0.99$, you can now download it for free, pay the 0.99$ and get the exact same thing.

      If you bought it at the previous price points, you paid even more than you would have now.

  • Septimus

    Glad I bought it before. I really really hate this 'Freemium' crap.

    • Bob Saget

      You're glad you bought it before?

      If you bought it at 0.99$, you can now download it for free, pay the 0.99$ and get the exact same thing.

      If you bought it at the previous price points, you paid even more than you would have now.

  • Jimmy_James

    Isn't there also an incentive to download F.A.S.T if you've already downloaded SGN's other game "Skies Of Glory"? I'm sure I read that u get an extra plane to fly in "Skies Of Glory" if you do so. Is this true?

  • Jimmy_James

    Isn't there also an incentive to download F.A.S.T if you've already downloaded SGN's other game "Skies Of Glory"? I'm sure I read that u get an extra plane to fly in "Skies Of Glory" if you do so. Is this true?

  • Heath

    Comments in itunes store are pretty bad....seems they have some kinks to iron out.

  • tadad1

    Well according to my iTunes Purchase History it seems I just got charged to unblock the free version despite having a paid version I picked up way back in June.

  • Heath

    Comments in itunes store are pretty bad....seems they have some kinks to iron out.

  • tadad1

    Well according to my iTunes Purchase History it seems I just got charged to unblock the free version despite having a paid version I picked up way back in June.

  • Jas

    Lesson learned by me here. I paid (I think) £4 for this ages ago. Still to play it though.

    In future I'll wait for ALL apps to fall to 59p or free.

    • Txabs

      Well, I'm afraid it is always the same. I've just bought my brand new Assassin's Creed II for my XBOX360 for 70euro when I know for sure that if I wait, let's say, 12 months it would cost me 20-30euro. It's a matter of time... The question is... Are you capable of waiting that much? ;o) cheers! (ps. I apologize for my English, but it's not my mother language)

  • Jas

    Lesson learned by me here. I paid (I think) £4 for this ages ago. Still to play it though.

    In future I'll wait for ALL apps to fall to 59p or free.

    • Txabs

      Well, I'm afraid it is always the same. I've just bought my brand new Assassin's Creed II for my XBOX360 for 70euro when I know for sure that if I wait, let's say, 12 months it would cost me 20-30euro. It's a matter of time... The question is... Are you capable of waiting that much? ;o) cheers! (ps. I apologize for my English, but it's not my mother language)

  • deviladv

    I thought Apple's policy is that free games remain free and aren't allowed to have purchasable in game content. This it to avoid those scenarios where it looks free but it turns out you have to pay within the app to get any real content or functionality. Has this changed?

    • http://www.wolf3dmaps.com thewiirocks

      Apple changed their policy on DLC a day or two after Tap Tap 3 came out. It was just in time for Eliminate, which allowed Eliminate to use a "Freemium" model with "energy cells" for additional playtime.

      Seeing the success of the model with Eliminate, SGN then created Skies of Glory; a "Free" WWII fighter plane game that nickel and dimed you for every feature. Since there was no existing userbase for SoG, it was fairly well received.

      After a few days of success with SoG, SGN then tried to convert their F.A.S.T. base into the Freemium model. However, they did that by issuing an update to the existing game, which is always guaranteed to cause trouble.

      And trouble it has caused. Their reviews are full of users who paid as much as $10 for the game back when it first came out, but did not maintain all their content with the upgrade as promised.

      As I said above, this will not end well.

  • deviladv

    I thought Apple's policy is that free games remain free and aren't allowed to have purchasable in game content. This it to avoid those scenarios where it looks free but it turns out you have to pay within the app to get any real content or functionality. Has this changed?

    • http://www.wolf3dmaps.com thewiirocks

      Apple changed their policy on DLC a day or two after Tap Tap 3 came out. It was just in time for Eliminate, which allowed Eliminate to use a "Freemium" model with "energy cells" for additional playtime.

      Seeing the success of the model with Eliminate, SGN then created Skies of Glory; a "Free" WWII fighter plane game that nickel and dimed you for every feature. Since there was no existing userbase for SoG, it was fairly well received.

      After a few days of success with SoG, SGN then tried to convert their F.A.S.T. base into the Freemium model. However, they did that by issuing an update to the existing game, which is always guaranteed to cause trouble.

      And trouble it has caused. Their reviews are full of users who paid as much as $10 for the game back when it first came out, but did not maintain all their content with the upgrade as promised.

      As I said above, this will not end well.

  • Maniacfive

    When I updated to F.A.S.T. it deleted all my saves, locked everything, and demanded I upgrade to the full version. I paid £1.79 for this game months ago, (not too bad, but not 59p) and I certainly don't appreciate now having to re buy stuff i already own!

    Like the saved games, F.A.S.T has been quickly deleted, and I shall not be purchasing anything of SGN's again.

  • Maniacfive

    When I updated to F.A.S.T. it deleted all my saves, locked everything, and demanded I upgrade to the full version. I paid £1.79 for this game months ago, (not too bad, but not 59p) and I certainly don't appreciate now having to re buy stuff i already own!

    Like the saved games, F.A.S.T has been quickly deleted, and I shall not be purchasing anything of SGN's again.

  • Adams Immersive

    Growing pains or not, I really like the new free-then-upgrade model a lot better than the old get-demo-then-later-track-down-a-whole-other-full-app-and-lose-your-game-progress model.

    And it’s cool that there’s a mechanism to convert previous purchasers to the new app without them having to pay—thus allowing the developer to keep maintaining just a single version. I wouldn’t have thought that was possible.

    • Maniacfive

      I don't think the problem here is growing pains with the freemium model, its the fact that it was titanically stupid to change an existing game to a freemium model. Thewiirocks nailed it above. There's clearly been many situations they didnt test for where customers have found themselves without the item they've previously paid for, i.e. the full version of the game, I count myself in this bracket!

      In app purchase really works for some things. Eliminates energy packs, extra maps packs, or even just a purchase to make a free app ad free. But this is broken, very broken.

  • Adams Immersive

    Growing pains or not, I really like the new free-then-upgrade model a lot better than the old get-demo-then-later-track-down-a-whole-other-full-app-and-lose-your-game-progress model.

    And it’s cool that there’s a mechanism to convert previous purchasers to the new app without them having to pay—thus allowing the developer to keep maintaining just a single version. I wouldn’t have thought that was possible.

    • Maniacfive

      I don't think the problem here is growing pains with the freemium model, its the fact that it was titanically stupid to change an existing game to a freemium model. Thewiirocks nailed it above. There's clearly been many situations they didnt test for where customers have found themselves without the item they've previously paid for, i.e. the full version of the game, I count myself in this bracket!

      In app purchase really works for some things. Eliminates energy packs, extra maps packs, or even just a purchase to make a free app ad free. But this is broken, very broken.

  • GRM177

    It is a lie, it tried to charge me, even Im being a previous owner. I paid this garbage and now they want more. I will delete it, hate this free buy-in game style.

  • GRM177

    It is a lie, it tried to charge me, even Im being a previous owner. I paid this garbage and now they want more. I will delete it, hate this free buy-in game style.

  • sandy

    PacMan Championship Edition
    Ridge Racer Accelerated
    F.A.S.T.

    The DLC method appears to become the epic failure of the AppStore very soon in terms of user agony.

  • sandy

    PacMan Championship Edition
    Ridge Racer Accelerated
    F.A.S.T.

    The DLC method appears to become the epic failure of the AppStore very soon in terms of user agony.

  • sk8erdude50

    i hated this game and eleted a day after playing. Skies of glory is so much better

  • sk8erdude50

    i hated this game and eleted a day after playing. Skies of glory is so much better

  • omg

    Does Apple advocate these types of games? Surely a free game, with downloadable content is lost revenue for Apple, as the money does not pass through the app store when buying, hence apple loses out on the 70%.

    Also, does this make it harder to back up games in the future? If my purchases are no longer inside iTunes, and in some unfortunate circumstance my device needs to be restored, then I have to go through the process of reloading the downloadable content and having to pay for it again?

    • tadad1

      The in game purchases are processed and paid for through iTunes.

  • omg

    Does Apple advocate these types of games? Surely a free game, with downloadable content is lost revenue for Apple, as the money does not pass through the app store when buying, hence apple loses out on the 70%.

    Also, does this make it harder to back up games in the future? If my purchases are no longer inside iTunes, and in some unfortunate circumstance my device needs to be restored, then I have to go through the process of reloading the downloadable content and having to pay for it again?

    • tadad1

      The in game purchases are processed and paid for through iTunes.

  • jasper

    They charged me for this game TWICE when i paid the full price back when it first came out. Now I try to download the update (version 3) (and I never updated to version 2) and it tells me that I need to "check my purchase history". What's up with this?

  • jasper

    They charged me for this game TWICE when i paid the full price back when it first came out. Now I try to download the update (version 3) (and I never updated to version 2) and it tells me that I need to "check my purchase history". What's up with this?

  • Sam

    I just downloaded the "free" app. Am I doing something wrong or is there only 1 short mission in this "free" app? Do you have to pay for more than 1 mission?

    Sam

  • Sam

    I just downloaded the "free" app. Am I doing something wrong or is there only 1 short mission in this "free" app? Do you have to pay for more than 1 mission?

    Sam

  • Justin

    ya the in app purchases are really bad atm. i hope apple changes something. i just got burned with two in app purchases with SEED. i will not buy anymore DLC or mess with anyomre "freemium" crap.

    ...in fact, i just might hold out on buying anything until this gets sorted out.

  • Justin

    ya the in app purchases are really bad atm. i hope apple changes something. i just got burned with two in app purchases with SEED. i will not buy anymore DLC or mess with anyomre "freemium" crap.

    ...in fact, i just might hold out on buying anything until this gets sorted out.

  • derkman127

    this is bullshit, i bought it for €0.79 and now its free, becuz i was updating my ipod yesterday i accidently deleted all my apps, not really a problem, but now f.a.s.t. keeps saying i got the free version. Those guys only want money. SGN sucks

    • thewiirocks

      Ask SGN to fix it, or demand your money back from Apple. Don't give them more money until it's fixed and please don't ignore the situation. If enough people complain, maybe they'll do something about it. :)

  • derkman127

    this is bullshit, i bought it for €0.79 and now its free, becuz i was updating my ipod yesterday i accidently deleted all my apps, not really a problem, but now f.a.s.t. keeps saying i got the free version. Those guys only want money. SGN sucks

    • thewiirocks

      Ask SGN to fix it, or demand your money back from Apple. Don't give them more money until it's fixed and please don't ignore the situation. If enough people complain, maybe they'll do something about it. :)

  • Jas

    I can see me boycotting all SGN software after this fiasco. If I buy a game, I expect it to remain "mine", and not to have to jump through hoops later, and be charged again for the same product.

    Apple have some explaining to do for permitting this con.

  • Jas

    I can see me boycotting all SGN software after this fiasco. If I buy a game, I expect it to remain "mine", and not to have to jump through hoops later, and be charged again for the same product.

    Apple have some explaining to do for permitting this con.

  • JFreitas

    I can't help...
    This is smelling bad and worst by the minute and forming all traces of a con...

    Purchased for £0.79 and installed FULL version 2.0, a week or so ago, game played fine.

    During last week, received notification from AppStore about an update and installed new version 3.0. Now game says it is a FREE version - an aspect NOT stated in the notification update from the AppStore - and demands me another €0.79 to get the FULL version ... the version I ALREADY BOUGHT and PAYED for.

    The Seller (SGN) states that this new Free version should automatically update to Full for users that already bought the app.
    That is NOT WORKING.

    Already open an issue to Apple and SGN.
    Apple seems still a bit blind on the subject, they told me to download version 2.0 of the app to avoid the issue.
    The option to redownload the app don't solve this case, as the original payed app that I bought and payed for is NO longer available at the AppStore, only the new Free incarnation of the app that I've received as an update in the AppStore notification and installed in the device.

    This new version is a cash rip-off.
    The update locked me access to the FULL app I've already payed.

    This is a bad conduct from the Seller (SGN) part.
    This does not do wonders to the integrity of the AppStore. Apple must take action on this.

    And now the game won't even start without and active Internet connection - the FULL version I purchased didn't do that.

  • JFreitas

    I can't help...
    This is smelling bad and worst by the minute and forming all traces of a con...

    Purchased for £0.79 and installed FULL version 2.0, a week or so ago, game played fine.

    During last week, received notification from AppStore about an update and installed new version 3.0. Now game says it is a FREE version - an aspect NOT stated in the notification update from the AppStore - and demands me another €0.79 to get the FULL version ... the version I ALREADY BOUGHT and PAYED for.

    The Seller (SGN) states that this new Free version should automatically update to Full for users that already bought the app.
    That is NOT WORKING.

    Already open an issue to Apple and SGN.
    Apple seems still a bit blind on the subject, they told me to download version 2.0 of the app to avoid the issue.
    The option to redownload the app don't solve this case, as the original payed app that I bought and payed for is NO longer available at the AppStore, only the new Free incarnation of the app that I've received as an update in the AppStore notification and installed in the device.

    This new version is a cash rip-off.
    The update locked me access to the FULL app I've already payed.

    This is a bad conduct from the Seller (SGN) part.
    This does not do wonders to the integrity of the AppStore. Apple must take action on this.

    And now the game won't even start without and active Internet connection - the FULL version I purchased didn't do that.

  • GRM177

    Really, it never was a great game, was just a nice deal for U$ 0,99-1,99... but now, with needs of an internet connection, deleting saved games without warning or permission, and that criminal intent taking customers for idiots,... go to hell SGN, never never never (even if fix it) I will buy anything again from this desonest and greedy company.

    • GRM177

      Correcting: will not buy.

  • GRM177

    Really, it never was a great game, was just a nice deal for U$ 0,99-1,99... but now, with needs of an internet connection, deleting saved games without warning or permission, and that criminal intent taking customers for idiots,... go to hell SGN, never never never (even if fix it) I will buy anything again from this desonest and greedy company.

    • GRM177

      Correcting: will not buy.