If you're the kind of person whose feathers get ruffled whenever free to play is mentioned, you should make sure you're sitting down before reading the rest of this post. We liked Glu's Gun Bros [Free] quite a bit when it was first released. As mentioned in our review, it really does provide a cool twist on the dual stick shooter formula via the bro system which allows you to play in a asynchronous co-op mode where you can bro up and bring a friend's bro into your game to help you slay waves of monsters. A recent update even added realtime online multiplayer via 3G and WiFi.

The rub of Gun Bros is an extensive upgrade system to keep you coming back on a daily basis shooting up bad guys to progressively unlock bigger and badder gear upgrades. Of course, like all free to play games you can sidestep this time sink by purchasing the premium currency "war bucks" with real-world dollars. Alternatively, you can do things like watch advertisements, sign up for Netflix, or even online dating sites to earn "free" war bucks.

What are you working towards with all of these war bucks? Well, the mack daddy of all premium unlockable guns is The Kraken which promises to instantly vaporize all nearby enemies. The Kraken sells for the modest sum of 3499 war bucks, and assuming you're buying them in the largest 710 war buck pack for $99, that's just under $500 real world dollars for a gun in a video game. Crazier yet is that The Kraken used to only cost 1400 war bucks, the price was raised.

Surely no one is biting at this though, right? Well, videos on YouTube show otherwise:

Now, I realize that the entire idea around the business of free to play games involves essentially having no top-end for how much a player can spend on the game. In fact, Flurry Analytics even mentions these so called "whales" in their recent analysis piece where they found that 30% of the total revenue from the "over $20" bucket of their report comes from people actually spending more than $50 in free to play transactions.

The whole thing seems pretty wild to me-- But hey, in the interest of doing business I suppose if you've got players that are dedicated enough to your game to spend the equivalent of $500 for a single unlock, why wouldn't you give them the ability to do so?


    The sad part is even if you spend $500 there will always be an ad there.

  • Rick Palmer

    Gun Bros had a hack to get > 2,000,000 war bucks when it first came out, so anyone who took advantage of said hack likely still has enough left over to buy the Kraken.  I'd put my money on that being the case with the youtube video.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Merc501st Terry Vongsouthi

      Kid said he bought it. He posted as new video recently about the price change and said "Youre lucky if you bought it before the price change. I dont know why I did it, but I did."  This kid makes me facepalm.

      • Tower_Defender

        His parents must be going WTF at the moment lol.

  • GodSon

    *Scratches head*

  • Anonymous

    humans are gullible

  • bonzer gadafi

    if someone is so stupid to spend that amount on any game then they deserve to get screwed over, i feel sorry for the parents whos kids have their credit cards attached to their itunes accounts though. 

    still it leaves a nasty taste in the mouth, any company charging that to anybody as an iap. shows the companys true colours i think. we dont care we just want your money.

    • Anonymous

      Nothing says true colours better than iOS 4 being released, and Glu deciding it wasnt economical to spend time updating glyder or glyder 2 to work properly with the new OS.

      Tiny indy devs can update and fix bugs and continue to release new content, but Glu cant?

      Thats why I dont buy or download anything from Glu anymore. Whats to say come iOS 5 they wont say, "yeah, wasnt worth our time updating Gun Bros, sorry. But! Our new game, Gun Sisters is fully iOS 5 compatible"

  • Anonymous

    Finally, a way to spend all of that extra money on a game that I don't even play! Best. Day. Ever.

  • metalcasket


  • Jeremy Sprague

    This is a pretty time-tested sales technique. It's like the $150 bottle of champagne on the menu. Noone buys it, but it makes everything else on the menu look much cheaper. And, in the rare instance someone buys it, then awesome. Start looking and you'll see this technique employed in many real world retailers and services.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=690747678 Paul Johnson

      It's called "Goldilocks pricing" because the one in the middle (that they're trying to get you to buy) is the one that's "Just right"

    • Skemer

      True but it's ok, seems not so bad when talking about a restaurant wine list but not a game masquerading as free. And 500 really! 5 would of been acceptable, even 20 , but not 500!

  • Ubisububi

    I won't even install this game due to the greedy, over the top IAP model. Sneering at those who actually make this game model viable may make the rest of us without compulsive behavior feel better, but at the end of the day, there is a small group of very miserable people spending money they don't have, on this game.

    • http://www.gamesbrief.com Nicholas Lovell

      How do you know they are miserable people spending money they don't have?

  • Booch138

    Shit, I wish I had $500 to blow aimlessly on a video game. 

  • Tower_Defender

    Most likely they are just doing market research and seeing who would actually go out of their way to buy it.

  • Hamster787

    this is so bad i feel that for hackers it is perfectly acceptable to get it illegally, i however just wont download the game

  • sniPyro

    Forget the fact that its bloody $500 (hell that's almost an iPad), why on earth would you pay so much for an upgrade that means you no longer need to play the game. Ridiculous really!

    • Hamster787

      why would you pay anything for something that defeats playing a game????

  • Anonymous

    Is it just me or what???  That gun isn't worth a penny more than $350   😉

  • awoody17

    I used the "watch-a-video-a-day glitch" to get mine. Doesn't really matter though, this move disgusted me so much that I have quit the game entirely. Oh well, more time to put into Legendary Wars.

  • Skemer

    Let's take action and leave a few 1 star negative reviews. I feel it's only fair to warn people.

  • Anonymous

    I played this game to test out it's playability but didn't buy anything (not stupid), it was designed to slow you down if you didn't pay to have your ore 'processed' and it was the same map used repeatedly but gradually harder. It wouldn't be so bad if there was a story and had different maps. The gun bro sidekick can't even be upgraded as an NPC, so he gets progressively weaker as you go through the game. 

    There was no option to just get back in the game after you died, you had to pass screens which were begging you to click so the game could be played faster for only the starting price of 59p.

    I'm surprised Toucharcade are even mentioning it, its horrible.

    • Toadlewaste

      Actually you can buy extra lives so you can respawn the moment you die. They cost 4 warbucks though.

  • iapirate

    Glu = fags

  • Anonymous

    These people give IAP a bad name.

  • Bluray687

    I considered downloading this game but the developers have completely sent my interest in the opposite direction.  I wouldn't give them an F'n penny, let alone any of my free time.  Good luck on that business model F-holes!

  • Thesmartpants

    Glu. I would rather buy an ipad 2 which is $499 than an iap which costs $500 which is only going to upgrade your gun. I mean you will regret it. When you will get the gun, killing the enemies will be so easy that sooner or later, you will find out you have beaten the game. Then you will think, "what if I spent this money on something more 'realistic' than a in game gun"

    Ps. Did you know you could run for a position in the Canadian government for $500 :p only thing is you have to get elected! Haha

  • KoTakUEurO

    Wow. Is Glu trying to troll? Cause this just turns me off even downloading their games. They've got to be trolling, unless they really think people are going to be pouring their entire mornings into an iOS game.

  • Anonymous

    http://www.feedingamerica.org spends $1 per meal feeding under-employed and homeless families across the country.  One Kraken can feed a family of five FOR A MONTH.

    Just sayin...

  • BBD

    Glu joins the boycott list with Com2us and Lima Sky.

    • http://jforcegames.com JForce

      Why in the world would you boycott a company for selling an optional, over-powered weapon at a high price? And 3 people liked your comment...wow.

  • http://profiles.google.com/sokolov22 Derek Chin

    It is important to recognize that conversion rate in F2P is really low, and basically people who DO spend money (especially the whales) essentially allow everyone else to play for free.  When you actually get down how many people play these games, and how much the company actually makes PER USER, it's really not that much.

  • http://twitter.com/phylum_sinter Christopher Todd

    The only way this company can save face with me is if they promise to drop 90% of all proceeds on this ridiculous piece of shit in the hands of people that need it.

    I think the more you're spending in farmville, gun bros and any other F2P game, the more you should get reminded that the world is full of suffering, and that your spare money can make it better in the right hands. This kind of excess only leads to increased myopic tendencies and perhaps an undeserved sense of self-assurance that you're winning.

  • Anonymous

    Games like that go straight to the trash.

  • Brett

    There is a difference in a game developer trying to earn revenue by providing value to the customer than taking advantage of irresponsible game addicts who don't know the difference anymore between reality and the virtual world. I think there are moral considerations even for game developers. Just because something is permissible doesn't make it responsible to do.

  • whitecaddy

    u know whats funny i was playing gun bros today and the kracken went on sale for 99 war bucks i was shocked i had been saving my war bucks and had enough to buy it from the bucks i earned on bro ops so it was 100% free for me so any one who paid 500$ is a total moron lol

  • Asd

    bough it for 99 yesterday, only needed to buy a few war bucks 😀

  • Asd

    bough it for 99 yesterday, only needed to buy a few war bucks 😀

  • Joe

    Got it for 99 war bucks on Tuesday. Also got the Duece Dropper a couple months ago for around 80,000 coins and now it's 130 war bucks. Just wait around and the guns are easy and cheap to pick up. As they should be, it's ridiculous the developers charge $500 for a gun in this game. And honestly, it doesn't make you invincible and the beam of energy it releases isn't very powerful. A pretty big disappointment is you actually paid full price for it.

  • Grayson

    this is a fun game if you have a android sony ericsson because you have the psp or ps controls and its fun even when you don't buy bucks of it

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Davis/1195698432 Chris Davis

    i have the kraken ....i saved a shitload of coins from the single player mode....waited till the kraken was on sale for 75% off  then converted my coins using the "convert 100k coins into 120 warbucks" deal for a dollar each ....cost me less than 4 bucks and i have the kraken....now for the awesome part.....the apocolypse and cataclysm are way more effective than the kraken lmmfao

  • RX178

    I enjoyed this game and played the zombie stage consistently to save up coins fast, then all of a sudden my inventory disappeared, and  I was stuck with the guns I was playing with. Weak.
    Paying actual money for video game extras?  Pffft.
    I uninstalled it the next day.  Fun game, but repetitive.

  • ddddddddddddf

    Nooo,if you are patient,you can of course slowly get enaugh war bucks...you get daily bonus 😀 and also bro ops..AAND some occasional purchases..not frickin 710 war bucks,just slowly earning 1,2,3,5,10,50 war bucks and slowly get 1500,which is the price of Kraken right now i think,yeah im pretty sure (new gun apathy bear is 2000)