So Signal Studios and publisher Tilting Point are trying something interesting with their game The Sleeping Prince (Free). They’ve made the previously free-to-play game completely free for a limited time, now subtitled as The Royal Edition. There are no in-app purchases, and no more energy system, not even any ads, just the game itself. The game will be shifting to premium in the future, but this is your opportunity to get it at no cost for now.
The ragdoll puzzle-platformer was available in a soft launch for several months before its eventual September release, sometimes a sign that a game isn’t monetizing well enough. There always was the ability to disable energy in the game, but now it has been exiled completely. I wonder if we won’t see more cases like this and Star Nomad ($1.99) with its new Elite edition where games try out free-to-play but then go premium down the road if they don’t make it as free-to-play, even just as a last resort. Big Action Mega Fight! also ditched free to play for a paid model, and it seemed to work out pretty well for them.
Some games just don’t work as free-to-play unfortunately, but at least developers aren’t just giving up on games that could find an audience with a different business model. Signal Studios is an established developer on non-mobile platforms, so they do have the leeway to try this sort of thing to salvage their game that other, mobile-focused developers, might not.