Viable for F2P games to offer premium IAPs?

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by ramzarules, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. ramzarules

    ramzarules Well-Known Member

    Sep 13, 2014
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    Hello all,
    1)i recently read about the high piracy rate on android, with lots of devs reporting up to 95%
    2)i realise, like most thinking people, that this pushes the F2P with IAPs model more and more as time passes.

    What i want to ask you, the developers, is :

    Is it possible, and financially viable for you, to make F2P games that offer one time IAPs that bring "premium game experience" ? Some games do it, my most recent were

    Sky Force 2014, where premium one time iaps minimize the grind and the wait timers, and
    Wings of Heroes where one time iaps eliminate again, the timers and the grind.

    I'm sure there are also others, the so called "F2P done right".

    So is this viable for you? Does it help alleviate the piracy and generate more income? I detest consumable IAPs with all my heart, and never buy them, but if a game has IAPs that turn it into a premium game, i am all for it, and doubly so if it alleviates the piracy problems, and can support good developers and games.

    So, what's your opinion on the F2P with premium IAPs?
     
  2. Rubicon

    Rubicon Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2011
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    We put this in all of our smaller games that are basically free with adverts. The purchase is always $0.99 and does something useful in the game as well as stopping the ads.

    Almost nobody buys them on either platform. We always have this button as a service for ad haters, but the vast majority just can't be arsed. It's certainly not a profit maker.
     
  3. Xammond

    Xammond Well-Known Member

    Mar 22, 2014
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    Essentially the 'shareware' model, or try before you buy I guess.

    I put an ad in an update for a free game, started putting in IAP code to remove ad, and before I knew it removed all IAP code deciding that it wasn't worth having it written as containing the stuff. The ads of unobstructive and would never be removed.

    If I could go back in time then shareware would be my aim. But today it is tarnished by greedy consumables.
     
  4. ramzarules

    ramzarules Well-Known Member

    Sep 13, 2014
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    exactly, the try before you buy model, or the elimination of huge grind/timers for big/ quality games, and the add elimination for smaller/quicker games.

    To me, the second one looks even better. Take for example the recent Seabeard. If you looked at the forums here, you would see many people crying out for a premium version, no timers, no dual currencies, no grinding etc.

    Give it a one time iap that offers the premium version - eliminates timers, currencies etc. Price that IAP accordingly, depending on a lot of factors (known developer or not, quality- length of the game, target audience etc).

    I am an adult, and i have a job, and i understand the need to make money. But do you really need to be like those companies i will not name, who create fantastic games, then ask you for consumable iaps every step of the way? 2K does fine with premium. so does Capcom. so do other smaller devs, who made their games premium and people buy them.

    And of course there are the sort of people i will never understand, who hate ALL IAP. Why good sir or madam, do you hate a one time IAP that turns your free version of the game to a premium? Didn't you play demos or shareware ever in your life, before buying a game?

    But i digress. I made this topic to listen to your opinions, and discuss if this premium iap model would be viable from your experience.

    Me, i am just a gamer-so far- who is very alarmed by the F2P domination of the market, and even more alarmed of the consumable IAPs.
     
  5. Destined

    Destined Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2013
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    Thats why I am putting them in my next game. Just so ad haters can get rid of them if they want.
     
  6. iPadisGreat

    iPadisGreat Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2012
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    Nowadays I just do not download games which iseem to be freemium. If there are others like me, who do pay money to buy apps and games, then the plan to earn more sales by offering a premium IAP might not work well...
     
  7. Rubicon

    Rubicon Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2011
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    Unfortunately, all the evidence I have, and there's a lot, suggests that the opposite is the overwhelmingly common case.

    Most people just won't buy games anymore. They either want free with ads or freemium - ie no ads but pay for various things later on after they've seen the game.

    I made a featured blog post on gamasutra about this. It's worth a read, even for the many replies.
    http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/PaulJohnson/20130702/195491/Ranting_about_Free_to_Play_its_not_what_you_think.php
     
  8. ramzarules

    ramzarules Well-Known Member

    Sep 13, 2014
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    Exactly. I'm all for premium games too, but i made this thread bcause the overwhelming majority of mobile gamers do not buy games, and the overwhelming number of games are free to play, to discuss a solution-medium to compromise the two.
     
  9. Xammond

    Xammond Well-Known Member

    Mar 22, 2014
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    Weird because the evidence I have is that you can not give a game away without help from the industry, and I missed the boat or something. Better to put a price on it and have some perceived value, seeing as we developers are worth something at least, apparently.
     
  10. Rubicon

    Rubicon Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2011
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    It's certainly true that just "being free" won't get you a ton of traffic these days. When this trend started it was of couse a big draw, but now most things are free it's the same old visibility problem.
     
  11. Xammond

    Xammond Well-Known Member

    Mar 22, 2014
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    Fact is already mentioned that customers are spoilt. I get around the same downloads paid or free (zero vs zero), and since my return to the App Store it has been a nightmare. I still perform the updates today due to the love of coding thing, but my next game is quaking in its boots right now.

    Stats for this quarter: paid 12, free 27, updates 16. I also have a family but I won't give up now or ever, that would be like attending uni then working there and then going electric-free.
     
  12. pikpiak

    pikpiak Member

    Dec 12, 2014
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    Don't do it if you don't have a strategy/approach to it.
    Stick to Paid App if you are not keen to take a stab at monetization.

    Simply launching a title with the template store page selling currencies or linking to an ad page after every game ain't gonna cut it anymore. Product placement/timing based on user behaviours, it's getting smarter.

    At least be prepared to try different approaches and learn from the results, try all the top grossing games and you'll see the subtle approaches they use.

    It's a tougher gig to juggle if you want to go F2P, not that simple an option anymore.

    *And don't care about the bad rep on F2P, you can worry about it when you can even be that profitable with a good product in your hand.
     
  13. Xammond

    Xammond Well-Known Member

    Mar 22, 2014
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    Indeed my new game will be paid. The update I've just completed has an ad, initially I was rejected by a provider unless there would be a million active users. So I modified the SDK to display local ads first, I even made the banner wave in the wind for effect. But that binary is gathering dust right now unfortunately.

    It didn't take long to realise IAP to remove ad was just a toe in water test, and I didn't need to complete that test it turned out. I think the ad itself was interesting, and now a different provider is sending ads but I hesitate to mediate them to the front of the queue, better to leave my own cross-promotion there for that moment of install, try, delete! I can accept that old games won't be taken seriously :)
     
  14. Frand

    Frand Well-Known Member

    A premium unlock worked well in Turbo Dismount. On average, the "pay once, get everything" item is getting 2-3X the amount of purchases per day compared to any of the average $1 content bundles.

    Clearly there are plenty of people out there who prefer to just make one purchase and be done with it.
     
  15. ramzarules

    ramzarules Well-Known Member

    Sep 13, 2014
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    Thats good news to hear :) also good is the high quality premium games released this week!
     

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