Which pricing strategy to go with...Paid, Free, or Both?

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by Zenout, Oct 5, 2012.


Download price for 'Mellow' should be...

  1. Paid

    3 vote(s)
  2. Free

    0 vote(s)
  3. Both (2 apps)

    4 vote(s)
  1. Zenout

    Zenout Well-Known Member

    Please help me confirm which pricing strategy to go with for my upcoming game 'Mellow' - Paid or Free? Also in the poll is Both (an after-thought which would involve further tuning).

    The point of this poll is to see if my preferred option is realistic.

    Attached, is a photo with desired pricing details for both options.
    View attachment 47824
    (please note that specific details of actual purchases are displayed in the Shop)

    …Together with a 2nd attachment: a new screenshot (running on 3GS) - things are coming together though I still haven't sorted the main character!!
    View attachment 47825
    (aiming for a November release - a tight schedule - with content and feature updates after the holiday period)

    There's something about the (first) photo which tells me to go with Paid. Not only is paid the first word written on the board, also you can see that my jeans are clearly in better condition on that side of the plan… ;) The downside is that without a consumable it is not ideal for a twice-per-year free promotion. Then again, a free version can never be promoted with a price-drop weekend…But it would have the consumable(s) and would get x times as many downloads even a year later…until I think that a Paid to Free promotion will generate more downloads in a weekend than a year of FREE with no exposure!

    It's tricky to tell if my current paid sales are from cross-promotion or some other discovery. My main concern of Free is the competition being fierce, I just don't have the visibility to compete for downloads. Plus luck has a better chance in Paid I think? Still I present this poll to get an up to date opinion from the masses.

    I also welcome any comments on pricing ideas/changes. An example would be "Have a 2nd consumable (in free version) for $1.99 then the third can be for $6.99 instead". Or "Definitely don't do a consumable in a paid version - though a top 3 game does this wildly right now!". How about "i *used* to love this game,,.1!!!!!!!" ;D

    …The whiteboard plan was designed to be fair to everyone. I hope to see a majority result and will happily go with it if given enough votes!

    Thanks for your time :)

    tl;dr your thoughts on any of the 2 attached images are welcome. do you think the pricing is fair? and do you like the look of the game so far?
  2. bramblett05

    bramblett05 Well-Known Member

    Aug 29, 2012
    How about paid and then a lite version?
  3. Zenout

    Zenout Well-Known Member

    #3 Zenout, Oct 5, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
    A brilliant yet obvious solution, thank you!

    So Lite version would not display the Unlock Levels product until first a Full version had been purchased. Along with a cheaper yet identical version of the Zen Machine replacing the old model.

    I still need the try-first buyer to only pay the same total...tricky?

    Cheers =)

    Edit: Dropping the 'consumable'. Seems fair, highest IAP will be $0.99 same as Full version. Both with the identical Mk.II Zen Machine at same low price. It will be interesting to see the stats after a while.
  4. nvx

    nvx Well-Known Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    Your attachments aren't showing on my PC, not sure why

    Apple have been discouraging devs from releasing multiple different versions of the same app (particularly Lite versions), although it is still done frequently....

    If you make a Free version, add some iADs for additional revenue if you can ;)
    Also a good way to boost conversion rates, since many people would pay just to get rid of the ads
  5. Zenout

    Zenout Well-Known Member

    The images should show, seems to be a problem with the forum? I checked against another post where my attachments display correctly and the post formatting is the same.

    Ads are my least favourite idea (!) which I would only do as a last resort. Even then I can't really see the need as ads require a fair amount of downloads...If I get a fair amount then I won't feel the need to ad them :D
  6. Zenout

    Zenout Well-Known Member

    #6 Zenout, Oct 6, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2012
    The whiteboard has been heavily modified so I will just text the details (below).

    But here's a mirror of the new screenshot :)

    Well the whiteboard photo looked a lot more pleasant than...

    New IAP details:

    App price: $1.99
    Unlock all levels: $0.99
    Zen Machine: $0.99

    (Lite) -> released a couple of weeks later
    App price: Free
    Zen Machine: 0.99
    Upgrade to Full game: $1.99*
    *Unlock all levels now becomes available

    As you can see there is no room for a consumable without making things unnecessarily expensive. 2-4 bucks is plenty.

    Also, I do feel the need to avoid a Free only version, and only would have if some votes came in. I guess the couple hundred hits were all logged out. But yea, it's a shame that there's a need for 2 versions just to try and survive on the store.
  7. nvx

    nvx Well-Known Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    There is no guarantee your app will not survive on appstore as paid only :)
    Your best bet is to release the paid version first and see how downloads/sales pan out, you can release the Lite version at anytime afterwards

    Personally I wouldn't add in additional iAPs to unlock all levels in the paid version, because players actually paid for the game and would expect everything to be available from the start.

    Depends entirely on the game ofcourse, but generally a paid game has to be fairly deep and involving for players to even consider purchasing additional content

    I still can't tell what your game is about however
    The mirror image in your last post is vague, a ball rolling game?

    the images posted in your first post are still not showing up for me, so if others are experiencing the same problem then perhaps that is why you are not getting many votes here...?
  8. Zenout

    Zenout Well-Known Member

    Ah yes I explained the unlock wrong. It would allow players to skip unlocking levels linearly. So a rename of that one to "Unlimited Level Skips" is in order thanks.

    Indeed, both of you suggest a lite version later, depending. I do prefer that to a Free version later. Retaining the value of the whole idea.

    I remember once reading comments on a game saying how it always was designed to be free and the developers should have done it that way. I expect many remember it. I wanted to ensure that I chose the right way myself, and ended up with a happier solution!

    For sure a self-explanatory screenshot is required. Easier with a new video atm, but I shall wait until the character is decided.

    I hope you're right about the votes nvx. Seems awfully low, just my own and 2 others. Certainly proves my point in another thread that efforts are futile :(
  9. Zenout

    Zenout Well-Known Member

    Hey good to see no 'free' votes. Thank you.
  10. Zenout

    Zenout Well-Known Member

    Here is what I ended up going with for the IAP

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