"The game industry is a BUSSINESS..."
Yeah sure, as indie developers we really don't believe that! games are art! (well, at least is what we say) ;)
Jokes aside... Perhaps, simply we're not so ambitious like the corporate companies, but at the end of the day we want some money in our bank account to keep trying and keep moving our passion forwards.
BTW, if someone says something different, I'm sorry, but he is simply and plainly lying to himself...
Anyway: "MONETIZATION" for your game, here comes the tricky part...
Mainly, nowadays, you can face this in two (3?) different flavours:
- The freemium shop from To The Castle -
This is, the user pays some money and he gets your app.
Supposedly, this is the good* and classic method that all the "freemium haters" will defend blindly.
(*) About, if this is better (at least ethically) than freemium... well to me simply: no way. Let me explain you later.
Well, since few years this is the paying-method that is kicking ass... for those that, perhaps live in a parallel dimension or something ;) let me note what this is all about...
A freemium app is a free application that has some content or items that can be purchased with real money inside the application itself.
Freemium is something that, since the beginning, has been hardly criticized by the game press and the "hardcore gamer" community... the core of the problem comes directly related with the unmeasured ambition of certain games and companies or even from the really mischievous ways some titles use in order to make/force users to pay.
There is a third way (but honestly I'm not even seriously considering that one)...
As the name says this is a combination of both: The user pays for downloading the application plus there are some items or content that you "can" pay inside the app.
To me this is the most "dubious", indeed.
but, bottom-line... why is freemium better than premium? (yes I'm saying just that)
Let me explain the whole thing with s simple example.
For instance, take a look to it from this perspective:
- Soft and hard currency... a matter of balance -
I'm a gamer, I have 10 bucks in my pocket and I'm just looking for a new game...
- Paymium: I pay 10$ for a game, I install it and after playing for 5 minutes I realize it's a crap (yeah I know exactly what you're thinking... "this happened to me too") .
Then, I'm screwed and the damage is already done.
- Freemium: I download the game for free, I install it and after playing for 5 minutes I realize it's a crap.
Well, I can uninstall it and I'm ready to go.
Let's now picture this in a different manner:
- Paymium: I pay 10$ for a game, I install it and after playing for 2 hours playing I realize... it's the game of my live and I'm in love with it.
Good for me! another game that I will really enjoy. Good for my 10 bucks! :)
- Freemium: I download the game for free, I install it and after playing for 2 hours playing I realize... it's the game of my live and I'm in love with it.
Well, at this point I understand that this is a good game and I'll pay for it if it was "Premium"...and, surprise! I still having the 10 bucks for that and I'm still free to choose if I'm using my bucks for a In app. purchase or for something else.
Let's face the reality: freemium is an advantage for the user and that's "natural selection" for the games (only the good games can survive).
As bottomline we may say, that the freemium method actually (if its done properly) its not a scam for the users at all. Instead, it's giving to the users more decision-power over the games that are truly enjoyable and those that are not.