I’ve noticed a bad trend in iPhone games lately that is beginning to anger me. Extremely fun games are monetizing poorly.
Three games I have enjoyed the most use an in app purchase monetization model. This model allows the download of the game to be free; however, some items in the game must be purchased with real money. Most games with this model can be played without spending a dime. But it’s almost impossible for it to be enjoyable if you don’t.
I finally got fed up when I downloaded the new Jurassic Park game. This game is free to download and free to play with limited ads. The game works by the user accomplishing objectives and gaining rewards for it. Each objective is in realtime. Waiting on food to feed your dinosaurs can take 10 minutes to an hour. The game requires days or even weeks to accomplish somewhat simple task. This isn’t a game you can sit and play. More of a “I have a free minute to feed my Dino’s while I wait for my coffee to be made” game.
In order to play the game for more than 1 minute you must buy in game currency. This will allow you to build more buildings and buy more dinosaurs. I dropped $10 just for an extra few minutes of fun. After, I felt betrayed. Like my game experience should have dramatically changed after spending money. The game remained the same. Very boring and passive. I don’t want to play it anymore. I want to hate it. I’m disappointed because I almost liked it.
More and more games are like this. It seems like app developers are changing from making a great game that cost a few dollars to free games that are ruined by in app purchase. So many games are almost fun.
Something else that grinds my gears is the extreme dependence on the app users to advertise games and apps. Now apps are tightly integrated with Facebook and other social sites. This integrations is used because they want us to help push their game. Saw this a few times and was like, “oh smart. I’ll share with a few friends.” But now, I’m seeing games requiring me to share. I don’t like that. Don’t force me to annoy my friends and family.
I can spare $1 or more for a great iPhone game. I’m the audience developers should target. It seems like their target is the free market and hoping to trick a few dollars out of them. Allow me to buy your game or app without ads. Don’t force me to annoy my friends because you can’t market your app on your own. Let your games and apps work great without your need for money ruining it.
Above all else: Stop using tapjoy! It’s annoying.