Don’t Console Yourself: Why App Powered Consoles Aren’t A Great Idea

Console

Ouya? Or ooh no?

 

I remember walking into my brother’s room one time to find him playing around on an MP3 player that he had jail broken to let him mess around with the settings more. I found him hunched over the device squinting and took a look over his shoulder to see him playing Doom on a screen that was barely bigger than a handful of postal stamps laid over one another. While it was all fun and games  to get something like that on there, there was clearly no way the person behind the game  expected to produce a full PC experience on a teeny tiny mobile device with useless size buttons. It was a novelty, nothing else.

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The IAP Stigma: Why Consumers Are Embarrased By Micro Transactions

IAP psychologist thing

So tell me; why don’t you admit buying IAP?

I was fortunate enough to attend the 3MG: Marketing and Monetisation event on behalf of The App Show yesterday to talk about the ins and outs of mobile marketing and monetisation. In a schedule filled with incredibly interesting talks and opportunities to network, perhaps the most interesting part for me was the afternoon discussion pod where I was lucky enough to chair a micro focus group dedicated to answering the question “Is freemium always the right route for monetisation?”.

In terms of what we found, the answer to the main question proved broadly functional (freemium vs premium depends on what kind of product you’re offering). But, more interestingly, I felt that we collectively unearthed some fascinating insights into the psychology of In App Purchases (IAP) which sheds light on why freemium may have a broadly negative perception from consumers that it doesn’t necessarily deserve.

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Paid vs Freemium: Why A Price is Sometimes Right

Freemium Xcom

Kicking ass $20 a go

With the freemium economic model up, running and making big piles of money, paying up front for apps has increasingly felt like an action of someone on the fringes of social acceptability. Like the uncool kid at school bringing Pokemon cards in a week after everyone else has stopped playing (note: definitely not me as I had an awesome deck, thank you very much), parting a set amount of money for an app has felt increasingly unfashionable of late.

Which is why the tale of Xcom: Enemy Unknown has warmed the cockles of my cold, corporate heart. With developers falling over themselves to offer their products for free before reeling back as much money as they can with IAP, makers 2K China looked at the product they were selling (essentially a full port of a console game), decided it was amazing and slapped what is now considered an expensive $20 price tag on it to make sure they got their money back.

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