Tag Archives: Monetisation

Plants vs Zombies 2 And The Perils Of F2P Monetisation

plants vs zombies 2

Shuffling towards freemium failure

Making money on the App Store is tough. I know a lot of people who set out thinking that you can use it to turn a quick buck with a free to play game but that really isn’t the case. Even with a lot of knowledge and experience, it is more than possible for you to screw up your money making strategy to such an extent that it ends up being kind of embarrassing for all involved.

I’m mulling this over because of the high profile free to play failure from EA that’s currently brewing under our noses. Plants vs Zombies 2, despite a huge amount of promotion, hype and free chart topping success, is very much on the way to being a freemium fail as it struggles uphill to breach the all important top grossing charts that Supercell and King have effortlessly held for the past months.

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Would Free To Play Have Worked For Badland?

Badland

In case you’ve not been reading the script (or have been throwing it into the corner of the room, refusing to touch it lest it “corrupts” you), Free to Play is the dominant business model in the app industry. A report from Flurry into the history of app pricing has argued quite convincingly that the move to F2P has occurred because it offers developers greater reach and users fewer barriers to entry; culminating in 90% of apps on the App Store coming with a free price tag.

That perspective appears to have been reinforced by the results trickling in from the apps that decided to abandon their price tag to be featured in the App Store’s 5th birthday celebration. In particular, side scrolling atmospheric adventure game Badland from Frogmind saw download numbers jump from 280,000 to an astonishing 7.4 million in the space of a single week simply by being featured by Apple.

Which in my mind instantly raised a question: what if Badland had been free to play? How much money could the game have made from that feature simply by monetising the broader pool of free users? With a calculator and what I can remember from A-Level Maths in hand, I set out to have a go at answering that question.

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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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